Rep. Barletta: Using benefit checks, paychecks as a political weapon is wrong

Jul 12, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON– U.S. Representative Lou Barletta, PA-11, on Tuesday admonished President Obama for using scare tactics on American senior citizens, military families, veterans, and those who rely on checks from the federal government in order to push the administration’s agenda for tax increases.

President Obama told a national television reporter that he cannot guarantee that Social Security checks will go out as planned next month if Democrats and Republicans fail to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2. Social Security checks are set to be sent on Aug. 3.

The president went further, saying that the sending of paychecks for soldiers, benefit checks for veterans, and benefit checks for people on disability cannot be guaranteed, either.

“The president is the one who decides what gets paid and what does not if revenues are limited. He is the one choosing to withhold the checks from senior citizens, soldiers and their families, veterans, and all those who rely on a government benefit check. If these folks don’t get paid, it’s the president’s fault,” Rep. Barletta said. “The president can choose to keep making those payments, even if the debt ceiling is reached, because the federal government raises about $185 billion in tax revenue every month.

“Once again, the president is trying to scare senior citizens, our brave soldiers and their families, our veterans, and those on disability by claiming that their hard-earned benefits would not be paid if the national debt limit isn’t raised. This isn’t leadership. This is fear-mongering,” Rep. Barletta added.

“The president now continues to insist on raising taxes during a recession – something he said he was against in August 2009. The nation’s debt problem doesn’t exist because people are taxed too little. The problem exists because Washington spends too much,” Rep. Barletta said. “Any increase in the debt limit must be tied to serious and substantial spending cuts in the trillions of dollars. Raising taxes is not an option I would consider.”