Posts Tagged ‘Social Security’

Puerto Rico: 68 arrested on SS disability fraud

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Disability-Fraud Probe Leads to Arrests in Puerto Rico
Social Security Benefits May Have Been Improperly Obtained

The identity of those arrested couldn’t be learned immediately. One person familiar with the arrests said it included two psychiatrists, one physiatrist, a secretary and a person who works to help people win disability benefits. The person said the probe centers on alleged abuse of the federal program over several years that could have led scores of people obtain benefits who shouldn’t have qualified.

I find puzzling this statement,

Federal officials will face a thorny issue as part of the case—what to do with the benefits of those who might have improperly secured benefits. It could decide to review those cases, terminate the benefits or continue paying them.

How about termination and restitution?

About those Social Security payments…

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Obama says he cannot guarantee Social Security checks will go out on August 3

However,
Social Security payments Treasury needs to make on Aug 3. $22b. Treasury cash balance on Aug. 3: $74b,
and
there is a $2.5 trillion surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund .

Over to you, Don,

1. There is no budget.

2. There was no budget last year.

3. Congress last passed a budget in April 2009.

4. It was signed into law by Barack Obama, not George Bush.

5. A Democratic Congress and a Democratic president extended the “Bush tax cuts” for two years (2011 and 2012).

6. There is a $2.5 trillion surplus in the Social Security Trust Fund — more than enough to pay Social Security uninterrupted.

7. The Medicare Trust Fund also is sufficient to continue payments uninterrupted.

8. Tax receipts are enough to adequately service the debt without raising the debt ceiling.

9. This means talk of stopping Social Security checks, not paying Medicare bills and even default are irresponsible.

10. The president does have the power to do those three things — but it his decision, not Congress or the creditors of the United States.

11. The Republican House has passed a budget, which the Democratic Senate rejected.

12. The Democratic Senate unanimously rejected the president’s budget.

13. Congress, not the president, sets the budget.

Just the facts.

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VIDEO Christie on Social Security: The public understands

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Transcript:

MICHAEL BARONE: Michael Barone with AEI and The Washington Examiner. You said that your colleagues in politics should say that social security, retirement age should be raised. Do you believe it is no longer the case that social security is no longer the third rail of American politics and that you can’t touch it? Or are you simply advising your fellow Republicans and your fellow executives to take a stand that you believe may very well be politically fatal.

GOVERNOR CHRISTIE: I was right with you till the last clause on that sentence. See I think the world has changed and I don’t believe it is fatal. I don’t. In fact, I think that you are going to be rewarded for courage. And I think those that don’t show the courage are going to get the opposite treatment as well. The public understands. They understand, I’m telling you. I’m out there every day. I can feel it. They get it. What they want though it shared sacrifice. They want everybody in this game. And if they feel like people down here in Washington or in the State capitol in Trenton are gaming the system and some folks are getting a special advantage and then everybody else is getting harsher treatment, they are going to respond badly to it and you’re going to get some of that third rail treatment. But I think if folks believe that they have a group of leaders who are going to say to them this is what’s necessary, it’s a mathematical equation, it needs to be done, we’re going to do it fairly. Everyone is going to share in the sacrifice. I think the American people and the people of New Jersey, in my instance, will step up to the plate and be a part of that shared sacrifice. They’ve done it in New Jersey. We cut everything. And everybody said my approval ratings were going to tank and they’ve gone up. That’s not because people aren’t paying attention. I’d suggest to you that it’s cause they really are paying attention. And they are saying, someone is actually talking to us like we are adults. They are telling us the truth. Now listen, for people who have been down here a long time I understand there’d be a sense of cynicism. They feel like they’ve watched this movie over and over again. You know, Republicans have demagogued this issue against Democrats and Democrats have demagogued it against Republicans. And I understand why you’d be cynical. All I’m telling you is, from out in the field I think there is something different going on in our country right now. And I think people are ready to hear the truth. But again, you have to show leadership and show people you’re willing to do it first.

I couldn’t sit back in New Jersey and say well I know we have a pension and benefit problem. I’ll wait for the Democrats in the legislature to come forward with their plan and then I’ll critique it. I put my plan out there in September and got booed by the firefighters. And it took five months but guess what? The Democrats in the legislature have now come forward with their plan on pension reform and their plan on benefit reform. Now, it’s not exactly what I want. But now we are going to have the debate. We are going to have the discussion and I believe we are going to get to a fix. It won’t be the perfect fix that I want. That’s part of what comes with divided government. But I started the conversation. And I took the risk to put mine out there first. And in the beginning, the Democrats in the legislature took the same position of what is happening down here. They were like – well let’s see if he gets burned at the stake first before we go in. Well, all of the sudden four or five months later, approval ratings continuing to go up, they went – hey this looks like a good idea, why don’t we put our plan forward?

So, some of it is – you just have to have the spine to take the risk. But I think that’s what we elect leaders for, hence the name. If you’re waiting midway back in the pack and call yourself a leader, it seems to me that, that isn’t consistent. So you want to be a leader, lead. And I want to conclude, Michael, saying I’m not saying it doesn’t involve some measure of risk. Everything does that’s worth something. But what did you get sent to this party for? I mean really, what did we come to do this for? Just to mark time and collect a title? Before I got this job I had plenty of titles – I was the United Sates Attorney and most importantly husband, father, son. I didn’t need new titles. I came here to achieve and to succeed. And these jobs give you an opportunity to do that like no other jobs in my view. But you’ve got to step up to the plate and do it.

Indeed, the country is in dire need of real leadership.

UPDATE
Ace blogged the Chris Christie Livestream

“We have to reform Social Security because it’s bankrupting us. We have to reform Medicare because it’s bankrupting us. We have to reform Medicaid because not only is it bankrupting the federal government it’s bankrupting every state government. I just said these things and lightning didn’t come through the window and strike me dead. There you go.”

You can watch the whole speech here.

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Saving Social Security with personal retirement accounts VIDEO

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

From the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, via Adam,

It worked it Chile, it can work here.

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What happens when you privatize Social Security? UPDATE

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Reduced government pension debt, 9.23% rate of return, increase in GDP, ending the payroll tax.

Can’t be done?

Think again:
The Chilean Model

Thirty years on, Pinera’s plan, adapted from the ideas of Milton Friedman, is, along with free trade, one of the two pillars of Chile’s success story, surpassing all predictions.

Pinera’s proposal began with scrapping the payroll tax on the country’s social security system and inviting all workers to take the money they were contributing and move it into a private pension.

Workers would be free to choose the fund, how much to put in, and at what age they would retire, with a minimal safety net built into the design. Past contributions would be refunded to workers by government bond. And anyone who didn’t like the idea was free to remain with the system as it was. It was a huge success: 95% of Chile’s workers chose the private system.

Pinera told the public to expect a compounded 4% rate of return under the private plan. But as of 2010, the average annual rate of return was 9.23%, far higher than promised.

By contrast, the U.S. social security system, which today accounts for a quarter of the U.S. government budget, is slated to give retiring workers in the next decade a 1% to 2% rate of return. And those entering the system today will see a negative return.

Chile’s implicit pension debt fell to just 6% of GNP — compared with 100% in the U.S., 300% in France and 450% in Italy, leaving Chile with no net debt.

Instead, the US government aims to follow the Argentinian model.

UPDATE
No Runny Eggs:

That, folks, is the real payoff; a government and a people able to weather economic storms that is sinking the rest of the world. Even when one takes out the dysfunctional Disability Insurance, the cost of providing the benefits of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (including a transfer of funds to cover railroad retirees) outstripped the taxes paid by $2.14 billion on $577 billion of benefit payouts, and $6.06 billion on $580 billion in total program cost, in FY2010. That’s $6.06 billion that, because of the nature of the “Trust Funds”, the Treasury had to borrow, which gives the lie to the accounting trick that counts “interest earned” by said “Trust Funds” as income into Social Security.

With the level of publicly-held debt rapidly approaching 100% of GDP, and current trends showing that increasing at an exponential rate, how long can it be before everybody stops buying US Treasuries? The first time that happens, the value of those “Trust Funds” will be $0.00, and we’ll be up a swollen Shit Creek without a paddle.

Go read it all.

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Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Stephen C. Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, said that while the Congressional projection would probably be borne out, the change would have no effect on benefits in 2010 and retirees would keep receiving their checks as usual.

The problem, he said, is that payments have risen more than expected during the downturn, because jobs disappeared and people applied for benefits sooner than they had planned. At the same time, the program’s revenue has fallen sharply, because there are fewer paychecks to tax.

Analysts have long tried to predict the year when Social Security would pay out more than it took in because they view it as a tipping point — the first step of a long, slow march to insolvency, unless Congress strengthens the program’s finances.

I have always believed that Social Security would run out of money before I got old enough to collect on it.

Not that ObamaCare won’t go broke, either.

“I can see dead people”…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

get stimulus checks:

This week, thousands of people are getting stimulus checks in the mail. The problem is that a lot of them are dead.

Hmm.

Let’s speculate here for a moment: Eager voter registration drives find birth records, and are able to supply a large number of names and valid addresses for dead registrants. Sound familiar?

Then the Social Security Administration processes the paperwork. Presto! Checks in the mail:

The Social Security Administration, which sent out 52 million checks, says that some of those checks mistakenly went to dead people because the agency had no record of their death. That amounts to between 8,000 and 10,000 checks for millions of dollars.

The feds blame a rushed schedule, because all the checks have to be cut by June. The strange this is, some of the checks were made out to people — like Romonini — who were never even part of the Social Security.

Makes one wonder if the death certificates were expunged, or whether the names were selected because there were no death certificates.

Either way, a pretty sophisticated operation, isn’t it?