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October 15, 2009

Obama: We Need A $13 Billion Bailout For The Old Folks

Sure in the grand scheme of things, it's chump change but at some point we have to draw a line right? Nope.

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 president endorsed a second round of emergency payments, following a $250 payment to older and disabled Americans that was included in the economic stimulus package Congress enacted in February. The proposal, which the White House says would cost $13 billion, comes as the administration gropes for ways to sustain an apparent economic rebound without a massive spending package that critics could label a second stimulus act.

...A $250 payment would be roughly equivalent to a 2 percent increase for the coming year for the average senior citizen receiving Social Security benefits. Legislative sources said the likely cost was $14 billion, $1 billion higher than the White House estimate.

In urging lawmakers to provide a second round of payments to older Americans, the president said the extra help would "not only make a difference for them, but for our economy as a whole," adding that it would "be especially important in the coming months, as countless seniors and others have seen their retirement accounts and home values decline as a result of this economic crisis."

Yes, the economy won't improve unless we print up or borrow a few billion dollars more. Again, if that's the key to economic success, why isn't Zimbabwe the most prosperous nation on the face of the Earth?

Don't expect Republicans to offer an ounce of opposition. More likely they will engage in a bidding war and try and up the payments.

So you know, good for the old folks but let's not pretend Tea Parties or otherwise there's any real interest in cutting spending in this country. There's simply no problem (hell, technically there's not even a problem here) that people won't demand we throw money at and the politicians won't gladly oblige them. Unless of course you are a Democrat looking at the defense budget.

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posted by DrewM. at 10:33 AM

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