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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What about us?
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Letter to the editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: What about us?

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What about us?

One of every seven people in Florence is a senior citizen. One of every five of those live below the poverty level. Half of them struggle to survive on less than $10,000 per year. Seventy percent have to live with family, others or go homeless.

That number goes up every time real estate taxes are increased. They can no longer pay the increased rent or taxes on their home.

The government turns a blind eye to seniors when dishing out compassion. The Biden administration is now giving a couple making $10,000 per month an extra child credit of $10,800 per year for having three small children, as if they need it, while turning its back on the widow two blocks away who struggles on $794 per month. Biden gave an extra $2,580 per month that was continued at $1,280 every month to the unemployed when they already receive more compensation than the senior next door.

Most young people think we pay for Medicare out of our paychecks during the decades we work, and seniors’ bills will be paid for after retirement. False. You keep on paying.

A deduction of $1,782 is this year’s Medicare premium. It is taken out before seniors get their Social Security checks. What’s worse is that Medicare pays only 80% and the senior must come up with the remaining 20% plus a deductible and some uncovered charges. Seniors living in poverty do not have the money to buy a supplemental policy. Those with incomes less than the poverty level can hope for Medicaid if their income does not exceed $12,400 per year. Hope you are not receiving $13,000-plus if you have to go into a hospital, a $70,000 nursing home or a $34,000 assisted living facility. You are out of luck with nowhere to go.

The cost of living increase is now at 5.5% and expected to rise. Don’t be deceived by the supposed 3% cost of living raise in Social Security. The actual amount is less than 1 percent after they deduct the increased Medicare premium. Buying power of Social Security has decreased 30% over the past 20 years. Don’t be overly enthused with the Homestead Exemption that eliminates the first $50K of the assessed value of your home. That was put into place in 1972 when it eliminated all taxes for most seniors because they could buy a house for $12,000. Greedy assessments increased the assessed tax value to well over that $50K deduction almost immediately, so seniors quickly started paying more taxes than they did before the Homestead Exemption Act.

We are now in an era when wages are increasing and big daddy is dishing out money left and right to help people survive in this inflationary surge, but one group apparently is not in the loop. Seniors have a right to ask “What about us?”

JIM HARRIS

Florence

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