It worked for Hank Paulson who showed up in Congress with a three page termsheet, delusions of grandeur, a scary story, and an easily frightened audience. Why should it not work for the president. As Reuters reports, "Barack Obama said in an interview on Tuesday that checks to recipients of the Social Security retirement program may not go out in early August if he and congressional leaders do not agree a debt deal. "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue," Obama said in an interview with CBS, according to a transcript on the network's web site. "Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it," Obama said." Is that so Mr. President? Please explain then how according to the most recent DTS the YTD (fiscal) amount paid out on Social Security is $469 billion, well below the amount collected from Federal Tax Deposits of $780 billion. As a comparison, this number is lower than the combination of Medicare and Medicaid ($638 billion YTD), and the combination of Defense and Education Payments ($480 billion). Indicatively, Federal salaries are a whopping $137.6 billion, or said otherwise, all of the SSN payments to date are just three times bigger than what the government pays its own employees. Perhaps a bigger issue is that the debt held by the public has increased by $720 billion YTD, a number which will soon grow to $1.5 trillion if the government does get debt hike it so desperately needs.
So please Mr. President, feel free to engage in your hollow rhetoric when addressing your political adversaries or staring at the teleprompter, but please don't pander to the general population. It didn't work for Hank Paulson, at least not the first time. We all know what happened with your all important stock market after that.