The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008

Archives

The Rundown

Courting Seniors, Cont'd

By Ben Pershing
For all the change President Obama said he would bring to Washington, there is one law of politics that remains reliably constant -- seniors vote.

That's why so much of the rhetoric from both sides of the health-care debate has been aimed at the elderly. And that's why the official pronouncement that Social Security recipients won't receive a cost of living increase for the first time since 1975 set off paroxysms in the capital. Faced with the news, Obama is "encouraging Congress to provide a one-time payment of $250 to help seniors and disabled Americans weather the recession," the Washington Post writes. As has been demonstrated more than once in the last decade, a plan to simply mail voters a check is very difficult to oppose. So even though seniors got a COLA of nearly six percent last year, they already got an extra check not long ago from the stimulus package, and there was essentially no inflation this year, it's hard to imagine Republicans and budget hawks putting up much of a fight.

Perhaps because they feel confident the plan will pass, administration officials didn't make a suggestion Wednesday on how to pay its price tag of $13-14 billion. Some Democrats have proposed funding the checks with an extra payroll tax on the wealthy. "Republicans say they have a proposal to supplement the Social Security payment next year with unused stimulus funds," the Wall Street Journal reports. The context here is particularly important, because rumblings have begun in some corridors of the Capitol for a second stimulus package. "Although the White House characterized the $250 as an 'economic recovery payment,' officials insisted it was not the first step toward a second stimulus program," the Los Angeles Times writes, as the administration is perhaps too busy trying to argue the effectiveness of the first stimulus to assemble and promote a second one. Brad DeLong argues that Congress can and should pass another stimulus package, spending "$100 billion next month, and continuing with an additional $100 billion every month thereafter."

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:25 AM ET on Oct 15, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
Share This: Technorati talk bubble Technorati | Tag in Del.icio.us | Digg This
Previous: Same Call, Different Accounts | Next: Report: Majority of Nobel Jury 'Objected to Obama Prize'


Add 44 to Your Site
Be the first to know when there's a new installment of The Trail. This widget is easy to add to your Web site, and it will update every time there's a new entry on The Trail.
Get This Widget >>


Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



Interesting ...

Posted by: JakeD | October 15, 2009 11:22 AM

The way to pay for this plan is a new tax on the trust funds of the super rich.

It is time for the John Kerry's, Russ Fiengold's, Herbert Kohl's, Jay Rockerfeller's, and the many members of the Kennedy family to pay their fair share. Congress should pass a bill imposing a large tax on the assetsn of these trust funds.

Then the super rich will pay what they should pay!

Posted by: mwhoke | October 15, 2009 8:58 AM

The Social Security cost of living adjustment is messed up!
http://robvstate.com/2009/10/10/social-security-cola/

Posted by: robparisblog | October 15, 2009 8:35 AM

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.



 
 
 

© 2009 The Washington Post Company