No Wonder Social Security Is In Trouble!

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!

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5 responses to “No Wonder Social Security Is In Trouble!

  1. You have got to be kidding!! This is pitiful! Kick the bums out!

  2. You fail to state WHY Clyde is collecting payments. I suspect it is due to a disability and not his age as that would be the only basis for a dependent (child and ex-wife receiving alimony) to also get benefits. Recall that Social Security has never been limited to just retirement but also has included payments for total disability which is very tightly defined.

    • Not so, Swordfish. Clyde retired on a normal basis and completely healthy. The only qualifier was that he became eligible!! That part of the system is broken!

  3. I was incorrect as to the limitation. Here is a summary of the eligibility rules for a family member:

    When you start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members also may be eligible for payments. For example, benefits can be paid to your husband or wife:
    • If he or she is age 62 or older; or
    • At any age if he or she is caring for your child (the child must be younger than 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits on your record).
    Benefits also can be paid to your unmarried children if they are:
    • Younger than 18;
    • Between 18 and 19 years old, but in elementary or secondary school as full-time students; or
    • Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).
    If you become the parent of a child (including an adopted child) after you begin receiving benefits, let us know about the child, so we can decide if the child is eligible for benefits.
    How much can family members get?
    Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit that is up to half of your retirement or disabil- ity benefit amount. However, there is a limit to the total amount of money that can be paid to your family. The limit varies, but is generally equal to about 150 to 180 percent of your retirement benefit.
    If you are divorced
    If you are divorced, your ex-spouse may qualify for benefits on your earnings. In some situations, he or she may get benefits even if you are not receiving them. To qualify, a divorced spouse must:
    14
    Social Security
    http://www.socialsecurity.gov
    15
    • Have been married to you for at least 10 years; • Have been divorced at least two years; • Be at least 62 years old; • Be unmarried; and
    • Not be eligible for an equal or higher benefit based on his or her own work or someone else’s work.

  4. And the amendments adding dependent coverage were implemented in 1939, shortly after the original act went into place (1935), so in effect they were added by the same elected officials who passed the original act, not subsequent Congresses as you suggest (although subsequent Congresses have made changes). A good history of the act can be found at the following site, and is well worth reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)

    The cost to administer SS is less than one cent of every dollar contributed. This alone would argue in favor, not against, the government’s ability to administer health care insurance (NOT care, which as proposed would remain in the hands of the doctor and patient unlike today where the insurance company decides what care is covered and provided and what is not). Again, do not confuse the financial administration of health care with delivery of services. And again, why is single payer (as exists with Medicare and VA at 5% admin. costs) such a threat as compared to the 22% we all pay today with private and employer provided insurance? The real issue is only to ensure that the premiums paid for single payer insurance cover its actual costs. That is VERY easily incorporated into the legislation necessary to effectuate a desperately needed reform of how we pay for our health care today.

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