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Tell the Notch Babies no

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Posted: 3 pm ET

The "Notch Babies" aren't giving up.

Notch Babies are the approximately 4 million people born between 1917 and 1921 -- ages 85 to 90. In 1972, Congress linked Social Security to the Consumer Price Index to protect it from inflation. Someone made an error in the formula, so benefits were too high. The error was corrected in 1977.

Seniors born between 1910 and 1916 got a windfall -- they got to keep the Social Security increase that resulted from the error. To be fair, Congress gave people living in retirement born between 1917 and 1921 a break, too. Instead of reducing benefits all at once after the calculation was changed, the decrease was prorated over five years. But the people who became known as the Notch Babies weren't happy. They wanted the whole windfall, too.

In 1994, Congress investigated the issue and concluded that Notch Babies didn't get a raw deal and weren't owed anything, but activists won't let the issue die. Currently, legislation proposed by U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., and supported by the nonpartisan advocacy group, The Senior Citizens League, proposes compensating every notch baby and those up to five years younger than the original Notch Babies -- born between 1921 and 1926 -- by paying each of them a flat $5,000.

The cost would be about $45 billion.

At a time when we're worried about cutting a huge national deficit and trying to figure out how to keep Social Security solvent for the long haul, this seems like retirement planning folly. Spending that kind of money to compensate people for something that many argue that they didn't deserve to begin with is a cost we can't afford.

Notch Babies, quit your whining.

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Pam Smith
June 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

This really concerns me for due to the fact that my mother and father has paid into this fund for about 20 yrs. a least and was promised to get there money of $ 5,000 a piece and still haven't recieved it as of yet. To take money from the eldery and make them a promise and don't deliver is very disappointing to them and what is even worse is that they keep wanting money to preserve and to passed that bill. So you tell me why it has been taking so long to pass. And for someone to call them whine baby is very uncalled for them seem to forget that they have been on this earth longer then they have and they should respect their elders and remember that they will get old someday and wish someone would take the time to remember them also.

June 07, 2011 at 3:22 pm

What bothers me most about the people in this category, is that most if not all of them NEVER PAID INTO SOCIAL SECURITY IN THE FIRST PLACE. All of my grandparents received social security, and the amount they contributed of their earnings was one half of 1%, a tiny fraction of what they got back. And that is why my paycheck is ransacked by the government every two weeks to offset that imbalance.

June 07, 2011 at 1:31 am

Born in 1919. I am in the Notch. I wrote to my Congressman and my Senators at least in the 50's and 60's and got replies stating that there is no hope for us.
I've been asked to contribute to an organization to lobby for a five thousand one time payment. I did not and will not.
Some people still hope to get the $5000; they never will.

ALL VERY INTERESTING. Pipe dreams usually are.

June 07, 2011 at 12:09 am

They would just end up forking it over to televangelists anyways.

May 28, 2011 at 10:32 pm

No one should have received the windfall. They all should have repaid the monies due to the fact it was an error. I agree with the author wholeheartedly - Seniors, stop your whining! Notch Babies, were you dealt a bad hand? Sure! But guess what, Life isn't always fair and you need to just chalk it up to a lesson learned and move on. And you Seniors born btw 1921-26, what a bunch of lowlifes you are for trying to make a buck for nothing. As my grandmother used to say, "You all should be shot!" The National Debt is skyrocketing and the economy is barely climbing out of the toliet. Let's try to return to some normalcy here. I'm sick and tired of everyone complaining how they have been abused by the government and, therefore, are entitled to be compensated for their suffering! Buck up!

I won't see Social Security; it will be dead and gone by the time I'm eligible. Therefore, my husband and I have invested in IRAs to help us through. And it's not going to be easy because we are caregivers to my mother and his father. And we have children and grandchildren who need help every now and then. But we persevere; we buck up and go on.

May 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I have no problem giving it to seniors, especially those that fought in the various wars on our behalf. What I have a major problem with is all the single baby mama's and baby daddy's etc who continue to suck on the government teat, but contribute nothing to the country other than more kids they can't afford to raise.