Arguing for raising the federal debt ceiling, CNNMoney says today (1/16), “The standoff over the debt ceiling…threatens to stiff a lot of people owed money by the government. Among them: more than 55 million Social Security recipients.” The answer it gives to its own headline, “Debt ceiling: Is Social Security at risk?” is: Yes, Social Security is at risk.
CNN goes on, “Absent a debt ceiling increase, which would allow for more federal borrowing,” it “doesn’t necessarily mean that Social Security recipients…would get the short end of the stick. But they could.”
Could they? For how could the debt ceiling matter in the least when the celebrated Social Security Trust Fund is said to have enough money in it to cover Social Security payments for another couple of decades, or more?
If CNN is right that the government has to borrow to ensure current Social Security payments as a way to plead for raising the debt ceiling, then it has inadvertently shown that the Trust Fund is a fiction.
If you believe CNN, you can’t believe in the Trust Fund. If you believe in the Trust Fund, you can’t believe CNN.
You could logically believe neither, but you can’t believe both.