Are they bluffing about the delayed Social Security Checks?

Some of my older relatives are worried about all the threats of not issuing August Social Security checks. I’ve tried reassuring them that it’s all a bluff.

There’s no way that they want that kind of shit storm. :smiley: I don’t think they want several million pissed off citizens storming Washington DC. :dubious: Even if millions of people didn’t travel to Washington, the image of older people and the disabled unable to pay rent or purchase food & medicine would be political suicide for both parties.

Maybe I’m wrong about this. These days I wouldn’t put anything past the numb nuts in Washington. What do you think? Is grandma going to be eating dog food and living in a cardboard box in August? Would they dare disenfranchise tens of millions of citizens?

There should still be money in the Social Security “accounts”. ('member the news how SS will go in the red 15 years from now? That means it’s not in the red yet.)

The only thing I can think that might get affected is if there was a temporary leave of absence (called a “Government shutdown”) of the goverment employees who actually print and mail the checks, because the money to pay those employees is not available yet.

So the Social Security money is there, but like a bank holiday or two, it might be delayed in getting out the door. But probably not. Neither side wants to anger the public that way.

I get the sense that the public at large is tired of the bickering in D.C.

Yes…and no.

There is plenty of money coming in daily from taxes alone in order to pay Social Security checks. Secondly, Social Security has a massive surplus stored over the years, there is over 4 trillion dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund.
There is plenty of money in the Social Security Trust fund for us to be able to write out checks until at least the year 2037.

On the other hand, the Democrats control the executive, the Democrats control the Senate, the Democrats control the Treasury, so obama could refuse to send out the Social Security checks if it so humors him to do so.

There is not much obama could not do, obama is impeachable/unconvictable with a Democrat Senate. obama could hold up a 7-11 and get away with it and not get impeached…AND put out of office.

Is anybody under 55 really counting on social security to be there when they retire? I know I’m not.

Neither were your parents or grandparents. I’m only 40, but as a nation we’ve been having this conversation for as long as I can remember.

I suppose it’s possible that the checks will be delayed. It’s also possible that pigs will fly out of this thread fleeing the stench of post #3.

You’re right. Neither my parents or my grandparents needed or counted on the social security payments they recieved. Most of it was used for vacations or piled up in a bank account.

Perhaps if they don’t need it, they’d be willing to give it back? National crisis and all.

Seriously, are you looking for a cookie here?

:rolleyes:It will be there if the people under 55 have the sense to vote for people who are willing to do what it takes to ensure it is there.

Unfortunately, the parroting of talking points like this is generally a sign that someone has been duped into voting for the people who are committed to making sure that it is not there (so that the money can be used for important things, like lowering taxes on the wealthy).
And to wrench the thread back on topic, actually I think the threat is fairly serious. Actually, I kind of hope it happens. The people who vote for Tea Partiers need to learn something about what the policies they think they support really mean.

The money is in the form of treasury bonds, though. The debt limit also applies to intragovernmental debt, including those bonds.

My, potentially flawed understanding, is that the US government has hit the debt ceiling already and cannot borrow anymore money by issuing further bonds. However, it has plenty of reserves sacked away that it can use, as well as inflowing taxes.

The August 2 date is the time at which the government can’t keep juggling around its current stacks of cash (not literally cash, but that isn’t the point) and replacing them with intergovernmental IOUs for the future. By then the cash in the social security fund (and all others) will have gone to paying soldiers, interest on the debt, funding grants, keeping national parks open, keeping alien bodies in cold storage, and all that jazz. If the debt ceiling is raised, more treasury bonds can be sold to finance continue governmental operations and pay back all those in office IOUs.

If not, well, the government can’t pay anybody past what is coming in in taxes, and sending social security checks is probably a lower priority than keeping NBE-1 in cryostasis at Hoover Dam or buying electricity to keep the lights on at nuclear silos.

The people that depend upon their social security checks month to month were never and aren’t about to change to voting with tea partiers. More likely those retirees that are voting along tea party lines don’t really count on their social security checks anyway. So your point is really kind of invalid.

The government will not shut down and retirees will still get their checks.

One of my cousins is in his late thirties and disabled. She’s been in a nursing home for years. Her Social Security Disability check goes directly to the nursing home. She gets a few bucks a month for cokes and candy. Otherwise the nursing home gets the whole check. It’s not a whole lot of money at all.

I’d hope a short delay wouldn’t impact people like my cousin. I don’t think the nursing homes wouldn’t eject patients immediately.

Most of my older relatives depend on Social Security. It isn’t enough to cover all expenses. They slowly dip into their savings bit by bit every year. One of my aunts has a small pension from her job and draws Social Security. But, she’d be in a tough spot without that Social Security check to supplement her income.

The US government is collecting money from all of our paychecks for SS purposes. (I don’t know if corporations send in the money annually, quarterly, or monthly.)

The money’s there, no matter how often contributions are made into the system. (According to the second sentence.)

Normally monthly.

Thanks. I didn’t know that. (Not snark)

Taxes collected as SS taxes are enough to pay all the current expenses of SS. Additional revenue from SS is legally obligated to be invested in Treasury bills(that is government debt, the stuff we’re not legally allowed to issue right now). The proceeds from sale of t-bills goes into the government general fund, which is used for pretty much everything. The SS trust fund is made up of T-Bills, some of which may be defaulted on if the government can’t issue new debt to pay them when they mature.

Legally there is a priority to what gets resources in what order and TBills come before SS checks. So if there is 55 billion to go around and 85 billion needing payment, then however many billion are represented by mature TBills will be paid first, and other obligations paid later.


I have a very small company (3 employees) that does payroll weekly (about $3k) and we pay our federal withholdings weekly. Should be semi-weekly but Quickbooks can’t understand my weekly paychecks.

We pay about $900/week to SS/Medicare/income tax. And that’s just 3 of us. Imagine what Wal-Mart is paying.

Yes and no. The debt ceiling was reached in May. The August 2nd deadline is the point where the juggling of accounts to keep things running is no longer possible. If the government truly has reserves sacked away, the August 2nd deadline would be a lie. It’s not a lie. There are no reserves sacked away.