The senior citizen voting block is powerful and the candidates love to suck up to the old folks with tax breaks that do not make sense.
Yes the senior citizens do have an issue with health insurance costs which will most likely affect them. But the seniors are also most likely to have their mortgage paid off, have passed the expensive child rearing years, and have lower costs associated with lifestyle and work. Financial benefits and incentives, while well intentioned are often misplaced.
It is the younger worker with children, and employment expenses (gas for commuting), who is funding his IRA, and in many cases caring for his parents that has the greater financial burden. To be fair there is also too many parents still supporting children who should have long been on their own, but that is a choice.
The point is that the elderly should not be assumed poor. In fact I would propose a tiered COLA that differs based on life stages. Food and medical inflation would weigh heavier on the elderly; gasoline, housing and clothing may weigh heavier on the younger workers.