Obama’s Treasury Seizing Tax Refunds From Adult Children To Pay Parents’ Social Security Debts

Shakedown: Treasury Now Seizing Tax Refunds From Adult Children To Pay Parents’ Decades-Old Social Security Debts – Hot Air

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When I say “debts,” I don’t mean loans that the parents willingly sought from SSA. It would be bad enough to hold a kid responsible for that (since when are children responsible for their parents’ obligations?), but at least it would have been voluntarily incurred by mom/dad. The “debts” here are overpayments of Social Security benefits, the product of SSA’s own errors. The parents who received them might not have even realized they were getting money they weren’t supposed to have. And now, somehow, it’s junior’s problem.

But wait. It gets worse.

When [Mary] Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family – it’s not sure who – in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery…

“It was a shock,” said Grice, 58. “What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice, they can’t prove that I received any overpayment, and they use intimidation tactics, threatening to report this to the credit bureaus.”…

Social Security officials told Grice that six people – Grice, her four siblings and her father’s first wife, whom she never knew – had received benefits under her father’s account. The government doesn’t look into exactly who got the overpayment; the policy is to seek compensation from the oldest sibling and work down through the family until the debt is paid.

SSA insists that they did send notice – to a P.O. Box that Grice hasn’t owned for 35 years, even though they have her current address.

How can they demand restitution for a mistaken payment made in the late 1970s, let alone from someone who didn’t even receive it? Because: The farm bill that passed in 2011 lifted the 10-year statute of limitations on debts owed to the feds. Treasury has collected more than $400 million since then on very old obligations, many of them below the radar of public scrutiny because the amounts are often small enough, i.e. a few hundred dollars, that the targets find it’s cheaper to pay up than to fight. It’s a shakedown, based on the flawed assumption that a child not only must have benefited from the overpayment to his parent but that he/she received the entirety of the benefit, with little proof offered that the debt even exists. (One man who was forced to pay demanded a receipt from SSA affirming that his balance was now zero. The SSA clerk told him he’d put in the request but that the man shouldn’t expect to receive anything.) The only reason you’re hearing about Grice’s case, I think, is because they went after her for thousands, not hundreds, of dollars, which was enough of a hit to make her get a lawyer. Turns out that the feds had seized and then continued to hold her federal and state refunds, an amount greater than $4,400 – even though they were only demanding $2,996 from her to pay off her father’s debt. Lo and behold, once WaPo found out and started asking questions, the $1,400 excess was promptly returned to her. Amazing how fast bureaucracy can move when someone looks behind the curtain.

The whole thing is Kafkaesque – opaque, oppressive, arbitrary, and sinister in its indifference to making sure the right person pays so long as someone does. After reading the story, it’s not obvious to me what’s stopping Treasury from demanding a payment from every taxpayer whose parents are dead. If the chief witnesses are gone and the feds don’t have to prove that a child actually received any benefits from overpayment, the only “check” on this process is SSA’s willingness to tell the truth about who owes them money and how much. You trust them, don’t you?

Exit question from Karl: Isn’t holding children responsible for their parents’ retirement debts the governing model of the Democratic Party?

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Related video:

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And the push for full blown Socialized Medicine commences

Donald Douglas links an article in which a Communist lays out their oh, so enlightened solution to health care. I figured I would take a few minutes to parse, their arguments, and destroy them

Website delays – the most unwelcome news for computer acolytes since the tech boom crashed – are not the biggest problem with the ACA, as will become increasingly apparent long after the signup headaches are a distant memory.

So, we are to believe that a government that cannot even get a website to work, after spending $600,000,000 on said website, can somehow implement full blown national health care?

What prompted the ACA was a rapidly escalating healthcare nightmare, seen in 50 million uninsured, medical bills plunging millions into un-payable debt or bankruptcy, long delays in access to care, and record numbers skipping needed treatment due to cost.

50 million uninsured? I thought it was 30 million. Or was it 44 million? The Communist uses propaganda to sway opinion, and overly inflated numbers that are often simply made up serve that purpose. The strategy of a Communist is to create panic, and frighten people into empowering government to fix whatever the crisis is.

The main culprit was our profit-focused system, with rising profiteering by a massive health care industry, and an increasing number of employers dropping coverage or just dumping more costs onto workers.

But of course, profit, which is evil, is the culprit here, it always is with Communists isn’t it? Never mind that government programs always fail because there is no accountability, no bottom line. If an evil, profit-seeking insurance company does not perform, it will go belly up. Competition has always increased quality, and costumer service, and helped to make things more affordable. The answer in part, to our health care problems is to increase competition by allowing health insurance to be more easily sold across state lines. With a state run system, there is no option, no competition. And if you need to see where that leads, look at Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security, which are all broke!

The ACA tackles some of the most egregious inequities: lack of access for many of the working poor who will now be eligible for Medicaid or subsidies to offset some of their costs for buying private insurance through the exchanges, a crackdown on several especially notorious insurance abuses, and encouragement of preventive care.

But the law actually further entrenches the insurance-based system through the requirement that uncovered individuals buy private insurance. It’s also chock full of loopholes.

Well, here we go, another self-defeating Communist argument. Obamacare, a government mandate has loopholes, it will fail. Given that, why would anyone support even more government run legislation?

Some consumers who have made it through the website labyrinth have found confusing choices among plans which vary widely in both premium and out of pocket costs even with the subsidies, a pass through of public funds to the private insurers.

Translation? You are just too stupid to handle having choices, you need a government agent handle all those icky details there comrade!

The minimum benefits are also somewhat illusory. Insurance companies have decades of experience at gaming the system and warehouses full of experts to design ways to limit coverage options.

The ACA allows insurers to cherry pick healthier enrollees by the way benefit packages are designed, and as a Washington Post article noted on 21 November, consumers are discovering insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and excluding many top ranked hospitals from their approved “network”. 

Again, insurance companies are EVIL! See they are limiting your choices, taking away you doctor, and restricting the hospitals you can use. Well, actually, it is the government, through Obama Care that is doing that, so, of course, the answer is to give that same government even greater control. Good Grief, how stupid are these folks?

Far less reported is what registered nurses increasingly see – financial incentives within the ACA for hospitals to prematurely push patients out of hospitals to cheaper, less regulated settings or back to their homes. It also encourages shifting more care delivery from nurses and doctors to robots and other technology that undermines individual patient care, and that may work no better than the dysfunctional ACA websites.

And we are to somehow delude ourselves into believing that an elimination of private insurance will ameliorate these problems?

Is there an alternative? Most other developed nations have discovered it, a single-payer or national healthcare system.

Of course it is, sure! Forget that the issues we are seeing with Obama Care clearly illustrate the consistent failures of central planners and their Statist schemes. Forget that every concern those opposed to national health care have expressed are proven by Obama Care. Forget history, forget all of it. Just push forward to total government control of our health care. Bring on the death panels, and the elimination of personal choice and autonomy. Just leave it all to people so incompetent they cannot even get a vastly over priced website to work. A website, by the way, they had  more than three years to get right. THREE YEARS!

A closing thought. Isn’t it odd that Leftists foam at the mouth if insurance companies deny a prescription, or treatment, but if the government does it, it is wonderful? It is not odd, it is simply that the Left see government as their god. Just as Christians see God, yes THE REAL GOD, as perfect, Leftists see their god, in this case Washington D.C. as perfect. Now you might say that is just a different view of the world until you consider that God created the universe, and all life in it. The Leftists’ god on the other hand cannot even get a website to work.

Social Security Judge Collaborated With Lawyer To Improperly Award Benefits To Hundreds Of Applicants

Social Security Judge Accused Of Disability Scheme – Time

A retired Social Security judge in West Virginia collaborated with a lawyer to improperly award disability benefits to hundreds of applicants, according to a report released Monday by congressional investigators.

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The report accuses retired administrative law Judge David B. Daugherty of scheming with lawyer Eric C. Conn to approve more than 1,800 cases from 2006 to 2010.

“By 2011, Mr. Conn and Judge Daugherty had collaborated on a scheme that enabled the judge to approve, in assembly-line fashion, hundreds of clients for disability benefits using manufactured medical evidence,” said the report by the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Conn runs a law firm specializing in disability cases in Stanville, Ky., near the West Virginia border. Daugherty, who was a judge based in Huntington, W.Va., retired in 2011 after questions were raised about his relationship with Conn, the report said.

According to the report, the Social Security Administration paid Conn’s firm more than $4.5 million in attorney fees from cases heard by Daugherty from 2006 to 2010. In 2010, Conn was the third highest-paid disability lawyer in the country, the report said.

Investigators reviewed Daugherty’s bank records and found $96,000 in unexplained cash deposits, the report said.

“From 2003 to 2011, Judge Daugherty’s bank records contain regularly occurring cash deposits totaling $69,800, the source of which is unexplained in the judge’s financial disclosure forms,” the report said. “From 2007 to 2011, his daughter’s bank records list similar cash deposits totaling another $26,200. When asked about the $96,000 in cash deposits, Judge Daugherty refused to explain their origin or the source of the funds.”

Neither Daugherty nor Conn could be reached for comment. Both men were scheduled to testify Monday at a committee hearing.

Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon declined to comment on whether the Justice Department is conducting a criminal probe of the matter.

Questions about Daugherty’s relationship with Conn were first raised by The Wall Street Journal in 2011.

Nearly 11 million disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security disability benefits. That’s a 45 percent increase from a decade ago. The average monthly benefit for a disabled worker is $1,130.

An additional 8.3 million people get Supplemental Security Income, a separately funded disability program for low-income people.

In order to qualify, people are supposed to have disabilities that prevent them from working and are expected to last at least a year or result in death.

Social Security disability claims are first processed through a network of local Social Security Administration field offices and state agencies called Disability Determination Services. About two-thirds of initial claims are rejected, according to agency statistics.

If your claim is rejected, you can ask the field office or state agency to reconsider. If your claim is rejected again, you can appeal to an administrative law judge, who is employed by Social Security.

The average processing time for a hearing before a judge is a little longer than a year, according to the agency. Daugherty approved claims for Conn’s clients in as little as 30 days, the report said.

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IRS Exposes Thousands Of Social Security Numbers Online

The IRS Mistakenly Exposed Thousands Of Social Security Numbers – National Journal

Another day, another slipup by the Internal Revenue Service.

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The incident involves the unwitting exposure of “tens of thousands” of Social Security numbers, according to a recent audit by the independent transparency and public-domain group Public.Resource.org. The identifying numbers were on the Internet for less than 24 hours after being discovered, but the damage was done. And unfortunately, the data-breach concerns some of the most sensitive types of transactions: Those made by nonprofit political groups known as 527s.

Every so often, 527s have to file tax forms to the IRS, which then get added to a database. The database itself is hardly a secret; the IRS has been sending updated records routinely to Public.Resource.org and other public-interest groups, and it’s a favorite among political reporters. But when the IRS told the group’s founder, Carl Malamud, to disregard the Form 990-Ts included in the agency’s January release, he took a closer look at the files in question.

After analyzing the breach, Malamud wrote a letter to the IRS pointing out 10 instances where a social security number was accidentally revealed on the government’s website – just a small sample of the larger breach.

Just the day before, Malamud had filed another letter to the agency describing a problem with the 990-Ts. Of over 3,000 tax returns contained in the January update, 319 contained sensitive data the agency should have scrubbed, Malamud wrote in the July 1 report that he filed to the inspector general’s office. In that mixup, some 2,319 social security numbers – perhaps more – were revealed.

To determine the extent of the exposure, we’ve analyzed our logs and have also analyzed the data received from the IRS. We maintain a privacy registry based on any clicks made on the privacy cover sheet on the top of each return. That registry indicates that 8 clicks were made from 4 unique IP addresses. However, none of those resulted in privacy complaints and could have been made by an automated process.

In addition, we examined our FTP and HTTP logs. We only maintain a 7-day window for HTTP logs and did not see any HTTP-based access that was not from a search engine crawler. For the FTP logs (which indicates bulk download activity), we did not see extensive activity for the January directory, but it was clear that at least one copy of the DVD ISO image (the image of the original DVD) had been transferred.

Public.Resource.org took down its copy of the compromised 990-Ts and replaced them with a clean version that the IRS had sent. But it was another day before “senior White House officials” the IRS removed the files from public view on their end, on July 3.

Calling the IRS’s efforts at data security “unprofessional and amateur,” Public.Resource.org is requesting that the IRS shut down the entire 527 database to prevent further lapses. In an email, Malamud told me that the IRS has, in fact, shut down the database – but that it should also reopen it as soon as possible in the interest of transparency.

In May, the IRS drew fire for singling out conservative political groups for greater scrutiny, leading to the resignation of the agency’s acting director and sparking a slew of congressional hearings.

I’ve called the IRS for comment, and I’ll update if I hear anything.

Update: An earlier version of this post didn’t make sufficiently clear the distinction between the 990-Ts and the 527 database, which are each the source of separate, if similar, problems. Both the tax documents and the database revealed social security numbers; the IRS sent Public.Resource.org a clean copy of the first but didn’t fix the second until Malamud contacted the agency.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Illegal Alien Mother Of Seven Has Received Food Stamps, Meds, Housing And Social Security For 20 Years (Video)

Unreal… Illegal Immigrant Mother Of Seven Given Food Stamps, Meds, Housing, And Social Security… For 20 Years (Video) – Gateway Pundit

It’s Cloward-Piven on steroids.

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Illegal immigrant and mother of seven, Marita Nelson, receives $240 in food stamps, monthly medications, $700 in Social Security and a housing allowance. She entered the US by swimming the Rio Grande and has been on government assistance for 20 years.

No doubt, an Obama supporter…

Now she’s on a crusade to help other illegals sign up for their free stuff.

You just can’t make this stuff up!

Via Special Report:

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For the record… The Obama administration is paying recruiters to sign up more people on food stamps.

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$7.9B In Improper Social Security Payments Last Year… But The Sequester Will Destroy America

$7.9 Billion In Improper Social Security Payments In FY 2012 – CNS

The Social Security Administration (SSA) needs to focus on “program integrity,” a polite term for reducing fraud and payment errors, the agency’s inspector general told Congress last week.

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Reducing improper payments is one of the challenges facing the next SSA commissioner, Patrick O’Carroll, Jr., the agency’s inspector general, told the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security on April 26.

In fiscal year 2012, the Social Security Administration reported $4.7 billion in improper payments in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, a 9.2 percent improper payment rate. (SSI is funded by general tax revenues, not payroll taxes. It helps elderly, blind, and/or disabled people who are poor.)

SSA reported $3.2 billion in the Old-Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program, a 0.4 percent improper payment rate. (OASDI, funded by payroll taxes, is what people generally refer to as “Social Security.”)

That’s a total of $7.9 billion, and it includes some underpayments as well as overpayments.

“SSA’s improper payments largely consist of those erroneously made to ineligible individuals,” O’Carroll said.

“Improper benefit payments occur for many reasons.” Fraud is one reason, he said. This includes beneficiaries who do not tell the agency about changes in their income, resources or living arrangements, which would change the amount Social Security pays them. O’Carroll also mentioned recipients’ “poor understanding of reporting responsibilities,” and administrative errors.

“For many years, my office has encouraged SSA to balance service initiatives, such as processing new claims, with stewardship responsibilities, such as conducting timely work and medical (disability reviews) and SSI redeterminations, to ensure that individuals remain disabled and eligible, and cease payments to those who do not.”

Soaring disability claims are a particular concern for the Social Security Administration.

In his opening statement, subcommittee Chair Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) said application for disability benefits, triggered by the recession and the weak recovery, have never been higher: “Since 2010, the average number of people filing for disability benefits is just over 249,000 a month,” Johnson said. “At the same time the average number of new jobs created is almost 148,000 each month.”

O’Carroll told the panel he would like to see SSA perform more work-related “continuing disability reviews,” or CDRs, to make sure people collecting disability aren’t working on the side.

SSA estimates that every dollar spent on medical CDRs yields about $9 in SSA program savings over 10 years. Reducing the complexity of Social Security’s disability programs could also streamline operations and reduce millions of dollars in payment errors each year, O’Carroll said.

SSA said it conducted 443,233 medical disability reviews in FY2012, up from 345,000 in FY2011, but the disability review backlog still stands at 1.2 million.

SSA has set a goal of conducting 435,000 medical disability reviews in FY2013, based on the current level of funding. Beneficiaries with a high likelihood of medical improvement undergo a medical review; Beneficiaries with a lower likelihood of medical improvement are mailed a questionnaire, which may or may not trigger a medical review.

Reexamination or “redetermination” of SSI retirement benefits also is effective in reducing overpayments in the SSI program, O’Carroll said. Because SSI is a means-tested program, any change in recipients’ income, living arrangements, or marital status can affect eligibility or payment amount.

SSA reported that it saves $5 for every $1 spent on SSI redeterminations. SSA completed more than 2.4 million redeterminations in FY2011 and 2.6 million in FY2012, and it plans to conduct more than 2.6 million in FY2013. Not every SSI recipient undergoes a redetermination every year; SSA uses a statistical scoring model to identify which cases it will examine.

O’Carroll said his office has encouraged SSA to use data matching with other governmental agencies to detect improper payments. He said SSA also should use more non-governmental databases in doing the redeterminations.

SSA paid more than $800 billion in SSI and OASDI benefits to more than 60 million Americans in FY2012. It estimates that over the next 20 years, another 80 million individuals will retire and file for Social Security benefits.

The hearing was called to discuss the challenges facing the next Social Security commissioner. Michael J. Astrue’s six-year term expired on Jan. 19, 2013, and his successor — once President Obama nominates one – must be confirmed by the Senate.

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Something about the Obama budget you need to focus on

Yes, the huge tax hikes are there, you knew they would be. Yes, the massive increases in spending, leading to more debt are there too. But one bit of info that struck me was the plan to invent yet another right, and further indoctrinate our kids at the same time. $100,000,000,000 for universal pre-K

“The taxes figure is the $600 billion in tax hikes admitted to by the President in today’s leaks, plus the $100 billion from the CPI change noted on the WH website, and $100 billion for tobacco taxes to pay for universal pre-K.  We don’t know what the President’s exact proposal will be, but we know those taxes can be set to hit whatever number the President needs to pay for his pre-K policy.  The media today reports that the president will raise tobacco taxes to pay for universal pre-K.  We know from earlier reporting  that the President’s pre-K plan could cost between $10 and $25 billion, so $100 billion over 10 years is a reasonable number for the first 10 year cost of the program, and the new taxes needed to pay for it.

Reasonable you say? More spending, more taxes all to what? Have 2-4 year-olds in preschool? This is now a “right” somehow? No, of course it isn’t. It is a way to further dumb down our kids, and turn them into good little Leftists. I mean add this to the “right” to go to college, which is also the “right” to accumulate massive student loan debt, and what do you have? Twenty years, at least, to fill the children’s minds with Liberal talking points and propaganda.

Imagine how much anti-gun, anti-individualism, anti-capitalist crap they can sling at a child in 20 years.

Ohio Woman Buried Mother In Backyard, Cashed Her Social Security Checks For 14 Years

Woman Buried Mother In Backyard, Then Collected Her Social Security For 14 Yrs – CNS

An Ohio woman concealed her mother’s death by burying her body in the back yard and then collected the dead women’s Social Security for the next 14 years.

According to the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Office of the Inspector General, Patricia Hodges, 65, of Marietta, Ohio pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Feb. 27 to one count of theft of government money for hiding her mother’s death in order to continue receiving her mother’s Social Security benefits.

During testimony in a hearing before the Southern District of Ohio, it was revealed that Hodges lied to the SSA in November 2011, saying her mother was on a cruise and was planning on moving to New York.

“Further investigation by the Social Security Administration and Marietta Police concluded that Hodges’ mother had died in 1997 and that Hodges had buried her mother’s body in the back yard of a house in Lake Worth, Florida where they had lived,” the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said. “Florida law enforcement investigators recovered the skeletal remains of Hodges’ mother.”

According to the OIG, “Hodges admitted that she concealed her mother’s death in order to collect $141,962 in Social Security benefits she was not entitled to receive between 1997 and October 2011.”

Hodges faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years of supervised release. Hodges is free on bond until her sentencing date is scheduled.

The Social Security Administration has administered payments to deceased individuals before. CNSNews.com previously reported at least 30 dead people received benefits totaling $405,357, in 2012.

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Obama Threatens To Hold Soldiers, Disabled People And The Elderly Hostage If Debt Ceiling Isn’t Raised

Obama Threatens Not To Pay Troops, Social Security If No Debt Ceiling Raise, Blames GOP On Credit Downgrade – Right Scoop

This morning Obama said that to not increase the debt ceiling would be irresponsible and said if the GOP doesn’t raise it, we won’t be able to pay social security and we might not be able to pay our troops. He then lists a whole litany of “horrible things” that would happen if the debt ceiling doesn’t get raised that makes Armageddon sound like it’s right around the corner.

He then proceeds to blame the GOP for the credit downgrade, saying that it happened because during the last fight over the debt ceiling, Republicans flirted with the idea of not raising it. So, he’s added close to 6 trillion dollars in debt in his first 4 years and yet he blames Republicans for the credit downgrade? Wow.

Shortly after saying this Major Garrett of CBS News asked Obama about the time when he voted against raising the debt ceiling as a Senator and Obama totally dodged it. But it was a great question.

Watch:

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In which I fully agree with Smitty

Smitty lays down an argument I myself have made and who am I to disagree with Smitty, or with myself?

Progressivism is antithetical to liberty as we know it. The silver liningcrew is attempting to find something good in the Thursday’s whuppin’. And you can re-fight it like a Civil War battle all you like. Whether or not history shows that Roberts gave us the Full Denton doesn’t matter: that’s the decision.

So, instead, let us prove ourselves an exceptional nation. Let’s muster all the patriotic attorneys general, and the great conservative legal minds, and set about saying that a tax is a tax; that godforsaken sacred cow Ponzi scheme known as Social Security is a tax, and send it to the butcher along with ObamaCare.

Who is with me?

Count me in.

The newest RAAAAACIST word?

Well, according to some pinhead on MSNBS, where else, the year 1965 is now RAAAAACIST!!

Via Newsbusters:

No, not at all. When Rick Santorum first announced he was running for President, in his announcement speech, he was criticizing President Obama for saying America wasn’t as great as it was until there were programs like Medicare and Social Security. But in that criticism, he said directly to the President, he said, “Mr. President, America was great before 1965.”

I called that out as a coded message. You know, I go to Selma every year, and 1965 is a sacred year in the history of this country, and a never-forgotten year in terms of the history of Alabama. When he said that, I knew exactly who he was speaking to in that coded language. So I’m not surprised at all that he won Alabama.

What can I say? These Liberal race pimps are always hearing “code words”. Good Grief! This calls for the ultimate face palm!

 

Shocker! Debbie Wasserman Schultz endorses Perry’s tax reform plan

Well, not really. But, by bashing the plan, Schultz makes me think it must be a winner. I mean if a moonbat like her hates it, it has to be good.

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wassserman Schultz slammed Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry’s tax plan, saying his flat tax proposal would benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class and increase the deficit.

NO! I just cannot believe that she played the benefit the rich card. I think that card is maxed out Debs.

“My reaction to Rick Perry’s new/old plan is that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,” said Wasserman Schultz on MSNBC Tuesday.

Perry, the Texas governor, laid out a sweeping overhaul to the nation’s tax code, entitlements and way of budgeting Tuesday. He called for an optional 20 percent flat tax, a privatized option for Social Security and a hike in the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare.

Mark Levin, on the other hand, really likes the Perry plan  The Club for Growth likes it a lot too!

 

Of course, Schultz would call any plan that lessens government controls, and Democratic greed crazy. And face it, Debs is kind of an expert on crazy!

Not just crazy, BATSHIT carzy!

Now THAT is a great ad!

Via Gateway Pundit!

As I have said, I have lived in Texas since 1995, and for the last ten years, Perry has been my governor, and has done a great job. Is he perfect? Of course not. Has he done things I disagree with? Yes a few. But overall, I have no real complaints. The man is solid on gun rights, solid on standing with Israel, great on creating jobs, cutting spending, solid on the life issue, and on tort reform, he is outstanding!

Rick Perry is the only Texas governor since WWII to cut general revenue spending. He signed historic tax cuts and some of the strongest lawsuit reforms in the country. Since June ‘09, more than 40 percent of all net new jobs in America have been created in Texas… No wonder the media wants to knock him out of the race!

Related… Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) says Rick Perry is right on Social Security – It IS a Ponzi scheme.

Here is Perry talking about Obama’s failed policy on Israel

*VIDEO* It’s Steven Crowder Friday!

Michele Bachman, where ARE your principles?

Say it ain’t so Michele

….according to news reports today, it won’t have to. Amazingly, two leading candidates for the GOP nomination, Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann, look set to take a page from the DNC and ThinkProgress playbook and attack Gov. Rick Perry for daring to speak the truth about Social Security. Below is a flier the Romney campaign is distributing in Florida.

And, yesterday, Bachmann’s campaign had this to say to Byron York:

“Bernie Madoff deals with Ponzi schemes, not the grandparents of America,” says a Bachmann adviser. “Clearly she feels differently about the value of Social Security than Gov. Perry does. She believes Social Security needs to be saved, that it’s an important safety net for Americans who have paid into it all their lives.” … “She strongly disagrees with his position on that…”

So let me get this straight; we now have TWO GOP candidates against any kind of entitlement reform? Really? We can’t begin to get out from under our overwhelming debt burden unless we tackle these auto-pilot programs. You could close every government agency and slash defense spending in half and we’re still screwed if we don’t reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. How can Romney or Bachmann seek to be President if they don’t understand this basic fact? I mean, its not just a theory…its math.

Of course, they do understand this. Just as everyone in DC understands that these programs are unsustainable. You could fill every hour of the day attending conferences and meetings in DC where everyone discusses how our entitlement programs are killing us. For decades, there have been warnings, white papers and commissions detailing this very open secret. Seriously, EVERYONE knows this.

Gov. Perry simply had the chutzpah to admit it publicly. Michael Kinsley once famously observed that, in Washington, a gaffe is when a politician accidentally states the truth. Gov. Perry has done that. He has admitted what everyone already knows; Social Security IS a ponzi scheme, in any meaningful understanding of the term. We can’t “fix” it or “save” it until we admit this simple fact.

Bachman knows that Perry does not want to, and has never suggested “abolishing” Social Security. Her rhetoric suggests that IS what Perry wants to do. I might expect this from Romney, but from Bachman?

Maybe I only thought I knew Michele Bachman. Maybe I only thought she was a woman of principles, rather than just another politician who will say anything for votes. Maybe she really is Mike Huckabee in a skirt. I know these might seem harsh words, especially for me. I have, after all, said many kind things about Bachman, and I meant those things, but Bachman’s deliberate misconstruing, twisting LYING about Rick Perry’s stance on Social Security disgusts me frankly.

In effect, Bachman, and Mitt Romney, have taken up the rhetoric of the Democratic Party. Why? So that if Perry gets the GOP nod, the Democrats can use their words in ads attacking, and to be sure , FALSELY attacking Perry? Who do they think they are? John Huntsman? Is that what Michele Bachman is really about? Say it ain’t so Michele, say it ain’t so.

Star Parker has a great piece up that deals with the fact that Rock Perry is RIGHT about the Ponzi Scheme.

So what about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s claim that Social Security is a “lie” and a “Ponzi scheme”?

He’s right on both counts. Americans should be singing hallelujah that we have at least one politician not afraid to tell the truth.

This isn’t about ideology. It’s about arithmetic.

You can’t hear too many times that, despite what many still think, Social Security isn’t any kind of investment plan, and there is no account that you’re paying into that is yours.

Social Security is simply about current workers paying a tax that is used to make payouts to current retirees.

Regardless of what you think about the idea, it was viable long ago when the size of the program was much smaller, the tax much lower, there were many more working Americans per retiree than today, and when life spans were much shorter.

When Social Security was enacted in 1935, the tax was 2 percent compared to 12.4 percent today, there were over 45 people working for every retiree compared to a 3-1 ratio today, and life expectancy then was 60 compared to 78 today.

Because of these changing realities, projections show that the system as it currently stands will be short some $20 trillion in meeting future obligations.

Any claim that Social Security will continue to work is simply a lie, as Rick Perry says. Some 76 percent of Americans between 18 and 34 apparently agree, because they say they don’t expect anything from the system when they retire.

Bob Belvedere does not sound impressed by Bachman’s tactics either

Now, as you probably know, Mandate Mitt Romney has been defending Social Security, doing his best to replicate the Left’s tactic of trying to scare the bejesus out of the elderly [click on the link to Smitty above to see one of MMR's flyers]. Shame on him for that.

That this ploy may succeed is explained well and succinctly by Matt Lewis in a comment he left in another Smitty posting:

The big problem with progressivism is that their policies aren’t all obviously failures from the get go.

Witness Romney v Perry, with respect to Social Security. It’s true that many people have benefited from receiving checks from the government. By the time it’s obvious that it’s going to crash and burn, the populace is already addicted, and it’s like a huge display of courage and controversy just to admit we have a problem.

Progressives: crack dealers of politics.

By vowing to look the other way when it comes to the crack trade, Romney is just as guilty as the [New] Dealers.

-In some ways, Mandate Mitt is just John McCain without the grumpiness and ‘Maverick Mojo’.

-The biggest disappointment to arise out of this whole kerfuffle is what Michele Bachmann has done.

Very disappointing.

This obsequious pandering is beneath her dignity. One now is forced to ask the question: Is Michele Bachmann just another politician who has been pulling the wool over our eyes or is she just acting out of desperation or is she woefully ignorant on this issue?

Sad.

Rick Perry on Obama and his policy towards Israel

I think it has become all too clear that our current president does not appreciate Israel’s friendship, or the importance of this nation standing beside Israel. Rick Perry clearly does

Perry was asked about Israel and cited a statement by Obama that Israel’s borders with a Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps — a position Perry called “throwing Israel under the bus.”

“I’m going to stand with Israel,” he said.

Asked whether he’d consider pre-emptive strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Perry said there are “a lot of different ways to deal with Iran,” including diplomatically and financially, But he added, “I’m never going to take off the table our ability to have a military solution to a country like Iran.”

AMEN! Perry also said what needs to be said on Social Security

Asked by a woman in the crowd about Social Security being viewed as an entitlement program, Perry reiterated the suggestion in his anti-Washington book “Fed Up!” that the program amounts to a Ponzi scheme.

“It is a Ponzi scheme for these young people The idea that they’re working and paying into Social Security today (and) the current program is going to be there for them is a lie,” Perry said. “It is a monstrous lie on this generation, and we can’t do that to them.”

Later, in Des Moines, when a reporter asked about the suggestion his campaign was backing off some positions in the staunch states-rights book, Perry said, “I haven’t backed off anything in my book. So read the book again and get it right.”

Again, saying what has to be said!


Daily Benefactor News – Tea Party Bill Would Force Obama To Pay Creditors, Social Security And Military If Debt Limit Negotiations Fail

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Tea Party Bill Would Force Obama To Pay Creditors, Social Security And Military If Debt Limit Negotiations Fail – The Hill

Tea Party conservatives hope to make a push on the House floor to force President Obama to avoid a national default if Congress fails to raise the debt limit.

Members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus have met with House freshmen to discuss a plan to pressure House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring the Full Faith and Credit Act to the floor.

The legislation would direct Obama to prioritize federal payments to the nation’s creditors, Social Security recipients and soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The bill has been revised since it was introduced earlier this year. The previous version simply required the Treasury Department to pay the principal and interest on the debt held by the public over other obligations incurred by the federal government.

The challenge for conservatives is to persuade Boehner to bring it up for a vote in the ten days remaining before the Aug. 2 deadline.

“We have a bill that directs by law the president to pay the interest on the debt, pay social security checks and pay soldiers’ salaries. We’ve been talking with the House freshmen to see if they will force a vote on that next week,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a member of the Senate Tea Party Caucus.

“There are at least 100 members of the caucus that are in favor of it, they have to just convince their leadership it’s a good idea,” he said of the House Republican conference.

A House GOP aide confirmed that conservatives in the lower chamber are mulling the move.

“We’re certainly looking at the option of moving forward on that front,” said Brian Straessle, communications director of the House Republican Study Committee.

Obama has warned seniors that the federal government may not be able to disburse Social Security payments on Aug. 3 if Congress cannot agree to raise the debt limit.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Obama said earlier this month.

Republican strategists worry this could quickly turn public opinion against the GOP.

“Democrats have the leverage if we have to pay the Saudi royal family the money we owe them and granny doesn’t get her check,” a Senate Republican aide told The Hill earlier this month.

Even though public polling shows that a majority of people oppose raising the debt limit, Republican Senate leaders fear Democrats would quickly gain leverage in the event of a national default.

Conservatives want to pre-empt that reverse by forcing Obama to continue payments to seniors and soldiers. They worry if those two constituencies were harmed by a default, it would prove disastrous politically.

“The next step is that the president should take default off the table. He should tell the American people that he’ll pay the interest on the debt no matter whether there’s a deal by Aug. 2 or not,” Paul said.

“He should also quit threatening the seniors, tell the seniors they will get their checks,” he said of Obama.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has argued, however, that if Congress does not raise the debt limit and the administration continues to pay interest on the debt, Social Security recipients and military forces overseas, most other government services would come to a halt. He said this would leave Federal Aviation Administration towers, FBI offices and border control checkpoints unmanned.

Senate conservatives are also pushing their Tea Party-affiliated colleagues in the House to make a new push on the “cut, cap and balance” legislation that was defeated in the Senate Friday.

Senators voted 51 to 46 to table the legislation, which would have required Congress to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, before raising the debt limit.

Senate Tea Party members want to reconsider it and believe they would have a better chance of getting another vote if the House passed the Senate’s version of the cut, cap and balance bill, according to a GOP aide.

These conservative senators believe their leadership should have made more of a concerted effort to push the bill, which would have cut $111 billion from the federal budget in fiscal year 2012 and caped spending at 19.9 percent of gross domestic product by 2021.

GOP leadership aides, however, argue that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pushed for three days of debate on the bill, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) then cut short.

McConnell said the debate showed Senate Republicans strongly supported a balanced budget amendment.

“I want to thank every American who’s spoken out in favor of the cut, cap, and balance plan,” he said on the floor Friday. “Today the American people will now know where we stand.”

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Your Blog Quote of the Day!

Via John at Sentry Journal. Read the whole thing and pass it on!

The President stated this is a job for professional politicians.

Oh I see the same professional politicians who helped create our housing crisis by forcing banks to make loans to people with a less than stellar credit rating. The same professional politicians who are destroying the value of our dollar QE1 and QE2.  The same politicians who raided the Social Security trust fund.  And finally the same politicians whose spending is so out of control we can’t even guarantee that Social Security checks will get out if our credit limit isn’t raised.

 

You know how I call Liberalism the Ideology of Convenience?

Well, Matt at Conservative Hideout has a great example of the truth behind that description. Social security was, a few weeks back, in great shape according to the Left. Now, however, when it is politically expedient for Liberals, Social Security is S.O.L.!

The latest case in point came yesterday, when the POTUS announced that Social Security checks might not go out in August unless the GOP sabotages the economy to Obama’s liking

Wait a freaking minute here! I seem to recall that over the last few months, we were consistently told that Social Security and Medicare were so well funded as to be bullet proof.  As Rep. Ryan’s buget plan was rolled out, we were told that Social Security was in great shape, and that Ryan and his GOP cohorts were just trying to kill off all the grannies (like there would be any left after ObamaCare anyway).

Here is what MSNBC had to say about it back in March of this year. 

But skeptics wonder: why pick on Social Security? Since Social Security will be solvent until 2037, why must it be part of any fiscal overhaul now?

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., a member of the Bowles-Simpson commission who voted against its recommendations, has accused Republicans of wanting “to raid Social Security to pay for their past failures to balance the books.”

He said Social Security has “$2.6 trillion in reserves dedicated to paying the retirement, disability and survivor benefits that American taxpayers have earned” and that $2.6 trillion “doesn’t add to our deficit.”

How very convenient.

Social Security And Medicare In Even Worse Shape Than Previously Thought

Social Security And Medicare In Even Worse Shape Than Previously Thought –

Social Security and Medicare Trustees Friday issued their annual report on the financial future of the two entitlement programs. The prognosis isn’t good, and, in fact, is even worse than was reported just one year ago.

According to the report, Social Security is now permanently cash negative and can no longer be funded solely from the payroll tax. It is projected to exhaust funds in 2036 — one year earlier than the report predicted last year.

Medicare isn’t faring any better. The trustees expect the fund to run out of money in 2024, and not 2029 as was previously expected. For the sixth year in a row, the trustees also, made an “excess general revenue Medicare funding” determination.

It only requires two consecutive determinations before the president is required to submit a legislative proposal to deal with the funding crisis within 15 day of his next budget.

“Today’s news that Social Security and Medicare will become insolvent even sooner than expected is a sobering wake up call and makes clear we must take action now to avoid catastrophe. Washington has no excuse. We have known for years this was coming.”

Social Security and Medicare have been front-and-center in recent months as lawmakers battle over the budget and which areas to cut spending. Those discussions were put into overdrive this week as debate about raising the debt ceiling heated up and lawmakers met at the White House for budget talks.

In a speech in New York Monday night, Speaker of the House John Boehner said that a vote to raise the debt ceiling would require “trillions” of dollars worth in spending cuts, suggesting that entitlement programs would be on the table.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell came out Thursday night saying that he would not vote to raise the debt limit without significant cuts and revisions to programs like Medicare.

McConnell did say, however, that changes to Social Security are likely to be off the table when it comes to the debt ceiling, despite its dire finances.

“I would love for Social Security to be a part of it,” he said. “The president can speak for himself, but I think he’s not interested in doing Social Security without raising taxes. We don’t think that’s necessary.”

In his statement, Sessions continued to hound the Democrats for budget proposal. “It has been 744 days since the Democrat-led Senate has passed a budget,” he said. “If the Senate goes another year without passing a budget it would be a national scandal.”

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