Obama to Spend $13 Billion More

Posted: October 16, 2009 in Economy, Politics
Tags: , , , , , , ,

With more than three quarters of the $787 billion stimulus money still available, a number of lawmakers have suggested that President Obama’s proposal to give a one-time $250 Social Security payment to recipients should come from those funds. It could be viewed as a kind gesture toward a segment of the population the President has polarized, but have the ramifications been thought out?

For the first time in 34 years, there will be no cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security benefits since consumer prices fell last quarter. The announcement was made by the Labor Department Thursday morning, but in anticipation of that news, the White House announced Wednesday night that the president would support a one-time $250 payment to help support seniors who are used to receiving a boost in their monthly checks each January.

Republican leaders, however, believe these checks, which would surmount to a total of $13 billion, should come from the stimulus plan and should not be added to the nation’s mounting deficit. Said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), “The stimulus bill is not working. The American people are asking, ‘Where are the jobs?’ And if we’re going to provide this benefit to our seniors, why don’t we take it from stimulus funds that clearly aren’t getting the job done?”

Clearly. Numbers released earlier this month showed that unemployment in September had risen to 9.8 percent with total job losses tallying up to 263,000, more than 80,000 higher than what Wall Street had expected. According to Recovery.gov, only 30,383 jobs have been created from roughly $16 billion, which amounts to about $533,000 per job “saved or created.”

A number of lawmakers view Obama’s proposal as a politically motivated giveaway to seniors since polls show that very few senior citizens support the current health care bill.

More information: The Examiner

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