White House deletes tweet giving Biden credit for Social Security increases
By The Citizen on November 2, 2022
The White House on Wednesday deleted a tweet touting an increase in Social Security checks for seniors after numerous observers pointed out the raise was a result of high inflation.
“Seniors are getting the biggest increase in their Social Security checks in 10 years through President Biden’s leadership,” the White House tweeted Tuesday.
Twitter later added context below the tweet noting that the increase was due to the annual cost of living adjustment as part of a 1972 law that tied automatic benefit adjustments to the consumer price index, a key marker of inflation.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters later Wednesday that the tweet was incomplete.
“The tweet was not complete. Usually when we put out a tweet we post it with context, and it did not have that context,” Jean-Pierre said when asked about the removal of the tweet.
Jean-Pierre said the tweet was missing additional information about how the increase gives seniors a chance to get extra breathing room amid rising gas and grocery prices, as well as added context about proposals from Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to put Social Security on the chopping block every five years.
Several fact-checkers were quick to point out the connection between the increase in payments and the rise in inflation, and conservatives in particular rushed to highlight that Twitter had flagged the tweet for incomplete information, arguing it was a sign of balance under the new ownership of Elon Musk.
“The White House just found out it can’t tweet out Joe Biden’s false statements and have the company’s old regime cover it up,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) tweeted.
“Nice to see @elonmusk hold the Biden Administration accountable. Out of control spending by Democrats in Washington is crushing seniors, families, and farmers across Michigan. Their policies are the problem not the solution!” Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) tweeted.
The Social Security Administration announced in October that the annual cost-of-living adjustment would be 8.7 percent in 2023, the highest increase in more than four decades, since payments were increased 11.2 percent in 1981.
Jean-Pierre said at the time that the increase would allow Americans on Social Security to get ahead of inflation.
“This means that seniors will have a chance to get ahead of inflation, due to the rare combination of rising benefits and falling premiums. We will put more money in their pockets and provide them with a little extra breathing room,” she said in a statement.
The White House has focused on the argument that Republicans will threaten Social Security and Medicare benefits if they regain control of Congress. Biden has in recent speeches vowed to protect the programs and highlighted the record increase in Social Security checks under his watch, though he has not mentioned that it is tied to inflation.