November 5, 2014
Dear Chapter Member,
Please plan on attending our next meeting/party on January 24, 2015, at 11:00 AM. We will meet at the DMAL-APWU Union Hall located at 15677 East 17th Ave. in Aurora, CO. Your Budget Committee is working on financing a party as part of the meeting. The meeting agenda will be shortened so we can all socialize and celebrate the new APWU charter. Please look for a future mailing with all the details.J
Elections have consequences. In Colorado, we the people, elected a new Senator who fully backs a far right agenda. Anticipate the following changes in your lives based on the Republican Agenda and their new majority in the next Congress:
Chained CPI: President Obama supports this as does the new Congress.Currently, our meager 1.7% COLA on our annuity starting in January is based on the CPI-W.This adjustment is calculated by determining a family of four’s inflationary costs.Typically, a family has much different purchasing habits than retirees do.This allows deflated items like electronics to pull down the actual inflation we incur in food and medicine.The chained CPI would have resulted in no COLA or less than 1% if in use today.
Tax increases: While Republicans claim that they are the low taxes party, nothing could be further from the truth.For example, Republicans (not one voted for Obama Care) snuck in a provision in the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) increasing the line that determines when you can deduct your medical expenses on schedule A (itemized deductions) from 7.5% to 10%.This means you pay 2.5% more of your out of pocket medical bills BEFORE being able to itemize those expenses when you file a schedule A with your 1040 each year.Their agenda is to drastically reduce the corporate tax rate.Combine that with a nearly $4 Trillion dollar annual budget, someone will have to pick up the difference.
Social Security Privatization and Cuts: Republicans have wanted to turn over the $2.7 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund to Wallstreet for decades now.Along with the anticipated Chained CPI, this will affect your Social Security earnings.As we all know, when the stock market crashes (does this every eight years historically), any Social Security funds in the stock market will be lost and unavailable for future payments.The cap (anyone making over $118,000 in 2015, stops paying anything into the Social Security funds) will remain and possibly be lowered or eliminated reducing the solvency (under current law the fund is solvent until 2031-2044, according to the Social Security Administration) of the fund.Their idea is to cut benefits to Social Security recipients to improve the solvency of the fund.
Medicare vouchers: The Ryan Budget, which has passed the House of Representatives many times, changes Medicare as we know it.Instead of the current program, $8,000 annual vouchers would be provided to retirees and any medical costs above that would be borne by Medicare recipients in out of pocket expenses.Previously, this absurd budget was never brought to the floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid, but now we likely will have Senate Majority Leader McConnell.This is the man that publically and frequently stated from 2009-2012, that their top priority was to make Obama a one term President.He fully supports the Ryan budgets.
Health Care Cost Inflation:Despite all the horror stories about Obama Care, health care prices have increased the least in decades since the start of PPACA implementation.One of the top priorities of the new Congress will be to repeal the PPACA without any replacement plan.This would again start the cycle of sky rocketing health care costs.Tens of millions of Americans would lose their Health Insurance, Insurance Companies would again be able to cancel your policy at a whim, refuse those with previous conditions, and dump young people ages 18-26 off their parents’ plans.For retirees, along with Medicare Vouchers, this would be a disaster.
The leadership of your Chapter will not go down without a fight. We have enough Senators to filibuster this austerity program and have President Obama with veto power; but it will require all of us, working together, to defeat these pro-oligarchy bills. None of us will get this done without you. We need every member active and ready to fight!
Together we shall overcome,
Scott D Morrow, President
DMAL Retiree Chapter