Unpopular Harry Reid is now trying to buy his re-election by writing $250 checks to Nevada's senior citizens -- and shaking down their grandchildren to cover the tab.
In his effort to hold back Republican Sharron Angle, the majority leader has been relentless in scaring Nevada's oldest voters. For months, the Democrat's campaign has falsely warned Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries that Ms. Angle, who understands that federal entitlements are badly in need of reform, wants to cut off their checks and kick them to the curb, sick and starving.
So when the Social Security Administration decided against a cost-of-living increase for recipients for the second year in a row, Sen. Reid saw an opportunity to serve up some red meat. He has pledged to bring to a vote a $15 billion appropriation that will provide $250 to each of the 58 million people on Social Security. President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are on board with spending they hope will save some Democrats -- Sen. Reid foremost among them -- from defeat on Nov. 2.
The $14 billion for this bribe -- as with Democrats' failed stimulus bill, public employee bailouts and expanded welfare handouts -- would have to be borrowed. It would add to a budget deficit that already tops $1.4 trillion and a national debt approaching $14 trillion. That's $44,000 per citizen to repay the debt, interest not included.
Worse, our unsustainable entitlements have almost $111 trillion in unfunded liabilities -- a whopping $357,000 per citizen. Current Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries won't be around to try to keep those promises. Guess who's on the hook?
There's a reason the Social Security Administration hasn't provided beneficiaries with a cost-of-living adjustment in two years: prices fell 2 percent in 2009 and have increased only 1.5 percent since. Plus, seniors got a nearly 6 percent bump in 2008 because of a spike in energy costs.
Now, just in time for Christmas, Santa Harry is climbing down the chimney to raid the kids' stockings and re-wrap the presents for grandma and grandpa. Ho, ho, ho.
On Election Day, Nevada seniors should send a message to Sen. Reid that their votes aren't for sale -- and neither is their grandkids' quality of life. They should vote for an end to deficit spending and the Democratic Party's economically destructive card-check, cap-and-trade, tax-hiking, health-care takeover schemes. They should vote for Sharron Angle.