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Social Security under fire

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Posted: 2 pm ET

The Social Security Administration has begun warning recipients that unless the debt ceiling is raised by Oct. 17, it might not be able to pay all benefits that are due after that date.

In consultation with the Treasury Department, Social Security is reportedly telling beneficiaries who ask: "Unlike a federal shutdown which has no impact on the payment of Social Security benefits, failure to raise the debt ceiling puts Social Security benefits at risk."

And on Monday, a Senate committee released a report accusing a retired West Virginia administrative law judge, David B. Daugherty, of colluding with a Kentucky attorney, Eric C. Conn, to approve more than 1,800 Social Security disability cases during a four-year period. The report alleges that Conn paid five doctors nearly $2 million to rubber-stamp the cases. Conn himself received more than $4.5 million in attorney fees directly from the Social Security Administration during that period.

Social Security has been investigating the case and placed Daugherty on administrative leave in 2011. He retired shortly thereafter. Conn is accused of shredding most of the evidence.

Nearly 11 million disabled workers, spouses and children get Social Security disability benefits today, up from 8.3 million in 2011 and just 1.4 million in 1970. The average monthly worker benefit is $1,130. Social Security has blamed the increase on the rising number of aging baby boomers who are too young to receive retirement benefits.

All of this adds up to a retirement planning fiasco. No matter how you think it should be accomplished, getting the nation's economy and financial systems back on solid footing has to be a priority. Part of that job includes adopting reforms that will insure that Social Security can continue to pay its obligations.

How would you get that job done?

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terry H
August 24, 2014 at 1:27 am

Just tax all earnings of the rich.

July 26, 2014 at 11:46 pm

#1- Make the rich pay their fair share, they have more deductions than the CIA. #2- stop the fraud on all Medicare cost, do you really think it cost $1900 for an eye examination ? OR $2000. for blood work, cut me a break. Medication cost 1/4 in Canada , than in the USA. FRACKERS and oil companies are out dated , get subsidized and don't pay their taxes, or cleanup charges. you believe that we can carry phones an talk while 40,0000,000 others are talking an we are all being bugged ,an stored. that there is not an alternate super cheap fuel out there. Did you ever hear of the Tesler car. America grow up.

July 26, 2014 at 6:35 pm

Do not worry we are going to use our nukes to clear more land for us that way we can populate those areas and then tax everyone more and more and all the politicians can still receive 100 percent of their salary when they retire and we can pay for their health care, of course the health care they get costs us 500 times more than we get and is a thousand times better ....But we cannot complain since we voted them in ....

July 26, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Dear LORD please do not let this government take away my only form of income and the others who TRUELY earned it and / or need it. How can our government pay for all these illegals (food, clothing, housing, MEDICAL ) etc. and send $ Billions $ to other nations to help them many of who hate AMERICA and what we stand for ? God bless AMERICA

j hale
July 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Why are we worried when Obama has a place for us in compounds all over the U.S. LETS HURRY AND BRING IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER AND A SOCIALIST GOVT.bE HAPPY MY MASONIC BROTHERS.