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And you think the government is here to help?

By Walter Geiger It is a sad fact that a higher percentage of Americans than ever before are dependent upon some sort of government assistance in order to muddle through life. Republicans argue Democrats work towards higher numbers on the welfare rolls in order to guarantee votes and there is no question liberals feel as if government has a better handle on what we need and want and we should just let Washington handle it all. Democrats counter that the Republican desire to cut such programs is mean spirited. Neither side, however, can successfully argue the current system is sustainable over the long haul. Those of us who have worked all our lives have paid into Social Security. The closer we get to 62, the more we eye that pool of money we have given the government to invest for our retirement. After all, the government is here to help right? Wrong. All that money is gone. We are borrowing money ‘“ primarily from China ‘“ to keep Social Security afloat. Millions of people who have never paid into the system get social security checks and no one really knows why. Social Security is often abbreviated to SS and that is appropriate in that we learned over the weekend via Associated Press that dozens of Nazi War Criminals received SS payments. It seems our all knowing government promised continuation of the payments to Nazis who somehow got here after WWII in an effort to encourage them to leave the country. Some left on their own. Some were deported. The last apparently fled in 2007 and is still getting paid. These people included SS troops who guarded Nazi concentration camps where millions of Jews were summarily executed; a rocket scientist who used slave labor in his work and a Nazi collaborator who engineered the arrest and execution of thousands of Jews in Poland, AP reported. At least four of these people are still alive and, yes, still getting SS checks. Two were SS guards who worked the extermination camps at Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz. One is in Berlin. The other is in Croatia. They still walk to the mailbox once a month and collect an SS check. AP suggests that millions of dollars were funneled to Nazis in this manner. Keep this in mind the next time you hear someone say, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’ Also, grab your SS payments as soon as you are eligible to do so. With wanton waste like this, they won’t be around long. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of The Herald Gazette.

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