White House officials have removed a Twitter post following a flurry of backlash.
In the post in question, the White House credited President Joe Biden for the increase in retirees’ Social Security checks. Twitter users pushed back on the claim, noting the statement lacked context and “pointed out the increase was tied to decades-high inflation,” according to the New York Post.
The cost-of-living adjustment, which will begin in 2023, is the largest since 1981.
The White House appeared to link the increase Social Security payments to Biden’s strong leadership:
“Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” read the Tuesday tweet from the White House.
Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, appended a note to the claim, stating that Twitter users have “added context they thought people might want to know.”
One user noted that increases in Social Security benefits were due to President Nixon-era legislation (known as COLA) that automatically ties benefit levels to inflation — not executive action. Thus, the increase in benefits represents a negative commentary on America’s economy.
The Twitter user wrote: “Seniors will receive a large Social Security benefit increase due to the annual cost of living adjustment, which is based on the inflation rate.”
Republican leaders also took issue with the White House post. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) blasted Biden for taking credit for higher benefit levels to seniors.
“Biden social media geniuses are giving Biden credit for the biggest Social Security COLA in 10 years, but neglect to mention that [Social Security] COLA is an automatic formula based on government inflation metric,” he wrote, referring to the Consumer Price Index.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) agreed with Massie, writing, “Biden’s leadership’ is solely responsible for record inflation, according to the White House.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) claimed Biden oversteps in taking credit and is slow to take responsibility for problems his policies facilitate: “Even with one-party Democratic rule in DC, the Biden Administration continues to blame others for their failed policies. There is nobody to blame but themselves.”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) predicted the administration’s next move:
“The increase is adjusted upwards because cost-of-living has gone up. They are literally taking credit for record high inflation. Up next from The Surgeon General: ’Why the high cost of eggs is good for your health,'” the North Dakota Republican wrote on Twitter.
Criticism flowed from citizens across the country. One Twitter user wondered who’s going to set the White House intern straight?
“LOL. Who wants to tell the intern at the @WhiteHouse why seniors are getting their biggest increase in SS checks in 10 years??? It ain’t because Joe is acting out of the goodness of his heart. It’s because Bidenflation has run unchecked for nearly 2 years.”
Many expressed outrage at the White House: “My sweet lord. Who on earth thought taking actual credit for a COLA increase pegged to the cost of consumer goods was a brilliant stroke?”
The questionable statement follows a May statement that claimed there was “no [COVID] vaccine available” when Biden took office and an October claim that gas was $5/gallon when Biden was sworn in as president in January 2021. Both statements were shown to be inaccurate.
The White House removed their post within 24 hours.
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