Scrooge GOPers Vote Down $250 Social Security Payment

December 9, 2010

(ChattahBox Political News)– Republicans and a handful of Democrats want to wish a very Happy Holiday season to struggling seniors dependent on Social Security, who have not received a cost of living increase, since 2009. Acting like a modern-day version of Ebenezer Scrooge, as the wealthiest two percent of Americans are poised to receive a tax cut windfall, both chambers of Congress voted down a bill to provide seniors a lump sum payment of $250 to compensate for the another year without a COLA. After the failed 254-153 vote in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), said “America’s seniors deserve better.”

Last year, President Obama’s Stimulus bill authorized a lump sum payment to seniors struggling on a fixed income, with no COLA, but this year, Republican lawmaker have decided only their super-rich constituents count.

“A proposal to provide Social Security recipients with a lump sum payment of $250, intended as a modest boost in difficult economic times, was blocked Wednesday by a Republican-led opposition in the House and Senate.”

“The measure would have provided the one-time payment to 54 million Social Security recipients in lieu of an annual cost-of-living adjustment.”

“This is the second consecutive year that an automatic adjustment has not been awarded, a result of the country’s low inflation rate. Last year, Congress authorized a $250 payment to each recipient as part of the economic stimulus measure.”

Before Republicans filibustered the $250 payment in a 53-45 procedural vote, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) expressed outrage.

“People are wondering how it could be that we could provide a million dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country but we couldn’t come up with $250 for struggling seniors and disabled vets,” he said.

Since Social Security COLA calculations are tied to inflation, consumer prices would have to exceed the levels present during the last COLA increase, which they don’t.

But seniors are getting squeezed with higher prescription costs and increasing energy expenses to heat their homes and fill their gas tanks.

Meanwhile, the wealthy are doing better than ever, while our seniors struggle, unemployment hovers near 10 percent and Americans continue lose their homes.

Happy Holidays!

Photo Source: Wikimedia/Scrooge and Bob Cratchit woodcut by John Leech (1809-1870) from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)/Public Domain.


8 Responses to “Scrooge GOPers Vote Down $250 Social Security Payment”

  1. Megan Gartin on December 9th, 2010 5:28 pm

    I am a 24 year old single mother. I work as an entry-level receptionist in a small therapy office. Since I left my husband one year ago, I had to move in with my grandparents. My grandparents are in the “donut hole” of Medicaid or whatever it is, so Grampa can’t afford his Plavix right now. The last time he didn’t take his Plavix (due to a misunderstanding about how long to wait after a surgery before resuming the medication), he had a stroke. But he just can’t afford it right now, so he takes an aspirin instead. My sole total take-home income, 36 hours a week at $12/hour, exceeds their combined fixed income, including Social Security and Disability. Yet, somehow, they are expected to heat their homes, feed and clothe themselves, pay rent, buy medication, and pay taxes, on less than $1200 a month. With that $250, maybe Grampa could buy his Plavix.

    But no. Costs are going through the roof everywhere (I saw just today, regular gas at $2.97/gallon), and they don’t get a COLA, despite the fact that the cost of living has obviously increased. And so, someone thinks that isn’t right, and wants to give them a little something to hold them over, but our government can’t afford it.

    You want to save money? I would rather you raise MY taxes than take that small amount from them. They are too old to work and what they get from the government is ALL they have to live on. There is no hope of them getting more. Why are they the ones who get the cut? I don’t know. No one wants to burden the young, but at least I still have a chance to do better. This is all they’ve got.

    Please, write you congressmen and women, and ask them to help out my grandparents. They have done so much for me in my short life, I hate to see them in dire straights now. I am trying to save up money to buy Grampa his Plavix for Christmas. Maybe if enough people like me stand up and tell Congress what it’s really like down here for the little guy, maybe they will change their tune.

    I know that in the next election, I will vote against any member of Congress who voted down this $250 payment, no matter who is running against them. Anyone who wants to keep Grampa from getting his medication because they can’t give him $250, but they can give millionaires more millions, doesn’t deserve my vote, or the votes of anyone who will listen to me.

  2. Sue on December 9th, 2010 7:20 pm

    Megan Gartin:

    Thank you for your poignant comment, describing in stark and human terms, the struggles many Americans deal with everyday. The wealthy who are about to receive a tax cut bonus, will soon be struggling with such weighty decisions, as whether to buy a Mercedes or a new summer home, or book a trip to Europe or all three. Seniors, families and single parents are having to decide between food and medicine, or whether to pay the light bill, and hold off on paying the heating bill. A lump sum payment of $250 can make all the difference to those living on a fixed income.

    I don’t begrudge people their wealth. But it’s a disgrace, at a time when millions of people are struggling to put food on the table, the GOP fights tooth and nail to give the ultra-rich a tax bonus, while refusing to provide a paltry COLA payment to our seniors.

    Oh and Megan, you may already know about this, but Plavix offers a patient assistance program for those who have trouble paying for the medication. They also offer a discount card on their website at the below link. I hope this helps.


  3. Duane on December 10th, 2010 1:40 am

    If the Democrats aren’t shafting the old and disabled the republicans are. Why do we trust any of them they only have one thing on their minds is how to shaft the old and disabled. The ones that paid into the system is getting hardly anything but them that has never put a penny into get the most out of if. Thanks again U.S. Senate and Congress. $250.00 will really hurt our economy. Your all a mess of Scrooges Merry Christmas.

  4. Dragonfly on December 10th, 2010 2:24 am


    Not just seniors…

    The $250 would have gone to the disabled on SSI too.

    My adult nephew [mentally and physically disabled from birth]
    receives an SSI benefit of $674 a month.

    The heartless fatcats against this bill should be forced to
    try to live on that.


  5. Donna on December 10th, 2010 9:51 am

    Election after election we complain about the Democrats and Republicans WE elect. I think this country needs a revolution on how our elected officials govern this country. They are suppose to represent and vote for our needs and wants, but from past history and our complaints, that does not appear to be happening. Congress have too much power out of the people control. With all of the technology today and news station taking polls on issues, why can’t the people of this country be allow to vote on issues that influence every aspect of their lives and just let Congress vote on how to make it happen. I

  6. Dena White on December 10th, 2010 10:35 am

    I am a 74 yr old woman raising a 16 yr old granddaughter.when I heard of the 250 stimulus payment ,I was very excited.I thought there may be hope of a small Christmas.A ll I have is soc. sec.Mr. president I did not vote for you for this kind of treatment. I have been a hard headed Dem all of my life.Now I am not to proud of that.The rich and middle class all got a deal, but as usual the elderly got kicked to the curb.

  7. steven r lahaie on December 20th, 2010 2:40 pm

    I agree that not getting an increase is just plain wrong, but the way the article is written it’s obvious the person is playing the class envy card. I don’t make anywhere near the $250,000 that was proposed for a no tax increase, but when the writer says the wealthiest 2% are going to get a tax cut windfall it’s just plain wrong, or he or she is purposely trying to mislead. It just bothers me that people say this type of thing when they know damn well there is no tax cut. To keep the taxes the same as it has been for the past ten years is no cut. Why does this even have to be argued, unless the writer just thinks the masses are a bunch of lame brains. The rich have probably done more for this economy than the government could ever do. Are the rich the greedy ones, or is it the government, who just can’t seem to tax enough for their pet programs. Why don’t we just confiscate all the money people earn and then let the government decide how much each person should get to live on. Now, does that sound like a good idea? If your brain dead, then it probably does.

  8. David Pirtle on December 20th, 2010 6:34 pm

    (1) This will mean yet another year of rising costs and stagnant incomes for those of us living on the least.

    (2) Steven R Lahaie, the wealthy ARE getting a tax cut. They were given a tax cut which is about to expire. They are getting another tax cut worth 700 billion dollars. There’s nothing deceptive about calling it exactly what it is.

    (3) Don’t try to play this off as a republican defeat of good hearted democrats. There were more than ‘a handful’ of democrats who voted against this in the house. There are 176 republicans in that chamber, but they garnered 253 votes to oppose the bill. This was a bi-partisan flip off to the elderly and disabled.

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