Monday, April 14, 2014

Government Confiscation of S.S. Overpayments Halted "for review"

So last week a story hits about the government seizing taxpayers refunds to satisfy old Social Security payments Payments that were made decades ago.
It seems that there was a line inserted into the farm bill removing the 10 year statute of limitations on debts to the government(as taxpayers we have a whole lot less than 10 years to apply for moneys owed us by the government).
About 400,000 people are on the hook for these old debts, but the good news is that since it's come to light and because of some backlash prompting some politicians to walk back from their previous support for the bill, the Social Security administration has decided to halt the collections pending a "review".

 Social Security halts effort to collect old debts
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Social Security Administration is suspending a program in which thousands of people were having their tax refunds seized to recoup overpayments that happened more than a decade ago.
Acting Social Security Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said Monday she has directed an immediate halt to the program while the agency does a review.
Social Security recipients and members of Congress complained that people were being forced to repay overpayments that were sometimes paid to their parents or guardians when they were children.
"While this policy of seizing tax refunds to repay decades-old Social Security overpayments might be allowed under the law, it is entirely unjust," Democratic Sens. Senators Barbara Boxer of California and Barbara Mikulski of Maryland said in a letter to Colvin.
After Colvin's announcement, Boxer said in a statement: "I am grateful that the Social Security Administration has chosen not to penalize innocent Americans while the agency determines a fair path forward on how to handle past errors."
The Social Security Administration says it has identified about 400,000 people with old debts. They owe a total of $714 million.~snip~
A "review" doesn't necessarily mean they are going to suspend the program nor is Barbara Boxer or Barbara Mikulski seem to be inclined to call for reinstatement of the 10 year statute of limitations. What is apparently happening is that the government agencies involved are looking for a cooling off period so they can go ahead and move forward with the program with a little less attention.
One thing that seems to be missing is a review as to why the incompetent civil servants managed to overpay to the tune of $714 million. As always it's never the bureaucrats fault and they'll never be held accountable.

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