I saw this on Greta last night - Unbelievable!
- 2009/07/16 14:00:46
- Read all 118 opinions
The really disgraceful thing is, all the Libs point to social security as the great "nest egg" for the common folk (which the Repubs tried to destroy with privatization haha!) and
THERE IS NO DAMN MONEY IN THE OASDI TRUST FUNDS ANYWAY!
ITS ALL IOU'S! CHECK IT OUT! CONGRESS HAS BEEN "BORROWING" FROM IT FOR YEARS!
Social Security spends $700,000 on Phoenix conference
Reported by: Josh Bernstein
Produced by: Dan Siegel
Last Update: 6:21 am
UPDATE: Social Security defends conference at Biltmore
PHOENIX -- A Social Security Administration motivational management conference held at a high-end Valley resort last week cost $700,000, the SSA told the ABC15 Investigators.
Costs for the conference at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa included airfare, hotel entertainment, dancers, motivational speakers, and food, an administration official said.
A spokesperson outside the SSA's Phoenix office declined to comment.
Click here to watch an interview with a Social Security representative
A spokesperson from the SSA's regional office said the conference was essential, that teleconferencing was not an option, and that all 675 managers needed to meet in person.
The SSA provided ABC15 with a list of courses provided at the conference, which included "Techniques to Empower You," "Mentoring the Generations," and "Emotional Intelligence."
But the information provided by the SSA did not mention an after-hours casino trip, family members staying at the hotel, or the 20-minute dance party ABC15 observed.
Click here to watch conference dance video
Rooms for the conference were booked at $85 per night, far below the $400-plus room rate in prime season.
The SSA said the entire conference was put out to bid and all employees flew coach class, including the commissioner.
Click here to watch an extended interview with a participant
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.
Social Security trustees said in May the program will start paying out more in benefits than it collects in taxes in 2016, and the program's trust fund will be depleted by 2037.
Social Security Administration Statement
This was a training conference. The location was selected through the government's competitive bidding process. The facility that was selected was the lowest bidder, and we paid well-below the prescribed government rate.
-Leslie Walker, Regional Communications Director, Social Security Administration
Workshops at the Conference
(This list was provided to ABC15 by the Social Security Administration)
Multigenerational Communication - What you need to know to effectively manage four generations at work
RelationsShifts - Techniques to empower you to change the way you relate to your work, your colleagues, our organization and our customers
A Leadership Role in Strategic Management Planning - Learn how to be a strategic leader
Managing Diverse People - Forum to discuss diversity and management for all employees
eServices in SSA - Learn about new and innovative agency initiatives and how they will change the face of SSA and help us to meet the workload challenges ahead
Mentoring the Generations -Will help you engage effectively across all dimensions of diverse thoughts, ideas, attitudes, beliefs, behavior and values of all generations
Emotional Intelligence - Learn to "lead from where you stand" and focus on a wide array of competencies and skills that drive leadership performance
Policy Perspectives - Learn what's driving SSA in terms of programs, staffing and beneficiaries, how we change policy, hot policy issues
Reasonable Accommodation - Learn how to recognize potential Reasonable Accommodation issues and what actions are needed when certain indicators are present
Health Information Technology - SSA plans for and use of health IT to improve our disability program
Improving Organizational Performance Through Employee Engagement - The effectiveness of engagement in improving organizational operations as well as the supervisory behaviors which foster greater engagement
Removing the Barriers - Learn a hands-on problem solving process that gives employees the opportunity to identify areas of conflicts and concerns in the workplace and options or solutions to address them
Interest Based Bargaining - Learn a collaborative process used for contract negotiations and daily problem solving that will benefit the organization as a whole
Leading at a Higher Level - Join a panel of current Senior Executive Service (SES) Career Development Program Associates and learn what steps they took to prepare themselves for placement in the SES
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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