George Graham

Hey Mr. President, That’s My Twelve Bucks!


If it’s true that President Obama has offered to give up some of the cost-of-living increase we codgers are supposed to get every year, I have to object. Starting in January, I am getting $12 more each month, and I think I’m entitled to every penny. For decades, I and my employers dutifully paid into my Social Security fund, and we had a contract with the government that said I would get back a fixed annuity once I reached retirement age.

It’s not my problem that the government borrowed my Social Security money and can’t afford to pay me back.

Frankly speaking, Mr. President, it isn’t your twelve bucks to put on the table.

I suggest you cancel the Pentagon’s order for those new uniforms they’re buying for the generals’ chauffeurs. That’s a heck of a lot more than twelve bucks a month. Or you could try to find some of those billions that went missing in Iraq – somewhere between the US and the battlefield. Or some of those billions that disappeared in Afghanistan – probably into Hamid Karzai’s bank account.

Fiddling with my cost-of-living increase is not only illegal and immoral, it’s also absurd.

For the first- and probably last – time, I agree with John Boehner when he says the president is making no sense.

Of course, Boehner is way more lost in space than Obama.

He has made a laughing stock of himself with that crazy Plan B proposition. I can’t help feeling sorry for the guy.

As the Country and Western song puts it, “when it comes to sense he got the short end of the stick.”

And he has an impossible hand to play in the fiscal cliff game.

He has the weirdest crew of Republicans that Americans have ever sent to Congress. I heard one on TV the other day raving about abolishing the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency and some other federal department (like good ol’ Rick Perry, I forget which one).

These people aren’t going to vote yes on anything that looks remotely sensible, so we’ll be falling off that cliff in another few days for sure. Then it will be up to the handful of sensible Republicans to join Democats in the House and pass legislation to adjust income tax rates reasonably, avoid the “sequester” and hold the deficit in check. They might even work out a deal on the debt ceiling and pass a decent jobs bill. And with any luck, they could make sure the long-term unemployed don’t starve to death and the working stiffs don’t get stuck with ruinous payroll tax contributions.

If they do, it will be proof that the world wasn’t supposed to end today, after all, but – as some optimistic New Agers believe  – we’re actually entering a new and brighter period, the Age of Aquarius.

 So. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Mr. President (at right in photo above)! And to you, too, Speaker Boehner (left) .

‘Tis the season to be jolly.

Click here for an update on fiscal cliff negotiations. 

Click here for the discussion about the Social Security cost-of-living increase.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for