"[They're] eventually going to get them all anyway," insists Social Security Commissioner.
ITING THE recent uptick in thefts of social security numbers by various hacking groups, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, announced this morning that his agency would be releasing all Americans' social security numbers on the SSA's website over the next several weeks.
Mr. Astrue spoke before reporters outside his office's headquarters.
"If Americans think their social security numbers are safe from hackers, I've got a pyramid scheme I'd like to sell them," he said.
"Hackers are eventually going to get them all anyway," continued the Commissioner, "so we might as well get it over with, already."
The SSA Commissioner, who lately has been lunching weekly with the former Republican Senator from Wyoming, Alan Simpson, appears to be emulating Mr. Simpson's famously acerbic retorts.
"If Americans don't like our idea, they can take the last train to Poutville or get used to it," advised Mr. Astrue.
The SSA will begin releasing social security numbers next Monday starting with all 'A' states and proceeding alphabetically over a five-week period, according to Mr. Astrue.
"If you don't like that we're starting with the first letter of the alphabet, go cry on Big Hairy Yellow Bird's shoulder on Sesame Lane," said Mr. Astrue. "I can't stand a bunch of cry babies all howling for their mommies at once."
When asked about the fallout to Americans when their social security numbers become a matter of public record, the SSA director would not speculate.
"Do I look like I have time to think of every little thing that could happen to every single American?" asked Mr. Astrue.
"That's a rhetorical question," he added. You know what 'rhetorical' means, don't you? It means quit moanin' like an old hound dog and report on something useful for a change."
The FBI issued a statement on the news of releasing social security numbers, saying the decision "will launch mass identity theft across the country, which will cost the United States possibly billions of dollars to rectify."
"Oh, blather, bother, and bilge," said Mr. Astrue in response to the FBI statement. "Aren't we getting our little J. Edgars in a twist."
© 7.10.12 Kate Heidel