GOP: We can easily avoid default Thursday by not paying Social Security checks

I’ve been trying to figure out why so many of the Tea Partyers who now run the Republican party are so convinced that there won’t be dire consequences to not raising the debt ceiling, and it finally hit me.

Conservatives think that, come Thursday, we can service the debt by “simply” not paying any more Social Security checks.


This dovetails nicely, or mean-ly, with last night’s admission by House Tea Party leader, GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas, that the Tea Party won’t stop the default unless Democrats agree to cut Medicare.  Democrats have argued for a while that the Republican party has had a thing for killing seniors, and now we know it’s true.

Conservative thinker George Will yesterday walked Fox News through how “easily” we can pay our debt by simply cutting all other spending.

Note that Will’s intent, and the intent of the conservative site that posted the dialogue, is to prove how “silly” it is that anyone is talking about an imminent default. It’s easy to avoid default, they argue – just stop issuing Social Security checks to seniors:

GEORGE WILL: Last time we faced cataclysm over this was when, what, Standard and Poor’s it was lowered our credit rating. It was a disaster. No, the cost of borrowing actually went down 40 percent. I don’t think the markets are as irrational as some of the people on Wall Street say. I repeat what I have said here before: default is a choice, a choice in the sense that we have 10 times more revenue coming in than is needed to service our debt. We can continue to service our debt by not paying certain other vendors and certain other programs.

House GOP Tea Party leader Tim Huelskamp of Kansas says the Tea Party will force the nation to default unless we cut Medicare.

House GOP Tea Party leader Tim Huelskamp of Kansas says the Tea Party will force the nation to default unless we cut Medicare.

We will only default if it is a choice, and, furthermore, the 14th amendment empowering the president not at all but the Congress entirely says it is a constitutional requirement to pay first, under the full faith and credit of the United States, our bonded debt.

BRET BAIER, HOST: So then why all of the, well, what has been said about these dates? The fact that they could miss payments and the fact that the world economy, the IMF, the head of the IMF is weighing in. Why are all these people weighing in the coming days, in the past few days about all of this?

WILL: To create a stampede in the direction they favor. But I still, the arithmetic is there. Juan, I mean, what do you do with 10 times the revenue?

JUAN WILLIAMS: If you got Social Security, if you’re a veteran receiving American benefits, I don’t think people prioritizing and saying, “Oh, we’re going to take care of the borrowers first, we’re going to take care of China at first, but grandma, just wait a second. We’ll get to you.”

BAIER: Well, that’s it. That’s the politics. I mean, if the president decided that Social Security checks were going to be delayed, if the president made that decision.

WILLIAMS: No, but somebody has to make a decision. As George was saying, you can prioritize, you can make decisions about where money goes, but someone gets hurt. There’s going to have to be a moment where you say, “You know, I’m sorry this happened.”

WILL: But you can’t call everybody’s pain “default.”

See how easy it is? We have ten times as much money coming in as is necessary to service our debt. All we have to do is stop paying “certain other programs” and “certain other vendors.”  That’s code for “granny.” Now sure, Will admits, that this might cause some “pain,” cutting off 90% of the income to one third of America’s seniors.  But hey, no pain no gain.

Here’s Nobel economist Paul Krugman explaining how important Social Security is to seniors:

According to the data in this Social Security Administration table, 66 percent — 66 percent — of Social Security beneficiaries 65 and older derive more than half their income from the program. A third of beneficiaries derive 90 percent or more of their income from the program.

Now who’s in favor of death panels?

Oh, now sure, a lot of that “extra” money also goes for “certain other programs” like Medicare and the US military. But hey, that’s not the Republican party’s problem.  Their only concern is the “liberal” media “erroneously” claiming that we’re going to default on our debt.

And according to the GOP, America has ten times the money it needs to pay its debt.

All it has to do is kill off its citizens.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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