In a matter of months, the federal government will reach the limit on federal debt issued by the Treasury, known as the debt ceiling. The only way to reduce the amount of federal debt that the Treasury issues is to reduce the expenditures of the government’s general fund or increase its income. However, cutting Social Security’s expenditures or increasing its income does not reduce the United States’ debt subject to that limit. This sharply differs from cuts to agricultural subsidies, defense, or other expenditures from the government’s general fund. This fact sheet explains why Social Security does not contribute to the federal debt, and should not be cut in order to prevent a debt ceiling breach.