The debt negotiations in Washington have reached a new low.
President Obama has played the Social Security card. In an interview with CBS, the President said he "cannot guarantee" that Social Security checks would go out if a deal is not made. "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," the President said.
It's an interview that's received a lot of attention - and, no doubt, generated a lot of concern among millions of Americans who depend on that income to make ends meet.
And, sadly, that's exactly what the President is attempting to do. Generate fear. Scare the American people.
Rep. Allen West (R-FL) pulled no punches in accurately identifying this tactic: "That's fear mongering that's not leadership, that's sad and pathetic," Rep. West said.
The President is not addressing the facts. Even if a deal is not reached by August 2nd, there's plenty of cash on hand to continue Social Security payments and other entitlement programs, as well as military funding and other necessary expenditures.
In published news reports detailing the amount of cash on hand at the U.S. Treasury, the ongoing flow of federal tax revenue since the Treasury declared that it had hit the debt limit on May 16 has been more than sufficient to cover the combined costs of federal spending on interest payments, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Veterans Affairs department and federal workers wages and insurance benefits (including wages and insurance benefits for military personnel).
And, here's a chart from Goldman Sachs that clearly shows there's enough cumulative money coming to pay interest, Social Security, Medicare and defense.
Mr. President, stop the scare tactics. Get down to business. Put together a deal that cuts spending, eliminates tax hikes, and puts this country on sound financial footing. Most Americans understand that we can no longer continue to spend beyond our means and thousands already have signed on to our Petition to Stop Spending.
It's what Americans want, it's what Americans deserve.