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The Squeal Award

August 3, 2017
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

I sometimes find it very hard to get ideas when my editorial is up. There is always a lot on the news about our President Donald Trump and the things that mainstream media finds questionable. It was not hard this time around

I receive newsletter from all our state and federal politicians and there are times when a politician looks into questionable incidents that have happened either within the government, military or anywhere. Senator Joni Ernst has given this month 'Squeal Award' to the Social Security Administration, specifically Social Security Benefits.

The following is straight from Senator Ernst' newsletter:

"As you know, every month I identify areas of waste, abuse and inefficiencies and give out the Squeal Award, which recognizes a government expense, program or concept that has proven to be wasteful and must be cut. Continue reading below to hear the latest:

Squeal Award: Duplicate Social Security Benefits

Think you can't take your money to the grave and then some? Think again.

A new audit report released by the Office of the Inspector General at the Social Security Administration (SSA) found that the agency has issued approximately $171 million in incorrect payments as of 2015.

So why exactly is this happening? According to the report, there are nearly 5 million people with more than one Social Security Number. Many of these individuals have two numbers as a result of being victims of identity theft or fraud, however, they should not receive Social Security benefits under both numbers.

Unfortunately, in more than 5,000 instances, the SSA issued payments to folks under both of their Social Security Numbers. To make matters worse, the Office of the Inspector General estimated the SSA issued approximately $115.4 million in incorrect payments to around 930 deceased beneficiaries.

If the SSA fails to fix these issues, the Office of Inspector General estimated that the SSA will continue to incorrectly issue approximately $21.2 million in payments over the next year!

Due to the astonishing recklessness on display when it comes to taxpayer dollars, I hereby present this month's Squeal Award to the Social Security Administration."

This is most definitely deserving of the SQUEAL AWARD. I've been hearing that by the time I can retire, Social Security will be broke. Well, as you can see above sending out $171 million in payments that were wrong and not correcting the mistake is probably helping the Social Security Administration to go broke. I did the math and those 930 deceased people each received $12,409 and those 5,000 people that received a payment under two different social security numbers received and extra $3,400. These are just rough estimates, but we citizens of America deserve an answer to the questions: Where did the money go?, Why didn't the Social Security Administration get the money back?, Will this just be overlooked as it has been for the last two years at least?, Will there be a congressional hearing to determine who is responsible?, Will the checks and balances system that was created by the Founding Fathers be looked at and changed to make it more efficient? And finally, what plans does our government have in place to stop what is happening and to prevent this kind of blatant government waste from depleting a department set up to protect citizens in their retirement years?

If you are as appalled as I am by this Administration's disregard of retrieving moneys that they paid out, you need to contact Joni Ernst and Charles Grassley and let them know an investigation is in order.

I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. This is my generations' retirement money that is hanging in the balance.



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