Social Security Recipients May be in for a Rude Awakening Later this Year

There’s a larger problem: aligning retiree spending with Social Security checks

Social Security beneficiaries might not receive much of a cost-of-living adjustment next year — and some say recipients might not get anything at all.

COLA is linked to the consumer-price index, which has suffered lately because of low oil prices. Based on the CPI data between January and April of this year, COLA for next year would be zero, according to Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League. There are still five months until the administration announces the COLA for 2021, which occurs in October.

Social Security benefits aren’t linked to retiree spending — and that’s a problem.

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On UK Climate Policies

By Neil Lock – Re-Blogged From WUWT

“I’d expect that some probing by independent experts into the economic calculations, and the assumptions on which they are built, might bear fruit.” But where are these calculations, and who are the unbiased experts who have quality controlled them? I couldn’t find any such calculations, or the names of any such experts. Perhaps, I thought, I’d better take a look at this myself.

So, I set out to learn as much as I could about the economic calculations which – so we’re supposed to believe – justify the extreme measures proposed, all the way up to total de-carbonization of the UK economy, to avoid alleged catastrophic damage from global warming. This essay is the result of that exercise. If it reads like a cross between a layman’s guide to the economics of global warming and a political rant, that’s because it’s both!

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Why the U.S. Postal Service Keeps Losing Money Year After Year

Craig Eyermann, Independent Institute – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The government-run U.S. Postal Service began in 2020 with a dubious track record. It has lost money in each of the past 13 years.

In 2019, USPS made $514 million more in revenue than it did in its previous fiscal year, thanks to increases in postage rates and its package delivery business. But the agency also recorded a net loss of $8.8 billion, with 80 percent of that loss attributable to employees’ health-care benefits after retirement.

Losses stemming from retirement-benefits have occurred annually since 2006 when the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund the cost of providing its retiree health benefits, similar to how many businesses in the private sector are required to do.

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Fracking Saved Americans $1.1 Trillion Over Past Decade

By Tim Benson – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A new report prepared by Kleinhenz & Associates for the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program shows increased oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing  (“fracking”) has saved American consumers $1.1 trillion in the decade from 2008 to 2018. This breaks down to more than $900 in annual savings to each American family, or $9,000 in cumulative savings.

These savings come from the lower cost of natural gas due to increased production. According to the report, “natural gas as measured using the average Henry Hub price has declined from a 2008 high of $8.86 to an estimated 2018 price of $3.16.” For households in the lowest economic quintile, the bottom 20 percent, the lower price for natural gas amounts to a savings of 2.7 percent of their annual income. “This is equivalent to a raise of 2.7% for the poorest households,” the report states.

The paper singles out the states of the “Shale Crescent”—Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia—noting they are “responsible for 85 percent of the net growth in natural gas daily production over the past ten years and now [account] for nearly one-third of U.S. natural gas annual production.”

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Fracking is Saving Families $2,500 Annually

By Tim Benson, The Heartland Institute – Re-Blogged From WUWT

A report released in October 2019 by the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) estimates increased oil and natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing  (“fracking”) saves American families $203 billion annually on gasoline and electricity bills. This breaks down to $2,500 in savings per family per year.

“From 2007 to 2019, innovation in shale production brought an eight-fold increase in extraction productivity for natural gas and a nineteen-fold increase for oil,” the report states. “These productivity gains have reduced costs and spurred production to record-breaking levels. As a result, the United States has become the world’s largest producer of both commodities, surpassing Russia in 2011 (for natural gas) and Saudi Arabia and Russia in 2018 (for oil). CEA estimates that greater productivity has reduced the domestic price of natural gas by 63 percent as of 2018 and led to a 45 percent decrease in the wholesale price of electricity. Shale production has also reduced the global price of oil by 10 percent as of 2019.”

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Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In the first part of a new video series, I give an outline of Chapter One of Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels, which covers environmental economics. I explain the role of economics in protecting the environment. In a nutshell, it’s this: economic prosperity gives humans the time to care about the environment. Otherwise it’s just a day-to-day battle for survival. As Dr. John Christy put it:

“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,”

“On the contrary, we are good people for doing so.”

“Without energy, life is brutal and short.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20150703181333/http:/www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/uah_climate_scientist_question.html

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An Assessment of the 4th National Climate Assessment

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) Volume II is out and generating a lot of discussion. Volume II, Impacts Risks and Adaptation in the United States to climate change can be downloaded here (Reidmiller, et al. 2018). Volume I, published last year, on the physical science behind the assessment is here (Wuebbles, et al. 2017).

The mainstream media (MSM) is breathlessly reporting about it using the following template or something similar:

“[Volume II] of the Fourth National Climate Assessment shows how [America/city/state/poor/people of color/old people/young people, etc.] are already feeling the effects of climate change from [wildfires/droughts/floods/disease/hurricanes/etc.].

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At IPCC talks Trump Administration emphasizes scientific “uncertainty” and “value of fossil fuels”… MAGA!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

From the No Schist Sherlock files of the American Association for the Advancement of Science of America…

Top researchers are huddled with government officials in South Korea this week to confront the scientific consensus that maintaining a safe global climate will require immediate and aggressive action… Continue reading

Social Security Inflation Lag Calendar – Partial Indexing

By Daniel Amerman – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

There is a lot of advice out there about Social Security – most of which is based on Social Security being fully inflation indexed.

However, as we will establish in this first in a series of analyses, Social Security is only partially inflation indexed. As a matter of design it does not fully keep up with inflation.

Sound like an obscure difference?

“Partial inflation indexing” is little understood by the general public, but it could transform your standard of living – along with the quality of life of millions of others – in the years and decades to come. Indeed, partial inflation indexing can mean effectively having only 11 months of benefit purchasing power- or even 8 months –  to cover 12 months of expenses each year.

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Three Myths About Fixing Social Security

By Brenton Smith – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

Social Security is the largest, and arguably most important, program in the federal government. It is a life-line for millions. For the rest of us the program is a set of never-ending, polarizing arguments.

The contentiousness is caused in large part by the number and conflicting nature of the urban legends surrounding the system. Everyone has a fact that is someone else’s myth.

These convictions about the program shape who voters elect, and seriously limit what candidates are willing to say to the electorate. These beliefs have so penetrated the public conscience that actual policy makers are left herding unicorns.

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