Just when you thought that any hope of substantive legislation emerging from this lame duck congress was lost…
Thanks to the Associated Press we have learned that the federal government in its infinite wisdom has been paying millions of dollars in Social Security benefits to suspected Nazi war criminals.
The AP reports that the Justice Department has been using a loophole within the law to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the US in exchange for keeping their Social Security benefits. If the suspects left the country voluntarily, or simple fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits.
These individuals, who have lost their American citizenship, are suspected of committing crimes against humanity. The AP cites the case of Jakob Denzinger, a former guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp, who fled the US in 1989. Denzinger now lives in Croatia and collects $1,500 per month in Social Security benefits.
The AP reports that the Social Security Administration refused its request to provide the total number of Nazi suspects who received benefits and the dollar amounts.
Yesterday our fearless elected leaders in the US Senate passed a bi-partisan House bill that would shut the loophole and terminate any future payments. The bill is headed to the president’s desk for signing.
Normally I would ask why we are paying/bribing suspected war criminals to leave the country rather than turning them over to the appropriate authorities, but I’m afraid the answer would make my head hurt.
On a positive note...the most ineffective congress in American history passed a piece of legislation!!!