IBD:

In trying to score political points against the GOP by warning that retirement checks were in jeopardy if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, President Obama exposed the fraud at the heart of Social Security.

The closer the self-imposed Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt ceiling comes, the more oddly politicians in Washington are behaving — and that’s saying something.

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner this week ridiculously insisted on a plan within 48 hours. Sen. Mitch McConnell proposed a Rube Goldberg idea to let President Obama increase the debt by vetoing a bill denying him a debt increase, or something like that.

Obama beat everyone, however, with his scaremongering claim that Social Security checks are at risk if he doesn’t get his way on the debt ceiling. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” he told CBS News, “because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”

Wait! What happened to Social Security’s “guarantee”? You know, the iron-clad assurance of Social Security benefits in exchange for paying into the program your whole working life? It’s something Democrats constantly talk about, particularly when attacking Republicans who propose privatizing the program.

As Nancy Pelosi once put it: “Social Security has never failed to pay promised benefits, and Democrats will fight to make sure that Republicans do not turn a guaranteed benefit into a guaranteed gamble.”

The AFL-CIO warned in 2005 about “President Bush’s plan to replace Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with risky private accounts.” The AARP describes Social Security as “the guaranteed part of your retirement plan.” Etc., etc.

Turns out, this “guarantee” is a lie.