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Author Topic: Social Security & Disability Checks: Bargaining Chips in the Debt Ceiling Fight  (Read 1646 times)
AnnieB
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« on: January 14, 2013, 03:01:11 PM »

Obama is threatening delays in Social Security/Disability checks if the federal debt limit is not raised. This could impact anyone on SS or SSDI as soon as February or March this year.

http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/national_world&id=8953973



Edited: Moved to News Articles (published current events go here) - okarol/admin
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 03:23:12 PM by okarol » Logged
frankswife
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 06:31:09 PM »

OMFG. Pardon my language. Frank is expecting his first SSDI check in March. This is beyond outrageous. Why don't they delay payments to deadbeat welfare recipients instead of veterans and the disabled.
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CebuShan
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 08:11:48 PM »

Why does congress get to give themselves raises while the rest of us have to suffer?   :Kit n Stik;
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 02:16:05 PM »

This is the standard political line. Old people and serving military won't get checks. It's all political bargaining but I don't expect them to do it. Old people vote.
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 03:24:40 PM »

Note: Copying and pasting article here as links go dead. - okarol/admin

Debt ceiling fight threatens Social Security checks, President Obama says
Monday, January 14, 2013

President Barack Obama said Monday, January 14, 2013, that Congress' failure to raise the government's borrowing authority would delay payments of benefits to veterans and Social Security recipients.
 
January 14, 2013 (WASHINGTON) -- Declaring "we are not a deadbeat nation," President Obama warned on Monday that Social Security checks and veterans' benefits will be delayed if congressional Republicans fail to increase the government's borrowing authority in a looming showdown over the nation's debt and spending.

Obama said he was willing to negotiate deficit reduction with GOP leaders but insisted that those talks be separate from decisions to raise the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling and avert a possible first-ever national default.

"They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy," Obama said in a news conference one week before he is sworn in for a second term. "What I will not do is to have that negotiation with a gun at the head of the American people."

Bitter brinkmanship between the White House and congressional Republicans over spending has become a defining event over the past four years, testing both Obama's leverage and his resolve at different moments of his presidency. House Speaker John Boehner brushed off Obama's insistence on separating the debt ceiling from negotiations over spending cuts.

"The American people do not support raising the debt ceiling without reducing government spending at the same time," Boehner said. "The consequences of failing to increase the debt ceiling are real, but so, too, are the consequences of allowing our spending problem to go unresolved.

Underscoring the urgency, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a letter to Boehner on Monday that the government will exhaust its borrowing limit as soon as mid-February, earlier than expected. The Treasury has been using bookkeeping maneuvers to keep from surpassing the debt ceiling, but Geithner said those measures will be exhausted by mid-February to early March.

In addition to noting possible effects on older Americans and veterans, Obama recited a litany of possible consequences if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling, including sending the economy back into recession.

"We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners," he said. "Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear materials wouldn't get their paychecks. Investors around the world will ask if the United States of America is in fact a safe bet. Markets could go haywire, interest rates would spike for anybody who borrows money. Every homeowner with a mortgage, every student with a college loan, every small business owner who wants to grow and hire."

At this moment, the government faces three looming deadlines: The debt limit must be raised soon to meet spending obligations and prevent a first-ever default, a series of across-the-board spending cuts is to kick in on March 1, and funding for most government programs will run out on March 27.

After Obama won tax rate increases for wealthier Americans during budget negotiations last month, Republicans became doubly determined to win spending cuts. They see the confluence of events ahead of April 1 as their best opportunity.

Just weeks from hitting the first of the deadlines, the two sides are neither on the same page nor pursuing a common approach. In 2011, Obama and Boehner at least started off agreeing on the premise that the increase in the debt limit be matched dollar-for-dollar with deficit cuts, spread out over a decade. Obama ultimately won a $2.1 trillion debt increase, but only after agreeing to an equal amount of spending cuts over 10 years.

This time, White House officials believe the president has a stronger hand, having won re-election and, at least partially, the tax increases on which he had campaigned.

Eager to avoid blame for a default or for missed payments to seniors, some Republicans are getting ready to insist on certain payment priorities by the Obama administration if the debt ceiling is not raised in a timely manner.

Even without additional borrowing authority, the government would continue to receive tax revenue, but hardly enough to keep up with the bills.

Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., says he will introduce legislation next week that would require the government to pay interest on the debt as well as Social Security benefits and wages for active duty members of the military if the borrowing limit is not raised.

"Because the people who want to keep spending as usual and don't want to negotiate some spending reductions are out there propagating this myth that somehow failure to raise the debt ceiling would result in a default, I felt like it's necessary to demonstrate and, in fact I prefer to codify, the alternative," Toomey said in an interview.

Congressional Democrats have recently urged the president to lift the debt limit unilaterally. He said - as he has before - that he won't do it, that Congress has voted for the spending that resulted in federal borrowing, and should now agree to pay the bill.

"There are no magic tricks here," Obama said Monday. "There are no loopholes. There are no, you know, easy outs."

Obama noted that combined with other legislation he signed earlier in his term, he and Congress have reduced deficits by about $2.5 trillion over a decade, short of the $4 trillion he said is necessary to get them down to a manageable size.

He insisted that in negotiating deficit reductions, both spending limits and tax revenue increases need to be on the table. Aides have said that closing loopholes and placing limits on deductions could generate about $600 billion in new revenue. He added that he is "open to making modest adjustments to programs like Medicare to protect them for future generations."

One option for Boehner is to package a debt limit increase together with a full catalog of spending cuts and try to pass it through the House. That could prove enormously challenging since he would have to accomplish the feat exclusively with GOP votes - and some conservative hard-liners simply refuse to approve any debt increase.

Boehner has made it clear that he's eager to avoid a first-ever default on U.S. obligations - even if some Republicans aren't afraid of the idea.

In one sign of flexibility, a Boehner spokesman says that though there is the so-called Boehner Rule requiring $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in increased authority to issue government debt, the speaker is willing to apply it more leniently to include savings from "reforms" to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security that accrue over the long term.

Obama has his doubters, who note that he has compromised before in the face of last-minute deadlines.

Asked during the news conference how steadfast he was, Obama replied: "We've got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again. Now is as good a time as any, at the start of my second term. Because if we continue down this path, then there's really no stopping the principle."

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2013, 04:48:43 PM »

We CAN'T afford everything.  How much is this Inaugural Ball going to cost us tax payers. 

I'd actually have some respect for him if he said "we did that 4 years ago and we can't afford another one."
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MooseMom
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 05:05:34 PM »

We CAN'T afford everything.  How much is this Inaugural Ball going to cost us tax payers. 

I'd actually have some respect for him if he said "we did that 4 years ago and we can't afford another one."

The Inaugural Ball(s) (there's actually more than one officially sanctioned balls) are paid for by private fundraising and ticket sales.  Haven't you heard about the Ticketmaster fiasco?  What the taxpayer DOES pay for is the official swearing-in ceremony and security for the President and the First Lady as they travel from ball to ball.  This has always been the case.  Why is this an issue now?

We are NOT broke, no where near it.  There is PLENTY of money in this country.  Vast amounts of money are spent on such things as smart phones, electronic gizmos, cell phone contracts, video games, season tickets to football games (try to get a ticket to just one Bears' or Packers' game).  It's not that we don't have enough money, rather, it's that we don't have our priorities right.  We'd rather keep our money to pay for silly things than pool our money to pay for people getting dialysis or to pay for all of our children to get a good education.  And that is fair enough.  We as a society live with the choices we make.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 06:57:41 PM »

Try not to worry, because even if a default occurs, it would only be temporary and the government would cut a million things before they'd cut SS or disability payments.
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Her story ---> https://www.facebook.com/WantedKidneyDonor
Jenna is an artist, she loves music, is a fan of ComicCon, and has been writing stories since she was little.
Please watch her video: http://youtu.be/D9ZuVJ_s80Y
Living Donors Rock! http://www.livingdonorsonline.org -
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« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2013, 07:17:46 PM »

Obama is threatening delays in Social Security/Disability checks if the federal debt limit is not raised. This could impact anyone on SS or SSDI as soon as February or March this year.

Edited: Moved to News Articles (published current events go here) - okarol/admin

No President can make such a threat.  The President, whoever that may be, does not have the Constitutional authority to spend a single cent.  It is only CONGRESS that can authorize expenditures of any sort.  Mr. Obama is not making a threat, rather, he is outlining what could theoretically happen if the debt limit is not raised.

Keep in mind that raising the debt ceiling would only enable the government to PAY THE BILLS THAT CONGRESS HAS ALREADY RUN UP.  Raising the debt ceiliing DOES NOT MEAN MORE SPENDING THAT HAS NOT ALREADY BEEN AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESS.  People really do need to understand this.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 07:41:44 AM »

People also need to understand that we need to stop spending, and the dems and the president keep avoiding spending cuts.  That means forfeting the inaugural ball and not going on vacations all over the world and back and forth to Hawaii 5 times at Christmas.  It all adds up.  STOP SPENDING. Be an example Mr. Pres.   Beans and Rice and Rice and Beans.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 08:10:06 AM »

Rerun you are suggesting things that would have zero impact on the budget.  We all know where the money is wasted most but there are not any politicians willing to suggest that we cut the Defense budget.  We occupy far too many countries at an exorbitant price.  The military wastes more money than any "entitlement." 
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MooseMom
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 08:26:43 AM »

People also need to understand that we need to stop spending, and the dems and the president keep avoiding spending cuts.  That means forfeting the inaugural ball and not going on vacations all over the world and back and forth to Hawaii 5 times at Christmas.  It all adds up.  STOP SPENDING. Be an example Mr. Pres.   Beans and Rice and Rice and Beans.

Rerun, perhaps this will help you to put things in context.  I don't know why you keep banging on about the Inaugural Ball because you already know it is funded by private fundraising.  And can you imagine the screaming if Mr Obama had NOT returned to Washington from Hawaii during the Christmas break?  I'm sure you would have demanded that he set an example by forfeiting his holiday to return to work during such perilous fiscal cliff negotiations.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/06/22/news/economy/obama-spending/index.htm
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 08:36:55 AM »

Rerun you are suggesting things that would have zero impact on the budget.  We all know where the money is wasted most but there are not any politicians willing to suggest that we cut the Defense budget.  We occupy far too many countries at an exorbitant price.  The military wastes more money than any "entitlement."
Right on, Marc!

Obama is threatening delays in Social Security/Disability checks if the federal debt limit is not raised. This could impact anyone on SS or SSDI as soon as February or March this year.
Yes, this is not a threat! He is being very clear with them on the consequences of their actions (or inactions). He is telling them that he is not going to play their games anymore. In that article that was linked, John Boehner had the nerve to start a sentence with "The American people do not support...." Excuse me, but where does he get off speaking for the whole of the American people? He was not elected by a vote open to the whole nation - that would be Barack Obama. The only people he should feel entitled to speak for - represent if you will - are his constituents in.... hmmmm, have to go look it up..... here we are.... Ohio, 8th district (no idea).

As for 'deadbeats' on welfare, my that sounds judgmental. There are plenty of people who would call those on disability 'deadbeats' as well. I was under the impression that welfare is a state program, anyhow, so payments would depend on how any particular state in question is faring.
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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 01:10:47 PM »

Excuse me if that sounds judgemental, but there is a world of difference between someone on dialysis who cannot work and is receiving disability and someone who wont work and has child and after child to stay on the system. Are you kidding me, Cariad? Are you seriously comparing the two? Thats the money the government needs to go after. The food stamps and free Obama cell phones and free day care for parents who go nowhere and do nothing. My husband did 3 tours of duty with the army and now the VA is delaying even looking at his pension claim. Bitter? You're damn right.
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 02:09:05 PM »

Frankswife, you have every reason to be bitter, but it might help to refrain from relying on falsehoods that just inflame your mood.  For instance, here is the truth about "free Obama cell phones"...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

As far as SNAP (ie, food stamps), it IS a federally funded program, but the funds are distributed to each individual state, and the state allocates the money in their own state congressionally mandated fashion.  If you have evidence of fraud, please contact whichever department in your state is responsible.  I am sure they would really want to hear your evidence because your tax dollars shouldn't be wasted.

What reason has the VA given you and Frank for delaying looking at his pension claim?
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 03:48:19 PM »

Moosemom, thanks for your reply, and I apologize for sounding nasty. I reread my post and it wasn't exactly pleasant. Cariad, please accept my apology for my tone. That being said, although I appreciate your data moosemom, it doesn't exactly change my feelings. There are people collecting dozens of these phones and bragging about it. (Google obama phone lady). But I don't want to go too far afield on the original topic of this thread. We applied for a Veteran's pension for Frank back in August based on his 3 tours and serving in wartime. We've gotten 2 letters from the VA basically saying we don't have time to look into your claim yet, but we will someday, blah blah blah. They have not yet requested any information from Frank's doctors or anyone else. It's very disgusting to me. That's why I am angered that so much money is thrown at these other programs and we, who worked all our lives, and my husband voluntarily served his country, are struggling. But it is what it is and too bad for us.
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 09:09:24 PM »

I'm really sorry that you and Frank are in such a frustrating position.  You're right...it's not fair that a veteran who has risked his life many times over should be subjected to ANY delay in benefits, especially for such a vapid reason like, "Well, we can't be bothered at the moment."  How infuriating that must be!  Makes me mad just thinking about it.  Is there anything you can do?

 :cuddle;
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« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2013, 09:00:00 AM »

I'm not sure if there's anything we can do besides wait. I don't think you can get an attorney after them at this stage. I understand they have many claims now with our boys coming home and Frank is happy to step back for them for now. But they don't even have anyone assigned to it. GRRR!
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« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2013, 12:19:52 PM »

I'm not sure if there's anything we can do besides wait. I don't think you can get an attorney after them at this stage. I understand they have many claims now with our boys coming home and Frank is happy to step back for them for now. But they don't even have anyone assigned to it. GRRR!

You know, that's very generous of you and Frank.  Yes, there ARE many soldiers returning who also need and deserve the attention of the VA; it's so kind of you both to think of them.  Still, do you think it might be an idea to occasionally give the VA a call to remind them about Frank's claim?
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« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2013, 12:23:19 PM »

I'm not sure if there's anything we can do besides wait. I don't think you can get an attorney after them at this stage. I understand they have many claims now with our boys coming home and Frank is happy to step back for them for now. But they don't even have anyone assigned to it. GRRR!

First of all, my sincere appreciation to Frank for all he has done for our country, as well as for the sacrifices you and the family have had to make while he was away.  Life as a military spouse is not easy.

I believe there is something you can do now to get the paperwork moving on Frank's pension.  Contact your U.S. Congressional Representative's office and even one of your U.S. Senator's office.  They have aides dedicated to helping cut through the red tape on numerous constituent issues - most notably, veteran's affairs.  Please give it a try.  It can do no harm. ~ Noahvale   

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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2013, 08:44:28 PM »

Noahvale, that's an excellent idea!  Frankswife, do give noahvale's suggestion a try.  Your tax dollars are going to these people's salaries, so use them as the resources that you deserve!
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2013, 03:26:44 AM »

Frankswife, I agree with MM that you have every right to be angry and bitter. I've felt those emotions, too, and I would wager that you hate feeling that way every bit as much as I did. No worries on your tone, very considerate of you to come back and address it. I do want to expand on my original point by addressing this comment, but in case you don't feel like reading it, let me just say that I think you should take Noah's advice, and maybe while you're at it, tell your rep and senators how you would like them to address this fiscal cliff situation. This is not something to be toyed with, as I'm sure you remember even coming too close to the deadline without a decision last time led to an unprecedented credit downgrading for the US. I wish you all the luck in the world. :cuddle;

there is a world of difference between someone on dialysis who cannot work and is receiving disability and someone who wont work and has child and after child to stay on the system. Are you kidding me, Cariad? Are you seriously comparing the two?
No, I am not comparing the two. I am saying the exact opposite, that we should not let ourselves as a country be dragged into a state of affairs in which we are saying who deserves a minimum standard of living and who doesn't. I loathe comparing suffering - I have spoken out against that over and over again on this site, and I equally loathe comparing who is worthy of this benefit, this treatment, this respect and who isn't. Do any of us really want to turn the country's federal and state aid programs into a morality contest, into nationwide Life or Death committees? Who would be the arbiter of that? Who gets to decide which life has been lived the best, who has worked hardest, whose role in life is most meaningful?

I have no doubt there are cheats in welfare, just as there are with disability, veterans benefits, any program where you are offering something of value will bring out the cons. Turning on other people who collect benefits (and I strongly believe that the majority in all of these programs are perfectly valid claims) only distracts us from where we should be putting our energy - holding the leaders of the country accountable for making such a mess of this and worrying about their own preservation before they worry about the people that they are paid to represent. I think many in congress would breathe a sigh of relief if they saw blame being placed on welfare recipients and *not* people like them who trashed the economy in the first place and in some cases added hundreds of millions to their own bank accounts in the process.

Obama could fix this by executive decree, but his point is that this is congress' job and they should do the hard work *now* to address this. Why should he take sole responsibility for this when it will only lead to ludicrous outcry that he is abusing his position? Would you (Republicans of IHD) thank him for that? Obama pointedly mentioned his re-election in the article - yes, the American people put their trust in him again, and he is saying that the days of threatening to stop paying veterans and the disabled if Republicans don't get exactly what they want are over. If this system is not reformed now, we will just find ourselves back in this situation shortly, and more and more and more time and money will be wasted on this argument and everything else that needs to be addressed in the country will be ignored.

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« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2013, 06:37:52 AM »

Noah's suggestion was an excellent one and we shall try it. Thank you all.
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