I know that “Governmental Accountability” is an oxymoron. The bureaucracy is so massive, and the incentive for excellence so small, the public is simply in the position of being at their mercy.
But today’s government “screwup” would seem to beg for upper-level management to consult someone in the trenches who actually knows what the H*** is going on!!!
I’ve been hearing on the news about the money going out to taxpayers to help out during this current COVID-19 pandemic. We won’t get into how it’s being handled or to the lack of safeguards attached. This is, strangely, more elemental than that.
When a US citizen dies, especially if that citizen is receiving Social Security and Medicare, they absolutely MUST–on pain of–what? (I’m not sure about what, but there must be a great deal of pain involved!) notify the Social Security office IMMEDIATELY! I think you’re okay calling the undertaker first, but certainly after that, your next call must be to Social Security. I’ve known that forever, and during the years I took care of my mother’s financial and banking chores, I already knew to whom my first call would go.
So when my mom died in 2018, even though it was Sunday, I called Social Security. They immediately stopped further SS payments to Mom’s bank account (good for them–that’s efficient.) They also canceled her Medicare portion of insurance (again, an excellent thing.) Her other health insurance was through my father’s FBI service retirement insurance, and that was canceled immediately as well. Everyone at the government level understood my mother was no longer a living entity involved as a recipient of federal monies.
Flash forward to the Coronavirus (some call it “The Novel Coronavirus,” and as a writer I resent that!) Anyway, right after the payments were announced, I first heard some “oh-by-the-way” announcements that if you, as a person related to a deceased person, happened to receive a check from IRS made out to that person, by all means, please mark the envelope “Deceased” and return it to IRS. Okay, sometimes “things” (my polite way of saying this) happen.
I receive a daily e-mail (including photos of most of my mail for that day) showing me what mail I should expect to see after my postman delivers that day. It helps in amazing ways. If I’m expecting a certain piece of mail, I have a heads up first thing in the morning. I know I can depend on that being in the mail that day. It’s comforting if nothing else. So today when I opened my e-mail from the US Postal service, I saw my first piece of mail was this:
You will note that on the outside of the envelope, in the upper right-hand corner of the cellophane window is a good-sized “check” box. If my mom is deceased, I’m supposed to check that and return it back through the mail system.
The other thing I want you to note is that on the first line of the address, (showing my Mom’s name) is this: Ruby E Smith DECD. Now, I would take that to mean she’s been marked in the records as “deceased” wouldn’t you? Otherwise, why do that, right?
So by the next step of logic, wouldn’t the Treasury department or the IRS or SOMEBODY in that massive mess, get the idea to program the machine that spits out checks to NOT SPIT ONE OUT when it has their “DECD” code on it??? I mean, how difficult could that be? It’s a programming thing, folks!! Lots and lots of computer programmers would know how to do that. But apparently either the US Government doesn’t have one (odd, to say the least), or nobody in a supervisory position thought of that solution.
Wouldn’t it save gobs of money (and US Post Office time and trouble) by NOT sending those designated checks out in the first place?? Obviously, somebody knows ahead of time this is going to happen. Why not plan and intercept the entire stupid system? I’m at a loss–how about you??
You’ve heard the old saying, “We can send a man to the moon, but we can’t. . . .” (fill in the blank here with your favorite stupid thing the government bureaucracy doesn’t do.)
Maybe the federal government doesn’t pay any fees for postage. In the old days, I know they didn’t. But my understanding for a long time has been they turned that over to someone else, and they were no longer responsible for the postal service. If that’s the case, they should be paying for all the postage they use (especially the needless postage) each day. And if they are paying for it, they shouldn’t be wasting their money–NO–let me correct that. They shouldn’t be wasting OUR money, because it is OUR money they waste all the time.
Well, I think I just heard the postman (in our case it’s a postwoman) and I need to go out there, retrieve my deceased mother’s check, put a checkmark in the proper box, and stick it back in the mailbox.
What a waste!!! Thanks for listening. I feel MUCH better for getting that off my chest!