With inflation non-existent at the moment, there will be no automatic boost to Social Security this year. So President Obama proposed Wednesday to send checks of $250 to every Social Security beneficiary, regardless of income level, at an estimated cost of $13 billion.
“Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession,” Obama said. “That is why I am announcing my support for an additional $250 in emergency recovery assistance to seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities to help them make it through these difficult times.”
That’s unnecessary and even wrong. Yes, folks on fixed incomes have taken a hit in this mess, particularly those in the stock market. But they are not those who have been hardest hit in this recession. I’d argue that in general, working people with families have been hit harder than the 57 million Americans who would receive bonus checks early next year. In many cases they’ve lost jobs, homes and medical insurance.
But given the beneficiaries of this idea — older people who vote — few people of either party in Congress are likely to question or oppose it.