President Barack Obama said Thursday that while it's bad members of
Congress have allowed a government shutdown, it would be worse if they
failed to increase the government's borrowing authority later this
First and foremost, he said, retirement and disability benefits for millions of Americans would be at risk.
"In a government shutdown, Social Security checks still go out on
time," Obama said. "In an economic shutdown, if we don't raise the debt
ceiling, they don't go out on time."
More than 57 million Americans receive monthly benefits from the Social Security Administration. The average monthly check for retirees totaled $1,224 in September.
The president's remarks followed a Treasury Department report
detailing catastrophic consequences for Congress failing to allow the
government to continue borrowing money to cover expenses. Not raising
the so-called "debt ceiling" by Oct. 17 could trigger "a financial
crisis and recession that could echo the events of 2008 or worse," the