To placate cranky seniors, the Obama administration wants Congress to send out $250 checks to all Social Security recipients. The checks would be in lieu of cost-of-living increases, which SS recipients are not scheduled to receive. Why not? Because the economy is in the toilet, and there is NO inflation.
For the first time in more than three decades, people who rely on Social Security and federal pensions will not get an increase in their monthly benefit checks because consumer prices have stagnated lately in the weak economy, the government announced Thursday.
The twin statements, by the Labor Department and the Social Security Administration, came less than a day after President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress tried to salve the impact on older and disabled Americans by saying the government should provide $250 payments to 57 million people who depend on Social Security, pensions, or disabled veterans benefits.
The cost-of-living adjustment is supposed to reflect actual increases in prices; it’s not supposed to be an entitlement in itself. But seniors have come to expect it, and because they vote in large numbers, the Obama administration is trying to keep them happy.
Andrew Biggs, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration under the Republican administration of President George W. Bush, said: “There is essentially no substantive case for this on policy grounds. . . . This is a case of both Democrats and Republicans bending over backward to do the politically popular thing for seniors.”
Meanwhile, senior citizens are also unhappy because cost-cutting in health care reform bills could squeeze the subsidies they receive in Medicare Advantage, which pays for such things as gym memberships and blood pressure machines. When did the Greatest Generation become the Greediest Generation?