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Email: "NO Cost of Living Allowance" for Seniors!"

October 14, 2009 9:28 am ET

The following email has been widely forwarded and has been reposted numerous times on conservative blogs.  Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below.  Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.

NO Cost of Living Allowance" for Seniors!

[note - all mistakes below are original to the text]


Hey! Thanks for forwarding that along. 

Knowing the nature of all these crazy emails going around, I decided to look into some of the charges made in this one.

It turns out there's this website called PolitiFact that fact checks statements made by both Democrats and Republicans.  It actually won a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year, so you know it's reliable.

Anyway, the website had actually already fact checked this email -- it gave it a "Pants on Fire" rating (the worst).  It said that since 1975 cost of living adjustments happen automatically - apparently they're tied to the amount of inflation (that way seniors will receive more money as goods & services get more expensive).  The recession has actually caused the prices of a lot of products to DECREASE (i.e. - gasoline) since last year.  Thus, there will be no increase in Social Security because the costs of goods haven't increased either.  It makes sense when you think about it.

PolitiFact contacted the Social Security Administration, and its spokesman said, "It has nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans... It's been the law since 1975, and it's based strictly on the numbers."

The site concluded: "If this e-mail had merely gotten some facts wrong, we'd be comfortable rating it False. But given that it targets senior citizens on an important pocketbook issue with an incorrect allegation that has no basis in fact, we have to go one more notch and set the meter ablaze. Pants on Fire."

You can read it yourself here:

I hope this helped set your mind at ease.  The email included some pretty scary stuff for seniors, so it'd probably be a good idea if you sent this to the person who sent it to you.

Have a good week!


Posted in - Seniors