THE $250 BONUS
FOR EVERY 'MATURE' ADULT
An American Social Security recipient
dances a jig upon receiving a $250 check
from Pres. Obama.
Oh, the good times, they
are a-rolling once more!
By CHUCK McFADDEN
President Obama thinks it would be a neat idea to give us senior citizens--excuse me, I mean us mature adults--a nice out-of-the-blue extra Social Security check for $250 dollars each.
After careful consideration and prayer, I find that I am forced to agree with the presidents idea. Its the right thing to do.
His rationale is that 250 of the best and brightest would give the economy a needed boost. Im for that. We must all roll up our sleeves and do our part.
A digital camera would be nice.
Of course, when any president proposes a far-reaching, noble idea, there are naysayers. I imagine George Washington had to put up with that sort of thing-- people fussing about some detail or another, like how many blankets he really needed at Valley Forge. But he prevailed, just as (I hope) President Obama will prevail.
Some negative thinkers point out that the $14 billion involved would be better spent if it were used on behalf of young people. They are reputed to have an 18 percent unemployment rate. Well, all I know is that youre likely to remain unemployed if you walk into an office wearing your baseball cap backwards and a black tee-shirt that shouts something about the Screaming Zombies. And have you heard what they call music?
Maybe a weekend in Monterey?
It has also been mentioned in some circles that middle-aged people who have been unemployed for long periods of time and whose unemployment benefits have run out might find a $250 check handy. Well, of course, if you want to coddle people, I suppose that would be the way to go. But we must reflect on the potential loss of moral fiber here. We dont want to encourage layabouts, do we? Checks from the government have a tendency to do that. Well, they do if youre under 65.
There was a sport coat I saw a while ago at Brooks Brothers
There has even been talk of using the $14 billion to pare down the deficit. Thats just silly talk. How much difference would a mere $14 billion make in a deficit that big? What is it now? Is 23 gadzillion really a number? Besides, our great-great-grandchildren will find a way out.
Columnist David Leonhardt of The New York Times recently pointed out that people in my age group have survived the recession better than any other. We have had, he says, stronger income growth, few job cuts and little loss of health insurance (Medicare, you know.)
What a party-pooper. Dont you just hate prudent, fact-bound people? Remember, we are not going to receive a cost-of-living increase in our Social Security payments next year. Can you imagine? Never mind that we got a 5.8 percent raise this year.
Can you buy a red Miata with a $250 down payment?
President Obama realizes, of course, that a higher percentage of we seniors vote and that we are a vast and potent electoral demographic. I am, however, serene in my belief that all the president has in mind is a little bit of relief for hard-pressed mature adults. The cost of green fees is an ever-present worry.
If one were to pay attention to Mr. Leonhardt and his fellow wet blankets, one would contrive a way to return the $250 for the common good, rather than spend it selfishly on oneself.
But we must learn to have perspective here. Weve been told that the recession is now officially over, but the economy is still on shaky ground. It follows that a little spending here and there is the public-spirited thing to do. Big Picture: Its really up to each of us check recipients to brighten the bottom line for Macys and Wal-Mart and Tiffanys. With the unemployment situation the way it is, no one else is going to do it.
Can you still do four days in Hawaii for 250 bucks?
©2009 by Charles M. McFadden. The McFadden caricature is ©2001 by Jim Hummel. The illustration is from IMSI's Master Clips Collection, 1895 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael, CA, 94901-5506, USA. This column first posted Nov. 9, 2009.
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