The Social Security office in Clinton will close one week from today.
Attempts by residents and area legislators to save the office didn’t help this time, as it did in the last two election years.
Could something still happen in the next week? Yes. But this doesn’t feel like the last two instances in 2008 and 2004. During those years, the government announced its intentions to keep the facility open well before its proposed closure date.
Unfortunately for Clinton residents, this is just another way bureaucrats attempt to shift services to a more regionalized area. People who depend on Social Security will have to travel or call the Davenport office starting in October, much similar to the situation involving the Iowa Workforce Development office’s closure.
I wrote previously about my assumption that the local legislators would “miraculously” save the SSA office from closing, making them look good in another election year. It appears that I’m wrong, but it doesn’t mean that politics doesn’t play a part in this decision.
Cutting expenses and waste is necessary for the federal government. We spend too much money and it’s starting to make a real difference in how the country operates.
But saving a little more than $100,000 a year for closing a Social Security office in Clinton is a drop in the bucket when looking at the nation’s multi-billion-dollar-a-year budget. It’s no secret that the federal government likes to waste money, considering it spent $175,000 on finding the effects cocaine had on the sexual habits of quail in 2011.
Unfortunately that program will continue until 2015. But keeping a Social Security office alive in Clinton is too much to ask for from our elected representatives.
I’ve also questioned that amount of savings of $600,000 over a five-year period, considering the Davenport office would need more staff to account for the 210 people the Clinton office serves per week.
If they don’t hire more people, then prepare for more headaches for people who are generally elderly or in a situation where it’s difficult to travel or communicate. For the services this agency provides, it’s not worth cutting its line item out of the budget.
The people who need this service deserve better. Let’s hope someone in Washington, D.C. or the regional office in Kansas City, Mo., will come to that conclusion, too.
Now to a better topic — my picks. Last week was another solid effort with only three losses out of 25 games. There’s not too many big games this week either, but picking games will get much more difficult in the coming weeks when conference play starts up.
So far this year the Big 10 looks bad enough that anyone has a shot, which is a good thing for the Hawkeyes. I know it was two weeks ago, but I’ve never seen an Iowa team get dominated that much up front by Iowa State. Not even when the Cyclones were winning consistently in the early 2000s did they manhandle Iowa like they did in week 2.
That’s not a good sign for Iowa, which normally hangs its hat on being more physical than the opposing team. It’s still early, though, and I’m sure the adjustments with coordinators will take a little longer than everyone thought. We’ll see as this season progresses, but with a favorable schedule, the Hawks could be in position to have a decent record, despite struggles on offense.
Now, Iowa State has plenty to work on, because no matter how much you control the line of scrimmage, if you can’t take care of the ball, anything can happen. But the Clones look good on defense, which could set them apart from an offensive-minded Big 12.
Basically both teams have bye weeks this week, so we’ll know a lot more about the major university teams next week.
CNHI, the parent company of the Clinton Herald, is conducting its college football sweepstakes. Compete against me each week on www.clintonherald.com.
Week 3 record — 22-3
• Winners are in bold: Maryland at West Virginia; UAB at Ohio State; Virginia at TCU; Bowling Green at Virginia Tech; Central Michigan at Iowa; Mississippi at Tulane; Kentucky at Florida; Army at Wake Forest; Miami at Georgia Tech; Missouri at South Carolina; Temple at Penn State; Gardner-Webb at Pittsburgh; South Florida at Ball State; Florida Atlantic at Alabama; LSU at Auburn; South Alabama at Mississippi State; South Carolina State at Texas A&M; Troy at North Texas; Michigan at Notre Dame; Akron at Tennessee; Vanderbilt at Georgia; Kansas State at Oklahoma; Clemson at Florida State; Syracuse at Minnesota; Louisiana Tech at Illinois.
Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald.
The Social Security office in Clinton will close one week from today.
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