Government Subsidized Stress Relief for Social Security Administration Executives
At this point, this stuff is just for amusement since we're at the point our grandchildren's grandchildren will be paying for all this, and we have no social code where matching revenue with expenses matters anymore. Just send out money in all directions and we'll figure out the rest at a later date.
But one thing to note - never cross Brian Ross of ABC News. Unfortunately ABC News is still in the dark ages unlike CBS and NBC so you cannot embed video but you can see the video here - it's the typical bite sized (2 minute-ish) so the American viewer does not stop paying attention ;)
Just remember, if you are feeling stressed at your job, do what the government does, go to the Arizona Biltmore hotel and just charge it to the money tree. In fact, quit your job and go straight to the hotel; Obama soon will have money coming to you to subsidize your house payment.
Remember, only federal government workers - those whose pay has not taken a hit like the private sector, nor whose benefits ever get threatened - feel stress. They deserve this. You do not... you live a stress free life in your private sector line of work.
Just wanted to let you know what your [sic]... your grandkid's [sic]... your grandkids grandkids money is going towards.
- Claiming they needed to learn how to reduce stress because of a growing number of death threats being made against them, nearly 700 executives from the Social Security Administration [SSA] gathered for a lavish three-day conference in Phoenix, AZ last week, costing taxpayers about $700,000.
- "We received threats against our employees by people who are in the American public," said SSA Regional Commissioner for San Francisco Peter Spencer in defense of the conference. He said "there is a tremendous amount of stress involved in the job that we do."
- The conference, which included a performance by a motivational dance company that was captured on tape by Phoenix affiliate ABC15, was held at the Arizona Biltmore, a hotel described as the "Jewel of the Desert" with an oasis of 39 acres of lush gardens, swimming pools and a golf course.
- But the partying didn't stop there. Some of the government managers brought along their relatives, and there was a night excursion to a local casino. Even top Social Security administrator Michael Astrue made a special guest appearance. His spokesman said he flew coach, and the SSA said it arranged the lowest rate possible for the event.
- Critics were incensed with the spending, especially during a financial crisis, and took issue with the idea that executives saved as much money as possible. "Actually, they didn't do it as low cost as possible," said David Williams of the watchdog Citizens Against Government Waste group. "Because as low cost as possible would be a video teleconference. It would not be flying people in from all around the country to have this conference." (but then how could they gamble and work off the stress? with their stressed spouses?)
But not to worry - this is just a regional meeting; there are more stressed out workers from other regions and they too must go to 4 star resorts to "work it out"
- The SSA said such in-person meetings are essential, and this Phoenix gathering was just one in a series of such regional meetings, at a cost of over $1 million in the last year alone.
- Congressman Kevin Brady, R-TX, was outraged to learn how the financially-troubled SSA, which is expected to be insolvent in less than 30 years unless taxes are raised substantially, is spending its dwindling money.
- The conference cost was still a tough pill to swallow for taxpayers. "It sounds like a big rip off to me," one Phoenix resident said. "That's not right," another Valley resident told ABC15 after watching video of conference events.