THE GREAT GIVEAWAY PRESIDENCY
Obama proposes $250 each for retirees
By Walter Alarkon – 10/14/09 05:24 PM ET
President Barack Obama proposed giving payments of $250 to more than 50 million retired Americans who won’t get an increase in their Social Security checks next year.
The announcement on Wednesday came ahead of the Social Security Administration’s expected announcement that seniors will not receive a cost of living adjustment in 2010 because of the poor economy.
“Even as we seek to bring about recovery, we must act on behalf of those hardest hit by this recession,” Obama said.
The cost of living increase is pegged to inflation. In 2008, the increase was 5.8 percent, due in large part to gas prices that soared past $4 a gallon. But because of lower energy costs and the recession, Social Security officials are expected to announce Thursday that prices went down and that it won’t be increasing Social Security checks.
Obama’s proposal will cost $13 billion, the White House said. A senior administration official said that the president won’t insist that the proposal is paid for, but Obama will insist that the payments don’t affect Social Security’s solvency. The Social Security trust fund is expected to run out in 2037, according to administration projections released last May.