Monday, May 14, 2012

Indentured Servitude for Seniors: Social Security Garnished for Student Debts

The Social Security program…represents our commitment as a society to the belief that workers should not live in dread that a disability, death, or old age could leave them or their families destitute.

– President Jimmy Carter, December 20, 1977.

[This law] assures the elderly that America will always keep the promises made in troubled times a half century ago…[The Social Security Amendments of 1983 are] a monument to the spirit of compassion and commitment that unites us as a people.

– President Ronald Reagan, April 20, 1983

So said Presidents Carter and Regan, but that was before 1996, when Congress voted to allow federal agencies to offset portions of Social Security payments to collect debts owed to those agencies. (31 U.S.C. §3716). Now we read of horror stories like this:

I’m a 68 year old grandma of 2 young grandchildren. I went to college to upgrade my employment status in 1998 or 1999. I finished in 2000 and at that time had a student loan balance of about 3500.00. Read more......

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