For the second year in a row the Social Security Administration will not give seniors a cost of living increase. Many seniors depend on the monthly retirement checks as their sole source of income and have had to make do with less during this sluggish economy.
According to Obama’s Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, “The President will renew his call for a $250 Economic Recovery Payment to our seniors this year, as well as to veterans and people with disabilities.”
In a statement Gibbs referred to the $787 billion stimulus package success in providing benefits to those in need and said the president is calling for another $250 check to be mailed to seniors collecting their government retirement benefits.
“Under the Recovery Act, 56 million people benefited from the first Economic Recovery Payment—including about 50 million Social Security beneficiaries,” Gibbs said. “We’re grateful that Speaker Pelosi has indicated she will bring the new Economic Recovery Payment to a vote and we urge members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to support our seniors, veterans and others with disabilities who depend on these benefits.”
However the government check writing process has been prone to wasting millions of taxpayers’ dollars as they have been sending checks to dead people as well as those who are incarcerated.
In a new $787 billion stimulus accountability report a government investigator found that more than 89,000 people received stimulus payments of $250 each. The lucky recipients were people (using the term loosely) whom were either in a graveyard or prison.
According to the Social Security Administration’s inspector general, $18 million stimulus dollars were mailed to at least 72,000 dead people. The same report offers some good news and estimates that half of those payments were returned to the federal government.
Another disturbing figure included in the Social Security’s Inspector General Report was the fact $4.3 million was distributed to more than 17,000 prison inmates.
With only a three-week lame-duck session left in the Congressional calendar, Washington D.C. has precious little time to tackle several big issues, the most important being the Bush tax cuts. If Congress does not address the tax cuts, all taxpayers will see less in their January 1, 2011 paychecks and according to economists, a further deepening of America’s worst recession since the Great Depression.