Buying seniors for $250 for ObamaCare

posted at 1:36 pm on October 15, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama has a big problem with seniors after pushing his version of a health-care system overhaul all summer long, one that proposes massive cuts in Medicare funding to pay for new entitlements and subsidies.  How can he best resolve that conundrum and get seniors on his side?  Apparently, his answer is to toss $250 each to seniors as a means of cushioning the loss of the cost-of-living increase from Social Security, the first such COLA denial in 25 years:

There will be no cost of living increase for more than 50 million Social Security recipients next year, the first year without a raise since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975.

Blame falling consumer prices. By law, cost of living adjustments are pegged to inflation, which is negative this year, the government said Thursday, because of lower energy costs. Social Security payments do not go down, even when prices drop.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, is pursuing a different way to boost recipients’ income. On Wednesday, President Barack Obama called for a second round of $250 stimulus payments for seniors, veterans, retired railroad workers and people with disabilities.

The payments would match the ones issued to seniors earlier this year as part of the government’s economic recovery package. The payments would be equal to about a 2 percent increase for the average Social Security recipient.

For the last two years, Obama the Candidate blasted the Bush administration for ad hoc spending that ignored the “pay-go” rules of the Clinton era.  Does Obama follow his own advice here?  Of course not.  The White House doesn’t even bother to pretend that the $13 billion cost of the one-time payment will get matched by increased revenues or spending cuts elsewhere:

The White House put the cost of the payments at $13 billion. Obama didn’t say how the payments should be financed, leaving that up to Congress. The president is open to borrowing the money, increasing the federal budget deficit, just like Congress did with the first round of stimulus payments.

But even apart from the dishonesty of using the same ad hoc spending that Obama had blasted (which also applies to Obama’ stimulus spending), will this even work?  Financially, all it does is make seniors “whole” for the loss of the COLA, although the lack of inflation in the past year means that they weren’t entitled to it in the first place.  Like the stimulus package passed in early 2008 by the Democrats and signed by George Bush, the one-time check will do little to relieve long-term financial worries, in this case among those on fixed incomes.

The 2008 stimulus did nothing to prompt an economic recovery.  There is no reason to expect that Obama will get a political recovery among seniors from a $13 billion one-time giveaway.  It shows once again that Obama has no real commitment to fiscal discipline or deficit reduction, and instead wants to use Porkulus and the Treasury as a political piggy bank.


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Comments

What a corruptocrat!!!! Screw you, prezbo. Give my $259 to the DoD to support the troops.

ultracon on October 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

So is grandma’s life worth $250? The politically correct eugenics of Liberalism wants you to think so if they get you to agree to ObamaCare because of $250.

Blue Collar Todd on October 15, 2009 at 3:15 PM

Upon receipt, recipients will be required to sign a pledge to support ObamaCare and vote Democrat in 2010 and 2012. Pledge enforced by IRS.

petefrt on October 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

If seniors will give up their health for $250….I say screw them, let the death panels begin.

angryed on October 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

You must think the old folks & us Disabled Vets are stupid or something.

You should come say that crap to my face. If people like you are what I served for, I SCREWED UP.

Old Hippie Vet on October 15, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I remember when the Bush Administration doled out $300 checks as part of a tax cut. The Democrats and the media laughed about it as a mere pittance.

I’m sure they’ll treat this as manna from heaven.

The MSM – so damn predictable and so completely worthless.

NoDonkey on October 15, 2009 at 1:56 PM

..it was $600 and The FLOTUS snarked that she couldn’t get a decent set of ear rings for that amount. So, I guess us old geezers (the ones who wear ear rings) will have to make do with one — kinda like a senior citizen Mr clean.

VoyskaPVO on October 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

I don’t want the $250, but they are likely to pass the thing and send the money anyway.

I would suggest then that all reciprients send a message. Each and everyone take the $250 and invest in an American-made gun or ammo. An investment in the future and a another boost for the only industry that Obama has stimulated. :-)

Yoop on October 15, 2009 at 3:50 PM

“SS went up 5.6% last year. Take 0% this year and it still average 2.8% a year for the two years. What’s so bad about that? The typical raise workers get is 3% a year.

Seniors, you’re the ones that voted for 40 years of suicidal economic policies. You’re the ones who didn’t think twice about borrowing trillions of dollars with no regard to who it would be paid back. And now that we’re out of money that was spent on YOU you bitch and whine that you aren’t getting a 5% bump?

please do me a favor and STFU.

angryed on October 15, 2009 at 1:50 PM”

angryed,

I don’t think you meant to offend Old Hippie Vet and as a 62 year old non-disabled combat vet, I’m not offended. As far as your comment above, please know that not all seniors “bitch and whine” about not getting bumps in SS. I am more concerned about my children and grandchildren than I am about myself. I’m in pretty good shape, but I am worried about America and my decendants.

Star20 on October 15, 2009 at 3:58 PM

Recipients will be given the option of taking the $250 as cash or in skittles, the preferred coin of the realm.

ya2daup on October 15, 2009 at 4:01 PM

So, I guess us old geezers (the ones who wear ear rings) will have to make do with one — kinda like a senior citizen Mr clean.

VoyskaPVO on October 15, 2009 at 3:37 PM

Or a pirate… arrrgh!

ya2daup on October 15, 2009 at 4:06 PM

This is just one of those days where my head is swimming in awful things Obama is doing.

JKahn913 on October 15, 2009 at 2:05 PM

PLEASE PLEASE TELL OF A DAY LATELY THAT YOU HAVEN’T FELT THAT WAY…I SURE AS HELL CAN’T THINK OF ONE…

Ltlgeneral64 on October 15, 2009 at 4:06 PM

I’ve been directly involved in the stimulation of the gun and ammo industry…;-)

Ltlgeneral64 on October 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM

Good thing the Chinese revere old people.

PattyJ on October 15, 2009 at 4:08 PM

$250.00??? How long will a lousy $250 keep them in Depends?

Jeff from WI on October 15, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Any kidding aside, what ticks me off is The Precedent and his Zombie Media mouthpieces speaking in terms of “giving” us something.

You’re not Santa Claus, you’re a thief!

ya2daup on October 15, 2009 at 4:09 PM

I’ve been directly involved in the stimulation of the gun and ammo industry…;-)

Ltlgeneral64 on October 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM

And how many jobs did you “save or create”? Fess up!

ya2daup on October 15, 2009 at 4:11 PM

$250.00??? How long will a lousy $250 keep them in Depends?

Jeff from WI on October 15, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Not very funny. I’ll send my $250 to some deserving conservative causes. I urge others to do the same.

donh525 on October 15, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Yoop on October 15, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Your idea is better than mine. Hmm,, perhaps a gently used 12 gauge.. a little bucksho?

Hey Bambi, I may have been easy, but never cheap.

katy the mean old lady on October 15, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Each and everyone take the $250 and invest in an American-made gun or ammo.

$250 won’t even buy you a decent gun and Obama has caused so many people to stock up on ammo, that you likely won’t be able to spend it all on ammo.

Last time I went there was a two box limit on .45 ammo.

NoDonkey on October 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Your idea is better than mine. Hmm,, perhaps a gently used 12 gauge.. a little bucksho?

Hey Bambi, I may have been easy, but never cheap.

katy the mean old lady on October 15, 2009 at 4:29 PM

There you go. That’s the spirit!!!

Yoop on October 15, 2009 at 4:52 PM

I could send the money back, but taxes would still be owed on it. Instead, the $250 will be used to purchase coffee, dried fruit, lip balm, note paper, wet wipes, paperbacks, candy, etc. for the troops in Afghanistan. Go online to the USPS and order a 10-carton delivery of free 12x12x5-1/2 boxes to use to send items for $11.95. You’d be surprised how much you can get in those little boxes. If you do not personally know anyone to send these items to, donate your munificent $250 to various organizations who will send prepared packets for you. The troops will appreciate it beyond anything you can imagine. G-d bless ’em.

Mae on October 15, 2009 at 4:53 PM

The Oboma cannot buy me with an extra $20.00 a month. In 2006 I had 4 employees with decent wages and benefits. Now I have none and will never hire anyone again. I am going Gault. My first company was named Gault Construction. I am applying for my SS and will work part time. Let it all crumble.

Grayzel on October 15, 2009 at 4:56 PM

The cost of living excludes food and energy. They are too volatile. Guess where the 250 is already spent.

seven on October 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Guns and ammo will take all of that $250.

seven on October 15, 2009 at 5:01 PM

I feel sorry for those of you living in the big cities. Get out now. As fast as this country is deteriorating you don’t have much time left.

Grayzel on October 15, 2009 at 5:07 PM

$250 won’t even buy you a decent gun and Obama has caused so many people to stock up on ammo, that you likely won’t be able to spend it all on ammo.

Last time I went there was a two box limit on .45 ammo.

NoDonkey on October 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

You be a bit off on that, depending on what you are interested in acquiring.

Out here in the boonies I can get some nice used 12 gauges for a real good price.

Once a month I make the trek into Wal-Mart. I have been getting all the Federal 12 gauge ammo, lead shot) I want for $4.97 per box of 25, with no limit in number ( it’s now up to $5.24 per box).

If I want to go the other way, to my local co-op I can get literally any caliber I want, no limit, if I’m willing to pay the current price. Last week there were 10 boxes of .45, and all the .40 I wanted (my caliber). If they insist in sending the $250 I will help out the fellows who work at Federal in Anoka, Minnesota.

Since I’m getting on toward 70 my horde will probably outlast me. ;-)

Yoop on October 15, 2009 at 5:07 PM

$250 won’t even buy you a decent gun and Obama has caused so many people to stock up on ammo, that you likely won’t be able to spend it all on ammo.

Last time I went there was a two box limit on .45 ammo.

NoDonkey on October 15, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Invest it in a reloading supplies then.

LevStrauss on October 15, 2009 at 5:13 PM

I hope it doesn’t go through. If it does, I will save my $250 and chalk it up to another reason not to vote for those that set this up. Or donate to a conservative running for office. When there is no increase in the cost of living, I understand why no COLA. However, didn’t I read they had a COLA for congressional staff recently. Don’t remember for sure, something like 2.3%. If there was no increase in the cost of living, why was that allowed?

Oleta on October 15, 2009 at 5:43 PM

ultracon on October 15, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Concur. And after that, stop destroying my nation. I’m less concerned about my COLA than I am about the damage my children will have to repair.

oldleprechaun on October 15, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Cool…$250 bucks, gets me a new tennis racquet. Thanks Obama…

right2bright on October 15, 2009 at 6:01 PM

The White House put the cost of the payments at $13 billion. Obama didn’t say how the payments should be financed, leaving that up to Congress.

Maybe he’s planning on winning 99 more Nobel Prizes to finance this give away.

dirtseller on October 15, 2009 at 6:04 PM

LOL — That’s about what Medicare Advantage costs each person a month. He must think you get stupid as you get older.

tarpon on October 15, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Barack and Michelle are proving your point.

Cybergeezer on October 15, 2009 at 7:12 PM

Oh, yea! That $250.00 will buy a lot of reloading and home brew supplies! I really need to work on the bio-fuel angle.

Cybergeezer on October 15, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Considering the going rate in Chicago for “voters” is about, what, $10, this is a HUGE increased payout. Oh, well. Times HAVE changed. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme. And repeat. Oh, yeah, the good times are on the way, I can feel it. Wait. That’s gas.

bradley11 on October 15, 2009 at 8:03 PM

As I wrote my congresscritters just this morning: “Take your $250 and stick it. This ain’t Chicago!”

indypat on October 15, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Limits at the store for ammo? Wouldn’t know… I shop online. Really there is good ammo to get.

Try AmmoEngine or AmmoNow. But then I’m a scrounger and willing to buy on the cheap. Seniors should really get to know this sort of stuff…

ajacksonian on October 15, 2009 at 8:24 PM

There;s a war comin’. I recommend guns, ammo and gold/silver bullion. Alcohol and tobacco products in bulk is another good idea. In the end there’s only one solution to the state of our country…

jwp1964 on October 15, 2009 at 8:46 PM

On 5/23/09, the POTUS declared the U.S. was out of money.

The POTUS is now going to spend $13 BILLION to bribe the senior citizens to be happy with his agenda, especially with his takeover of the health care industry. He is going to send them all a check for $250 to make them feel better towards the “One”, who just happens to be ready, willing and able to sign the very death warrants for those senior citizens. I’ll bet the checks arrive just prior to the 2010 elections.

On 5/23/09, the POTUS declared the U.S. was out of money. On 5/23/09, HE LIED!

metroryder on October 15, 2009 at 10:12 PM

$250? That will pay for my wife to play bingo for one night at the Indian Casino.

schmuck281 on October 16, 2009 at 12:15 AM

I’m 63 and could have used the COLA. As for the bribe? Keep it you Marxist. I don’t want any part of your offerings. It’s taxpayer money, not something I paid into!

hopefloats on October 16, 2009 at 1:13 AM

$250? I’m a senior citizen (officially speaking). I resent the thought that I will wag my tail for them this cheaply.

{O.O}

herself on October 16, 2009 at 4:01 AM

As a disabled vet, I believe reloading supplies are in order. It would make a nice compliment to the reloading starter kit I obtained this summer. Thanks Obami! I’ll spend it well!

angus mcbeemer on October 16, 2009 at 11:45 AM

If seniors will give up their health for $250….I say screw them, let the death panels begin.

angryed on October 15, 2009 at 1:38 PM

It is actually funny that angryed takes the Obama bate and starts a class war against the retirees. That is exactly what the liberals in power hope for. While I can see us being upset at Obama for proposing the 250 payment IMHO people like angryed take it out on the seniors who had nothing to do with his proposal. Remember Vietnam and how some people turned on the military for the actions of our government? Now I see angryed displaying totally misplaced anger at our senior citizens. Is this what our conservative movement has become?

kanda on October 16, 2009 at 11:59 AM

Obama RESTARTS WELFARE; Full story at:
http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/16/morning-bell-obamacare-puts-you-on-welfare/

Cybergeezer on October 16, 2009 at 12:33 PM