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Obama: If We Don’t Get a Deal, I Can’t Guarantee We’ll Be Sending Out Social Security Checks on August 3rd

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By Doug Powers  •  July 12, 2011 03:18 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

He could have said something like “If a deal isn’t made there will of course be a problem paying for Social Security in the long term, but in the short term I have many options as far as shuffling dollars around to fund high priorities, so I can say with confidence that Americans who depend on Social Security will still get their checks for the foreseeable future while we sort this out.” But Obama didn’t say that.

From CBS News by way of Snapped Shot:

President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

I haven’t seen the full interview, but I’m just guessing that Pelley aggressively followed up with, “Mmm hmm…”

Regardless of what happens with the debt ceiling deal, if Social Security checks don’t get sent out next month, it will be the decision of the Obama administration to not put Social Security toward the top of their list of priorities (I thought it was the GOP who wanted to starve seniors and push them off cliffs).

Hopefully Social Security recipients are familiar with chess, because they’re now officially pawns in the president’s debt ceiling game.

Update: Reader James sent in questions he’d have followed up with:

Are you saying that we must increase the debt limit each year so that we can pay SS and the other entitlement programs?

Aren’t you going through an exercise to prioritize funds in case the debt limit isn’t raised? Aren’t you doing this now and what is the progress?

If we have to increase the debt limit each year so as to pay for the entitlement programs, how are we ever going to get our financial ship in order?

*****

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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