Seniors deserve comfortable retirements

Aging Watch director responds to Orlando Sentinel columnist who asserts that the $250 checks being mailed to older Americans this year -- in lieu of a cost-of-living increase to Social Security -- constitutes "political pandering...if [seniors] don't need it and don't deserve it."

Aging Watch responded to a columnist who asserted that the $250 checks mailed to older Americans in 2009 — in lieu of a cost-of-living increase to Social Security — constituted political pandering because seniors “don’t need it and don’t deserve it.”

Mike Thomas’ original column appeared in the Orlando Sentinel on October 25, 2009.

In response, Aging Watch founder Jessica Walker submitted a “letter to the editor” which appeared in the October 30th edition of the Orlando Sentinel. It argued in favor of giving the $250 checks to seniors in order to compensate for no cost-of-living adjustment:

“Many older adults are in desperate need of these checks — and much more. And they certainly do deserve them.

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker now stands at $1, 161. For elders no longer in the work force, this is often their sole source of income — hardly the definition of living high on the hog.

Social Security and Medicare are often characterized as welfare programs, but are actually the resources our society promised elders in return for working all their lives, raising their families, paying their taxes, and otherwise contributing to our nation’s progress.

Indeed, it is the least we can do to ensure elders have the retirements they deserve.”