Top Senate Democrats want Congress to approve a onetime $581 emergency payment for the more than 65 million retirees, veterans and Americans with disabilities who receive Social Security payments.
Sens. Patty Murray of Washington state and Chuck Schumer of New York said the payments would help those who were denied a cost-of-living adjustment in 2016 and who are set to receive an average raise of $5 per month – or 0.3 percent –in 2017. It would increase the average monthly payment from $1,355 to $1,360 per month.
Sen. Patty Murray said the $5 monthly raise for Social Security recipients is “woefully inadequate for Washington state seniors to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of everyday life.” And Sen. Chuck Schumer said that too many retirees are financially vulnerable and that Congress needs to help “make up for their lost dollars.”
While the increase is tied to the Consumer Price Index, Murray said it’s “woefully inadequate for Washington state seniors to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of everyday life.” And Schumer said that too many retirees are financially vulnerable and that Congress needs to help “make up for their lost dollars.”
Senate Democrats pushed the plan, called the Seniors and Veterans Emergency (SAVE) Benefits Act, last year without luck.
Now it’s part of the post-election agenda that Democratic leaders will pursue if they win enough Republican seats Nov. 8 to take control of the Senate next year.
Should that happen, Schumer would replace Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky as Senate majority leader, while Murray would lead the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee or possibly the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
When Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren first introduced the bill, she said the $581 payment would represent a 3.9 percent increase for Social Security recipients, equal to the same percentage raise that most business executives received the previous year. Warren proposed that the payments be made as refundable tax credits.
Democrats want to pay for the legislation by changing a law that allows corporations to write off executive bonuses as a business expense for performance pay.
Murray said that ending the tax subsidies for corporate bonuses would help provide emergency relief to more than 1.2 million people in her state.
Schumer noted a precedent for the legislation, with Congress approving a $250 onetime payment for Social Security recipients in 2009 to help them get through the recession.
He said the extra $581 would be equal to three months of groceries for most seniors and that the emergency payment could also help them pay for out-of-pocket expenses for the prescription drugs they receive under Medicare.
Don’t be fooled into thinking the Democrats are doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and finally taking pity on the citizens living on Social Security. They are not – this is a gimmick to get votes for Hillary and the Dem seats in the Senate. This proposed legislation has been floating around for years under various acronyms. First it was called RAISE in 2007, now it’s being called SAVE. (This seems to be a pattern with the Dems’ – they love to play with nomenclature – first it was global warming, now it’s climate change)
Their proposed action on this hinges on them taking back control of the Senate, and the American seniors are supposed to follow the carrot to the voting booth. If it were in any way a genuine effort it would not be leverage on their winning those seats.
Since Warren proposed to make the payments in the form of a refundable tax credit, seniors wouldn’t actually receive one thin dime. While a tax credit is helpful, it doesn’t give the recipients a choice in how to spend it.
Their statement that the average monthly payment is $1355 would be laughable if it weren’t such a complete farce. Most people receive about $1000 or less per month, which is reduced by payments to Medicare, plus they usually have to pay for supplemental insurance and a prescription program.