Social Security Administration - We are only in it for the money

  The Social Security Program - another one of those government programs that should be sung to the tune of Frank Zappa's song "We are only in it for the money".

it seems like that as long as you pay social security taxes the government doesnt give a rats ass if you have a bogus social security number or if you are an illegal alien. as long as you pay money into the social security fund which you will never collect benifits from the government is happy. as i have said before its not about good government, the bottom line in this case is who can we steal the money from, and in this case it's people who put money into the social security system who will never draw social security benifits. of course the other important question in government is who will we give the stolen money to. and that question is not addressed here.

The IRS doesn't fine even the most egregious employers who repeatedly submit inaccurate data about their workers.

Social Security does virtually nothing to alert citizens whose Social Security numbers are being used by others.


Federal agencies refuse release of information on illegal hiring
Social Security, IRS cite privacy

Liz Chandler
Knight Ridder Newspapers
Apr. 23, 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Two federal agencies are refusing to turn over a mountain of evidence that investigators could use to indict the nation's burgeoning workforce of undocumented immigrants and the firms that employ them.

Last week, immigration cops trumpeted the arrests of nearly 1,200 illegal workers in a massive sting on a single company, but they admit that they relied on old-fashioned confidential informers and an unsolicited tip to get their investigation going.

It didn't have to be that hard.

The Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration routinely collect strong evidence of potential workplace crimes, including names and addresses of millions of people who are using bogus Social Security numbers, their wage records, and the identities of the bosses who knowingly hire them.

But they keep those facts secret.

"If the government bothered to look, it could find abundant evidence of illegal aliens gaming our system and the unscrupulous employers who are aiding and abetting them," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz.

The two agencies don't analyze their data to root out likely immigration fraud, and they won't share their millions of records so that law enforcement agencies can do that, either.

Privacy laws, they say, prohibit them from sharing their files with anyone, except in rare criminal investigations.

But the agencies don't even use the power they have.

The IRS doesn't fine even the most egregious employers who repeatedly submit inaccurate data about their workers. Social Security does virtually nothing to alert citizens whose Social Security numbers are being used by others.

Evidence abounds within their files, according to an analysis by Knight Ridder Newspapers and the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer.

One internal study found that a restaurant company had submitted 4,100 duplicate Social Security numbers for workers. Other firms submit inaccurate names or numbers reports for nearly all of their employees. One child's Social Security number was used 742 times by workers in 42 states.

"That's the kind of evidence we want," said Paul Charlton, the U.S. attorney in Arizona. He regularly prosecutes unauthorized workers, but says it's hard to prove employers are involved in the crime.

"Anything that suggests they had knowledge . . . is a good starting point. If you see the same Social Security number a thousand times, it's kind of hard for them to argue they didn't know."

On Thursday, immigration officials announced a new push toward busting bosses who hire unauthorized workers.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has asked Congress for access to the secret earnings files, a tool he says would help "get control of this illegal workforce."

The records at issue are the earnings reports, sent by employers along with money withheld for taxes and Social Security.

They contain workers' names and Social Security numbers, and when they don't match Social Security records, the information is set aside in what's called the Earnings Suspense File.

Typos and name changes can cause wage reports not to match Social Security records. But increasingly, officials cite unauthorized workers using bogus Social Security numbers as a driving force behind the mismatched files.

The incorrect worker files mushroomed during the 1990s, as migrants poured into the United States. Almost half of the inaccurate reports come from such industries as agriculture, construction and restaurants, which rely on unauthorized labor.

The IRS also receives the mismatch information. It tries to match workers involved to its records, then probes to see whether the workers are paying taxes.

To work lawfully in the United States, individuals must have valid Social Security numbers or authorization from the Department of Homeland Security.

But the law doesn't require companies to verify that workers give them names and numbers that match Social Security records.

So most companies don't check.

Internal federal studies suggest that errors are so frequent that some companies must be aware of the illegal status of their employees.

Auditors found:

  • About 8,900 of the nation's 6 million employers accounted for 30 percent of inaccurate reports.
  • Ten states account for 48 percent of the U.S. workforce, but have 72 percent of the unmatched earnings reports.
  • Some companies repeatedly have reporting problems, including 40 that made the worst 100 list repeatedly over a span of eight years. One company submitted 33,000 errant earnings reports in a single year.