President Obama: Just cash in the Social Security Trust Fund

Speaking about Social Security, President Barack Obama told CBS news today that “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.” The issue he refers to is raising the federal debt ceiling.

That’s a very curious statement for the president to make. Because liberals, he included, refer to the $2.6 trillion Social Security Trust Fund as money socked away, available to pay benefits for a long time.

So couldn’t the president simply cash in a few of the bonds held by the trust fund to pay benefits in August?

The answer is: Of course he can’t do that. The money represented by those bonds in the trust fund has already been spent. The only way for government agencies to pay them back is through some source of income of their own such as taxes or fees, more debt (which the debt ceiling would prevent), or providing fewer services.


3 thoughts on “President Obama: Just cash in the Social Security Trust Fund”

  1. This is a very curious juxtaposition. On the one hand it seems to be accusing the President of being a liberal who has said the money is in the trust fund when it isn’t. On the other hand, in the quoted piece he just said it isn’t there, and so did you. The tone of the article is it’s all Obama’s fault when, in fact, the Congress–primarily Republican, has run this up for the last 25 years. I recall 60 Minutes programs from years ago talking about this, so it isn’t an ‘Obama’ thing.

    The fact of the matter is that even in a default government is funded at some level, they just aren’t paying some things. It doesn’t matter, though, if we think the economic health of the country is bad so far, just see what happens with a default. In that case I hope you have gold and silver.

  2. B.D., stop with the excuses for Obama. This mess began with FDR’s policies and has continued. Not just Republicans for the last 25 years. When Obama came into office, he accelerated the crashing of the economy. If Obama and company were as good as you would like to believe, when they had control of all three houses they would have FIXed the mess. We need to CUT spending. Obama needs to be thrown out of office and we need a real leader with the BALLS to do the right thing. Your boy is FAILING on every level.

  3. Tina, first, stop with the thinly veiled bigotry of referring to our President as “boy.” Disgusting, though not in the least bit surprising.

    Plus, open your damn eyes and listen to other sources of information besides Rush Limbaugh and Bob freakin’ Weeks.

    Most sensible Americans want simply this, so listen up, you nutbags:
    - Cut and *reform* entitlements to match today’s needs, vs. the needs of Americans from the time the laws were written. Don’t dismantle them entirely. Set laws in place that ensure sustainable funding in a protected manner (no raiding the damn trust fund for pet projects).
    - Cut our absolutely insane defense budget down to a post-Cold War level. Any sensible person sees this, especially you alleged “libertarians.”
    - Raise taxes (on everyone, frankly) to pre-Bush levels and reform the system to greatly widen the tax base. Taxes suck, and they need to suck for everyone.

    Boom. Solved. Quit your bobble-headed agreement with Fox and think logically. If this is such a crisis, as has been screamed by every Republican since January 20, 2009, GROW UP and solve it like ADULTS. Don’t take your toys out of the sandbox just because you can’t get everything you want. America is too important for this childish behavior.

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