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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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October 18, 2013 at 8:20 am

Take every dollar that Daugherty and Conn stole form social security and put the crooks in prison where they belong and keep them there!!!

October 18, 2013 at 7:58 am

If you put to much water in a pot and put it on a stove ,It will boil over and cause a fire.Those politicians are about to boil over a pot.Next time you vote.Remember the names that caused the fire.

October 18, 2013 at 7:07 am

I have been disabled sence 1992 will it have an effect on myself,becuse It is my only means of living.

Pat Henkels
October 18, 2013 at 5:37 am

If the private fund for SS wasn't taken from by the Congress to help balance the budget etc. there would be plenty of money for the present and future generations. Why not eliminate the cap on the withholding in our paychecks and have the deduction taken while we work, no matter what the salary? Why are people who retire with millions of dollars taking SS? Do they need it?
There are many retired people who didn't have the advantage to make more than 30K a year and are retiring on checks around $1000.00 a month or less to cover their living expenses. Today that is next to impossible to do.

October 18, 2013 at 4:11 am

I live in Southern MS this is a problem everywhere. We have layers of Law enforcement but nobody going after white collar crime.

October 18, 2013 at 3:04 am

social UNSECURITY we pay those who don't pay $ HUMM !! what's wrong with this picture easy you let all the bad people from other countries come here and rob us HUMM!! other countries give thier crimminals visa's to the U.S.A. and these dumb S.O.B.'s let them in.

Dan S
October 18, 2013 at 2:24 am

When I take a loan I have to pay interest. So when the Government borrows from the Social security fund they to should pay interest in return.

Ronald Woody
October 18, 2013 at 1:10 am

Set a 2 term limit on the crooks in Washington. Let them go back to work like everyone else after that. If they are there for the american people then no benifets after their term is over should not matter. Who pays millions of dollars to get a thousands of dollar job. Put them all on the Bronze medical plan. It's a shame we pay them to miss manage our money. They are worse managers than the car companies they own. Ground them from free flights and put them all in Ford Focus.

October 17, 2013 at 11:21 pm

Most retired people worked years, paying into the SS system. If the gov. had never shifted SS monies to the general fund there would be benefits for every generation to come. Instead of party bashing we should concentrate on removing SS into a separate fund as it was intended. By the way union workers are a very small segment of the working force. I agree that if you didn't pay in you should not receive SS in any form.

Old Gent
October 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Stop SS benefits to those who have earned them and politicians may have more to worry about than foreign insurgents. Just sayin!