Andrew Briggs sighs as well:
Wisely, the Obama administration stuck to a theme of helping those in need and stimulating the economy rather than trying to make a substantive inflation-based case for the payment. (That said, seniors are hardly the most in need in the current recession and it's not clear how well these payments work as stimulus. I didn't say it was a good argument, just better than the alternative.)
[...]The Obama policy is less bad than the Republican alternatives from Reps. Walter Jones (NC) and Rodney Alexander (LA). These would have given all beneficiaries a 3 percent increase (2.9 percent in Alexander's proposal; got to be fiscally responsible these days…) but then build future COLAs on top so that benefits would always be 3 percent higher. My guestimate is that these plans could cost close to $200 billion over the long run, so I guess we dodge a bullet on that one.
So, once again, the GOP is more fiscally irresponsible than Obama.