Posts tagged ‘Social Security’
Sunsetting Federal Spending Programs Is A Fantastic Idea
BY: DAVID HARSANYI | FEBRUARY 09, 2023
Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/02/09/sunsetting-federal-spending-programs-is-a-fantastic-idea/
VISIT ON TWITTER@DAVIDHARSANYI
When Joe Biden accused Republicans of planning to “cut” Social Security and Medicare during his State of the Union address, it was — like virtually all the other things he said — a lie. His claim was tantamount to accusing Democrats of supporting a “plan” to shut down air travel because Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once proposed it.
The president was referring to Rick Scott’s ill-timed “12 Point Plan to Rescue America,” which included, among numerous other nonstarters, a proposal to sunset all federal spending programs every five years. The proposal, contra Biden’s contention, had no support from Republicans and nothing to do with the debt ceiling fight.
None of that means that asking Congress to reauthorize federal spending bills every few years isn’t a great idea. Why would stalwarts of “democracy” oppose revisiting spending decisions made by legislators nearly 90 years ago? No living person has ever voted on them. And though “liberals” are generally more protective of Social Security than the Bill of Rights, entitlement programs aren’t foundational governing ideas, they do not protect our natural rights, nor are they at the heart of the American project. Government dependency is, in fact, at odds with all of it.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of private-sector establishments go out of business, and yet not a single federal government program ever does. While nearly every facet of society embraces cost-saving efficiencies, the federal government perpetually grows. It is madness. Simply as a function of good governance, it would be reasonable for Congress to review the efficacy and cost of existing federal programs, and then make suggestions for reforms or elimination or — yikes — privatization. Forget entitlements. Is there any reason we shouldn’t revisit the billions spent on the obsolete Natural Resource Conservation Service (created in 1935 to help farmers deal with soil corrosion) or the Rural Electrification Administration (created in the same year, when large swaths of rural Americans did not have electricity) or the counterproductive Small Business Administration or the subsidy sucking Amtrak corporation?
Indeed, there is widespread support for Social Security — a Bismarckian import, first championed nationally by corrupt populists like Huey Long to augment retirement. One suspects this is largely because Americans have been compelled by the state to pay into the pyramid scheme. Many people build their retirements around the program. They have no choice. Compulsion is a hallmark of leftist policy, from entitlements to Obamacare to unionization to public school systems. And by forcing participation, we’ve created a generational trap. Voters have been fearmongered into believing that any reform means something is being stolen from them, when no serious proposal has ever cut existing benefits.
In the 1970s, Biden supported re-upping federal spending authorization every four years and requiring Congress to “make a detailed study of the program before renewing it.” Obviously, Biden hasn’t stuck to a single principled position in his entire career. But it is worth noting there was plenty of bipartisan support for sunsetting bills from 1970 through the 2000s — including from Ed Muskie, Jesse Helms, liberal “lion” Ted Kennedy, and George W. Bush.
Until very recently the center of both parties also agreed entitlement reform would be necessary to keep Medicare and Social Security solvent. In today’s Idiocracy, we have a president who argues that a $5 trillion spending bill costs “zero” dollars, so we’re about a zillion lightyears away from responsible governance.
If Social Security is so deeply popular — and everyone saw cowardly Republicans promise Biden they wouldn’t do anything to fix these programs that are bankrupting the country — what’s the problem? Even with the highly remote chance of a sunset law, the chances of reform would be still more remote. Look at how Washington almost perfunctorily lifts the debt ceiling. The only shared principle in D.C. is risk aversion.
Still, if Congress were automatically impelled to vote on existing law, it would create more political space to at least suggest changes and perhaps revisit mistakes. If nothing else, Congress would be marginally more “productive” if it was forced to occasionally deal with existing problems rather than concocting new ways to create them.
David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist, a nationally syndicated columnist, a Happy Warrior columnist at National Review, and author of five books—the most recent, Eurotrash: Why America Must Reject the Failed Ideas of a Dying Continent. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and radio talk shows across the country. Follow him on Twitter, @davidharsanyi.
SOCIAL SECURITY UNIMPEACHABLE FACTS
Your Social Security
Just in case some of you young whippersnappers (& some older ones) didn’t know this. Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what’s what. And it doesn’t matter whether you are Democrat of Republican. Facts are facts!!!
Our Social Security
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:
- That participation in the Program would be completely voluntary.
- That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual incomes into the Program,
- That the money the participants elected to put into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year,
- That the money the participants put into the Independent ‘Trust Fund’ rather than into the General Operating Fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other government program, and,
- That the annuity payments to the retirees would never be taxed as income.
Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and are now receiving a Social Security check every month — and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% of the money we paid to the federal government to ‘put away’, you may be interested in the following:
- Q: Which political party took Social Security from the Independent ‘Trust Fund’ and put it in to the General Fund so that Congress could spend it?
- A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the Democratically– controlled House and Senate.
- Q: Which political party eliminated the income tax deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding?
- A: The Democratic
- Q: Which political party started taxing Social Security annuities?
- A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the ‘tie-breaking’ deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the U.S.
- Q: Which political party decided to start giving annuity payments to immigrants?
- A: That’s right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, they began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them even though they never paid a dime into it!
Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! And the worst part about it is, uninformed citizens believe it! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn’t so.
REMEMBER: CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES 100% RETIREMENT FOR ONLY SERVING ONE TERM!!!
‘A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.’
Feds Paid $1 Billion in Social Security Benefits to Individuals Without a SSN
Authored BY: Elizabeth Harrington | February 22, 2017 | 5:00 am
URL of the original posting site: http://freebeacon.com/issues/feds-paid-1-billion-social-security-benefits-individuals-without-ssn/
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit. The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.
The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file. Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who “did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application.”
“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.
The inspector general also found the agency paid $853.1 million in benefits since 2004 to individuals who had been terminated as representative payees by the agency. The inspector general said the errors occurred because the agency did not keep paper applications supporting an individual’s case to receive benefits on behalf of another and did not update its system if their status was terminated.
Only six percent of representative payees had SSNs that were properly recorded, based on the audit’s sample of 100 beneficiaries. Government benefits are also going to illegal aliens through the representative payee system. 17 percent of representative payees in the sample did not have an SSN recorded because they were undocumented noncitizens, the inspector general said. Illegal aliens without SSNs are allowed to receive benefits from the government when acting as representatives for their minor children.
In response to the audit, the SSA said it switched to a new Electronic Representative Payee System last year, and transferring representative payee information “may have resulted in applications showing as terminated or not selected.”
The government defended the issuance of benefits to noncitizens and persons without an SSN.
“Representative payees play a significant role in many beneficiaries’ lives,” the SSA said. “We have approximately 5.7 million representative payees managing annual benefits for approximately 8 million beneficiaries. When appointing representative payees, we adhere to guidance in the Social Security Act (the Act).”
“Specific to this audit, the Act permits us to appoint, in certain circumstances, an undocumented alien, or applicant who resides outside the United States without a Social Security number (SSN) to serve as payee,” the agency said. “Specifically, the Act states we should verify a person’s SSN (or employer identification number) in our investigation of the payee applicant. However, the Act does not state that the applicant must have an SSN to serve as a payee.”
The “absence of an SSN is not a criterion preventing an individual from serving as payee,” the agency added.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elizabeth Harrington
Obama budget to give more to illegal minors than Social Security recipients
By Joe Newby – May 3, 2016
If Barack Obama has his way, each illegal minor in the U.S. will receive over $2,800 more this year than Social Security recipients. You read that right — People who have worked hard all their lives will get less in Social Security than the estimated 75,000 illegal minors expected to enter the country illegally this year.
According to the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard:
President Obama has budgeted $17,613 for each of the estimated 75,000 Central American teens expected to illegally cross into the United States this year, $2,841 more than the average annual Social Security retirement benefit, according to a new report.
The total bill to taxpayers: $1.3 billion in benefits to “unaccompanied children,” more than double what the federal government spent in 2010, according to an analysis of the administration’s programs for illegal minors from the Center for Immigration Studies. The average Social Security retirement benefit is $14,772.
The budget also includes $2.1 billion for refugees, which, Bedard notes, can include the illegals from countries like Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
But there’s more:
What’s more, the administration is also spending heavily on a program with the United Nations to help the illegal minors avoid the dangerous trip by declaring them refugees and handing them a plane ticket to the U.S. where, once here, they get special legal status.
The report, titled “Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States,” is a deep dive into the administration’s evolving efforts to let hundreds of thousands of mostly 16- and 17-year-old males settle in the country.
And it only gets worse.
“Children will be able to qualify for refugee status and then be flown to the United States. As a reminder, refugees receive automatic legal status and are required to apply for a green card within their first year following arrival. They can apply for citizenship five years from the date of entry,” said author Nayla Rush.
And of course, she notes these children could even sponsor their parents once they achieve legal status and become naturalized citizens.
Report: Children of refugees get more federal benefits than poor U.S. kids
By Paul Bedard (@SecretsBedard) • 4/24/16
URL of the original posting site: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/report-children-of-refugees-get-more-federal-benefits-than-poor-u.s.-kids/article/2589398
America loves kids, but Uncle Sam has a favorite: children of refugees.
Among recipients of food stamps, welfare cash and Social Security payments, refugee children receive more in taxpayer-funded aid than children of citizens, according to a new report on federal spending from the pro-immigration Migration Policy Institute.
- 30 percent of refugee children live in households that received food stamps from 2009-13.
- Among American children, the number was 27 percent, said the report titled, “Young Children of Refugees in the United States: Integration Successes and Challenges.”
- Some 8 percent received cash welfare,
- compared with 6 percent of U.S. citizen households.
- And 5 percent of children of refugees were part of Social Security’s Supplemental Security Income program,
- compared with 4 percent of U.S. children.
The reason? The report said that aid is typically higher to refugees because they arrive poor, a situation likely to hit hard when an estimated 20,000 Syrian refugees arrive in the U.S. before the end of the year.
See the full report here.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com
Who died before they collected Social Security?
THIS IS SURE SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT! THE ONLY THING WRONG WITH THE GOVERNMENT’S CALCULATION OF AVAILABLE SOCIAL SECURITY IS THEY FORGOT TO FIGURE IN THE PEOPLE WHO DIED BEFORE THEY EVER COLLECTED A SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK! WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO?
Remember, not only did you and I contribute to Social Security but your employer did, too. It totaled 15% of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500. Read that again. Did you see where the Government paid in one single penny? We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a Government bank to insure you and me that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the Government.
Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back. If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours & your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5% interest (less than what the Government pays on the money that it borrows). After 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98. If you took out only 3% per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit! If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.
THE FOLKS IN WASHINGTON HAVE PULLED OFF A BIGGER PONZI SCHEME THAN BERNIE MADOFF EVER DID.
Entitlement my foot; I paid cash for my social security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending, doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout! Remember;
Outrageous retirement packages?
67 paid holidays?
Three weeks paid vacation?
Unlimited paid sick days?
Now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my social security retirement payments entitlements? They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it’s time for us to collect, the government is running out of money.
Why did the government borrow from it in the first place?
It was supposed to be in a locked box, not part of the general fund.
Thoughts For the Day
These two short sentences tell you a lot about our government and our culture:
We are advised to not judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL Gun Owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works.
Another one worth considering: Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money?
What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t.
Profound isn’t it…Think about it…..Pass it on.
Think About It
We are always hearing about how Social Security is going to run out of money.
How come we never hear about Welfare running out of money ?
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