Barack Obama is now saying that the government may not be able to send seniors their August 3rd Social Security checks if Republicans do not agree to a compromise that raises the debt ceiling. The president issued the warning during an interview with CBS News scheduled to air tonight.
Obama’s press secretary confirmed to The Hill that “we can’t guarantee if there were a default that any specific bill would be paid,” if the debt ceiling is not raised.
To ensure that the August 3rd Social Security checks will be sent, the government’s borrowing authority must be increased by August 2nd. So far, Republicans in Congress have refused to raise the ceiling unless Democrats agree to cut social welfare programs without raising taxes on anyone.
By invoking Social Security, a beloved social program often referred to as the “Third Rail” of American politics, Obama is calculating that the public will blame obstructionist Republicans–and not his own administration–for an impasse that denies senior citizens, the single group of Americans most likely to vote, their benefits. [The Hill]