My Fellow Americans:
I come before you tonight as the President of all the people, Republican, Democrat, and Independent. Just as your Commander in Chief is responsible for our national defense, so must he or she guarantee the full faith and credit of the United States of America.
We are now engaged in a national debate over the future of our country. In this debate, we have put forth a vision of a country in which its government forcefully provides for the health and welfare of our people. The opposition Party puts forward a different vision of smaller government with more self reliance of the people. This is a legitimate and valuable political debate. In our democracy such issues are resolved by the ballot box, and the voters will be called upon to decide in the looming 2012 election.
Issues such as the proper size of government, how that government will pay for itself, and its expanding role in health care and regulation are not resolved overnight. They must be carefully debated for the voter to decide.
We have engaged this debate. We can see how difficult it is to resolve, but in the mean time, we must make sure that this healthy and ongoing debate does not harm the full faith and credit of the United States of America. We cannot allow politics, in any way, to jeopardize our national creditworthiness. We must remove any fear mongering on this issue from the political discourse.
Therefore, I have instructed the Secretary of Treasury to prepare a plan that insures that due interest and principle by paid to all of our bondholders, both at home and abroad, until we reach an agreement on raising the debt limit. We have sufficient revenues incoming to make sure we will meet our debt obligations as a nation.
I have also instructed my administration that all social security checks be sent out on schedule. The American people have made their Social Security Contributions into the Social Security Trust Fund in good faith, and we must honor our obligations to them as well. The Social Security Trust Fund is solvent, as we have stated in the past. There is no reason not to meet our obligations to retirees and other recipients who rely on these checks.
The plan that the Secretary of Treasury is preparing will prioritize our needs and see us through this difficult period, if necessary, by minimizing the impact of any disruptions in government services.
In closing, let us resolve this national debate in an orderly fashion through normal political processes without scare tactics and fear mongering, which will only make things worse. As President Roosevelt said many years ago: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” We have seen the harmful effects of fear in the past three years. We have had enough of it.