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Federal Eye: Eye Opener: Federal Retirees to Get $250?

Happy Thursday! Federal employees ineligible to receive Social Security benefits would still get a one-time $250 payment next year if President Obama gets his way.

The president wants Congress to make the one-time payments to roughly 57 million people, including roughly 1 million public sector employees ineligible for Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or veterans benefits.

“This additional assistance will be especially important in the coming months, as countless seniors and others have seen their retirement accounts and home values decline as a result of this economic crisis,” Obama said in a statement issued Wednesday.

“This payment would come as a welcome relief to federal retirees and survivors at a time when most will shoulder a 12 to 15 percent health insurance premium increase in a year they will receive no cost of living adjustment,” Margaret L. Baptiste, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association said in a statement. “We commend the president for supporting a payment to older Americans that will help them make ends meet and for including government retirees who are not eligible to receive Social Security.”

Obama endorsed the idea, expected to cost at least $13 billion, “as the administration gropes for ways to sustain an apparent economic rebound without the kind of massive spending package that critics could label a second stimulus act,” colleagues Amy Goldstein and Neil Irwin report.

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Profile Photo Thad Juszczak

I am sure that everyone would like to get an extra $250, but it would be good to ask where this money is coming from and why people need it. First, the money is coming from our children who are going to pay interest on the federal debt for the rest of their lives, significantly lowering their quality of life. Second, people supposedly need it because they are not going to get a COLA this year. Well, they are not getting a COLA because the consumer price index went down! Things generally cost less now than a year ago. Yes, health insurance costs are going up, but what about that 5% COLA last year as prices plummeted? The Roman Caesars put on free spectaculars for the populace to keep them happy. Is our answer to give everyone a $250 check?

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Profile Photo Min

I believe that as long as the money received is recycled back into the market it should only improve the situation. I think this is a necessary step towards a “big picture” solution to our sagging economy–the more money available for spending, the more likely consumer anxieties can be lowered, improving the consumer spending.

Yes, it is an expense to to younger Americans, but surprisingly I believe there has been paradigm shift in that the concern for others’ welfare has become much more of a priority as of late–to help and assist on the homefront. Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have once again emotionally charged society in forms of support for our fellow countrymen.

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Profile Photo Kimberly T Nelson

We all know people who will get this check and I am sure they will use it wisely. However, we all know children who will bear the burden of unwise spending. This seems to be the height of irrational spending. We are in a state of deflation — thus the reason there was no cost of living increase. Recipients already have more disposalable income this year than last. Let’s just keep sending checks to people….

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