This petition closed about 1 year ago
The American people have worked hard for these benefits that are now at risk due to our current debt limit. It should not be an acceptable option for Social Security and Veterans Benefits to be paid late. Those who depend on these benefits as their only source of income can not afford to be paid late. Allowing this to happen will only cause an already suffering economy to decline more. I urge those who agree to sign this petition in hopes to keep our government from threatening our Social Security & Veterans Benefits. Below is an article that discusses this issue, and clearly brings about the reality of there being other ways to "spread the pain".
Obama's hint that Social Security payments would be delayed masks the real options (Calvin Woodward, AP)
The Associated Press By The Associated Press
on January 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM, updated January 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM
Highlighting a threat to the most popular products of the government is a time-honored Washington tactic.
By Calvin Woodward,
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — No one doubts dire things will happen, and fast, if the government runs out of borrowing authority in coming weeks. But late Social Security checks need not be among them.
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.
Few may care, or even know, if spending is slashed on the multitudes of private contractors who do work for the government, one likely consequence if the government runs out of borrowing room. But Obama knows lawmakers will get an earful from constituents if Social Security checks are late in coming.
Under that circumstance, the government would have paid out day to day only what came in as revenue, leaving everyone short and racking up the IOUs at an alarming rate.
This delayed payment regime, said Inspector General Eric M. Thorson, was considered "the least harmful option available to the country at the time, of these very bad options." But the government didn't settle on a plan and, as it turned out, didn't have to.
What's close to certain — now as then — is that the government would pull out all the stops to ensure debt payments continue. That's because its credit rating, which shapes the cost of borrowing, is on the line, as is America's wider reputation.
At his White House news conference Monday, Obama laid out a variety of potential consequences if no deal is reached in time."We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners," he said. "Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear materials wouldn't get their paychecks." And more that might or might not occur.
But benefits for retirees and veterans, as he told it, were sure to lag "if congressional Republicans refuse to pay America's bills on time."
If that happens, though, it will be partly his call too.