NTD | by Jack Phillips | November 3, 2022
The White House on Wednesday deleted a Twitter post after it was fact-checked for making an inaccurate claim about the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that was recently announced.
“Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” the now-deleted White House Twitter post said.
However, the post failed to mention that the COLA adjustment was due to surging, decades-high inflation. COLA adjustments have been automatically done every year for decades due to federal law, and the adjustments are not contingent on any of the Biden administration’s policies.
“The point was incomplete,” a White House official told The Epoch Times via email.
The White House said the complete point was outlined in a recent statement from press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
CNN’s fact-checker Daniel Dale, in response, accused the White House of making an inaccurate claim.
“That’s quite the spin,” Dale wrote, adding, “The size of Social Security checks is linked, by law, to inflation. This year’s increase is unusually big because the inflation rate is unusually big.”
Twitter then added “context” under the White House post, writing that seniors will get a “large Social Security benefit increase due to the annual cost of living adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate” before linking to the Social Security Administration’s website.
The Twitter addition also made reference to former President Richard Nixon’s signing a law that mandated automatic benefit adjustments tied to the consumer price index, a key metric that measures inflation. For September 2022, the index surged to 8.2 percent year-over-year, according to data released by the Department of Labor.
It comes as Biden discussed inflation and Social Security during a gaffe-filled speech on Wednesday. Ahead of the midterm elections next week, Biden and Democrats have repeatedly claimed that Republicans would gut Medicare and Social Security if they take control of Congress.
“And on my watch, for the first time in 10 years, seniors are getting an increase in their Social Security checks,” Biden said Wednesday. “So, checks are going to be up and Medicare payments are going to be down.”
Republican lawmakers were quick to criticize the White House for the erroneous Twitter post.
“Next year’s Social Security increase will be one of the largest in decades b/c of Biden’s disastrous policies, which have caused prices to rise, fueled record inflation, & cut it into critical retirement savings,” wrote Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) on Twitter in response to the Twitter post.
“Biden social media geniuses are giving Biden credit for the biggest Social Security COLA in 10 years, but neglect to mention that SS COLA is an automatic formula based on government inflation metric (CPI),” Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) added on the platform.
In the mid-October announcement, the Social Security Administration’s head, Kilolo Kijakazi, said that the benefits may “give seniors more peace of mind and breathing room,” although policy analysts say that the COLA increase might force some seniors to pay more in taxes—in addition to surging inflation.
“Will the COLA be enough to keep up with inflation? It’s too early to say,” Senior Citizens League analyst Mary Jonson told CNN last month, referring to whether price pressures will persist throughout 2023. “It depends on what inflation is going to do from October onward.”
“There can be some very long-term effects to high inflation COLAs,” Johnson also said in July, referring to cost-of-living adjustments. “It’s like a no-win situation.”
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.