Special $250 payment to seniors?

President Obama attempted to preempt today’s announcement that Social Security recipients will not get an increase in their benefit checks for the first time in three decades by encouraging Congress to provide a one-time payment of $250 to help seniors and disabled Americans weather the recession, the Washington Post reports.

Obama endorsed the idea, which is expected to cost at least $13 billion, as the administration looks for ways to sustain an apparent economic rebound without the kind of massive spending package that critics could label a second stimulus act, the Post writes.

An increase in benefit checks each January has been a yearly ritual since the mid-1970s, when the government moved to ensure that its subsidies to retirees, pension recipients and others who receive Social Security benefits kept pace with inflation.

Today’s announcement by the Labor Department will mark the first time that the federal formula used since then, which is tied to the consumer price index, will translate into no increase at all. That is because consumer prices have remained stagnant in the weak economy.

So what do you think of the special payment idea? Up or down?

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35 comments Add your comment

Rob

October 15th, 2009
7:02 am

The Social Security cost of living adjustment is messed up!
http://robvstate.com/2009/10/10/social-security-cola/

big dog

October 15th, 2009
7:54 am

Why not. Go ahead and borrow some more money, or if Obama cannot borrow it, just print it.If the citizenry doesn’t realize that Obama is destroying the currency now , they soon will.

No Name

October 15th, 2009
8:33 am

Rob, why is “forced down our throats” such a huge talking point with your party? If Fox said hummer would you use that every day too?

dgroy

October 15th, 2009
8:33 am

Folks, all this is is a “Political Ploy”. He’s courting seniors so they’ll remember what he “DID”????? for them and vote for him in the next election. For him, everything he does has to have a political reason. This guy is ruining our country, slowly but surely.

Tired of High TAXES

October 15th, 2009
8:34 am

So much for shared sacrifice. Many of us taxpayers who were fortunate enough to keep our jobs had to endure significant pay cuts during the past year. All the seniors were facing was a pay freeze, not a cut. I’m sick of paying extra for everyone else who failed to plan ahead for their retirements. Younger workers like myself aren’t even planning on receiving Social Security, which means we have to pay TWICE for our retirement ($ for current recipients, plus $ for our own savings). I’m sorry, but this country cannot afford to bail everyone out because they made bad choices and didn’t plan ahead.

Russell Nassau

October 15th, 2009
8:35 am

Go Obama. It’s appearant, our seniors need help. The critics have no solutions to offer..so do what you feel is best Mr. President. The majority of the country supports you and the policy changes you are implementing. It would be great to see if Obama sent all these anti-American teabaggers and birthers some type of relieve check..would they cash it or send it back? They probably couldn’t get to the bank fast enough I’m sure..these hypocrites.

ugaaccountant

October 15th, 2009
8:53 am

Dgroy – I don’t think he’ll win any votes with a one-time $250 check instead of a raise. That’s the same trick companies are trying to lower base salary and instead give one-time bonuses that don’t nearly replace what was lost.

In fact, by heaping more money on his pile of overspending, even the most liberal of voters will eventually notice our country is getting in financial difficulty we won’t be able to get out of. Now that so many people have seen it in their own lives, they should start to recognize the overspending by the government. Right now our government’s spending fast and loose and hasn’t learned anything from the most recent economic troubles.

William

October 15th, 2009
9:13 am

Obama lied! Obama lied!

clyde

October 15th, 2009
9:19 am

Wow,I’m a senior,I’m impressed.Where do I sign up for a lifelong membership in The Love Obama Club?

Seriously,what does he think $250 will do?Buy votes?Keep the money.The country’s going to need it a lot more than most seniors.That includes me.I still have Bush’s stimulus money sitting here.

Atl Girl

October 15th, 2009
9:29 am

Well lets look at the real facts. Obama inherited a mess from Bush which he is trying to correct. This mess Bush created will not be corrected in 1 year. Bush destroyed this country in 4 years but was re-elected. Obama nor anyone else elected can do any worse than Bush.

clyde

October 15th, 2009
9:32 am

Dear No Name,@8:33,

Let’s clear up one point,shall we?I used the expression,”forced down our throats”,long before there was a Fox news.

Carl Hester

October 15th, 2009
9:57 am

Hey! I paid into SS for 45 years, Should have some return on the money paid in. Would not need it right now if Atlanta Journal Constitution had not laid off bulk distribution. Even took our insurance benefits with it.

The Senior Citizens League

October 15th, 2009
10:38 am

President Obama’s call to give seniors a $250 check next year is a distraction that takes attention away from the real story – that seniors will lose thousands of dollars throughout their retirement as a result of next year’s zero COLA.

Why? Because a real COLA is added into a recipient’s base benefit, and compounds year-after-year, much like interest in a bank. The $250 is not added to the base, so seniors will not receive any compounding. As a result, a senior retiring in 2009 with average benefits would lose $10,134 over the course of a 20-year retirement due to the loss of the compounding effect of an average annual benefit increase of three percent.

And seniors should receive a real COLA next year, as proposed by Congressman Walter Jones. Since seniors spend such a disproportionate amount of the income on medical expenses, their costs are going up – even in this deflationary period. We encourage seniors to call their Members of Congress and express support for the Emergency COLA Bill (HR 3557).

Rob

October 15th, 2009
10:48 am

No Name,@8:33,

It’s forced down our throats because we don’t have a choice. I used that term instead of another because this is a COLA. And normally you drink Cola, down your throat.

Or because we don’t have a choice.

Take it either way.

http://robvstate.com/2009/10/10/social-security-cola/

Federal Retiree

October 15th, 2009
11:14 am

Retiree’s are being robbed by the modified CPI gimmicked by Alan GreenSwine and his ilk. The formula was changed at the urging of the crooked old coot a decade or so ago to reflect what was called product substitution. If beef prices rose 5%, that 5% rise was cut in half in the weighting formula, while prices that fell were given double weight. GreenSwine argued that people would buy less of the product that rose in price, and more of what fell in price. So this years “fall” in gasoline, gas, and oil prices has been given double the weight. Never mind that our savings rates on CD’s are now below 1%. Too bad they do not give a negative Nobel prize for biggest jerk economist, Greenswine would win easily, earning more than 10 times the votes that the nearest runner up, Bernie the swinder Madoff.

Curry Allison

October 15th, 2009
11:38 am

If I live to the age of the oldest male or female of my Family, and I’m 62 1/2, I will not have been Returned to me, by the Government, all I paid in Social Security Tax. Heads Up there, twentie somethings !

TOM BOYLEN

October 15th, 2009
11:45 am

IN ANSWER TO HIGHER TAXES!!
YOU ARE NOT AWARE OF THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO DID PLAN AHEAD??
THESE “THINKING AHEAD” INDIVIDUALS WERE SUCKERED IN BY THE CORRUPT COMPANIES AND INVESTMENT FIRMS WHO TOOK THEIR MONIES AND MOVED IT AROUND TO THEIR COMPANY’S BENEFIT. AIG TOOK STOCKS AND PUT THEM IN THEIR “SIDE ” COMPANIES AND REDUCED THE STOCK TO POOR VALUES. AND THEN DID A REVERSAL,THEREBY LOWERING THE AMOUNT OF STOCKS A PERSON OWNED. I HAD 550 …………NOW I HAVE 17. THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE. WAKE UP MAN AND GET INFORMED BEFORE YOU BLAME THE SENIORS………..TOM BOYLEN

Curry Allison

October 15th, 2009
11:49 am

Carl Hester > you did the math too, I see.

ugaaccountant

October 15th, 2009
3:12 pm

Carl Hester – At least you’ll get something. Those of us on the younger end of the workforce will pay into this system all our lives and not get a dime back. The tax rates we are paying in the US are outrageous and I can’t even imagine how bad it will be for our children.

Chas

October 15th, 2009
4:53 pm

If you remember a president named FDR who started the S.S. program. It was stated that it was to assist NOT be the source on income. So let us go back to this case. I am retired and have S.S. but I do insist that some of the monies MUST be left to the young that are still working.

ATLNative

October 16th, 2009
9:22 am

Last year’s raise was 5.8%, much higher than normal given the state of our economy. A 0 COLA this year is only a reversion to the mean of about 3% annually. I think that’s justified. The heads I win, tails I win mentality of giving out $250 because the COLA was 0 this year is simply bad fiscal policy.

who is i

October 16th, 2009
9:39 am

Well 250.00 nice should be givin seniors are people with disabled 1250.00 extra every 2 years instead…good idea to me better and people who are in need ssi are if ssi n disabled need a little help…no one is prefect in life!

Jim

October 16th, 2009
9:51 am

My question is, “Will Congress get their COLA next year that automatically goes into effect unless they vote it down?”

Phil

October 16th, 2009
10:06 am

If the formula is off $250 this year, why not correct the last 20 years with a big bonus?

TnGelding

October 16th, 2009
10:09 am

Down. It’s absurd.

Voice of Reason

October 16th, 2009
10:18 am

Atl. girl – you are one ignorant female! Let’s hear your facts, and I will apologize if they are legitimate.
For all you young people stop and realize – we thought we were saving enough for retirement. However, with inflation driven up by higher salaries (for those much larger homes and paychecks you receive today) and labor unions such as the UAW, we had no way of knowing what we were saving was not going to be enough. I would suggest to you that you should double what you are doing now for retirement, because those coming behind you, will be “raising the bar” for you too.
Now, as for the $250 – it is just another way of spending by this group of inept individuals we have in Washington. What a pathetic situation. We should all ban together, and show them the error of their ways by turning every single one out of office. We could not do worse by having a group of rookies on the hill.

clyde

October 16th, 2009
10:18 am

inou

October 16th, 2009
10:25 am

Seniors are the lowest priority for this administration, except for the money it can steal from us. I have never seen such disrespect. I was taught to respect my elders. This generation is being taught to hate them.

GEORGE AMERICAN

October 16th, 2009
10:43 am

THESE LAZY OLD PEOPLE NEED TO GET OFF THERE BUTTS AND GET A JOB!!!

QUIT LIVING OFF THE HARD WORK OF OTHER REAL AMERICANS, LAZY WELFARE BUMMS!!!

rosebush

October 16th, 2009
2:33 pm

To: Tired of Paying High Taxes
Who do you think you are kidding????I’m a senior citizen, age 65. I worked 45 years of that 65. Yes, I paid my dues. You have an advantage over seniors, in that, the pay scale probably averages 3 time more than what I could make in any given year…Do you really think people senior age really sit back and live off the government..NO!,we paid our dues. Pay yours and STOP complaining.

humbug

October 17th, 2009
11:40 am

Since the money is apparently available for his idea, wouldn’t it be simpler and cheaper to just give us a twenty dollar a month increase?

old guy

October 17th, 2009
12:13 pm

For those of you too young to remember Democrat President Johnson. He used his political power to convince his Democrat controlled congress to have all monies in the designated Social Security Account Fund transferred to the General Fund which was needing money, and needed “bailing out”. He and following presidents spent it all. Therefore, now both Funds are broke and so are the tax paying citizens of this country. This overspending helped us to become the beggar nation that we now are.

Michael

October 17th, 2009
9:04 pm

I love the all the comments from the more than obvious bigoted fools who simply can’t stand President Obama (and we all know why). It wouldn’t matter if he balanced the budget next month and reduced unemployment down to 2% you right wing nitwits, whiners, fear mongers, haters, and liars would still despise him. GET OVER IT! Like it or not he’s your president for the next 3+ years unless you idiots finally do what you want and insight some lunatic to assassinate him.

That said, I think the $250.00 payout to those on social security is more than fair. Most of those people have a hard enough time of it as it is. But I’m sure some of you would just love for as many of the poor and needy to just die off so they won’t be a bother to you.

I can’t wait until karma catches up with some of you one day.

marion

November 2nd, 2009
2:34 pm

I AM 80 years old. I have lived through the great depression, We needed
ration stamps to buy shoes, food, we worked hard through the 2nd world war. our country came together with pride and love for our boys and girls over seas fighting for us. never has their been a greater love than that. it has been a hard road for every president, he has this job because he is an intellegent young man. I feel bad that it had to come to these measures but we need each other. I have had 6 children 4 sons and 2 daughters. I am still counting all of my grand children and great grandchildren all of them are hard workers and prosperous. pres. Roosevelt was president when i was 15 yrs old and I remember those days so well. Yes I agree that their is a bigger government making our life A dispair. but always remember GOOD OVERCOMES EVIL,, HAVE FAITH. WE ARE A GLORIOUS AMERICA AND WE ARE THE PEOPLE. WE ARE THE ONES. JUST VOTE…. hang in their, like my son Dan says it’s all good.
GOD LOVE YOU ALL. AND OH’ (BY THE WAY, I CAN STILL KICK BUTT).

HAVE FAITH.

bren

January 28th, 2010
9:38 pm

Boo Hoo!!! To those downing Obama…not only is he trying to get this country out of recession, but end 2 wars that are drawning close to lasting as long as Viet Nam, fix the long time messed up healcare system, shall I go on…..Look back just what did Bush accomplish in eight years…how long did it take Senate & Congress to make any decision…also check back Bush borrowed millions from the social security funds for other programs..so because you’er young and paying into social security…don’t be so pombous to think you won’t need it when you’er dry behind the ears and 60 something…..