Social Security Could Be Wrecked by Debt Ceiling

About 66 million Americans rely on Social Security. For some unknown number is their only source of income. If the debt ceiling problem is not solved, the finances of tens of millions of people will be ruined. Social Security payments will be delayed without an agreement between the president and congressional Republicans. (The national debt under each president in the past century.)

The loss of income for many Social Security recipients represents one of the largest catastrophes for people who cannot afford shelter, food or clothing without these payments. Even if, for a short time, they are driven into poverty, it almost certainly will take several delayed payments to catch up on delinquent bills. The nation could be awash with people who do not have a cent to live on.

The Social Security payment problem has one other terrible wrinkle: seniors who do not have money cease being consumers. Businesses that count on sales from these Americans will lose billions of dollars nationwide. The blast zone of delayed payments is, therefore, enormous. Imagine if thousands of companies lost their profits, even if only for a matter of days.

Unfortunately, America runs on a population in which 11% of people live in poverty. What it would mean if that figure moves to 15% or greater is unimaginable. People who do not have Social Security will be the equivalent of those who are unemployed. As a side matter, the payments to some of those out of jobs could also cause a loss of government aid.

Someone somewhere has modeled the results of the effects of a lack of payments. They may be wise to keep the results to themselves. Whatever loss happens to the economy without a debt ceiling compromise, the financial world of many (particularly those over 65) will be horror without precedent.

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