Seniors will receive their largest increase in Social Security Benefits in 10 years. That's incredible news! Well, not exactly—though the official White House Twitter account might try to persuade you otherwise.
On Monday, the White House Twitter account announced that "seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden's leadership." However, the account quickly deleted the tweet after commenters pointed out the obvious: the increase wasn't due to Biden's leadership, but the rapid inflation occurring under his watch—which is massively increasing the cost of goods and services for American seniors, thus requiring under federal law that they receive larger checks.
Over the past 12 months, inflation has stayed troublingly high—rising as high as 9.1 percent in July—leading to widespread anxiety about the nation's economic future. A recent Gallup poll found that 49 percent of respondents listed "the economy" as "extremely important" for their voting choices.
Adding to the turmoil, the government will have to beef up Social Security spending for the program by 8.7 percent to account for the rising cost of goods and services. Following a 1972 law signed by President Nixon, the value of Social Security checks is tied to annual inflation. However, this increased spending is likely to ramp up Social Security's race toward insolvency, with The New York Times reporting that "budget experts warn that the reserves could run out before 2034 as a result of the larger benefits."
Before the White House tweet was deleted, Twitter allowed "reader commentary" to appear below it, alerting viewers that "seniors will receive a large increase in Social Security benefits due to the national cost of living adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate."
This size of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment highlights the impact that rising inflation is having on ordinary Americans, who are paying 8 percent more for goods and services than they were a year ago. But maybe don't call it leadership?