Jul 6, 2014

Making Demands

     Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has sent an amazing letter to the Acting Commissioner of Social Security making harsh accusations and strident demands. I don't think I've ever read anything like this directed at Social Security. 
     I have no idea whether this portends anything for Acting Commissioner Colvin's nomination to become Commissioner for real. 
     I guarantee that if she submits to these demands that some very different demands will be made at whatever in the future when Democrats control that Committee.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Issa is a nutjob, but sadly most of what is cited in the letter is the truth...

The whole SSA disability system needs a massive overhaul.

Max Abilify said...

I think we all know that Colvin cannot extemporaneously and meaningfully answer any questions about any of SSA's programs. If Issa had included in his indictment a similar focused review on the ALJs approving 10% or less of claimants, I would find nothing in this letter with which to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Issa has the credibility of an untrained stone, BUT he is very dangerous as he cannot be held accountable for libel or slander or politically given the make up of the district he purports to represent.

Anonymous said...

And Ms. Colvin wants this thankless job at her age for what reason? It makes no sense to me. IMO she seems to be the wrong person at the wrong time to lead the agency.

As far as taking the actions that Issa is recommending (e.g. immediately firing these and other highly incapable ALJ's), she should do it. But many years from now when the MSPB and EEO issues are resolved and all of the judges are reinstated with back pay and interest, send the bill to Issa and his committee.

Anonymous said...

Finally!

Anonymous said...

Finally!

Anonymous said...

Have not read issa letter yet but read comments. Agree,many aljs should be fired and/or salaries lowered.

Anonymous said...

I wrote 6:08 AM, July 07, 2014.

I'm a person with a disability. I skimmed through the letter. I find it remarkable that no detailed example was given of the alledged "improperly placed applicants on disability".

Anonymous said...

I would echo some earlier comments. Issa may be a self-righteous windbag, but that's beside the point. This well-annotated letter is hard to argue with. And anyone who's spent any considerable time within ODAR operations knows that his underlying point is factually correct. And in turn, anyone who's been paying attention knows that Ms. Colvin is unlikely to actually do anything to improve ODAR's internal functioning, particularly in regard to ALJs. I'm increasingly convinced that a total management shake-up is going to have to happen before any substantial improvement will even be possible. But Obama's not going to bother, and I expect ODAR will continue to trudge along until a new administration is installed. Maybe I'll be surprised, but I doubt it...

Anonymous said...

@ 7:29


I want to agree with you, but lately I've seen so much coming down from on high angering, scaring, etc. our office's ALJs. So annoying are these changes that older ALJs that would have stayed a bit longer have retired or are in the process of retiring to avoid the new changes.

From messing with their work from home days vis-a-vis metrics, etc., to inundating them with all manner of metrics (not so implicitly telling them exactly where they should be with regard to dispositions, speed, pay rate, etc.) it really seems like the agency is leaning on ALJs about as much as it can in a way that does not invite a huge number of grievances or some such.

ALJs of the board, what say you--is SSA working harder to herd you into its desired standards lately?

Anonymous said...

Republican strategy for cutting Social Security:

1. Manufacture false and/or misleading "proof" of much greater problems than actually exist in House Committee hearings and reports, think tanks, the media, and other sources.

2. Cite those reports as justification for changes that will result in heavy cuts to the program, that will hurt even those who legitimately receive benefits.

Issa seems to be implementing stage 2of the strategy with his letter.

Yes, SSA has problems. No, it's nowhere near as bad as the agenda-driven rhetoric in Issa's letter.