Yesterday President Barack Obama broke his promise on fear mongering by claiming that he couldn’t guarantee that Social Security checks would go out if a debt deal isn’t reached. But today during a House Budget Committee hearing Congressman Tim Huelskamp asked the chief actuary of the Social Security administration if the checks could go out even if the government shut down.
During this morning’s Budget Committee meeting, Congressman Huelskamp asked Stephen Goss, Chief Actuary for the Social Security Administration, to explain how the Obama administration could withhold Social Security checks to American seniors. The question was prompted by a statement by President Obama that he could not guarantee that Social Security checks would be mailed August 3, 2011, if Congress fails to increase the debt limit. Yesterday, Congressman Huelskamp issued a statement noting that it is irresponsible for the President to use seniors on Social Security as pawns to leverage his point in the debt limit negotiations.
Mr. Goss told Congressman Huelskamp: “The responsibility of the Social Security Administration per se, my boss, Commissioner Astrue, is to in fact determine how much in the way of benefit payments people are supposed to receive. We send that information actually over to the Department of the Treasury. They are the ones who actually send out the payments, whether it’s electronic funds, transfers, or check.”
In other words, whether or not the checks go out is up to Obama. Meaning his comments about the checks wasn’t a warning, it was a threat.