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Swalwell protests against Stark for Social Security benefits being paid to his children

Original post made on Aug 21, 2012

Dublin City Councilman and candidate for Congress Eric Swalwell said that if elected he will support closing a provision in the Social Security law that grants benefits to children of a parent eligible for Social Security, but still working and collecting a salary in excess of the earning cap.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 7:55 AM

Comments (11)

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Posted by liberalism is a disease
a resident of Birdland
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Unbelievable, that a politician, supposedly setting an example for the rest of us, is taking advantage of a loophole like this. I suppose he'll claim he didn't know his kids were sapping the SS system of funds, maybe because he's suffering from memory loss. Or, was that Mary Hayashi's excuse.......In any case, there's no reason to think that Stark is fit for office; now or several terms ago. What were you people that voted for him thinking?

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Posted by P-town Dad
a resident of Amador Estates
on Aug 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

Wow, what a ripoff! A Congressman worth $27 million using government money to pay his kids when Social Security is underfunded. Actually it's not UNDERfunded, it's UNfunded because there are no assets, just IOU's. Congress has talked about reducing future retirement benefits to those under age 55, which includes me. It ticks me off that I'm going to take a cut, after paying in for so many years, when I'm helping to fund a cushy lifestyle for a decimillionaire's family. Is it legal? Sure, but that doesn't make it right.

I don't care which party anyone would belong to if they are doing this - it's an outrage. According to his campaign spokesman he's shameless about this. Very sad that politicians are no longer "public servants" but have instead treated themselves like entitled royalty.

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Posted by Mustang Sally
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

A classic example of 'just because you can doesn't mean you should' was set by Gov. Schwarzenegger when he gave back his salary, at a time when our state needed every single dollar it could find. Cudos to Swalwell's people for uncovering this and so many other reasons why it's time for Stark to go.

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Posted by Angus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

Mr. Stark has for decades made fools of his voting public. The man does not live in his district, and hasn't for a long time. It is no surprise that he would e milking social security. He has taken advantage of his position for personal gain throughout his political career. To his credit, the man does not attempt to hide his activities, he simply takes advantage of his advantages. We return him to office every 2 years, in exchange he has done little but be a loyal vote for the democrat party. He is not alone, many if not most, of our public servants are doing the same. We have them because we hire them. Answer? Think before voting.

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Posted by Bruce
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

Under current law, you can collect Social Security at your normal retirement age, which for Mr. Stark was 65, with no reduction for excess earnings. And I'm willing to bet that he is doing so.

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Posted by Fred Wilksberg
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

The really outrageous part of this is that Pete Stark is unwilling to come to Pleasanton or Livermore, to even give a answer.
Both he and his campaign manager have said Pete won't participate in any debates or public forums.
I walked precincts for Pete in his first election.
That was over 40 years ago in May and early June of 1972.
Sorry, but this man has lost all sense of what the community deserves in a active and involved congressman.
He has a sense of privilage, that the office is his as long as HE wants it.
Sorry Pete, but this time, I and many fellow Democrats are going to give you the retirment you should have taken on your own.

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Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I've lived here 40 years and have considered Fortney to be a crook that entire time. Shame on his district for continuing to re-elect him for all these years. Unfortunately almost the entire Bay Area is "represented" by these elitists.

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Posted by Huggy Bear
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Can't stand Pete Stark, but he has paid into social security and according to the rules is entitled to the money. Great to see his fellow democrat throw him under the bus. Let's hope this is just the beginning. Go at it boys.

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Posted by really?
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Aug 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm

he's 81 and has minor children? yikes!

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Posted by Roberto
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

On the SSA site, it states that the parent has to be elgible for benefits AND retired for a minor child to qualify for social security payments. I do not know how the SSA defines retired. But I wouldn't think that $174,000 a year as a congressmen would qualify Pete as retired under any defintion. And his wife is too young to qualify. How does this work?

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Posted by roberto
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Aug 22, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I found the definition of retired on the SSAsite:
If you work more than 45 hours a month in self-employment, you are not retired; if you work less than 15 hours a month, you are retired. If you work between 15 and 45 hours a month, you will not be considered retired if it is in a job that requires a lot of skill or you are managing a sizable business Either Pete does not work 15 hours a week in MD, or, his job does not require a lot of skill. We could debate either one of these. But it is a stretch. Does he qualify in a way that is not more obvious? If you know, please advise.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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