More good news from Washington

We learned in May that the Trustees of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds reported that the Social Security Disability Fund is expected to go broke in 2018.  Of course, it is already broke as all it has are government IOU’s, but that’s not the reason for the post.

In an article from the Associated Press that appeared in today’s Boston Globe, the date is now apparently 2017.  Our economy, or should I say, lack thereof, is the culprit.

Claims for disability benefits typically increase in a bad economy because many disabled people get laid off and cannot find a new job. This year, about 3.3 million people are expected to apply for federal disability benefits. That’s 700,000 more than in 2008 and 1 million more than a decade ago.

In a curious twist, although Americans can apply for reduced Social Security benefits at age 62, and full Social Security benefits at age 66, if you are found to be disabled (and, your work history supports it), you can receive full Social Security benefits long before reaching 62.  And, after two years on disability, you are eligible for Medicare even though you are not 65.

The Trustees’ solution to this problem is to “reallocate” Social Security’s government IOU’s and use them for the disability program.  Of course, that will further shorten the expected life of Social Security, but it does, as government does best, kick the can down the road.

I am not necessarily trashing this program as, if someone is truly disabled, this may well be all they have.  However,

[l]ast year, Social Security detected $1.4 billion in overpayments to disability beneficiaries, mostly to people who got jobs and no longer qualified, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. [emphasis supplied]

I’m sure this discovery was “unexpected”.

And, I’m also sure that we can expect similar results from Obamacare.


7 replies
  1. cherwin
    cherwin says:

    If Liberals want to put all these benefit programs in place with no restrictions or system to monitoring fraud, this is what happens. I don’t think it can be considered unexpected. The same applies to Mediaid, SNAP, and Welfare. There are millions of people who are collecting these benefits and are not eligible.
    Without a way to weed out the cheaters these programs will continue to drain the economy. Social Security was for retirement and it never should have been used for all the other programs it was filtered into. It was funded by taxpayers and should have only gone back to taxpayers. ?
    Liberals pretend to be helping the poor, show compassion and tell people that conservatives don’t want these things.?They want?to bribe the poor to vote for them by way of giving things to them. The truth is conservatives feel the same way,?but we also believe in self responsibility and being honest. If you do not qualify for entitlements you should not be receiving them.
    Why is it so difficult?to monitor the entitlement programs? Get rid of the people who are cheating the system. Or is it that the Liberals?just don’t want to bother monitoring their give away programs? ?That could lead to?the lose of one or two votes. ?

  2. Shared Sacrifice
    Shared Sacrifice says:

    Real compassion & truly protecting the people who need those funds would require protecting those funds.? If the Tea Party does go straight to hell, they’d better step aside quick? because Social Security will be crashing down right behind them.

  3. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I used to be a bank auditor in my working days. I think all govt. programs need some auditing and We the People deserve it. Oh, I’ll take off those rose-colored glasses now.

  4. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    If the fraud and theft in Department of Human Services is any indication of where the Social Security and disability are, here is the proof.
    A Michigan man was arraigned two months ago on Food Stamp fraud for trafficking stolen food stamp Bridge Card.? The government issued debit card was used to buy lobster, porterhouse steak, and 5 cases of Mountain Dew at a cost of $141.78.? These items were then sold by the accused for cents on the dollar.
    Criticism towards the store and the cashier is unfounded as law does not allow them to discriminate against what the card holder is purchasing.
    But our laws do allow for the extravagant purchases to be made.
    “While federal guidelines allow for food assistance to be used to buy (lobster, steak, and Mountain Dew) these purchases go against the intent of the program, which is to provide help to those that are truly needy.”? DHS Spokeswoman, Gisgie Gendreau.
    How much of…

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