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View Diary: Obama channels Cheney (18 comments)

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  •  Why are Social Security checks hostage? (4+ / 0-)

    The social security trust fund has $2.4 Trillion dollars in it.  Why will the checks be late?  

    •  what goes out can't be chosen. no locked box. nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  pete - I think you are right (0+ / 0-)

      While the SocSec Trustees couldn't cash in any of their Treasury bills, they have cash flow independent of the Treasury they control and could pay benefits. The POTUS is giving the federal equivalent of "first we will cut the police and fire service". It's all a kabuki theater.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 04:47:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not? (0+ / 0-)

        To the extent the SS Trust Fund contains Treasury bonds, albeit "Special" ones, and SS needs to cash in some portion of them periodically to meet obligations, why would they have any less standing than your and my government bonds under the 14th Amendment provision, which in my understanding gives government credit debt first dibs on revenue?

        •  valion - that would make sense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal

          However, some are arguing that a Nixon era court case makes it impossible for the POTUS to pick and choose what bills to pay and there is no legal order of preference. I think it is a very interesting legal issue and I don't have the expertise to opine on it. Apparently Nixon would not spend money on an approved program and Congress went to court to ask the question of  how much discretion does the President have?. Now that's a very different set of facts than the current situation so I don't know that it would definitely impact President Obama. I am sure that some midnight oil is being burned at the White House Counsel's office.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 05:37:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks. But I'm having a problem with this whole (0+ / 0-)

            concept of "bills to pay".

            Hypothetical: I'm a janitor in the Pentagon. A government employee. My wage is $10 @ 40 hr/week = $400/wk (leaving nuances aside).

            If Congress decides to not raise the debt ceiling and not reduce spending by 3/31/2013, my supervisor comes and says we are reducing your hours to 30hr/wk to meet budgetary limits.

            All I'm suggesting is that that the $100 difference is not a "bill to pay" in any meaningful sense other than political.

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