I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised to see President Obama raise the spectre of next month’s Social Security checks not being mailed out if Republicans don’t agree to his plan to raise the debt ceiling. After all, Democratic politicians have for decades been scaring the bejesus out of seniors that Republicans are going take away their Social Security benefits. Of course, the reason Democrats have been deploying this tactic is because it usually works.
But as Joe Lawler points out it is quite possible that Social Security payments even if a deal isn’t reached by the August 2nd deadline. In which case, President Obama is engaging in the sort of demagoguery which could leave a bad taste in the mouths of voters. Frankly, Obama ought to have sidestepped Scott Pelley’s question and said something to the effect, “That would be speculative,” or “I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves, here.”
When Obama says he cannot guarantee that Social Security checks will be issued he’s effectively throwing his hands up and telling us, “Don’t expect a deal between my administration and the Republicans.” At a time when he should be reassuring us, Obama is creating an atmosphere of social insecurity.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, could you imagine the furor there would have been if George W. Bush had said he couldn’t guarantee Social Security checks would be mailed out to seniors? Democrats and their allies would have denounced Bush as a man declaring war on seniors faster than you could say WMDs.
But this is happening under Barack Obama’s watch. He is the leader of the free world and it’s about time he started acting like it.