President Obama’s suggestion that Social Security checks might be endangered if a debt ceiling deal isn’t reached is either reckless or realistic, depending on who you ask.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, says threats that Social Security payments could stop if a deal isn’t struck have no place in the debate.
“No, I think that is a very unfortunate thing to say,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “In fact, it may even border on reckless, because it frightens people.”
CBS News reported earlier this week that President Obama stated he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3rd, the day after the deadline to raise the national debt limit. The Obama Administration has warned that failing to raise the limit from the current $14.3 million would have a wide-ranging effect on the economy.
“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.
Approximately 27 million Americans receive Social Security benefits, totaling some $20 billion.
Senator Nelson, a Democrat, won’t criticize the president’s statement.
“It’s hard to say that it’s not legitimate,” Nelson tells reporters during a conference call, “because Washington, right now, is all over the place on the budget and debt ceiling debate.”
Nelson says the political agendas are dominating debate right now.