How can the executive branch not send out Social Security checks when Social Secuirty owns billions on its own. According to Thomas Saving, that won't even increase our debt:
By law the Treasury is bound to redeem any bonds presented to it by the Social Security Administration. And when the Treasury does, total government debt subject to the debt limit falls by the amount of the redemption--thus freeing up the Treasury's ability to issue new bonds equal in amount to the redeemed Trust Fund bonds.
Therefore, meeting Social Security obligations in August, September and all future months in this fashion would add nothing to the gross government debt subject to the debt limit. Not, at least, until the $2.4 trillion Trust Fund is exhausted in 2038.
Update. I heard from a political economics expert on this issue. He noted that we could end the entire debt crisis simply by canceling the debts the U.S. government owes to Social Security, [Since they are debts to ourselves, as I understand the logic] and admitting that the program is a transfer program from current workers to current retirees. Not going to happen, politically, he noted.
Update 2: Michael McConnell weighs in on Social Security payments from the trust fund.