CAN YOU TRUST POLITICIANS TO FIX SOCIAL SECURITY?
Pure effing magic...
Each year the government’s accountants magically discover billions of waste, fraud, and abuse in our two basic entitlement systems, Social Security and Medicare. Likewise, those that manage these programs issue their apocalyptic report duly noting when these programs will become “technically insolvent” and dire consequences to seniors and the infirm will follow as the night follows the day.
Just as predictably as the sunrise, politicians on both sides of the aisle will propose legislative solutions that will be lost in debate as they kick the can down the road – past a time when anyone might hold them individually or collectively responsible for the debacle which was forecast in the previous decade.
Bend over; here it comes again…
Following a meeting of the Social Security Board of Trustees, the United States Treasury Department has released another report with a comprehensive index warning the President, Congress, and the American people that the federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, primarily used to pay retirement, spousal, and survivor benefits to eligible individuals and their families, will become “inadequate” within the next ten years.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen noted in a March 31 2023 transmittal letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives…
Based on the intermediate projections in the 2023 Trustees Report, the OASI Trust Fund reserves will fall below 20 percent of annual cost by the beginning of calendar year 2033 and will become depleted in 2033 in the absence of legislation to address this imbalance between scheduled benefits and revenue.
“Lawmakers need to take prompt action to strengthen the actuarial status of the OASI Trust Fund. Lawmakers could choose (1) to increase revenues to the OASI Trust Fund, (2) to reduce cost through modification of the OASI program benefit levels or eligibility requirements, or (3) to use a combination of methods to strengthen the financial condition of the OASI Trust Fund. Such actions could apply only to the OASI program benefits and revenue or might have effects also on the DI program.”
Setting aside the euphemism “inadequate,” which does not begin to define the depth of the disaster to the lives of seniors and others, the fiction of a Social Security “Trust Fund” is a common misconception that has been perpetuated for many years. The idea of a trust fund suggests a separate pool of money set aside for Social Security, which is invested and generates income used to pay benefits to retirees.
In reality, there is no actual trust fund for Social Security. Instead, the Social Security program is funded through a payroll tax that workers and their employers pay. The taxes collected are used to pay benefits to current retirees, and any excess funds are used to purchase special Treasury bonds that are held in the “Social Security Trust Fund.” In essence, Social Security is the world’s largest Ponzi Scheme that pays existing recipients with funds collected from current and future employees.
Within the recently released 276-page report, the phrase “monies from fraud and abuse control activities” is mentioned three times and is buried in the appendices. Those that monitor such things estimate that all improper payments amount to a fraction of one percent and would extend the life of Social Security up to three months. <Source> If you can believe them.
The Democrats are doing it again…
The problem with Social Security is being made infinitely worse by the actions of the Obama/Biden regime, including rapidly expanding the government, excessive rules and regulations, increasing taxes, profligate spending to purchase political power and support their chosen special interests, the destruction of the fossil fuel industry, and the continual diversions of funds into social engineering projects and the need to support non-productive illegal aliens at taxpayer expense. Not to mention their costly failure in Afghanistan and ongoing payment of benefits to Ukrainian employees and pensioners.
Of course, the progressive communist democrats want Americans to pay more in payroll taxes and remove the cap of 6.2 percent of the first $160,200 of employee wages.
Per the usual progressive communist democrat suspects…
Amid Republican Threats to Social Security, Sanders, Warren, Schakowsky, Hoyle, and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Increase Benefits and Extend Solvency Through 2096
As Republicans threaten cuts to Social Security and other essential federal programs, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Val Hoyle (D-Ore.) in the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced legislation that would expand Social Security benefits by $2,400 a year and ensure Social Security is fully funded for the next 75 years – all without raising taxes by one penny on over 93 percent of American households that make $250,000 or less.
[OCS: I call “bullshit!” Remember the Democrats promising, “you can keep your doctor” and no increase in taxes for households earning $400,000 or less? Yeah. Right!]
These estimates reflect an analysis of the legislation conducted by the Social Security Administration at the request of Sen. Sanders. The analysis was also released today in a letter from Chief Actuary Stephen Goss.
Joining Sanders, Warren, Schakowsky, and Hoyle on the Social Security Expansion Act are Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), as well as 25 cosponsors in the House including Reps. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Cori Bush (D-Mo.), Troy A. Carter (D-La.), Greg Casar (D-Texas), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Jesús Chuy García (D-Ill.), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Stephen F. Lynch (D-Mass.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes-Norton (D-D.C.), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Chellie
[OCS: You cannot find a more rabid and radical group of ideologues who rather push their toxic political agenda over the good of the nation and its legal citizens.]
While the legislators are dithering…
Cutting waste, fraud, and abuse in the Social Security system is a “no-brainer” to help the program remain financially sustainable for future generations.
Improve Verification Processes: One of the most effective ways to reduce fraud in Social Security is to improve the verification process for benefit applicants. This can include conducting more frequent and rigorous background checks, verifying employment and income information, and cross-checking information with other government agencies.
Increase Penalties: Another way to reduce fraud is to increase the penalties for those caught committing fraud. This can include fines, jail time, and even the forfeiture of benefits.
Enhance Data Analytics: By using data analytics and other technological tools, Social Security can more quickly and effectively identify potential fraud and abuse cases. This can include analyzing large amounts of data to look for patterns and anomalies and using machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect unusual behavior.
Promote Public Awareness: Educating the public about Social Security fraud and abuse can help to reduce the number of cases. This can include advertising campaigns, educational programs, and other outreach efforts.
Increase Resources: Social Security may need to increase its resources to combat fraud and abuse effectively. This could involve hiring additional competent staff, investing in new technology, providing additional employee training, and eliminating deadwood.
Implement Risk Management Strategies: By implementing risk management strategies, Social Security can identify potential fraud and abuse risks and take steps to mitigate them before they become a problem. This can include conducting regular risk assessments, implementing internal controls, and monitoring compliance.
Let me count the ways the system is being cheated…
Concealing Work or Income: Failing to report work or income to continue receiving disability benefits or other Social Security benefits is a common form of fraud. This can include underreporting income, working under the table, or not reporting work performed.
False Disability Claims: Some individuals may falsely claim that they have a disability to receive disability benefits. This can involve exaggerating symptoms, submitting false medical records, or misrepresenting the extent of one’s disability.
Identity Theft: Fraudsters may steal someone’s Social Security number or other personal information to open fraudulent bank accounts or credit cards or to receive Social Security benefits under someone else’s name.
False Spouse or Child Claims: Claiming a spouse or child as a dependent to receive additional Social Security benefits is another form of fraud. This can involve claiming that a spouse or child lives with the beneficiary when they do not or claiming a child as a dependent who is not biologically related.
False Death Claims: Fraudsters may also submit false death claims to receive Social Security benefits intended for deceased individuals. This can involve forging death certificates or continuing to receive benefits under a deceased individual’s name.
Representative Payee Fraud: Representative payees are appointed to manage the Social Security benefits of individuals who cannot manage their own finances. Some representative payees may misuse the funds for their own personal benefit, which is a form of fraud.
Beneficiary Fraud: Beneficiary fraud involves receiving Social Security benefits on behalf of someone not entitled to those benefits. This can include using fraudulent documents or misrepresenting the beneficiary’s eligibility status.
Overpayments: Overpayments occur when Social Security pays more benefits than an individual is entitled to receive. This can happen due to incorrect reporting of earnings or work or due to fraud.
False Citizenship Claims: Individuals who are not citizens of the United States may falsely claim citizenship to receive Social Security benefits. This can involve using fraudulent documents or misrepresenting one’s status.
Misuse of Benefits: Some individuals who receive Social Security benefits may misuse the funds, such as using the funds for non-qualified expenses, such as vacations, luxury items, or other personal expenses.
False Claims for Survivor Benefits: Claiming survivor benefits based on a false relationship, such as claiming to be the spouse or child of a deceased beneficiary when they are not, is another form of fraud.
Impersonation of SSA Officials: Impersonating Social Security Administration officials to obtain personal information or solicit funds is another form of Social Security fraud.
False Records: Creating false records, such as medical or employment records, to receive Social Security benefits is another form of fraud.
Falsified Marriages: Falsifying marriage records or claiming to be married to someone to receive spousal or survivor benefits is a form of Social Security fraud.
Retirement Fraud: Falsely claiming to be retired and collecting Social Security retirement benefits while still working and earning an income is another form of fraud.
Misuse of Social Security Numbers: Misusing Social Security numbers, such as selling or using someone else’s number to obtain employment, credit, or other benefits, is a form of fraud.
False Claims for Children’s Benefits: Claiming children’s benefits based on false claims of having children, or claiming children who are not actually dependent on the beneficiary, is another form of fraud.
Failure to Report Changes: Failing to report changes in circumstances, such as a change in income or marital status, that affect eligibility for Social Security benefits is another form of fraud.
While there is no single solution for addressing the issue of Social Security insolvency, it is essential to select honest, ethical, and competent legislators to help resolve the problem, not progressive communist democrat ideologues who seem hell-bent on destroying America from within -- with the government effort spearheaded by a president who is a financially-savvy negotiator and who knows how to deal with intransigents.
We are so screwed.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS