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Friday, June 14, 2024

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The Senior Citizens Manifesto

By James Paul Jr., South Dennis

To the Editor:

The best-known manifesto is, of course, The Communist Manifesto. It cites certain perceived wrongs and calls for action. Other manifestos were produced by various art and political thinkers in the Paris of a hundred years ago.

I’ve been a senior citizen now for several years and I’ve never really delved in “senior” issues. But I know obvious rip-offs and slights when I see them. Here goes my attempt at initiating a senior citizens manifesto. And I know I am not alone in my observations! Time for seniors to unite!

No. 1 – Let’s begin with the 2024 cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients. It was 3.2%. Does anyone really believe that inflation is a mere 3.2%? We seniors need an independent auditor to fix this. The federal government has failed us badly.

No. 2 – Every year the monthly premium for Medicare goes up. Why are senior citizens paying anything at all for a benefit we paid for all our working days? Currently $174,70 per month per person. Again, the federal government failed us badly.

No. 3 – More Medicare. Let’s say you fall down and break your ankle. You’ll require about a week in the hospital and about a month in rehab. Let’s guess about $100,000 in total costs! Medicare will pay $80,000 but the remaining $20,000 is on you. So you wind up paying a second premium to cover your 20%. About $600 per month for a really good insurance plan! Known as a Medicare-advantage plan! This is the main reason you see so many seniors working – they cannot afford to retire. So not right. Especially since they already paid. Awful.

No. 4 – Food shopping. This is something we all must accomplish one way or another. I cringe when I see an elderly man or woman amble from their car halfway across the parking lot to the store. Many of these people are low-tech and cannot take advantage of digital coupons so they pay full rate. Many live alone and do not wish to buy 10 cans of tuna or three multipacks of bottled water to get the good rate. The stores should provide senior parking spaces and barcoded senior cards to automatically give them the lowest advertised price. Many of these seniors have patronized the same store their whole lives only to watch the high-tech whippersnappers in front of them pay a lot less for the same item. I find this preposterous!

No. 5 – Local property taxes. The American dream is to own your own home. Those who do are fortunate but many are taxed out of their home because of tax increases. At age 65, the rate should be frozen, period. (ED. NOTE: This program exists through the State of New Jersey. It’s called the Senior Freeze Program – https://www.nj.gov/treasury/taxation/ptr/). This should be a federal program. We have unlimited billions for foreign countries (and all their wars) but skimp when it comes to seniors. Also preposterous!

I will leave No. 6 and 7, etc., to the next senior who would like to add onto this manifesto! Please be my guest!

JAMES PAUL JR.

South Dennis

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