Nov 19, 2014

Budget Cuts Opposed

     From Joe Davidson's column in the Washington Post:
In advance of feared Republican budget cuts, Social Security advocates gathered on Capitol Hill to ward off more hits to a basic federal program that serves nearly all American families. ...
[S]ervice reductions have been a reality for years, with Congress providing less money than President Obama requested. ...
From fiscal year 2011 through 2013, the Social Security Administration received $2.7 billion less than Obama requested, followed by a small increase in 2014, according to a Senate Special Committee on Aging report.
“The three previous years of low funding, combined with a wave of retirements and a hiring freeze that has been in place since 2010, led to a reduction in staffing throughout SSA’s operations,” the report said.
Staffing reductions mean service reductions. The notion of doing more with less only goes so far and that is not far enough to maintain service without cuts.
Citing data from the National Council of Social Security Management Associations, the committee said field-office staffing dropped 14 percent from 2011 to 2014. ...
Good luck to Social Security clients requesting a hearing after being denied benefits. They’ll need a great deal of patience. There are about 1 million cases in the hearing backlog. SSA estimates it will take an average, not a maximum, of 435 calendar days for those clients to get a decision.
“Shameful” is the word acting SSA commissioner, Carolyn Colvin, had for the backlog.
Colvin, whom Obama has nominated to be the full time commissioner, said, “I’ve had to make some very, very difficult decisions.”
Reduced funding prevented the agency from hiring administrative law judges who conduct the hearings. That led, Colvin said, to “a situation I find not acceptable.”
The agency lost 12,000 employees it could not replace. How do you manage a field office now staffed with two or three employees instead of the eight to 12 who once worked there, she asked. Her answer: “It’s almost impossible.”
 She assured the advocates that “there is no grand plan to close down field offices” and she has “absolutely no intention” of using technology to replace workers — particular concerns of Mikulski and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), whose members staff them. ...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Republicans aint worth a s***. This week advocating for keystone which will only create 35 jobs at the same time wanting to eliminate the ACA(obamacare)which helps millions.

Rural white voters and a few minorities who elect republicans aint worth a s*** either.

Conclusion:Anything that helps society such as SSA will never be properly considered or funded under republican control.

Anything that helps the rich will get full attention or consideration under republican control.

Hanna Mae said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Obama has failed for 6 years to advocate for increased SSA funding, but is expected any day now to grant amnesty to up to 5 million illegals, just so the Democrats can have a bigger base of voters. Neither Obama nor Democrats are worth a s***. Let's see how long this response to ANON 10:46 a.m. stays up.

Anonymous said...

"Obama has failed for 6 years to advocate for increased SSA funding"

I'm not researching that allegation at the moment but i suspect it's false if compared to budget and the presidents proposals..

Anonymous said...

to anon 1:53--by my comment at 12:39 pm, I meant actual advocacy--going to the public and Congress repeatedly to ask for increased resources for SSA--I stand by my statement.

Dewa Poker said...

thanks for share,,,

Anonymous said...

Congress was told, in no equivocal terms, what would happen if adequate funding for staffing was not provided. Colvin and the White House proposed funding levels to address the then predicted (and now actual) increased demand for services. House Republicans are now hoping the angry public will forget that they are the ones who said no.

Anonymous said...

Lets' face it. This government stinks.

Millions of seniors have had their earned Social Security benefits cut 66% due to the unfair WEP and GPO laws. Congress refuses to remedy this by acting on the Social Security Fairness Act because our government cares more about giving billions upon billions of dollars to law breaking illegals rather than being fair with its own law-abiding citizenry.