Don't Let Death Stop your Social Security

J. Robert Smith

Uncle Sam, always generous to a fault with taxpayers' money, doled out about $108 billion in Social Security benefits to the dead in 2012.  Give or take a few billion, over a decade that's about $1 trillion going to folks who crossed the River Styx.  Or more likely their kin, who may or may not take portions of the proceeds to decorate their loved ones' graves.    

The Washington Times reported on Friday that the Social Security Administration does a spotty job tracking Social Security recipients' deaths, hence the dollars for the dead. 

Reports the Times:     

"Because SSA does not verify death reports from sources it considers most accurate, the agency risks having erroneous information in its death data, such as including living individuals or not including deceased individuals," it said.

You mean a federal government agency is utterly incompetent in managing the people's money?  On the other hand, who'd ever go to the "most accurate" sources to verify Social Security recipients' deaths?  That's too... sensible.

Again, from the Times:

"Only with more accurate and complete data can these agencies reduce the risk of paying deceased beneficiaries," the GAO said. "However, because SSA has never analyzed the risk posed by errors or processes that could result in errors, it is not fully aware of steps that would be needed to address them."

Dah.  But "dah" is beyond the pay grade of your typically overpaid and over-benefitted federal bureaucrat.  Applying standard accounting procedures and processes might just strain federal workers who are busy with internet games, long lunch breaks, and shopping jaunts. 

And one shouldn't be surprised if the Democrats are behind Social Security's dead benefits.  We mustn't forget that the dead have needs too.  Compassion and fairness dictates that the dead collect the benefits they worked hard for - and quite literally ad infinitum.

Besides, the dead vote, thanks to Democrats' always ambitious voter mobilization programs.  No point in peeving an important constituency. 

Uncle Sam, always generous to a fault with taxpayers' money, doled out about $108 billion in Social Security benefits to the dead in 2012.  Give or take a few billion, over a decade that's about $1 trillion going to folks who crossed the River Styx.  Or more likely their kin, who may or may not take portions of the proceeds to decorate their loved ones' graves.    

The Washington Times reported on Friday that the Social Security Administration does a spotty job tracking Social Security recipients' deaths, hence the dollars for the dead. 

Reports the Times:     

"Because SSA does not verify death reports from sources it considers most accurate, the agency risks having erroneous information in its death data, such as including living individuals or not including deceased individuals," it said.

You mean a federal government agency is utterly incompetent in managing the people's money?  On the other hand, who'd ever go to the "most accurate" sources to verify Social Security recipients' deaths?  That's too... sensible.

Again, from the Times:

"Only with more accurate and complete data can these agencies reduce the risk of paying deceased beneficiaries," the GAO said. "However, because SSA has never analyzed the risk posed by errors or processes that could result in errors, it is not fully aware of steps that would be needed to address them."

Dah.  But "dah" is beyond the pay grade of your typically overpaid and over-benefitted federal bureaucrat.  Applying standard accounting procedures and processes might just strain federal workers who are busy with internet games, long lunch breaks, and shopping jaunts. 

And one shouldn't be surprised if the Democrats are behind Social Security's dead benefits.  We mustn't forget that the dead have needs too.  Compassion and fairness dictates that the dead collect the benefits they worked hard for - and quite literally ad infinitum.

Besides, the dead vote, thanks to Democrats' always ambitious voter mobilization programs.  No point in peeving an important constituency.