President Obama should be ashamed for saying Social Security recipients might not get their August check if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2. (Less often mentioned, but also at risk, are those who receive veterans’ benefits.) The President and others who make such statements are doing so only to advance their political agendas.
We have been reassured that the Social Security Trust Fund is solvent through 2038. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said Congress does not need to consider ways to preserve the program until 2020. So if there are funds to pay benefits that far into the future, why should there be any problem sending the August checks? The only credible answers to that question are:
* There is no money in the fund because the government has used it for other purposes, assuming it could be paid back eventually.
* There is no problem and the current scare is just a selfish, partisan ploy.
The executive branch of the government has the authority to prioritize who gets paid first if there is a shortage of funds. Why would the President choose that seniors and veterans are not at the top of the list? This does not line up with Mr. Obama’s many statements that we must protect the most vulnerable US citizens. For someone as skilled with words as the President, this is calculated duplicity not a mistake.
Senator Rand Paul and others are proposing legislation to require that the White House pay interest on the debt, Social Security payments and military salaries before anything else. Please contact your senators and encourage them to support this legislation.
If your senators and representative are using the senior scare tactics, ask them to stop. If their replies (or those of their staff) are hypocritical or nonsensical, demand clarification. We need to let Congress and the President know that we see the politics behind these threats to Social Security and won’t allow them to use America’s seniors (or veterans) as political pawns.