Obama’s Threat to Withhold Social Security Checks is Completely Baseless

Early last week, President Obama stated that he could not guarantee that Social Security would be able to send out $20 billion in Social Security benefits if Congress did not come to a balanced budget resolution or raise the debt limit.


While sending American seniors into a tizzy, Obama’s statement misrepresents the accounting practices of the Social Security Administration (SSA), as NCPA Senior Fellow Thomas Saving explained in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Although bonds in the Social Security trust fund are nothing more than IOUs that the government writes to itself, they nonetheless count toward the debt ceiling.

As a result, the Social Security checks the president threatened to not send to America’s seniors will not push spending closer to the debt limit. “Instead,” says Saving, “by redeeming bonds in the Social Security Trust Fund the federal government can borrow the funds and pay benefits without any affect at all on the debt ceiling.”

See David Friedman on this issue here.

Comments (6)

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  1. Lynn says:

    This is amazing. You mean the president looked right at the camera and lied?

  2. Vicki says:


  3. Devon Herrick says:

    I doubt if the president knows exactly how the Social Security Trust Fund works. But I would assume his advisors would verify his facts if he planned to use an anecdote in a speech referencing Social Security checks not going out. I wonder if they just decided the anecdote was so good they could not resist using it. They probably knew the fact checkers would chide them. But some seniors would be fooled even if everyone else wasn’t.

  4. Candace says:

    Does he want to tap into the trust fund for other uses?

  5. Virginia says:

    Never underestimate the ability of American seniors to panic at the slightest mention of disruption in their benefits.

  6. B Lowe says:

    Take all their paychecks and see how they like it!! They make three digit incomes! Let them give up some of their money!!!! Makes racial things worse. He thinks its murders and robberies now. Take away our money and watch what happens!! Impeachment indeed!! I’ll vote for it!!!!!!