Friday, April 11, 2014

Disturbing Headlines

Way to wake up to head-scratching news, right?

Two headlines bothered me today. The first was from the Washington Post, "Social Security, Treasury Target Tax-Payers for Their Parents' Decades-Old Debts," by Marc Fisher. The article describes how the United States Treasury is confiscating tax refunds to pay for alleged overpayment of social security benefits to the recipient's parents from decades before. Apparently, this has been going on for about three-years, ever since a tiny provision in the farm bill overturned the ten-year statute of limitations on old debts to the government.

According to the article, the government has no proof of these overpayments, hasn't followed its own protocol for contacting the parties involved, and there seems to be little recourse for someone who is targeted. Read the post (linked above) for a more complete overview.

Are we now a nation who holds children responsible for their parents (supposed) debts? I find this disturbing.

The other headline that sent shivers over my skin? Again, from the Washington Post, "The Heartbleed Situation Just Got a Lot Worse,"  by Brian Fung.

A massive breach of our private data? Hooray.

Let's see, I have about fifty accounts with passwords. Yesterday, I read advice urging people to change ALL their passwords and to not use the same one twice. Um, sure. I'll just create fifty unique, strong passwords. Not to mention, some of my accounts are linked, meaning if I change one password, some features automatically get disabled.

The Heartbleed situation is making my heart bleed. Ugh.

What headlines grabbed you this week?

Have a fabulous weekend!


  1. You've got me started on the government. It makes no sense that a child should be responsible for a parents debt, but sensible is the key word. I have read a long time ago that in Japan- since housing is so expensive- that families take out mortgages that include the grandchildren in the payment plan.

    I grow so tried of government regulations.

  2. I don't really follow the news. It raised my blood pressure too much; I learn about what affects me through internet groups, but the general

  3. As someone whose parents passed away 3 months apart, I can tell you children are not responsible for their parents debt. This was a question I put to the attorney who handled all the paperwork for Medicaid and settled my parents estates. Any monies owed must come from parent banks accounts, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc. not from the bank accounts of children or other family members unless those account were handled jointly. But check with your attorney or parents' attorney to be sure.

    As to breach of data. No matter how secure the protocols, someone, somewhere will figure out how to circumvent them. Life in the ether. There are programs you can use to generate strong passwords. I write all my passwords in an address book to keep track of them and change them when necessary. You should be changing your password every 6 mos or so. I don't always do this.

  4. I guess I'm not very well read. I didn't come across either of these articles. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. Yes, the whole password thing? Ug. Just UG.

  5. NONE! I try not to watch or read the news...maybe once or twice a month I check in. I know, horrible, right?


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