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September 1, 2014

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Harry Reid: Give extra $250 to Social Security recipients

Sen. Harry Reid

Sen. Harry Reid

Sun Coverage

When Congress reconvenes after the election, lawmakers will vote on a measure to give an extra $250 to Social Security recipients, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid promised Monday.

Democrats are billing the measure as a necessary helping hand for seniors in a year when they won’t be seeing any incremental increase in their benefit checks, as usually happens from year to year.

Since 1975, those annual increases have been tied to inflation – but according to the Labor Department, there hasn’t been much of that this year.

The trustees who oversee the Social Security program decided last week there would be no annual cost-of-living adjustment – or COLA – for 2011, based on the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index measure of inflation. According to that calculation, September prices were 1.1 percent higher than they were in the same month last year, and 0.3 percent higher than they were six months ago.

Reid’s announcement comes on the tail of a similar announcement last week, by Rep. Dina Titus, that the House would be taking up standalone legislation (H.R. 5987) to provide Social Security recipients a $250 check.

“The overall cost of living may not have increased, but it is clear that costs that disproportionately affect seniors, including health care, have continued to rise,” Titus said in a statement. “At a time when every dollar counts, this critical legislation will provide seniors with much-needed assistance.”

Many lawmakers who support the $250 extension say the Consumer Price Index, as a general measure of consumption, doesn’t reflect the inflationary pressures being specifically felt by seniors, who consume more of certain products and services – like health care – than those who aren’t yet eligible for Social Security.

Plus, they say, it’s good for the economy, because seniors are likely to spend whatever extra benefits they receive on essential goods and services.

“This money will go right back into the economy, and stimulate the economy,” Reid said Monday.

But the question of COLA payments isn’t just a measure unto itself. It also speaks to what has become one of the most divisive issues surrounding Reid’s Senate campaign.

The fate of Social Security has emerged as a flashpoint in the race between Reid and his challenger, Republican Sharron Angle.

Angle wants to privatize the program in a manner much like that which then-President George W. Bush pressed for in 2005 – a proposal that failed to advance in a Republican-controlled Senate under pressure not to dismantle the program.

But since then, Social Security has remained a fund that is in financial straits. According to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the Social Security Adminsitration will pay out more than it takes in from payroll taxes for the first time this year – six years earlier than was predicted.

About 53 million Americans get Social Security checks, and if the fund isn’t somehow replenished, it is expected to run out of money by 2037.

Angle hit Reid with those figures at last week’s debate, arguing for privatizating the program with her now-infamous line: “Man up, Harry Reid, you need to understand that we have a problem with Social Security.”

Reid holds that bleak, doomsday-scenario thinking is premature, and that whatever the outlook, dismantling the program is not a solution.

“Social Security will pay out 100 percent of its benefits for the next 35 to 40 years. That’s important. And also understand, that even after that, there would be a shortfall of 15 to 20 percent,” he said. “Don’t frighten people about Social Security.”

Reid said he will bring up the one-time, $250 COLA supplement as a standalone measure during Congress’ lame duck period, and expects to get the full backing of the Democratic caucus.

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  1. WOW! Is this vote buying or what.....

  2. yeah where is the money coming from again?

  3. You wingnuts don't understand. Senator Reid has the ability to get something wonderful like this done for senior citizens.

    And if it gets him votes? So what?

    He's not doing anything wrong...except for wielding power for the people of not only Nevada, but the entire nation. To their advantage. And that's what it's all about.

    It's a lot better than Sharron Angle just throwing stuff out there to victimize every senior citizen in Nevada by doing away with Social Security. Then she changes to "privatize" it. Then again to "personalize" it.

    The main thing is senior citizens would love to have Senator Reid manage Social Security. Because he is responsible and works for us. I'd rather that to happen than to have an idiot like Sharron Angle get her grubby fingers all over it, turn it over to Wall Street so they can gamble with it and she reaps the kickbacks from it. And then when Wall Street screws it up, those stockbrokers will just step back, shake their heads, oops, made a mistake, then go, oh well, wipe their hands of the entire matter and blame the senior citizens for letting them do that to them!

    The moral to the story is to keep creepy Republicans away from Social Security.

    I'm voting straight Democrat all up and down the board.

  4. Cash for seniors? I wonder if this has been approved by the Bank of China.

  5. Dishonest vote buying. A perfect example of the lack of moral clarity and the end justifies the end hypocrisy that has hurt all of Washington and particularly the left.

    The law that congress passed for SS recipients, retired military and federal workers authorizes cost of living raises that are tied to the official government inflation rate. There is no inflation by that government formula (we all know food and fuel are going up but that's not in the formula). Consequently, no COLA is authorized and the Soc. Sec. Administration has correctly announced it will not pay one as did the federal government and DOD for civilian and military retirees who are subject to the same formula and rules.

    But, because seniors vote he and his phony dishonest ilk are trying to buy votes in an effort to keep their jobs. They aren't however making the same offer to retired military and civilian federal employees even though their COLAs are governed by the same laws.

    Could this bribe be more transparent? Not likely!

    My wife and I are both eligible and neither one of us want any bribes at the expense of every tax payer in the country. This is more borrowed money that will be dumped on the shoulders of our children and grandchildren.

    Although I don't blame those who need it for accepting it, I encourage all seniors receiving SS to contact their elected officials and let them know they can't be bought.

    We won't sell our votes to hypocrites of either party.

  6. Patrick R. Gibbons needs to "Man Up" and admit that he works for the right wing NPRI so that everyone who reads his comments knows he's being paid for his views.

  7. Why do I feel I'm being bribed?

  8. Reid must really be running scared for him to pull this crap.

  9. Reid deserves to be a lame duck for this stunt alone.

    I thought that Chicago politicians were the masters of vote buying and stuffing the ballot box, but Harry has taken it to a whole new level. Not only is he offering 10x or 20x the going rate for a vote, but he is doing it on the tax-payer dime to boot! This does nothing but deplete the trust fund that much faster. Hell, it's already in the red for this year.

    Just think what Obama will do when he runs again, he *is* from Chicago and has to be taking notes. :(

  10. Every time this guy opens his mouth it's SPEND SPEND SPEND. Notice that?

  11. Exactly what in the world do you think $250 is going to do for anyone, Harry?

  12. OH, PLEASE, Harry Reid! Don't be such a cheap empty suit! Don't insult Seniors by throwing them a bone like you would a dog. $250? Are you kidding? Gee, where will the Seniors who you are putting into the poor house spend it all? You make me sick! No cost of living raise for them this year. No cost of living raise for them next year. BUT YOU LOUSY POLITICIANS SURE GIVE YOURSELVES SUBSTANTIAL RAISES! This is such a low, dirty-dog insult! I sure hope you get your pink slip on Nov. 2.

  13. Talk about chutzpah! Harry denies seniors a COLA increase, and now wants to buy their vote for $250 at the expense of everyone else who pays into SSI.

    He must believe his own BS that Social Security is solid for 35 - 40 years when even the SSA says the trust fund will be *empty* in 2037.

    The man is going senile and deserves to be on SSI himself. Oh wait, he is exempt from FICA and has a special thrift savings plan.

  14. This is a riot! What's next?

    ...10 acres & a mule?

  15. I am disgusted by some of the comments posted here.

    The ultra-conservatives show complete and utter hate for Senator Reid. That's fine and well and dandy. You have your opinion.

    But what you don't seem to understand is that focusing your hate on Senator Reid about this issue really points to the fact that you could care less if senior citizens live or die. It's like you despise them for willingly accepting $250.00.

    The point is that any little bit of Social Security is going to help senior citizens...people who are eligible for this after paying into it for years. This is not a handout. It's a successful American program set in place to help seniors in their golden years. And this extra money will in turn help the economy.

    But you wingnuts just throw every senior citizen, not only in Nevada but throughout the nation, under the bus in your blind hatred of Senator Reid. To prove a point is much more important in the Republican world than it is to help people.

    You should all be ashamed of your reprehensible comments and narrow minded self-serving holier-than-thou outlooks.

  16. Harry Reid still trying to buy votes

  17. Didn't we get the $250 last year ? Was that buying votes ?

  18. colinfromlasvegas is another leftist who thinks you get something for nothing if it comes from the "government." Well, colin, all the money the "government" gets is by taking it from us. If Harry the Red came to my house and offered me $250 for my vote, he'd be arrested and rightly so. This is no different. I'm a Social Security recipient and I say the 20-bucks-a-month, 67-cents-a-day, bribe will not make me or break me and I can't be bought by corrupt Washington D.C. politicos like Harry the Red & Nancy Pelosi! It's leftists like colin who put in office tax & spend politico's such as Harry the Red, Shelley (wanna-be-felon) Berkeley and Dina (carpet-bagger) Titus that caused the economic breakdown and now they want to do more harm!

  19. My issue with this is the following: If there is no inflation, then it shouldn't matter and there isn't a need for more money. They don't say there is no inflation, they say it isn't much, whatever that means. But if there is just 2% inflation and you get $1200/month, then you'd get an extra $24 per month or $288. So, it doesn't take much. But the beauty of just giving a one time payment of $250 is that your bases is still $1200, not $1224. So you are screwing the seniors in the long run or making them depending on the Congress to vote a special check every year. And since this is the second year of this, you are now down two increases to your base if this passes. I just think that if you believe that they need an increase than give them a regular increase but this is political BS.

  20. Maybe I'm confused? I'm not against social security or helping seniors, but if the social security increase each year is based on inflation, and it was determined that there was no inflation, why are they getting more money? Let's not even get into the rising cost of healthcare that was largely created by the in-power liberal politicians anyway.

  21. Harry Haters claims;

    "Harry Reid does NOTHING for Nevadans!"

    "Harry Reid is completely ineffectual!"

    "Harry Reid can't bring home the bacon!"

    "Harry Reid sits in Washington, D.C. while people in Nevada suffer!"

    "Harry Reid can't get anything done!"

    Harry Reid visits his home state to do some campaigning, and announces that, even though Seniors cannot count on a COLA adjustment in next year's Social Security payments, HE HEARS THEM saying hey, Harry! Prices are going up, and us Seniors will have problems paying for things like out-of-pocket medication costs and FOOD; CAN YOU PLEASE HELP US!?!? So Harry says, "you know what, we will propose a $250 payment to S.S. recipients to help offset the lack of a normal COLA increase. It is the right thing to do."

    Harry Haters;
    "Harry Reid is buying votes!"

    HUH???

    Tell that to Grandma & Grandpa, who would get some much needed relief to help with paying for meds and FOOD TO EAT.

    The Haters hate. That's what they do!

  22. @Bob635...

    "If you think the most retirees don't need this money, then you don't know any retired people except rich ones."

    EXACTLY, Bob.
    Haters HATE, Bob, THAT'S WHAT THEY DO!

    "Screw Grandma & Grandpa! I don't CARE if they don't have enough to eat & have to cut their pills in half! I WANT MINE!!!"

    Aren't they precious???

  23. Stupid Jerk Harry Reid - robs seniors. He had the power to address the equation to give seniors a true cost of living. He robbed all the funds from social security; he slashed medicaid; he has increased our health premiums; he has reintroduced the death tax and will take all our money. He crashed the jobs market and the home market.

    Let me see - we are now being bribed with $250.
    What a sorry and sick man Reid is - STUPID REID.
    REID IS A JERK _ A JERK
    STOMP ALL OVER THIS WASTE OF A MAN

    VOTE HIM OUT OF OFFICE - STUPID MAN.

  24. But gmag, to make your point you're throwing out the facts.

    You say "Prices are going up, and us Seniors will have problems paying for things like out-of-pocket medication costs and FOOD..."

    But prices are NOT going up, that's the whole point. If prices were going up then the CPI would show an increase and there would have been a Cost of Living Adjustment.

    How exactly does it work in your world? If the cost of living goes up then give SSI recipients more...but if the cost of living does *NOT* go up then give them more anyways?

    Reid is claiming that his move is necessary because the CPI doesn't accurately reflect the cost of living for SSI recipients...but if that's true why isn't he introducing a bill to tie SSI COLA's to a more accurate index?

    A one time gift doesn't solve the "problem" that he claims exists, so obviously it's either that no such problem exists or that it does exist and he doesn't care about solving it. That eliminates his altruistic motives and just leaves "vote buying".

  25. Seniors - Wise up to this one arm bandit.
    He stole your funds.
    he slashed medicaid
    He refused to give you a cost of living increase - he had the power to do this...
    and he tries to buy your votes...
    when he stole all your money with his death tax so you will not be able to give anything to your children....
    what a jerk - what a waste...
    and yeah, $250 is $250....but he could have done so much more. His pennies won't even cover a 1/10000 of the misery and fraud he has caused us.

    DUMP REID - DUMP OBAMA, who has destroyed America.,
    And Obama's wife, who loves to travel lavishly at senior's tax payer expense, get a job...

  26. Wendor - So stupid. He slashed Medicaid, which means costs go up. Food prices have gone up. Due to Obama's lack of energy policies, we are all paying more at the gas pump. Reid has a luxury tax on heart pace makers. Reid stole all senior's money by having a death tax - 51 per cent of all senior money is now not theirs. So get a life Wendor - the cost of living equation is wrong; it is not in the constitution (another lie of the liberal hicks like yourself.)
    So Wendover - get a life; you must be all of about 15 years old and hate every senior you know.

    Seniors won't let seniors vote for Reid.
    Reid hurt us all too much.

  27. lovestohike says "...the cost of living equation is wrong..."

    Care to cite some sources to back that up? It's been a remarkable accurate measure since 1919. But hey, I'd love to see your CV and hear how you're more qualified to judge the differences in cost of living from one year to the next than the members of the Boskin Commission and the Stigler Commission (for example, because you know that those Nobel Prize winners just don't know nothin'...right?)

  28. I like this idea, and I'd like it a lot more if I knew 100% of it came right out of Republican Tea Bagger pockets!

  29. Doesn't matter which politician or party offers the bribe, a bribe is a bribe.

  30. A vote for Reid is a vote for the Obama agenda, the Pelosi agenda, the far left agenda. It is a vote for more of the following:

    Territories snared in wage debate -
    Just three years after a Democrat-led Congress imposed the federal minimum wage on two U.S. territories in the Pacific, lawmakers last month halted the program in its tracks, acknowledging the move had sapped thousands of jobs from American Samoa and the commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

    We told you so but you wouldn't listen.
    --------
    Obama may opt for new military advisers -
    President Obama, who has clashed with the military top brass over war and gays, will soon have a chance to reshape the Joint Chiefs of Staff as he faces contentious decisions next year on withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and on ending some weapons systems.

    If you don't like the advice you get from the experts, fire them and try new ones until you get the advice you want.
    -------
    PRUDEN: The poisonous elixir from the Europeans -
    Goons have pretty much shut down Paris, with the cops and students trading volleys of tear gas and gasoline bombs. The only bright spot Monday was the dwindling supplies of gasoline; when the pumps run dry, there won't be any more Molotov cocktails to throw at the cops.

    The old world is teaching us lessons, but we're not learning.
    -----
    EDITORIAL: Administration caves to Big Corn -
    The Obama administration wants to boost the amount of corn shoved into the gas tank of newer cars by 50 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made this happen on Wednesday by giving partial approval to E15, an automotive fuel blend containing 15 percent ethanol. This dirty deal will enrich the major ethanol producers represented by Growth Energy while impoverishing taxpayers and anyone else who cares about clean air.

    No one but ideological nit wits fails to see this hurts not helps and costs, not saves.
    -----
    And the list goes on:

  31. This is the legacy of a failed Reid - what a jerk.
    For Seniors he stole everything you own through the death tax; he makes you now pay a luxury tax for pace makers; he devalued your homes; he refused to give you enough money to stay up with inflation. He has slammed you every way he possibly can....and then when he is not winning at the polls, offers you a bribe.

    Harry- Go to Jail; Go directly to Jail.
    This is America....not a 3rd world country.
    You are not authorized to BRIBE anyone.....
    and you can go down....as the worst politician ever.
    Shame - shame - shameful.

    And for the seniors - see through what this creep is doing to you and your dignity. Vote Today - Vote Today -...and tell all your friends...

    Seniors don't Let Seniors vote for Reid.

  32. I like this idea now more than I did 4 hours ago. And I'd like it twice as much if Harry would double it AND if it was paid for right out of Republican Tea Party Koch Brother's pockets.

    Com'on unAmerican freaks...cough it up!

  33. No COLA for two years in a row on Obama's, Pelosi's and Reid's watch. Can't blame Sharron Angle or George Bush for that one.

  34. This is nothing but a pathetic attempt by Mr. Reid to get votes. I am not necissarily against Seniors getting the $250, but to come up with the idea 2 weeks before an election which has been too close to call is absolutely disgusting.

  35. One more thing, My salary went DOWN this year, and my health insurance cost went up substantially. And the deductibles and co-pays increased substantially. No help for the rest of us?

  36. Thanks for the kingdom of harry Reid. Buy my vote for 250.00 ... feel a little guilty when you get A Pay raise of $10,.000.-- each year look at fact check http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/retribu... thanks but no thank.

  37. I believe the term prostitution comes to mind, as in Searchlight Harry the PROSTITUTE.

  38. Teamster, I probably STILL make more than you, working 20 hours a week. When your job goes away, maybe your attitude will change. Why are so many of your "live better, work union" stickers on non-union Toyotas and Hondas? Preach that to your union buddies. (by the way, my 4 cars/trucks are all UAW-GM).

  39. Teamster, why don't you get your name "verified" and become "trusted" like the rest of us!

  40. Again, the idiots are out and about today.

    This is only the SECOND time Social Security recipients did not get a Cost of Living increase. Many seniors depend on those COLA increases to help make ends meet. Many don't even get $500 a month to live on. That $250 is the difference between getting medications they need or buying food, even though the sum is paltry.

    Remember all ofy ou morons who are against Reid going to bat for the Seniors of this country: You WILL BE A SENIOR SOMEDAY YOURSELF. And hopefully you will have someone on YOUR SIDE at that time.

  41. Standing ovation to you, GrumpyLP. Very well said.

  42. Today, at Early Voting, I voted for among many others; Sharron Angle, Brian Sandoval, Kenneth Wegner, Peter Gariano, Don Chairez (to oppose DA David Roger), and for Sheriff I voted for Laurie Bisch and then mostly Republicans for the remainder of the political seats.

    Many of my friends asked me for assistance on how to vote and I encouraged them to do the same.

    I'm a lifelong Registered Democrat.