I’ve posted about this before, but the message needs to be repeated often.
Judge Michael McConnell of the Tenth District Court of Appeals, visiting professor at both Harvard and Stanford, and also Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution (how’s that for a pedigree?) explains why the Social Security checks will go out next month just like every other month:
The Social Security trust fund holds about $2.4 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds, which its trustees are legally entitled to redeem whenever Social Security is running a current account deficit. Thus, if we reach the debt ceiling (which I continue to think is a remote prospect, even if less remote than it seemed a week ago), this is what will happen. The Social Security trust fund will go to Treasury and cash in some of its securities, using the proceeds to send checks to recipients. Each dollar of debt that is redeemed will lower the outstanding public debt by a dollar. That enables the Treasury to borrow another dollar, without violating the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling is not a prohibition on borrowing new money; it is a prohibition on increasing the total level of public indebtedness. If Social Security cashes in some of its bonds, the Treasury can borrow that same amount of money from someone else.
The only way the Obama Administration can fail to send out SS checks is if they completely ignore the law… and though this gang of Chicago Pols has shown itself willing to do that from time to time, I really don’t think they’d dare do it on this issue.