When it's said that senior citizens are living on a fixed income, those whose only income is Social Security definitely can attest to this now more than ever.

For the second straight year, residents on Social Security won't be receiving a cost of living increase.

From 1975 through 2008, there were COLA (cost of living adjustment) increases granted each and every year to Social Security recipients. There were times the increase was as little as 1.3 percent (1986 and 1998), but at least there were increases.

On the other hand, in 1980, the COLA increase was over 14 percent.

It doesn't seem fair for our seniors. These are people who paid into their government retirement fund all their lives.

It's true that the cost of living last year might not have increased as far as government criteria is concerned, but tell that to the checker at the supermarket or the school board and borough council members who continue to raise taxes.

Little wonder why people are getting fed up with the bureaucrats. It's guaranteed that pay increases are forthcoming within the Washington dome.

Consider this from USA Today:

"A USA Today analysis reported that federal civil servants earned in 2009, on average, twice as much in pay and benefits including unrealized pension benefits, $123,049, as the average private worker, $61,051. Average benefits were worth $41,791, most of it due to pensions.

"The average federal salary grew 33 percent faster than inflation from 2000 to 2009.

"Average compensation grew 36.9 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation, compared with 8.8 percent for private workers."

We understand COLA is based on cost of living adjustments. We're sure, though, that the same criteria doesn't affect those "public servants" in Washington and even Harrisburg.

While Social Security recipients struggle on payments that will have remained stagnant for 24 months, the elite in the Nation's capital keep getting raises.

Who's speaking up for our seniors in Washington? Who's looking out for them?

It's obvious that nobody is.

Otherwise, there would be legislation proposed to give Social Security recipients an automatic increase that wouldn't be based on COLA.

Do Washington lawmakers even comprehend how many Social Security recipients have to scrape together their existence? Do those working beneath the Golden Dome really know how the common man in general lives?

Obviously they don't or the increases which occurred there during the past decade, when most Americans were struggling, wouldn't have happened.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com