KLTV investigates: Social Security scare

KLTV investigates: Social Security scare

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's a statement that is ratcheting up fear over the debt ceiling debate.

President Obama announced Tuesday that if no deal is struck on the debt ceiling by August 2nd, there could be an immediate impact on people who depend on government money, like social security.

"I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue," is the statement made by President Obama that's sending shockwaves across America.

Republican leaders quickly dismissed the President's claim as a scare tactic, but we want to know who is telling the truth on this.

KLTV 7'S Layron Livingston set out to get reaction from Washington, East Texas, and the folks in charge of those checks.

Employees of the Tyler Social Administration office have already been told not to say anything.

One senior staffer did say the funding is there. He says your Social Security taxes have been collected---that there is money in the Social Security trust.

But, it's the Treasury Department that issues those checks each month.

Our local administrator says whether the Treasury Department will be able to do that after August 2nd, is a political question.

He says the local office is referring clients to their representatives in Washington. So, that's who we turned to.

"We can go for months without congress doing anything and seniors will get their social security checks every month, unless the President and Timothy Geithner decide to scare them even more and not send the checks out," Congressman Louie Gohmert expressed.

Gohmert called the President's statement "fear-mongering." He also called it "Politicking at senior citizen's expense."

Joanna Reagan is the former President of Texas Democratic Women. She says the President is, "looking at the broader picture and being the adult in the room, who says, we can't just do it by cuts alone. We have to have some more revenue coming in."

Reagan does agree with Gohmert, though, on one thing---that doing nothing is not an option.

Ultimately leaving the issue where we picked it up...in the hands of compromise.

Our phone calls and emails to the Treasury Department were not returned.

We also asked Congressman Gohmert if he'd be willing to give up his own Congressional salary until lawmakers and the president reach an agreement.

You can see what he has to say by watching the entire RAW interview.

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