The United States Senate, filled with millionaires and trust fund babies, has less and less in common with a people’s deliberative legislature.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A measure to give some 57 million elderly people, veterans and persons with disabilities a $250 check was rejected by the Senate on Wednesday, a setback for the powerful seniors’ lobby.
President Barack Obama has called for Congress to approve the payments to make up for their benefits not increasing this year, but the Senate defeated it 50 to 47.
The payments would have added $13 billion to a $108 billion job-creation package pending in the Senate.
Congress approved payments last year as part of the $862 billion stimulus package.
Social Security payments for the elderly and disabled will stay flat this year for the first time since 1975 because they are tied to consumer prices, which decreased amid the worst economic recession in 70 years.
That follows a year in which payments rose by 5.8 percent, largely due to a spike in gasoline prices.
“It is wrong to turn our backs on seniors in this moment of economic difficulty,” said Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who sponsored the amendment.
But Republican Senator Judd Gregg pointed out that the bill would defeat the purpose of indexing Social Security payments to inflation.
“The law says it shouldn’t be given,” Gregg said.
At least 10 Democrats agreed with Gregg and joined 40 Republicans to defeat the proposal.
My problem with this is that our “House of Lords” will gladly approve a measure sending 13 billion dollars to the wealthiest in the form tax cuts or to the most powerful in the form of defense contracts.
People living on a fixed income? Whoa. That’s a whole different kettle of fish.
It reminds me of the Merle Travis song…
You load sixteen tons
Whadda ya get
another day older
and deeper in debt