Wednesday President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve $250 payments to more than 50 million senior citizens to make up for the fact that there will be no cost of living adjustment in their Social Security payments next year.

This will be the first time in eleven years that there will be no increase in Social Security benefits, which are tied to cost-of-living adjustments pegged to inflation. Since lower energy costs have resulted in negative inflation this year, the law does not provide for an increase in Social Security payments. Those payments do not go down, even when prices drop.

I’m all for making life easier for older Americans, especially since I’m rapidly becoming one myself. But, I have to wonder about something.

Some of the most vocal critics of President Obama and his “giveaway policies” that I have met are senior citizens, who are complaining that he is bankrupting America. Last week one older acquaintance of mine said that his principles would never allow him to accept a handout, no matter how hard times got. He’d rather dig ditches than be a freeloader.

I wonder how many of those who are so vocal about the administration’s policies are going to stand on their principles and refuse to accept that $250? How much will you sell your principles for?

Now, don’t go telling me that you need that money to survive. You survived last year on what you’ve been getting from Social Security, and prices are lower now. I’m sorry, that excuse won’t fly.

Yeah, I know there are a lot of senior citizens who are barely scraping by, but the ones I am hearing raising so much hell don’t fall into that category. Most of them have worked very hard all of their lives, and are now retired and living pretty comfortably. $250 is not going to change their lives. But I bet not one of them returns that money when it comes in. And I bet not one of them heads to the local food bank or senior citizens center and donates their $250 to help those less fortunate.

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35 Comments on Will You Stand By Your Principles?

  1. Ben Brown says:

    Are prices really down for seniors? I don’t use as much fuel now that I don’t commute to work. My motorhome doesn’t take nearly as much energy to heat as my house, and we don’t move it very often. So, the lower energy prices don’t help me as much as they do other people.

    As for Obama giving away the store, I feel strongly that the private sector should lead the way, not Government programs. Lower the tax rate across the board for everyone, rich and poor, and I won’t need that $250! That will stimulate the economy, resulting in higher tax revenues. Obama’s policies are just wrong; big government and higher taxes suck the life out of the economy.

  2. Ann P. says:

    Hmmm, I was just thinking about this today, Bad Nick. In the first place, the govt. can’t afford this kind of deal for seniors, or anyone else. And as you say, many seniors are quite comfortable with their pensions, social security, medicare, maybe VA coverage- some of which are govt. programs that they don’t want anyone else to have. I see plenty of senior snowbirds in FL, AZ and TX tooling around in expensive cars, going to the golf course and high end restaurants. If this $250 gift happens, I wish it would only go to the truly needy, perhaps seniors living on Medicaid, or below the poverty level. We should challenge the senior population to donate to food banks and other charities. Thanks for bringing this subject up!

  3. Rod Bahnson says:

    Gulp — Must not be “Bad Nick” but rather “Make You Think Nick”

  4. Linda Mason says:

    I know what you are saying. My SSD is all the income I get, the 250 would be nice, but not necessary. If we get it I will spend mine on batting and backing for finish up more quilts for the orphanages and another project for the Appalachian mother’s with new babies and need blankets and quilts that I am working on.

    Now my father in law is one of those who would take it but continue to complain about the spending. He has retirement from work, SSS, and get’s quite a bit from his investments,CD’s and other saving’s he has. He sure doesn’t need it but he sure will take it. Complaining he is broke all the time then spend a grand to rent a condo at Gulf Shores for a week at Thanksgiving. I don’t think donating it to a needy cause would ever enter his head. BUT he goes to church every Sunday and professes to be a Christian.

    Sometime’s it just boggles my mind. But goes back to the ones with money just want more. I don’t have much, but don’t want much. Maybe a little bit bigger RV, ok definitely a bigger RV. Maybe a 26 foot travel trailer with a solar panel.

    Money and getting more is not the answer. I think it only makes you meaner. I don’t begrudge him his, I just don’t want it.

  5. rex says:

    Members of Congress are still getting their automatic pay increases. Why shouldn’t the seniors get something? The $250 is an insult. Will I take it? Hell yes! I would prefer to donate it to a group that’s purpose is to impeach every elected official, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or Socialist, in the country and start over. The people that are suppose to be working for us, work for themselves and not the good of the country.

  6. Larry H50 says:

    The real purpose of the $250 is to buy you. Are you for sale for $250?

    Wait until it gets closer to the elections next year. Remember all the unspent “stimulus” money? It will be directed to stimulate votes for the correct people.

    Only a politician, or a lawyer could come up with a way to use your money to buy you.

  7. SAL Bellomo says:

    Hi Nick Your right some prices have gone down ,but health Insurance has cost more,pills are costing more, food is up . But the dead-beets in Congress get theirs Automatic and the best Health Insurance Free!!!!!!!!!!! ,plus pay no Tax’s. I thought the Elected Official were working for the little People and the Country for the hold. I’ll take the $250.00 and be thank full for it,and “”GET-ER DONE”” SAL
    PS.thank you for Bad-Nick Blog and your Reg.Blog.too

  8. Ken Harris says:

    Yeah, I will take it. It will in no way change my opinion of the fools in Washington, especially our president. He is so blatantly a liar, I can never respect him. His office, yes, him, never.
    I seem to remember several deductions from my paychecks, mostly SSA and Medicare. Why should I not receive SSI and enroll in Medicare. I have paid into both funds during my working years since 1955. Well, the medicare only started in the 60’s, but my deductions were always there.
    Now, obama is trying to buy the senior vote with a pitiful political ploy. Sadly, a lot of people will buy into it. This only infuriates me all the more.
    I need to stop now and take a few deep breaths.
    My blood pressure only goes up when I think of the fools in Washington. I will express my displeasure at every voting day. If you are an incumbent, get ready for a new career direction.

  9. Barney says:

    It is my money that I paid in and I will take all of it if they will release it. It is not charity but already mine from my years of work and rape by the government.

  10. Bill ( Illinois ) says:

    Negative inflation? IL they jusy tripled the cost of a driver’s license raised the cost of license plate, and are talkin about doubling the state income tax. The news says fuel cost are down but our utility company is trying to increase their rate because of increased costs. My credit union is increasing my credit card rate from (last year ) 9.9% to 18%. If I get the $250, I’m going to spend it on an industry that needs it, buying something for my RV. Negative inflation rate says George W Obama

  11. MichaelG says:

    I think the total cost of this giveaway is $13 billion dollars. The “stimulus” was $787 billion dollars. The deficit this year was $1.45 trillion (more if you look at the increase in debt, not the official “deficit”.) And by some reports, the government has guaranteed something like $10 trillion in mortgage industry debt. Basically all the mortgages in the U.S. for the last year have been coming from, or guaranteed by, the Federal government.

    So keep it in proportion. If you think this $250 is big spending, you aren’t paying attention.

  12. Great idea – take the money but donate it to the Food Bank! Do you suppose (1) that the President’s idea will happen, and (2) that I’d actually do it? Nick, you’ve laid down a challenge for us. No, we don’t need that extra $250, but we know a lot of agencies that do. Yes, health care costs more, and our Medicare premium will go up to match, and we don’t get a COLA.

    We agree with Sal — thank you for the Bad Nick blog; it gets us thinking.

  13. Kathy Walker says:

    My husband and I live on SS and his Navy retirement. Not a large amount by most standards, but we are mortgage free which means we can live fairly well. $250 each is quite a bit to us, but will not change our lives.

    We will take the money, and fyi, we do a lot of volunteering at our local Senior Center. That money will help pay for gas for us to continue doing that.

    Just a thought: Try giving that check back. With the government the way it is, how successful would you be? How many would do it, and would it be worth it? If you can afford to, donate it if you want, but in our case, charity begins at home.

    Just another opinion from the other side.

  14. Dale says:

    I had heard on the news that the government was working to reimburse seniors for the Medicare increase to kick into effect in 2010 as there was to be no increase in social security payments.

    Does this make the $250 payment a pay-off or is it to help the seniors with no other financial support other than social security?

    Liking to find the best in all people, I vote that it is to help seniors.

  15. Thomas Whittaker says:

    Bad Nick
    You said in your first blog that you would make us laugh, make us think, and piss us off. You have indeed done all three, which I thank you for. I have always admired your writing in the RV and travel fields, but I have to say that your talents are wasted there.

    In the past I referred to you as the new Charles Kuralt. Now I realize you are the end result of a marriage between Charles Kuralt and Andy Rooney. Every newspaper in America should carry your column daily on its Op-Ed page. After a 40 year career in the newspaper business, I can say that I don’t know of one other scribe whose work I admire more.

  16. Glen says:

    There are a lot of things that could be improved about our government but I, for one support a STRONG government. Would you rather have a weak government such as Iran, Iraq, or a government such as I witnessed in South Viet Nam in 1969?

    This economic crisis we are experiencing is a result of government backing away from regulation of our financial institutions and letting them run wild. “Big business will do the right thing” only exists in a persons imigination.

  17. Sid says:

    Hell yes!!! I’ll take it and NO! I will not give it away! The government wastes more than that in the time it takes me to blink. License fees (taxes) and insurance have already eaten that up.

  18. Gary T says:

    I will take it, then make a $250 donation to the REPUBLICAN PARTY.
    We need to take back the country from the democrats who are systematically tearing down everything I believe in. Victory in 2010.

  19. Glen says:

    Gary T:

    They certainly did a fine job with the last 8 years they had; such a fine job with the economy.

  20. Jerry says:


    Damn right we’re going to take the $500 the two of us will get. And you know what; we are going to do the same thing we did with last $500 “stimulus” check we got. Buy an American made handgun.

  21. Phil Brown says:

    I will take it and put it towards my $100.00 month increase in medical coverage, that only makes $750.00 extra this year to find somewhere. Will I find it in the negative cost of liveing? Probabaly not.

  22. Jazzizit says:

    Well, it is obvious that some folks can’t pay attention to what they are reading. Several have jumped on the Republican Bitchin’ Wagon and they were the ones that your comment was directed toward. They can’t see themselves and are proof that the last thing a person will recognized is the truth. Like my Dad would always say, “Some people would bitch if they were hung with a new rope!” The irony is that if Obama were to do absolutely nothing they would complain just as much. There is a move on the part of the right to divide us all and undermine the fabric of this democracy. Hope they are happy when it collapses.

  23. Marnin says:

    Let’s remember that Obama inherited this mess from the 8 years of Republican administration and Bush inherited a surplus when he stepped into office. As far as I’m concerned the Republicans need to be kept out of office, at least until the Democrats can fix the mess we have.

  24. Wayne says:

    Nick you think prices have gone down? I had to buy a motorhome tire 2 years ago and paid less that $300.00 for it. Mow I need 6 tires and the cost went up to $375.00 a tire. Do you think I will give away the $250.00 I may get?

  25. Joan says:

    Gary T……you shouldn’t use WE and I in the same sentence.

  26. Connie Braidh says:

    1. We already give to charity and will continue to do so no matter what the economy.
    2. Social Security and Medicare are not giveaway programs. We WORKED and put in money for the then seniors. It is now our turn to get money out of the program from future seniors.
    3. No inflation this year? Ha!!! Both commodities and utilities type bills have increased. And no, fuel is not down. It’s going up again. But the boys in Washington DC can manipulate the numbers any way they want.
    4. Yes, I will use the $250 to pay bills but it won’t cover the increases in costs. And a one time $250 does not go into your base to increase your base for future per cent increases. Bummer!!!!!

  27. Ron Herron says:

    I did not realize that I had joined a Republican’s blog. Please cancel my subscription.

    I am surprised that you do not recognize that prices have increased. I wonder who pays the bills in your house?

    I will be giving my $250 to my 83 yr old Mother who needs it a little more than I do.

    Shame on you Nick.

  28. Nick Russell says:

    Gee Ron, last week I was accused of being too Democrat. Isn’t it possible I might be exactly what I stated in the very first Bad Nick post, a guy who belongs to neither party beause I prefer to make my own decisions? When did being an indepenent thinking individual become shameful?

  29. Dennise Ziaja says:

    Wow…such a wide variety of feelings about this…taking the money and buying a GUN? Who ya gonna shoot? Geesh kist target practice I hope. Give it to the Repub Party of NO who bankrupted this county by removing and scaling back bank regulations? Yeah, it’s true, look it up! The former administration allowed the banks to gamble with “Las” Wall Street and really stupid asset management and risking loans. They just didn’t play the 5 buck tables, they went for the 500 buck table! I sure wish I was a Goldman Sachs employee…$700K bonuses for all employees. Maybe if the donation goes to the Repugs, they can all get reading lessons…all the latest polls (oopsie, ‘cept on Faux News, er, Fox News I should say…)show the public support for a public option at 57%…What are we spending in Afghanistan and Iraq? If those dollars were taken out of the mix, we could all get health care at a reasonable cost,(I read many complaints above about that…are you for or agains Health care reform?) save lives and prevent a generation of young people from getting maimed. The party of NO is now eyeing the unemployed…no extension of benefits…wow, that is heartless. Here in Texas the two No Senators are NOW begging for their share of the stimulus funds…along with all the No representatives from Texas who voted against such funds. Wow. What a crazy country we live in.

    Keep it up Nick, we all need to think of these things…

  30. Mike Shaw says:

    Have you actually been reading the blog Ron? Can you understand sarcasm? Bad Nick was jabbing the Republicans who constantly bad mouth Prez Obama and the Democrat’s policies, claiming they were all giveaways, by asking them how they felt when they were the ones benefiting. Lighten up guy!

  31. Jeff Johnson says:

    You know the old saying: some things never “change”!

  32. Kathey Rummel says:

    Bad Nick for President!

  33. Ron Herron says:

    I stand corrected, in public even.

    After reading the blog entry a third or fourth time, I can see the sarcasm. Nick must be an independent thinker.

    Yes, Mike Shaw, I understood your sarcasm immediately.

    I will now go stand in the corner and comment no more.

  34. don says:

    You want to read something interesting try this:

    Charlie Reese was writing for the Orlando Sentinal back in the 80’s – he was still going a few years ago but has recently retired. He’s a great original thinker; way too few of them in this world.

  35. I see that I’m late for the comment party but here goes: Bad Nick asks an interesting question, and it seems to have made a few people think. :)

    “I wonder how many of those who are so vocal about the administration’s policies are going to stand on their principles and refuse to accept that $250? How much will you sell your principles for?”

    Some Americans want to enforce the law (or impose their principles) on others but are unwilling to live by the same laws or principles.

    Hypocrisy isn’t limited to any one political party, socioeconomic class, or age group. In fact, I think it’s pretty evenly distributed.

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