Thursday, November 11, 2010

trying to buy the votes of senior citizens?

The WSJ editorialists ask that question in light of President Obama's proposal to send retirees $250.

Can our retired readers be bought for $250? Apparently President Obama thinks they can, because two weeks before Election Day he has endorsed sending bonus checks for that amount to the nearly 58 million Americans on Social Security...would cost taxpayers close to $15 billion...

It's hard to imagine a more blatant vote-buying exercise, especially with polls showing that seniors have turned sharply against the Democrats this year....

The excuse for this bribery is the announcement by the Social Security Administration that, for the second year in a row, seniors will not get a cost of living increase in 2011. Prices rose by only 1.5% in the last year, having fallen nearly 2% in 2009, and seniors aren't supposed to get an increase until prices exceed their last peak.

But lest you think this is a grave injustice, Social Security recipients received a 5.8% increase two years ago. That was the largest increase in 20 years and was based on what proved to be an ephemeral increase in energy prices. Thus for 2009 seniors received a bonus increase of about $500 above inflation.

Congress sent seniors a $250 check last year to make up for the lack of a benefit increase, and as part of ObamaCare it is sending another one this year to seniors whose drug purchases exceed $2,830....

...what seniors really need is a return to more robust economic growth and more normal interest rates, and that cause won't be helped by the government adding to its already destructive tax and spend record.


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