Barack Obama using veterans and elderly as political pawns to strong arm the GOP into raising the debt ceiling, which I predicted four days ago:
Uh…no. That’s not “strong-arming”. That’s “telling the truth”. Obama doesn’t have the ability to control Social Security, medicare, etc.; fact of the matter is, they would be delayed in accordance with the inability of the federal government to be able to reap funds without a debt-ceiling increase. It would happen regardless of who was President at the time. It happens independently of the President.
President Barack Obama’s blanket statement Monday that “Social Security checks and veterans benefits will be delayed” if Congress doesn’t raise the debt limit masked the options open to the government if it is forced to operate in a severe fiscal pinch. There are many, although none pleasant. If Washington can’t keep borrowing to ensure all its bills are paid, it will need to decide which expenses to cover and which might have to slide until a deal comes together.
It’s possible, but not preordained, that Social Security recipients, veterans and beneficiaries of other cherished programs would take a hit. The administration has choices in how to spread the pain.
Highlighting a threat to the most popular products of the government is a time-honored Washington tactic for turning up the heat on the other side to negotiate and settle
Social Security will run out by 2033, government says
WASHINGTON (AP) - High energy prices and an economy that has been slow to rebound are worsening Social Security’s finances, shortening the life of the trust funds that support program by three years, the government said Monday.
Those trust funds will now run dry in 2033, according to a report issued by the trustees that oversee the massive retirement and disability program.
Medicare’s hospital insurance fund is projected to run out of money in 2024, which is unchanged from last year. The trustees, however, said Medicare spending continues to rise.
Congress enacted a 2 percent cut in Medicare last year, which is the main reason the trust fund exhaustion date did not advance.
If the Social Security and Medicare funds ever become exhausted, the nation’s two biggest benefit programs would collect only enough money in payroll taxes to pay partial benefits.
The trustees said in their annual report that Congress should address the programs as soon as possible, but no action is likely before the November election.
“Lawmakers should not delay addressing the long-run financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare,” the trustees wrote. “If they take action sooner rather than later, more options and more time will be available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.”
Social Security’s finances worsened in part because high energy prices suppressed wages, a trend the trustees see as continuing. The trustees said they expect workers to work fewer hours than previously projected, even after the economy recovers.
The trustees also warned that their own Medicare projections could be too rosy. Based on current law, they assume cuts in payments to doctors that Congress routinely waives will actually take place. They also assume President Barack Obama’s health care law will squeeze the full amount of its $500 billion cuts from the program.
“Medicare’s actual future costs are highly uncertain and are likely to exceed those shown …in this report,” the trustees said.
The trustees who oversee the programs are Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue. There are also two public trustees, Charles Blahous and Robert Reischauer.
More than 56 million retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children receive Social Security. The average retirement benefit is $1,232 a month; the average monthly benefit for disabled workers is $1,111.
About 50 million people are covered by Medicare, the medical insurance program for older Americans.
Social Security is financed by a 6.2 percent tax on the first $110,100 in wages. It is paid by both employers and workers. Congress temporarily reduced the tax on workers to 4.2 percent for 2011 and 2012, though the program’s finances are being made whole through increased government borrowing.
The Medicare tax rate is 1.45 percent on all wages, paid by both employees and workers.
via ABC - WJLA
Just shut up and pay your taxes. Everything’s going to be alright.