Friday, August 05, 2011

Dear e-mail forwarder, you have been lied to

This e-mail, obviously, has been floating around since before last Monday, but some are still sending it around. A very sweet friend of ours forwarded it to us in the middle of the week.
Dear Mr. President,

I heard you say you will not guarantee SS checks if the debt ceiling isn't raised. Why is it the scare always has to do with SS, Medicare, & our Soldiers pay? Why not stop your pay, your staff, or Congress and the Senate to save more money for our country? Why use Seniors, Soldiers, & our Needy as examples? Take the money from those who take no risks and reap the benefits!! Instead of threatening to withhold Social Security, VA and disability payments of people who really need the money.... Lets hold the paychecks of all house & senate members, then see how fast they resolve the debt ceiling crisis !!!!!

If you agree re-post this & keep it going across the whole USA.

Thank you

I hate this kind of crap, not just because it's full of lies--as this one is--but also because it's predatory. People who start these letters prey on the emotions and good will of people who are frustrated by news they hear that only reveals half of a story and in only revealing half, distorts the complicated reality beneath. Government is confusing. The rules are obscure and hard to understand even by the primary actors themselves (sometimes especially by them). That's why it's easy to lie to people who don't spend their lives studying these things and who don't have the time or background to educate themselves on the deep background of every story in the news. That's why it's easy to lie to people using common-sense sounding phrases that fit on a bumper sticker. That's why the liars prosper.

Dear e-mail forwarder,

I know you mean well, but you have been tricked and lied to. Our government doesn't work that way. The United States is a country of laws. We have laws that prevent the president from using the Treasury as a political weapon. We have laws that prevent the president and his appointees at the Treasury from deciding which bills they feel like paying and which they don't.

The Treasury is required by law to pay the bill in the order they arrive. The first bill in gets paid first. The last bill in gets paid last. The President does not have the power to say, "move this bill to the front of the line and that bill to the back." If the Treasury doesn't have enough money to pay all the bills, they start at the front of the line and pay until they run out of money and the rest don't get paid. If the payroll bill for the President and Congress arrives first, they get paid. If the bill for the Border Patrol arrives last, we start laying off guards. That's how it works.

President Obama was speaking the truth when he said he couldn't guarantee that Social Security checks would go out on time. Defense Secretary Gates was speaking the truth when he said he couldn't guarantee that military paychecks would go out on time. Anyone who says they could have pushed those bills to the front of the line is lying to you. That's how it works. The United States is a country of laws and the law says the Treasury pays the bill in the order they arrive.

According to the Republican House leader, John Boehner, President Obama and the Democrats gave them 98% of what they wanted. That wasn't enough for the extremists who have taken over the Republican Party. They threatened to crash the government unless they got 100%. Obama gave, and gave, and gave to see that those checks would go out on time. When radical rightists tell you it would have been Obama's fault if the government had crashed and the checks stopped, they are lying to you.

The person who forwarded the lies to to you is probably a good person who cares about the truth. And the person who sent it to them is probably a good person who cares about the truth. But somewhere up the line, that e-mail was born in a nest of lies, confusion, and someone's desire to keep you scared and angry. They're counting on the fact that you're too busy trying to pay your own bills to stop and try to read seventy years worth financial law. They're counting on it.

If you believe that the truth is more important than lies send this back to the person who sent you the lies. They deserve to know. Ask them to keep it going across the whole USA.

Thank you

I know that this kind of push-back is usually a waste of time. Mark Twain wrote, "A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants." While I'm over here helping the truth get it's pants on, six more lies have left the starting gate. But pushing back feel better than wringing my hands and doing nothing and maybe, just maybe, I can help one friend get out of the way of the galloping lies. That would make it worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

Then I guess when someone in congress or the President's paycheck time rolls around, and it's in front of someone else's who doesn't make but 11-50K a year (like the military or folks on S.S.)
it would be right nice of them to say--"Don't pay me this time around, get the next guy in line".
This is what people are saying--for the government people making 100-400K PUT A STOP TO THEIR PAYCHECK. It's semantics how it happens. No matter who you work for, you can say "Hey, I don't need a check this week, pay the next guy".

Anonymous said...

I guess you didn't read, or comprehend the story.

John McKay said...

I didn't link to a specific story, you nincompoop. I referred to a e-mail going around and quoted the entire thing. said...

Thanks for the article, the email is now also going around Facebook as an image of just a small quote out of the email, and when googling "snopes dear mr president ss checks” you are the top hit, above slopes even, as they do not seem to have covered this specific email yet.

Stevie Nichts said...

You might have had a point if you hadn't erected a lovely strawman argument, and instead addressed the meme: "I heard you say you will not guarantee SS checks if the debt ceiling isn't raised."

What Obama actually said, in a CBS interview:

Pelley: "Can you guarantee, as president, that those checks will go out on August the 3rd?"

Obama: "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it."