2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Report For August

The BLS released the June CPI figures about an hour ago. The CPI-W increased to 222.686 in July from 222.522 in June, an increase of 0.07%. If the CPI-W averages this amount for July through September, it would generate a 2012 COLA of about 3.34%, under current law, which, by the way wasn’t touched during the debt ceiling debacle. I think the CPI-W will continue to increase in August and September, though. The price of gasoline has gone up today for the first time since August 3, and I anticipate that it will continue to increase due to the slow but steady increase in crude oil. Food is also increasing, and has been pretty steadily.

Full report later.

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10 Responses to 2012 COLA Watch – Preliminary Report For August

  1. Andrew Morgen says:

    Even though there may be a COLA increase next January, Social Security recipients have been paying higher prices for commodities for a long time out of their pockets. The COLA increase does not repay those costs, it just help defray future price increases for these commodities.

    • revenuer says:


      You’re right. The COLA increases have been so low for years as to be almost meaningless. Can I suggest that you forward these words to your elected representative, the President, the heads of both the Republican and Democratic committees and the majority and minority leaders in both houses of Congress? They all need to know that we are here, can vote and feel very strongly about what they are doing. Even if you know that some of the people you contact want to destroy Social Security and Medicare you need to tell them. They need to hear it the most because they need to know that they risk losing power if they continue to try to destroy the middle class. Power is their driving motivation. If they lose office there won’t be much power left to them. Remember, there are still more of us than there are of them and the economy is sinking fast. Remind them of that. If you don’t know how to make contact with them, Potluck and I are going to compile a short article giving email links, snail mail addresses and phone numbers as soon as we can round them up. We make contacts like this regularly. The only sanctions I would give you is don’t threaten them with bodily harm and try not to cuss at them. Threatening the life of a federal official is a crime and cussing gives them an excuse to ignore you. The way you wrote it in your comment is perfect.

  2. ooosillyme says:

    3.4%? I guess they haven’t been grocery shopping lately: Eggs had gone up $.89 or 57%, bread had gone up $1.39 or 64%, American Cheese had gone up $.65 or 73%, Cucumbers are $.99 up 89% each, lettuce $1.69 up 76% per head, tomatoes, $3.99 up 74% per pound…..all up from a couple of weeks ago and these are just a few of the items purchased. I wish they went by real costs instead of fake ones…..

  3. Gregory Nanopoulos says:

    This is absolutely, handsdown, one of the best, unbiased, and fair sources to get current information on Social Security policy, COLA, and those issues which affect those of us in the program. What makes it such is that, truth, facts and new information — always trump opinion and partisan wrangling. This blog is well thought out and maintained–and i hope it continues to be of great service to all of us.

    • revenuer says:


      Thank you very much for your comment. We intend to continue the blog for the long haul.

      • revenuer says:


        Medicare will go $15 . Potluck would like to remind all of you that he always includes this information at the bottom of each COLA Watch update.

        The government has done this to all of us for years. It is a very cold and cynical way of keeping our benefit amounts lower than they need to be.

  4. Dennis says:

    People who complain about the amount of COLA adjustment they get for a single year usually forget the real value of the COLA; it compounds. So after 15 years and an average 3% annual adjustment, one third of the total monthly amount is compounded COLAs. As it stands now, it is a fair adjustment for inflation. Change the formula or suspend COLAs and then it will be a loser. Stop complaining and protect it, as it is. Turn negative energy into positive results.

    • revenuer says:


      You are right about the compounding, but the inflation amounts are spiraling up so quickly now that it is hard for the COLAs to keep up. In the last year the price of most of the food items we use consistently has gone up around 18% based on comparison of our own shopping lists and the prices we have paid.

      If you have a serene enough nature that you don’t feel that you need to complain, then I applaud you. I disagree though. I think we do need to complain, and discuss and put our elected representatives on notice that we do not like them playing with our lives to feed their own need for power or the greed of those whom they actually seem to be representing. The rich and the corporations.

      More and more Americans are suffering from hunger, homelessness and unemployment. It is time they helped all of us. We elected them and whether they like it or not they work for us. Now would be an excellent time to for them to start acting like it. I would like to see them open their eyes, shut their mouths and actually equalize our society so that we can work, get health care, shelter and finally retire with peace of mind and dignity.

      The present system is far from protecting those needs, so I intend to protect what is in place so as not to lose it while working for something better to protect the middle class and the poor. I hope that whatever your views you will share them with your elected representatives. They need to hear from us before things get any worse. They need to hear from us now.

  5. ooosillyme says:

    Dennis says: “Stop complaining and protect it, as it is.”

    Protect it yes, but never stop complaining about its inadequacy. Twenty dollars a month does nothing to keep up with the rising costs around us. Food, utilities, rent, medical costs are all going up in the double digit range above 50% and yet a 3% increase in benefits is all they allow…by playing with the numbers to their benefit and where the cost of medicare takes up most of it….is nothing to sit back and be fine about.

    • revenuer says:

      Thanks for the comments, OSM:

      You are absolutely right. Not complaining is no virtue. We have to let everyone know how people are suffering because of a selfish political agenda which seeks to deny us the necessities of life and which we have paid to insure for ourselves all our working lives.

      You have it spot on. We are not condemning Dennis, who is entitled to think what he likes, but anyone who wants to tell their elected officials can easily do so by going to the links post , finding them and giving them a detailed opinion on why Social Security with reasonable COLA’s that actually promote our well being are necessary.

      Folks, if you write. be sure to write to the people who are most against us. They need to know that we are out here in great numbers and will do everything we can to end their time in office if they do not stop trying to rip apart our lives.

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