Just weeks before Election Day, it was announced that 70 million Americans would receive an 8.7% increase in their Social Security payments the following year.
Still, it is unlikely to give Democrats the advantage they urgently want in the voting booth.
In reality, the prospect of larger payouts may draw attention to the skyrocketing costs burdening households and cause the program’s greatest cost-of-living rise in forty years, announced on Thursday.
It will put extra money in people’s pockets, but Marty Cohen, a political science professor at James Madison University, said it would also get people thinking about excessive inflation.
Voters gave the economy a greater priority than Social Security, with 71% of American adults stating that the president and Congress should prioritize boosting the economy in January, compared to 57% who said the same about ensuring the Social Security system is financially healthy.
Paul Phelps, a retired 76-year-old with a passion for genealogy, had just one word to say in reaction to the 8.7% increase in benefits: “Ouch.”
Phelps believes that the high inflation rate is why the increase is so enormous.
He will not let rising costs influence his vote on November 8th. The increase in his monthly payments that will start coming his way early next year won’t either.
However, Biden and his administration did not influence how the cost-of-living increase was determined. It is calculated using an inflation-based formula.
The White House’s Social Security messaging emphasizes how older people will save hundreds of dollars next year as a result of the 8.7% Social Security increase, a roughly $5 monthly reduction in Medicare premiums, and a new law that will lower some prescription drug prices for Medicare recipients but was unanimously opposed by Republicans.
Only 36% of Americans, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, think that Biden is doing a good job managing the economy.
However, they are not entirely attributing the rise in costs to him; 55% believe it is primarily due to causes beyond his control, while 44% believe it is mainly due to his policies.
Republicans have pointed out additional ways that senior citizens’ costs are rising, highlighting losses in private retirement plans over the past year, high gas prices, and increasing grocery store prices.