The cost of living increased 3.6 percent.

My friend Dino Russell believes his gay Latino postal carrier and a polygamous triad who live for free in the Chicago Housing Authority’s Stateway Gardens public housing determine the Consumer Price Index rather than the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor (CHA is the largest owner of rental housing in the city of Chicago, providing homes to more than 50,000 families and individuals). By law, the CPI-W is the official measure used by the Social Security Administration and a number of other agencies to calculate COLAs.

Cool. There is also a Cola Collection set on Flickr.

And Cola Collectible Trains on choochoocharleys.

The cost of living increased 3.6 percent.

On Dec 19, 2001, I bought 97.4 gallons of fuel oil for $1.079/gallon. With the three cent per gallon discount for paying within 10 days, it cost me $102.17.

In 2005, our spring fill up cost almost half again as much per gallon. We needed just 95.8 gallons which cost $1.519 per gallon. With the same three cent per gallon discount, the total bill was $142.65. Seeing a trend?

That three cent discount had disappeared in 2009, so 95.2 gallons at $1.950/gal cost $185.64. That’s already almost double the 2001 cost. It doesn’t get any better.

Our most recent automatic fill up was in November when the truck brought 99.5 gallons. This time, after two years of calculations that the Cost Of Living had not changed, that oil cost $3.720/gal so the total bill was $370.14

Wow. The price of heating the house quadrupled in a decade. Even worse, the price of heating the house doubled in just the two years Uncle Sam says there was no increase in the cost of living. (For the record, AARP calculated that New England consumers age 65+ who heated with oil spent $2,917 on it last winter, up from $2,399 the winter before — those same households with incomes under $20,000 will spend at least 20 percent of household income on heating costs).

“Legislation enacted in 1973 provides for cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs. With COLAs, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits keep pace with inflation.

The cost of living increased 3.6 percent.

couponsFuel oil (and gasoline) are not the only commodities that have increased in price. Walgreens has sold the Madam brand of mandarin oranges and the Geisha brand of canned mushrooms for more than a decade. Until last year, the common sale on both was 50 cents/can. Now each costs fifty-nine cents per can, an 18-percent increase.

The cost of living increased 3.6 percent.

I don’t believe our government lies to us.

I do believe Dino was right and that the gay Latino postal carrier and the polygamous triad studied arithmetic at the Business University New College Of Natural Science and Math. That esteemed institution, with campuses in Chicago and in the District of Columbia, developed both the Uranus-based numbering system and the radical departure of teaching modern math concepts with colors.

The seventh planet from the Sun is the third-largest planet by diameter, has fourth-largest mass, and is considered one of the “ice giants” of the Solar System. Masses are increased and time slows there, requiring a more universal numerology. The Business University New College Of stuff introduced this system in 1960 and developed a modern math curricula that showed how 2+4=purple at about the same time.

And that is why the cost of living increased just 3.6 percent.

3 thoughts on “COLA Wars

  1. Thanks for clearing that up. Ahem.

    But just who are these three guys in public housing having sex with a parrot? I don’t care how glamorous she is, it’s just not natural.

    — George

  2. George, I don’t know how that would be physically POSSIBLE.

    Dick, AARP’s perspective that retirees are spending a huge chunk of their income just trying to not freeze to death is an eye-opener. No new facts there… just the perspective that I haven’t see reported anywhere else. And WHY NOT???

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