Republicans gambling with Americans’ Social Security benefits by refusing to raise debt limits

If Congress does not raise the debt limit soon, the United States will be in a financial crisis, reports The Hill. The population that will be heavily affected is the Social Security beneficiaries.

An Opinion On The Problem

In the opinion of Max Richtman for The Hill, he said that many retirees, people with disabilities, and their families depend on Social Security benefits to make ends meet. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said they would use the country’s cash reserves on October 18 if Congress fails to raise the debt limit. Social Security is a self-funded program with $2.9 trillion in federally-held securities, but the Treasury Department must have on-hand cash to pay the benefits when they are due.

Just for October, the Treasury has to make $90 billion for Social Security benefits, and they do not have enough incoming revenue to cover that. The Democrats in Congress are willing to raise the debt ceiling, but the Republicans refuse to exercise their fiduciary duty over this, as stated in the opinion of Richtman.

Richtman continues to opine that with the refusal of the Republicans, they want to “force Democracts to go it alone and raise the debt ceiling on their own so that Republicans can use it against them in the 2022 election cycle.” Richtman added that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell uses the debt ceiling as a bludgeon against President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better plan. Richtman cited the Associated Press that reported that the Republicans are saying Biden’s proposal is unnecessary and cannot be afforded given the accumulated federal debt exceeding $28 trillion.

Richtman further said, “Not only should Republicans join Democrats in their duty to raise the debt limit; this legislation should be free of attempts to cut Social Security and Medicare or discretionary programs important to seniors. Increasing the debt limit should be done quickly, cleanly and without putting the benefits of America’s seniors in jeopardy.”

What The Treasury Secretary Says

During the House Financial Services Committee hearing, Yellen also noted, “It would be catastrophic for the economy and for individual families.” In an op-ed with the Wall Street Journal, Yellen also said, “Nearly 50 million seniors could stop receiving Social Security payments or receive them delayed.  Our troops would not know when they would get their next paycheck. We have 30 million families who rely on the monthly child tax credits, and they would not receive that relief, at least not on time.”