The White House Press Secretary could easily be crowned the queen of dodge. Especially after she diverted a softball question about Biden’s now-deleted tweet on social security. CNN Senior White House Correspondent Phil Mattingly pressed Karine Jean-Pierre at Wednesday’s briefing about the White House deleting a tweet bragging about an increase in 2023 social security checks.
The White House took a victory lap in a now-deleted tweet about senior citizens receiving an increase in Social Security checks because of the administration’s efforts. Twitter implemented a fact check citing the increase in checks to the “annual cost of living adjustment.”
“The White House removed a tweet that talked about the increase in social security benefits in 2023 ‘through President Biden’s leadership.’ There was a contextual note, I’m not sure of the proper terminology for the platform, that was added to that. Was it removed because of an issue with the note or was it removed because of the concern on the … messaging?” Mattingly asked.
“Look, the tweet was not complete. Usually when we put out a tweet, we post it with context and it did not have that context,” the press secretary said. “So, in the past, we’ve pointed out that for the first time in over a decade, seniors, Medicare premiums will decrease even as their social security checks increase. That’s a little bit of context was not included. This means that seniors will have a chance to get ahead of inflation due to the rare combination of rising benefits and falling premiums.”
“And let’s not forget, as you’ve been hearing me say for the past few minutes, about MAGA Republicans in Congress and their continued threat to threaten Social Security and Medicare proposing to put them on the chopping blocks every five years, threatening benefits and to change eligibility,” she continued. “So those are the types of context that would normally be with a tweet like that, it did not have that context. It was an incomplete tweet as I just mentioned, and so that’s why you saw the social team take that action.”
The Social Security Administration announced an 8.7% increase in cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2023. The adjustment will lead to an average $140 increase in Social Security benefits starting in January.
Amendments to the Social Security Act, passed by former President Richard Nixon, determine the cost-of-living adjustment by aligning it with the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), according to the Social Security Administration.
CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale tweeted Wednesday that the “size of Social Security checks” aligns with the inflation rate. Inflation reached a 40-year high this year, soaring 0.4% in September from August.
“It’s true that this year’s increase is the biggest in years,” Dale said. “Very much not sure “there was big inflation and therefore also, as required by decades-old law, a big cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security” is what people think of as an example of presidential leadership.”
Erica Carlin is an independent journalist, opinion writer and contributor to several news and opinion sources. She is based in Georgia.