Social Security status-quo defenders have assured us for the past 25 years that Social Security is fully funded--for the next 25 years, or 2036. So if there are real assets in the Social Security Trust Fund--$2.6 trillion allegedly--then how could failure to reach a debt-ceiling agreement possibly threaten seniors' Social Security checks?

The answer is that the federal government has borrowed all of that trust fund money and spent it, exactly as Krauthammer asserted. And the only way the trust fund can get some cash to pay Social Security benefits is if the federal government draws it from general revenues or borrows the money--which, of course, it can't do because of the debt ceiling.

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