At a press conference this afternoon, Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) advised John Boehner to “quit believing the President” when he suggests that Social Security checks are in jeopardy if the debt ceiling isn’t raised by August 2nd.
Actually, that’s wise counsel generally: Never take anything Obama says at face value.
Via CNS News:
I’m not sure if Gohmert is technically correct about the Social Security Trust Fund, but his point still holds: Social Security checks can certainly continue to go out beyond August 2nd, even if Congress does nothing about the debt ceiling.
Take a look at this chart from Goldman Sachs, which was posted by James Pethokoukis at his Reuters blog:
Clearly, the federal government does have the revenue on hand to service debt, fund the military, and make Social Security and Medicare payments. What is at risk if the debt ceiling isn’t raised are things like the Department of Education, cowboy poetry, and – oh I don’t know – Obamacare, to name just a few things the federal government could slash immediately without doing much harm at all. If Obama elects to prioritize stuff like that over Social Security checks and leave senior citizens flapping in the breeze, that’s his prerogative. Does anyone think he’d really do that?
Maybe he would. But here’s hoping Boehner prints that chart out and brings it with him next time he meets with Obama.