Updated: 10/15/2013 11:22 PM
Created: 10/15/2013 11:10 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams
If there is no action to raise the country's borrowing limit by Thursday, there may not be enough money in the coffers to pay all of the bills.
Federal officials will have to decide which bills they're going to pay first.
Some economists are predicting Social Security payments could be delayed for days, even weeks, if this happens.
People News10NBC spoke with Tuesday night are worried. If the debt ceiling isn't raised by Thursday, it's predicted Social Security checks could be delayed for some people up to two weeks.
After this Thursday, the Treasury can no longer guarantee that it can make all of its payments. The Treasury Secretary has estimated the country will have $30-billion dollars, but without the ability to borrow, it's anyone's guess how far this can take the country.
The Treasury Secretary compares it to driving your car on empty and passing the last gas station before you drive into the desert, hoping to run into another gas station.
Social Security is a trust and the law says it must be paid as long as there is money in the trust, but the law says the government must fund other obligations and is not guaranteeing Social Security checks will go out on time.
People News10NBC spoke with Monday night say even a short delay would be disastrous.
“If it's delayed, I'll just have to stop shopping and not run around like I normally do,” said Carol Blair, Henrietta resident.
“You'll try to conserve gas and the funds that you do have?” asked News10NBC's Lynette Adams.
“Yes, try to be conservative with what I have, because you don't know how long it's going to be,” said Blair.
“I don't have much savings, so I would have to keep telling my landlord I can't pay the rent. If it wasn't for food stamps, I'd go hungry,” said David Verkest, city resident.
“I'd do a lot of calling to the doctor and tell them to hold my prescriptions, wait for my appointments, because there's nothing I can do. I depend on my check once a month and many of these other people do too. When the check doesn't show up, what are you going to do?” said Rose Caswell, Greece resident.
It's said $30-billion might take the government two days. It is estimated the bills through the end of the month add up to $73-billion.
This assessment is yet another thing the two sides can't seem to come to an agreement on. Some congressional leaders are saying the October 17 is an arbitrary date. Threats that Social Security checks and other federal bills won't get paid on time is nothing more than a fear tactic. Some say these are uncharted waters, and we really don't know what will happen after Thursday.