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?

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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.

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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.