Out with the old, in with more of the old

Posted on December 9, 2010

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House and Senate Republicans on Wednesday thwarted Democratic efforts to award $250 checks to Social Security recipients facing a second consecutive year without a cost-of-living increase.

President Obama and Democrats urged approval of the one-time payment, saying seniors barely getting by on their Social Security checks are facing particularly undue hardships without the COLA increase.

But most Republicans contended that the nation couldn’t afford the estimated $14 billion cost of the payment, and that the COLA freezes in 2010 and 2011 come after seniors received a significant boost in 2009.

Twenty-six Republicans voted for the bill, while 141 opposed it. Democrats were in favor, 228-12.  Later in the day, the Senate voted 53-45 on a measure to bring the Social Security supplement bill to the Senate floor for debate. That total was seven short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation.

So, just to be clear: Republicans are saying that we can’t afford $14 Billion to give direct payments to struggling pensioners and retirees, and we can’t afford $48 Billion for a Social Security supplement. But we CAN afford $700 Billion in tax cuts for the top 2% of the wealthiest people in the nation.

Listening to anyone say that the “new fiscally responsible Republican party” gives a rat’s ass about the middle or lower class: Priceless.

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