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Eye Opener: Federal Retirees to Get $250?

By Ed O'Keefe



The Obama administration wants Congress to approve emergency payments to Social Security recipients that will not receive a cost of living adjustment next year.

Eye Opener

Happy Thursday! Federal employees ineligible to receive Social Security benefits would still get a one-time $250 payment next year if President Obama gets his way.

The president wants Congress to make the one-time payments to roughly 57 million people, including roughly 1 million public sector employees ineligible for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or veterans benefits.

“This additional assistance will be especially important in the coming months, as countless seniors and others have seen their retirement accounts and home values decline as a result of this economic crisis," Obama said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“This payment would come as a welcome relief to federal retirees and survivors at a time when most will shoulder a 12 to 15 percent health insurance premium increase in a year they will receive no cost of living adjustment,” Margaret L. Baptiste, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said in a statement. “We commend the president for supporting a payment to older Americans that will help them make ends meet and for including government retirees who are not eligible to receive Social Security.”

Obama endorsed the idea, expected to cost at least $13 billion, "as the administration gropes for ways to sustain an apparent economic rebound without the kind of massive spending package that critics could label a second stimulus act," colleagues Amy Goldstein and Neil Irwin report.

"In recent weeks, the White House has examined a wide range of proposals to funnel money to constituencies seen as suffering. Administration officials have also been supportive of extending unemployment insurance benefits that were to expire at the end of the year and are contemplating an extension of an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers due to expire Nov. 30."

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | October 15, 2009; 6:40 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

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 7:01 AM | Report abuse

When is the spending ever going to stop? The government pays us to buy cars, pays us to houses, and now just pays us for living?

This is money being borrowed from all those seniors' grandchildren. The grandchildren, and probably great-grandchildren, will have fewer choices and opportunities because of the crippling debt accumulated just in the last year(s?). Is this the legacy we want?

The spending for spending sake has got to stop.

Posted by: k_auman | October 15, 2009 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Retirees are not fools. What is $250 going to do versus 12-15% increase in health insurance and the doubling of cost for medication last year. Give us the same break as the banks, insurance companies and car manufacturers!

Posted by: dharper24 | October 15, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

wonder if the money comes from "medicare waste"?

Posted by: g55rumpy | October 15, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

Buying votes for the mid-term elections?

Posted by: VonS1 | October 15, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

"When is the spending ever going to stop?" When democrats get kicked out of office, that's when.

Posted by: thebink | October 15, 2009 7:24 AM | Report abuse

I got the $250 "Economic Recovery Payment" from Social Security. I SENT IT PAYABLE TO DEPT OF TREASURY TO MY CONGRESSMAN as a gift to the government. I didn't earn it, I don't want it, I didn't ask for it. That was April. Congressman (Dem) has not replied.

Posted by: Howard18 | October 15, 2009 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I am a Democrat who voted for President Obama. I have supported his policies overall, but find this ludicrous. $250 is peanuts to the retirement income of most Federal retirees, but the billions it will run up the deficit is not small change.

Posted by: Rickford | October 15, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Health care costs are included in the CPI. The CPI was NEGATIVE this year. To be FAIR, social security and other payments should actually be reduced. But no, spend, spend, spend! The day will arrive when the grim reaper comes, and it will not be pretty.

Ii am one of those who would be eligible for this $250 payment - a military retiree who served so that this country could be great. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't want a giveaway from the government that only further increases our debt. God help us!

Posted by: wegs1975 | October 15, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

""When is the spending ever going to stop?" When democrats get kicked out of office, that's when."

Yeah, right. Because we know Republicans don't believe in deficit spending.

Posted by: QuietFire | October 15, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Can you say.... Medicare Part D

Posted by: QuietFire | October 15, 2009 8:06 AM | Report abuse

O great billions for the corporte banks and there johns, billions for the health care insurance mafia and 250$ for Fed retirees maybe sometime next year without a basic cost of living increase and medical insurance going up at least 15%. Thanks for the Changes we can Believe in.

Posted by: maat523 | October 15, 2009 8:10 AM | Report abuse

All these programs. Is it going to depend on whether or not the seniors need the money? Or just like cash for clunkers and housing tax credits--we throw away money to anyone regardless of whether or not they have millions of their own. $250 won't go very far for those who need it. I did notice that all federal employees (including politicians) get cost of living increases while those collecting social security don't. Talk about hypocrisy.

Posted by: sam38 | October 15, 2009 8:25 AM | Report abuse

$250.00 each to 57 million people = 57 million votes for Obama in 2012.

Posted by: budwhitebuilders | October 15, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

No cost of living increase for Seniors while Corps. make billions in profits each quarter. PRES. OBAMA IF YOU THINK $250. FOR EACH SENIOR, VETERAN, AND DISABLED IS SUCH A BIG FAVOR - YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. and how much will be deducted from that great big $250. as income tax??????????

SHAME ON YOU! $250. 1/2 OF A MONTH'S FOOD BILL AND HEALTH,& TAX RATES KEEP GOING THROUGH THE ROOF. Just let the seniors starve and lose their life's savings. Thank you very much.

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | October 15, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

No cost of living increase for Seniors while Corps. make billions in profits each quarter. PRES. OBAMA IF YOU THINK $250. FOR EACH SENIOR, VETERAN, AND DISABLED IS SUCH A BIG FAVOR - YOU ARE DEAD WRONG. and how much will be deducted from that great big $250. as income tax??????????

SHAME ON YOU! $250. 1/2 OF A MONTH'S FOOD BILL AND HEALTH,& TAX RATES KEEP GOING THROUGH THE ROOF. Just let the seniors starve and lose their life's savings. Thank you very much.

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | October 15, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

My Father worked in a steel mill, on retirement he got SS plus a mill pension.

I work as a machanic, and later as a STATE EMPLOYEE.

On my retirement the federal goverment TOOK 60 percent of my SS because they said i was double dipping.

They could send me $250 each month a still be ahead.

Why did they take 60 percent of my SS?
As far as i know it was PRESIDENT REAGEN to help make up for robbing SS, to help pay for his tax cuts for the RICH.

On second thoughts it was the Republican party who voted NO on SS act in the 1930s.
it was the republican party who voted NO on medicare in the 1960s.
and it is the republican party who is voting NO on health insurence today.

So as you get into that scrap heap you call a car, wiih the BUSH sticker on the bumper, going to your min wage job, you need to rethink, IS THE REPUBLICANS CONCERNED ABOUT YOU ,OR THE VERY RICH WHO FILL THEIR POCKETS???????????????

Posted by: dv1236 | October 15, 2009 8:59 AM | Report abuse

This is absolute bull.We as country are in hock up over are head with debt and still the insanity marches on. I am a senior and the money would be great but not at point of adding more debt. i see know difference between dems and reps they both share a common goal of running this country in to the ground.

Posted by: rgodzala1 | October 15, 2009 9:55 AM | Report abuse

"A personal check to you from I, the Messiah..uh..[under his breath] since I'm x-naying your COLA adjustment."

Huh? This would be hilarious if it weren't so blatantly stupid. Either give the adjustment or don't, but don't play silly games like this.

Posted by: flintston | October 15, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

"Federal employees ineligible to receive Social Security benefits would still get a one-time $250 payment next year if President Obama gets his way."
And what a slap in the face to all seniors!
This is no more than a blatant move to garner the votes of those too ignorant to see that the money is coming from taxation.
"... all federal employees (including politicians) get cost of living increases while those collecting social security don't. Talk about hypocrisy."sam38 |
The spin-masters of the present administration are buying votes from the do-nothings, be-nothings in the American culture at the expense of the tax paying public... who are the true minority today.


Posted by: herewego1 | October 15, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Re spending: look in the mirror to find the guilty party unless you're willing to pay higher taxes.

Members of Congress are more likely to get elected if they bring home the bacon, AKA "spend and elect". Voters demand more, but aren't willing to pay more. They only want to cut programs that don't benefit them personally. And they either point to waste in programs they don't want to change (Medicare, Social Security) or unspecified waste and inefficiency in general.

Want to know why other industrialized countries can afford national health care? Their citizens are willing to pay higher taxes. Taxes are NOT high in America, not in comparison with other countries.

Posted by: GWGOLDB | October 15, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Herewego1- The COLA that federal employees will get is less about increases in the COL and more about trying to gain ground to catch up to their counterparts in the private sector who make significantly more.

And for all those complaining about retired feds getting a check consider this. Federal employees are required to pay into social security throughout their career the same way that every other person does. Yet when they retire they are told that they are ineligible to collect on the money they have paid in because they have earned an EXTREMELY MODEST pension, definitely not enough to live on. To actually have that money they have to fund their own TSP accounts. So in other words federal employees are funding social security for all those in private industry who make more money than they do, who are allowed to also have a pension at the same time.

The big slap in the face here is that people are complaining that they are going to be given back a tiny fraction of what they have paid into the system and people are complaining about it.

Posted by: McCarthy911 | October 15, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

This is buying votes for next year's mid-term. Plain and simple. Anyone who denies it isn't paying attention.

Posted by: srpinpgh | October 15, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

For over 30 years I've owned and operated a small business. Some years we did very well; some years we were in the hole - but everyone in the company has always worked very hard. I am now a senior and still running the business, still working hard, still supporting our staff and providing them and their families with health insurance - we have never laid off people; instead, when we were in bad financial shape, I personally borrowed money which I have always paid back, even though it wasn't always easy. It offends me that the current administration is giving away money that we don't have; I don't feel "rich" but if next year is a good year, I shudder to think of what I will be paying in taxes to support a government gone wild.

Posted by: susans2 | October 15, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

As usual, those making comments here know little to nothing about the subject of which they speak.....I am an 80 year old Federal Retiree and get COLA's when they are approved by Congress and whoever the President is at the time. My cola is based on the increase in CPI of 18 months ago....The amount of the Federal COLA is based on and is the same amount as given to SSA recipients, Railroad Retirees, and Veterans. Also, a number of you have objected to Feds inelgible for SSA getting a $250 payment and state that SSA folks will get nothing....You are wrong again! The use of the term inelgible for SSA was to prevent DOUBLE payments to anyone....If you have earn SSA you will get the $250 and if a Fed not getting SSA you will get $250 (If it becomes law!!!) Those of you whining about the Stimulas Package passed by the Democrats be reminded the the GOP package of $700 Billion was passed by a GOP Congress and signed by G Bush in Auguust last year....Also don't forget that when Carter left Office the National Debt was $780 Billion Total over 200 + years. George First took that to $4 Trillion....Clinton, without GOP votes ended 8 years with a yearly Budget Surplus of nearly $400 Billion. George Second spent that up to over $10 Trillion of debt. What is being spent now is to assure that the world-wide banking system does not collapse. If you think things are bad now, envision a USA with all banks closed, The Stock market shut tight, no one accepting checks, etc......

Posted by: genhal | October 15, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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