Feds Overpaid $371.5 Million In Benefits To Disability Recipients

Social Security Administration Overpaid $371.5 Million In Disability Benefits – Washington Free Beacon

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) overpaid individuals a total of $371.5 million in disability benefits from fiscal year 2009 through fiscal 2013, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

These overpayments are cause for concern, as the Social Security’s Disability Insurance Trust Fund is expected to go broke by 2016, according to SSA’s 2015 annual report.

“During a time of growing concern about the solvency of the DI trust fund, it is important for SSA to take every opportunity to help improve the financial status of the program,” the GAO said. The report examined how these concurrent Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) payments affect Disability Insurance (DI) overpayments.

The GAO found that SSA did not detect concurrent FECA payments for about 1,040 individuals during at least one month from July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2014.

To test SSA’s internal controls, GAO randomly selected 20 beneficiaries for review. In all 20 cases, SSA’s controls failed to detect and prevent overpayments. In seven of the cases, SSA did not detect overpayments for more than a decade, and each of these individuals received $100,000 in overpaid benefits.

One of these seven individuals received FECA benefits in the 1980s and was approved for disability benefits 14 years later in 1994. The GAO found that this individual received $200,000 in overpayments for more than 20 years.

The SSA’s “internal controls” rely on beneficiaries to self-report overpayments.

“SSA officials told us that if beneficiaries do not self-report benefits, there are no system prompts that would alert SSA staff to ask beneficiaries if they are receiving any workers’ compensation benefits, including FECA payments,” states GAO. “SSA officials agreed that relying on beneficiaries to self-report benefits presents a challenge in identifying overpayments related to the concurrent receipt of FECA benefits.”

The disability insurance program is the nation’s largest cash assistance program for workers with disabilities. In fiscal year 2014 it paid $142 billion to 11 million beneficiaries.

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Bitch McConnell Helps Senate Democrats Block Effort To Defund Planned Parenthood

Thanks To Mitch McConnell, Democrats Defeat Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood – Gateway Pundit

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Democrats today blocked a bill to defund the Planned Parenthood baby organ harvesting industry today.

The Senate voted 53-46 on the cluture motion failing to get the 60 needed to move the bill forward.

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell led the effort to keep Planned Parenthood funding by blocking an amendment to the Highway Bill by Mike Lee to defund the abortion harvesting group.

The move by McConnell made it necessary for conservatives to get 60 votes today for their bill.

They could only muster 53 votes.

Life News reported:

Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop debate on the bill, allowing an up or down vote.

The legislation follows four shocking videos that have caught Planned Parenthood doctors discussing and arranging the sale of body parts of aborted babies.

The Senate voted 53-46 on the cloture motion – failing to get the 60 votes needed to stop the Democratic filibuster against the de-funding measure. had the cloture vote been approved and the bill passed, and should the House pass its own bill to de-fund Planned Parenthood, President Barack Obama said he would veto the measure.

With the Senate voting against de-funding, attention now turns to attempts to de-fund Planned Parenthood via the budget process. Already, 18 House Republicans have said they will not allow passage of any essential bills to fund the federal government if such bills do not include language de-funding Planned Parenthood.

Attention will also now turn to Congressional and state efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood’s sale of body parts from aborted babies and state-level efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood further.

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*LIVE STREAMING* ‘Voters First’ Republican Primary Candidates Forum (08/03/15 – 7pm ET)



……………………….Click on image above for live stream.

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Participants: Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham.

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New Obama Regulations Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Electricity Costs 80%

EPA Regs Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Costs 80% – Independent Sentinel

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Obama is to fossil fuels what locusts are to crops.

The administration is coming up with Draconian regulations on coal plants Monday and they are worse than originally planned.

A government official promised on Tuesday that regulations will cost taxpayers as much as 80% more for electricity but the New York Times said the “administration argues that the rules will save the average American family $85 annually in electricity costs and bring additional health benefits.” You read that correctly.

This is the government engineered unFree Market at work. Read on.

We were promised a savings of $2500 a year in our health insurance premiums but they are skyrocketing. This energy debacle appears to be going down the same road. All of this is to control us. Coal is not bad enough to warrant this overreaction but the president wants his ideology in place.

On Tuesday, Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80%, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”

In other words, prices are anticipated to go up, then come down as the technology develops but they will never be inexpensive as they were.

The problem is mainly that the CCS technology they are forcing on the coal plants is not ready for prime time and the people will have to shoulder the costs of the premature regulations and the immature technology. The lowered future costs are reliant on their betting on the technology they admit is not ready for use.

Friedman said coal plants would not install the CCS technology without the mandate and the government will subsidize them. That’s another cost to taxpayers so the government can force the technology through quickly.

If the technology is not ready for use, how can it be mandated and how do we know it will work?

Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity accused the Obama administration of trying to drive up energy costs and put Americans out of work.

“Today’s hearing shed further light on how grossly underdeveloped CCS remains and revealed the staggering cost increases American consumers and manufacturers will face if future power plants are forced to operate under EPA’s inane regulations,” Sheehan said. “DOE and EPA are wasting valuable taxpayer dollars by pursuing policies that will do nothing to build economic confidence and create jobs but everything to drive up energy costs and put hardworking Americans out of work.”

The government and their environmental group partners refused to listen to requests for more realistic cost ranges.

The New York Times reported that on Monday, EPA head Gina McCarthy will announce the toughest Obama regulations to date, regulations which will possibly shut down hundreds of coal-fired plants and freeze construction of new coal plants. This is part of the administration’s fundamental transformation of the energy sector which he has basically seized via the EPA.

He is fighting global warming which he sees as an existential threat though many believe his nationalization of every U.S. sector is more of an existential threat.

The NY Times reports, “the most aggressive of the regulations requires the nation’s existing power plants to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, an increase from the 30 percent target proposed in the draft regulation.”

They added, “That new rule also demands that power plants use more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 percent from 22 percent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources.”

The administration could not get a cap and trade bill passed so the president took out his pen and phone and is putting through a cap and trade bill that will probably negatively impact the lives of the middle class Americans he purports to help. If the president wins in court, it will force every state to implement his cap and trade.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell comes from a coal state and has told governors to refuse to follow the mandates.

The NY Times added that “experts”, who were left unnamed in the article, say that emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. They are referring to the global warming that is in its 21st year of not warming.

Taxpayers can take small solace in the fact that this is for Mr. Obama’s legacy and he’s ramping up in time for his term’s end.

The administration says this will save the average taxpayer $85 a year but they might be using Common Core math because that’s not what Mr. Friedman said on Tuesday.

Leftist think tanks like ThinkProgress predict lower energy bills but that is not what Barack Obama promised in January 2008.

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Dumbest VP In American History Leaning Strongly Toward Presidential Bid Now That Hitlery Is Imploding

Biden Is ‘Likely’ To Run – Boston Herald

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Joe Biden is leaning strongly toward a 2016 presidential bid, a source close to the vice president tells the Herald – news that is spurring excitement among top Democrats in Massachusetts and early voting states who are worried about front-runner Hillary Clinton’s hefty political baggage and sagging poll numbers.

An adviser close to Biden, who is familiar with the vice president’s exploration process, told the Herald that Biden will “more likely than not” jump into the 2016 race. A request for comment from Biden’s White House office was not returned yesterday.

The news of Biden’s renewed campaign activity over the weekend energized Democrats eager for a robust primary contest as Clinton faces ongoing questions about her use of a private email server and an upcoming hearing of her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attack during her tenure as secretary of state.

“I’d love to see Biden run,” said Democratic strategist Scott Ferson. “He is authentic and people are looking for that. I think people want Hillary Clinton to be more authentic.”

Advisers to Biden have reportedly begun actively reaching out to potential supporters and donors, an effort that gained momentum after the death of Biden’s son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, in May. The younger Biden, as well as his brother, Hunter Biden, reportedly had urged their father to jump into the 2016 presidential race.

The conversations between Biden aides and potential supporters reportedly grew out of the condolences and expressions of support to Biden after Beau’s death from brain cancer.

Biden already is the beneficiary of a draft movement, and wouldn’t have to start his campaign from scratch.

“We have staff on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire, and we are bringing more people on in South Carolina,” said Will Pierce of “Draft Biden 2016,” who said he expects Biden to decide by September.

The efforts are being met with support from those who say Biden could energize the Democratic primary, providing a formidable opponent to Clinton. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 58 percent of voters – and a whopping 87 percent of Democrats – found Biden honest and trustworthy, compared to 37 percent and 76 percent,
respectively, for Clinton.

“What is happening with the emails and all the other issues around Hillary’s campaign has not been helpful to her,” said former Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman Phil Johnston. “If anyone is in the position to beat her for the nomination, I would say it’s Joe.”

Clinton is now seriously challenged only by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders – wildly popular on the left, with high polling numbers in early voting states, but seen as unelectable nationally. Other candidates, like former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, have failed so far to gain traction. More competition can only help the race, strategists said.

“I think a spirited primary would be good for our nominee, whoever it is,” said Iowa-based Democratic strategist Jeff Link.

But Biden would have several obstacles to overcome, from his close ties to the Obama administration that will draw Republican fire, to his late start that leaves him at a fundraising and visibility disadvantage.

“Every day you wait, it gets harder,” Link said.

But he also has deep roots and strong support in early primary states.

“The vice president will be very welcome in South Carolina,” said state Democratic Party chairman Jaime Harrison. “I still think Secretary Clinton is the frontrunner, but if Biden got in the race he’d be formidable in his own right.”

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Shocker! Climate Models Fail To Predict Actual Climate (Video)

Climate Models Fail To Predict Actual Climate – Legal Insurrection

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Environmental activists have relied heavily on computer models to predict climate patterns confirming their notion that mankind is toxic.

However, recent studies have shown models have failed to consider real world conditions in their calculations.

Exhibit 1 – Sea ice is more resilient to melting than thought:

Using new satellite data, researchers at University College London reported in Nature Geoscience on Monday that the total volume of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere was well above average in the autumn of 2013, traditionally the end of the annual melt season, after an unusually cool summer when temperatures dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s.

“We now know it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short,” said the study’s lead author Rachel Tilling, a researcher who studies satellite observations of the Arctic. “The sea ice might be a little more resilient than we thought.”

Exhibit 2 – The effects of the vast deserts of the Earth have not been considered, and it appears that a good portion of emitted carbon dioxide is disappearing within them.

About 40 percent of this carbon stays in the atmosphere and roughly 30 percent enters the ocean, according to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Scientists thought the remaining carbon was taken up by plants on land, but measurements show plants don’t absorb all of the leftover carbon. Scientists have been searching for a place on land where the additional carbon is being stored – the so-called “missing carbon sink.”

The new study suggests some of this carbon may be disappearing underneath the world’s deserts – a process exacerbated by irrigation. Scientists examining the flow of water through a Chinese desert found that carbon from the atmosphere is being absorbed by crops, released into the soil and transported underground in groundwater – a process that picked up when farming entered the region 2,000 years ago.

Underground aquifers store the dissolved carbon deep below the desert where it can’t escape back to the atmosphere, according to the new study.

The new desert study concludes that more study is needed… of course.

Many of the comments in the desert piece focus on the replacement of the technical name “carbon dioxide” with the word “carbon”. This switch is misleading, as the former co-founder of Greenpeace and climate scare-science skeptic, Dr. Patrick Moore, discusses in the following Prager University video:

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Moore derides climate models in an wonderful article for Heartland, and he asserts that human emissions have been beneficial:


…My skepticism begins with the believers’ certainty they can predict the global climate with a computer model. The entire basis for the doomsday climate change scenario is the hypothesis increased atmospheric carbon dioxide due to fossil fuel emissions will heat the Earth to unlivable temperatures.

In fact, the Earth has been warming very gradually for 300 years, since the Little Ice Age ended, long before heavy use of fossil fuels. Prior to the Little Ice Age, during the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings colonized Greenland and Newfoundland, when it was warmer there than today. And during Roman times, it was warmer, long before fossil fuels revolutionized civilization.

The idea it would be catastrophic if carbon dioxide were to increase and average global temperature were to rise a few degrees is preposterous.

…Over the past 150 million years, carbon dioxide had been drawn down steadily (by plants) from about 3,000 parts per million to about 280 parts per million before the Industrial Revolution. If this trend continued, the carbon dioxide level would have become too low to support life on Earth. Human fossil fuel use and clearing land for crops have boosted carbon dioxide from its lowest level in the history of the Earth back to 400 parts per million today.

At 400 parts per million, all our food crops, forests, and natural ecosystems are still on a starvation diet for carbon dioxide. The optimum level of carbon dioxide for plant growth, given enough water and nutrients, is about 1,500 parts per million, nearly four times higher than today. Greenhouse growers inject carbon-dioxide to increase yields. Farms and forests will produce more if carbon-dioxide keeps rising.

Since Moore has become an environmental-activism apostate, Greenpeace has worked hard to demean his professionalism and undermine his work. Supporting better climate science would also get in the way of their anti-business protests featuring kayakers blocking ice-breakers on the way to assist Arctic oil drilling operations, which would then cut down on both drama and donations.

In conclusion, reliance on crazy climate models has lead to even crazier behavior.

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Feds To Issue More Green Cards Than The Populations Of Iowa, New Hampshire And South Carolina Combined

USA To Issue More Green Cards Than Populations Of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina Combined – Big Government

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Breitbart News has exclusively obtained text and a chart from the Senate’s Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, chaired by Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), concerning America’s ongoing policy of massive legal immigration:

The overwhelming majority of immigration to the United States is the result of our visa policies. Each year, millions of visas are issued to temporary workers, foreign students, refugees, asylees, and permanent immigrants for admission into the United States. The lion’s share of these visas are for lesser-skilled and lower-paid workers and their dependents who, because they are here on work-authorized visas, are added directly to the same labor pool occupied by current unemployed jobseekers. Expressly because they arrive on legal immigrant visas, most will be able to draw a wide range of taxpayer-funded benefits, and corporations will be allowed to directly substitute these workers for Americans. Improved border security would have no effect on the continued arrival of these foreign workers, refugees, and permanent immigrants – because they are all invited here by the federal government.

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The most significant of all immigration documents issued by the U.S. is, by far, the “green card.” When a foreign citizen is issued a green card it guarantees them the following benefits inside the United States: lifetime work authorization, access to federal welfare, access to Social Security and Medicare, the ability to obtain citizenship and voting privileges, and the immigration of their family members and elderly relatives.

Under current federal policy, the U.S. issues green cards to approximately 1 million new Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) every single year. For instance, Department of Homeland Security statistics show that the U.S. issued 5.25 million green cards in the last five years, for an average of 1.05 million new legal permanent immigrants annually.

These ongoing visa issuances are the result of federal law, and their number can be adjusted at any time. However, unlike other autopilot policies – such as tax rates or spending programs – there is virtually no national discussion or media coverage over how many visas we issue, to whom we issue them and on what basis, or how the issuance of these visas to individuals living in foreign countries impacts the interests of people already living in this country.

If Congress does not pass legislation to reduce the number of green cards issued each year, the U.S. will legally add 10 million or more new permanent immigrants over the next 10 years – a bloc of new permanent residents larger than populations of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.

This has substantial economic implications.

The post-World War II boom decades of the 1950s and 1960s averaged together less than 3 million green cards per decade – or about 285,000 annually. Due to lower immigration rates, the total foreign-born population in the United States dropped from about 10.8 million in 1945 to 9.7 million in 1960 and 9.6 million in 1970.

These lower midcentury immigration levels were the product of a federal policy change: after the last period of large-scale immigration that had begun in roughly 1880, immigration rates were lowered to reduce admissions. The foreign-born share of the U.S. population fell for six consecutive decades, from 1910 through 1960.

Legislation enacted in 1965, among other factors, substantially increased low-skilled immigration. Since 1970, the foreign-born population in the United States has increased more than four-fold – to a record 42.1 million today. The foreign-born share of the population has risen from fewer than 1 in 21 in 1970, to presently approaching 1 in 7. As the supply of available labor has increased, so too has downward pressure on wages.

Georgetown and Hebrew University economics professor Eric Gould has observed that “the last four decades have witnessed a dramatic change in the wage and employment structure in the United States… The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.”

During the low-immigration period from 1948-1973, real median compensation for U.S. workers increased more than 90 percent. By contrast, real average hourly wages were lower in 2014 than they were in 1973, four decades earlier. Harvard Economist George Borjas also documented the effects of high immigration rates on African-American workers, writing that “a 10 percent immigration-induced increase in the supply of workers in a particular skill group reduced the black wage of that group by 2.5 percent.” Past immigrants are additionally among those most economically impacted by the arrival of large numbers of new workers brought in to compete for the same jobs. In Los Angeles County, for example, 1 in 3 recent immigrants are living below the poverty line. And this federal policy of new large-scale admissions continues unaltered at a time when automation is reducing hiring, and when a record share of our own workers here in America are not employed.

President Coolidge articulated how a slowing of immigration would benefit both U.S.-born and immigrant-workers: “We want to keep wages and living conditions good for everyone who is now here or who may come here. As a nation, our first duty must be to those who are already our inhabitants, whether native or immigrants. To them we owe an especial and a weighty obligation.”

It is worth observing that the 10 million grants of new permanent residency under current law is not an estimate of total immigration. In fact, the increased distribution of legal immigrant visas tend to correlate with increased flows of immigration illegally: the former helps provide networks and pull factors for the latter. Most of the countries who send the largest numbers of citizens with green cards are also the countries who send the most citizens illegally. The Census Bureau estimates 13 million new immigrants will arrive, on net, between now and 2024 – hurtling the U.S. past all recorded figures in terms of the foreign-born share of total population, quickly eclipsing the watermark recorded 105 years ago during the 1880-1920 immigration wave before immigration rates were lowered. Absent new legislation to reduce unprecedented levels of future immigration, the Census Bureau projects immigration as a share of population will continue setting new records each year, for all time.

Yet the immigration “reform” considered by Congress most recently – the 2013 Senate “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration bill – would have tripled the number of green cards issued over the next 10 years. Instead of issuing 10 million green cards, the Gang of Eight proposal would have issued at least 30 million green cards during the next decade (or more than 11 times the population of the City of Chicago).

Polling from Gallup and Fox shows that Americans want lawmakers to reduce, not increase, immigration rates by a stark 2:1 margin. Reuters puts it at a 3:1 margin. And polling from GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway shows that by the huge margin of nearly 10:1 people of all backgrounds are united in their belief that U.S. companies seeking workers should raise wages for those already living here – instead of bringing in new labor from abroad.

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