Obumbles has played the nuclear option by threatening to withhold Social Security payments until Congress authorizes an increase to the US debt ceiling.
From ABC News:
The White House warned today that millions of Americans might not receive federal benefits checks if both sides can’t reach a deal to raise the nation’s debt limit by Aug. 2.This is a ploy to put great pressure on Republicans, forcing them to acquiesce to liberal demands to raise the debt ceiling by another $2.5 trillion. I also wonder if this includes payments made to the States for other entitlement giveaways. Many welfare programs are funded through an arrangement whereby the feds pay 50% and the State and County each ponies up 25% of the bill. This could really push some struggling States over the edge. In my County the local dollars thrown at entitlement programs is the biggest portion of the budget.
"We cannot guarantee – if there were a default – that any specific bill would be paid,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said, seeking to leverage public pressure on negotiators from both sides who are headed back to the White House this afternoon.
President Obama also raised the specter of short-changing recipients of federal benefits, telling CBS’s Scott Pelly in an interview that "there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
More than 80 million Americans who receive benefits payments from the government each month could be at risk, the Treasury Department said. Most of those checks cover Social Security recipients, veterans and civil service retirees.
On Aug. 3, the Treasury is scheduled to make a $23 billion payout of Social Security benefits, a spokeswoman said. Obama suggested today that payout could be at risk.
Nothing good will come of this. I fear the Republicans will fold.