Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

House Members Pat Each Other on the Back for Denying Nazis Social Security

Created: 03 December, 2014
Updated: 15 October, 2022
2 min read

To clarify, no matter how they came to this country, whether by sneaking in or by invitation, or how hard they may have worked for the rest of their life, no one who participated in war crimes should get government benefits -- whether we are talking about Nazis or other war criminals. This is something most people will agree with.

On Tuesday, December 2, at 4:03 p.m. EST, the U.S. House unanimously passed the "No Social Security for Nazis Act." The bill denies Social Security benefits to anyone who is suspected of having been involved in Nazi war crimes. The bill was introduced after an AP investigation in October revealed that dozens of suspected war criminals and former SS guards have received millions from Social Security checks throughout the years.

The war may have ended 69 years ago and according to AP, “there are at least four living beneficiaries,” but that is not stopping members of Congress from touting this "achievement."

Nothing about the content of this bill should bother anyone, except that it comes 7 decades too late. What should bother people the most is that one of the few things that members of Congress are willing to put partisanship aside on is a bill that will not actually do much now that nearly all of these war criminals are dead.

There are dozens of bills awaiting consideration in the House and hundreds of bills waiting in the Senate. The government will shutdown again after December 11 if a budget agreement is not met between House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and President Obama. Yet, members of Congress felt there was time to pass a bill that is, quite frankly, trivial at this point!

“Congress is taking swift action to ensure that these heinous war criminals can no longer exploit a loophole to receive benefits,” U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), a co-sponsor of the bill, said. “This vote shows that Congress can and will continue to protect the hard-earned Social Security benefits that millions of Americans rely on.”

First, I wouldn't use the phrase "swift action" to refer to this bill. Second, I doubt the millions who rely on Social Security will find their benefits jeopardized by four people. Third, there are bigger problems with Social Security than this, including millions of young workers today who may not get the benefits they have earned because Social Security will reach a point of insolvency -- maybe sooner than we previously thought.

Congratulations Congress... you're useless...

Photo Credit: Lana V. Erickson / shutterstock.com