“Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” a White House Twitter post recently proclaimed.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale had a problem with it. The 8.7 percent increase, biggest since 1981, “is not because of any positive Biden leadership.”
The 2023 increase “is the biggest in years because the inflation rate is the biggest in years.” A 1970s-era law requires SS payments to increase along with consumer prices. As Dale noted, average prices in the third quarter of 2022, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), were up 8.7 percent from average prices in the third quarter of 2021.
Every year from 2017 onward, Dale noted, inflation prompted an increase in SS payments: 0.3 percent in 2017, 2.0 percent in 2018, 2.8 percent in 2019, 1.6 percent in 2020, 1.3 percent in 2021, and 5.9 percent in 2022.
According to Syracuse University economics Professor Gary Engelhardt, a specialist in Social Security, the White House assertion is “incorrect.” The Twitter post was taken down, but the story does not end there. Americans approaching retirement age should know that Sen. Joe Biden twice voted to tax Social Security benefits.
Prior to 1983, Social Security was not taxable. That year, Sen. Joe Biden voted in favor of taxing 50 percent of Social Security benefits, and the measure passed. In 1993, Sen. Joe Biden voted to increase the amount of taxable benefits from 50 percent to 85 percent. The system has other problems people retiring at 62 should know. As Social Security explains:
“You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. However, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full benefits. If you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than the yearly earnings limit, we may reduce your benefit amount. If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, we deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2022, that limit is $19,560.”
Thanks partly to Sen. Joe Biden, Social Security is taxable. Social Security imposes limits on what you can earn. The recent pay increase is due to inflation, not leadership from the White House.
This article was published by The Beacon