My uncle, Clyde, is collecting social security. Not exactly big news, is it? But, guess who else is collecting from the social security system because Uncle Clyde is now eligible for his benefits! Since Clyde has a child who is 15 years old, his child collects a check until he is 18 years old (or 19 if he is in college). Clyde has a step-son that is 16 who also collects a check in the same amount as Clyde’s natural-born son! And, get ready for this one, Clyde’s ex-wife also collects a check because they were married for more than 20 years and she has not remarried!
So, let’s review….since Clyde collects his social security benefits, three (3) other people collect from that single account. And the total amount paid out to all parties is 180% of Clyde’s eligibility benefit!
I doubt the legislators that formed the social security system had this vision for the payments. We all know that the actuarial calculations were based on a life expectancy less that today’s values. But that adjustment can be easily made. The real question is: How did the original intent become so distorted! Congress made the changes without considering the financial consequences of their actions! And, nothing has changed today. If you want to fix Social Security, a start would be to make sure that the recipient is the only person to receive benefits while that person is alive! When the recipient dies, that’s another matter. But there is no logic for paying out those extraordinary benefits to three others while Uncle Clyde is alive!
This is a perfect example of why we don’t want government administering healthcare! They will just screw it up….like Medicare, the USPS, etc., etc.! These “entitlement” junkies make Madoff look like small potatoes!
No doubt these politicians voted for these enhancements because they thought it would help them get re-elected…not because it was a smart decision! What a waste!
P.S. Also consider the waste and fraud in Medicare/Medicaid that is openly acknowledged by Congress (but nothing is being done to correct it) and the argument for keeping the government out of healthcare is overwhelming!