“I cannot guarantee that those [Social Security] checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue. There may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”
Well, if they don’t, it’ll be because Tyrannus Obamus decided not to send them. As Tina Korbe posts at Hot Air,
[…] Stephen Goss, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, couldn’t help but smile as [Rep. Tim] Huelskamp asked for his help getting to the bottom of why Social Security checks might not go out Aug. 3, when the nation clearly has enough money — even under a debt limit budget — to cover the interest on its debt, Social Security and more (Huelskamp even had the chart to prove it!).
Goss confirmed the decision to send out Social Security checks (or not) would, indeed, be a Treasury Department (a.k.a. the administration’s) decision.
“The responsibility of the Social Security Administration per se, my boss, Commissioner Astrue, is to in fact determine how much in the way of benefit payments people are supposed to receive,” Goss said. “We send that information actually over to the Department of the Treasury. They are the ones who actually send out the payments, whether it’s electronic funds, transfers, or check.”
At that point, Huelskamp called out — in an admirably wry, polite way (a question is far friendlier than an accusation!) — what everybody in that hearing room already knew:
“I guess we’ll have to ask the Department of the Treasury and we’re having difficulty getting answers from them, but I see under no circumstances unless it was a political decision that the administration would refuse or withhold Social Security checks because there are sufficient receipts,” Huelskamp says in the video. “Can I ask you to ask the Treasury Department — because the administration just really doesn’t want to provide information and when you stand on the evening news and make a statement that 40-some million Americans are going to not receive their checks — would you ask the administration are they planning on withholding those checks and is there a reason they wouldn’t make those payments on Aug. 3?”
Essentially, Barack Obama plans to hold as hostages to his socialist philosophy people who all their working lives paid faithfully (if forcibly) into the Social Security system—the President of the United States is a terrorist.
Negotiating with a hostage taker (HT) is a tricky business, but there are a few hard and fast rules to which successful negotiators normally adhere (Republicans take note):
- While face-to-face contact between the negotiator and the HT is categorically discouraged because of the potential danger involved, any safe means of communication should be established as soon as possible.
*NEVER play golf with him or accept invitations to the Oval Office for dainties and small talk
- Remember that hostages represent power and control to the hostage taker, so try not to do anything that will remind him of this fact.
*Do NOT remind him that his Approval Rating Index is -15)
- The emphasis should always be on what the HT can still do; that whatever he has done so far, the situation is still salvageable.
- Compliment the HT for any positive actions he’s taken so far. If the HT does something constructive, reinforce it. The aim here is to establish a pattern of constructive actions that allow the HT to reap repeated positive reinforcement, leading ultimately to his surrender with no further injuries to anyone.
*Hmm. Tough one. He hasn’t done anything constructive in 2 1/2 years.
- One of the defining characteristics of most hostage crises is the presence of some form of demand, which may range from the immediately practical to the more grandiose to the bizarre or psychotic (freedom from conspiratorial persecution; emancipation of downtrodden classes).
- The standard operating procedure in hostage negotiations is to make the HT work for everything he gets by extracting a concession in return.
- A common feature of HT demands is that they often come with a deadline: “I want that car here by 12 noon, or someone’s going to die.” To begin with, although deadline demands are relatively common, very few deaths have actually occurred as the direct result of a deadline not being met, especially in more common robbery or family dispute hostage crises (political hostage-taking may present unique challenges).
*”‘Eric, don’t call my bluff,’ Obama said to Rep. Cantor. ‘I’m going to take this to the American people.'” Senate Democrats are now seriously considering giving up on these torturous debt ceiling talks and just declaring the debt limit unconstitutional.
- When dealing with the HT, avoid the use of words like “surrender,” “give up,” or other terms that connote weakness and loss of face. Use whatever euphemisms seem appropriate: “coming out” is a preferred term because it implies a proactive decision by the subject himself to resolve the crisis. To begin the discussion of coming out, emphasize to the HT what he has to gain by this action at the present time. Be realistic but optimistic. Minimize any damage done so far. Emphasize what bad things have not happened and the subject’s role in preventing further harm.
In summary, a skilled team of negotiators is crucial in successfully resolving a hostage crisis. And that is precisely why I worry.
Related stories: Debt Ceiling Debate–It’s High Stakes Poker (Conservatives On Fire)
Debt Ceiling Debacle. Crying Wolf & Throwing Responsibility to the Wolves (Freedom By The Way)
Barack Wants To Add $1 Trillion In Taxes (Puma by Design)
Obama and the Democrats: Liars and Fear Mongers (Texas Fred)