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(Fox News)   From 2010 to 2013, Social Security paid $1.3 billion in improper disability payments. Agency is immediately praised for wasting less money than any other government department during that time   (foxnews.com) divider line 54
    More: Fail, social security, Senate Homeland Security, governmental affairs committee, SSA, cutting in  
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499 clicks; posted to Business » on 17 Sep 2013 at 8:12 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-17 08:19:51 AM  
If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.
 
2013-09-17 08:30:31 AM  
Establish a guaranteed basic income and we can abolish things like Social Security and even the minimum wage.
 
2013-09-17 08:31:14 AM  
Why does subby hate stimulus?
 
2013-09-17 08:34:41 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


The first part, certainly. Even if it was 3-4% total, that's not bad. The problem is that you will never (NEVER) get to 0% waste, but you easily can spend 3 or 4 times the amount of waste (per year) trying.
 
2013-09-17 08:50:46 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


when one includes disability within the overall RSDI organization, the improper payment rate is just 0.4%.

there are some programs with huge problems though:

http://www.paymentaccuracy.gov/high-priority-programs

centralized data of government program payment accuracy did not exist before 2010, when the Obama administration created this website. it would be great to see a comparison with prior years, but that requires mining through hundreds of PDFs on the GAO's website.
 
2013-09-17 09:03:19 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.


inglixthemad: The first part, certainly. Even if it was 3-4% total, that's not bad. The problem is that you will never (NEVER) get to 0% waste, but you easily can spend 3 or 4 times the amount of waste (per year) trying.


It's well less than 1%.
 
2013-09-17 09:06:55 AM  
$1.3 billion of waste over 3+ years?  For one of the biggest programs in the country?  Even if it's only for disability, it's a goddamned miracle.  The SSA's annual outlays are well over $700 billion.  Alaska was going to waste $400 million on a single bridge to nowhere.
 
2013-09-17 09:17:53 AM  
How many billions did we waste in tax cuts to the derp...err Jerb Creators for noncreated jerbs?
 
2013-09-17 09:27:31 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


The person writing that article seemed kind of oblivious. He mentions someone on disability for high blood pressure like its absurd, but doesn't even wonder how high the guy's blood pressure actually was or if doctors are able to manage it with medication. Same with diabetes. I have a friend with very poorly controlled type 1 who is afraid to drive because she gets so foggy headed. She *does* work but that doesn't mean everyone could, especially someone older with complications.

And mentioning at one point someone on disability who looked healthy is just obnoxious.

My thoughts on it going up:
A few years ago, my family could support me. Now they can't. They can't find new job opportunities, and I certainly can't considering my limitations. So I have to apply for disability.

/narcolepsy
//complicated by recenr hypothyroidism which seems to make me unable to tolerate stimulants, adds insomnia on top of my extreme sleepiness, and makes me even more foggy headed and physically tired when I'm awake
///only eligible for SSI but that, housing, food stamps, and Medicaid would at least keep me from burdening my parents
 
2013-09-17 09:34:06 AM  
Someone is getting something they shouldn't.  Shut the whole farking thing down.  It's unfixable. Privatize it.  The free market will fix this.
 
2013-09-17 09:44:51 AM  

doloresonthedottedline: And mentioning at one point someone on disability who looked healthy is just obnoxious.


This.  Unable to function and unable to work are two different things.  I think when someone sees the word "disability" they imagine some blind, deaf and paralyzed from the neck down.  Hypertension triggered by stress can make work too much of a risk for someone otherwise completely normal.  Hell, something as simple as panic attacks can make someone unemployable even in low-wage jobs.  (Actually in today's sedentary world I daresay mental disabilities are far more likely to make someone unable to work, but that's another conversation.)  And these people have to be shut-ins for the rest of their lives just so self-righteous assholes don't have to see someone experience any sort of positive emotion because they're on disability?

Yeah I'm sure there's fraud but there is a HUGE difference between unable to work and needing full-time medical care.
 
2013-09-17 09:47:10 AM  

pueblonative: How many billions did we waste in tax cuts to the derp...err Jerb Creators for noncreated jerbs?


Net cost as of 2012 was something like $3.5 trillion.
 
2013-09-17 10:03:42 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


I agree; waste in any program is inevitable; whatever the budget size, it's the % that matters, not the dollar figure (this also applies to people bemoaning "obscene" profits, too).

With the population aging and Baby Boomers hitting the end game, an increase in disability numbers is not surprising.
 
2013-09-17 10:29:59 AM  

Carousel Beast: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

I agree; waste in any program is inevitable; whatever the budget size, it's the % that matters, not the dollar figure (this also applies to people bemoaning "obscene" profits, too).

With the population aging and Baby Boomers hitting the end game, an increase in disability numbers is not surprising.


Carousel Carousel Renew! Renew! Soylent Pink, is girls, Soylent Blue is boys, Soylent Green is Boomers.

Don't forget to take your Soma.
 
2013-09-17 10:34:44 AM  

Carousel Beast: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

I agree; waste in any program is inevitable; whatever the budget size, it's the % that matters, not the dollar figure (this also applies to people bemoaning "obscene" profits, too).

With the population aging and Baby Boomers hitting the end game, an increase in disability numbers is not surprising.


people that suffer from long-term (>1 yr) major depression also qualify for disability.

long term unemployment is a cause of depression (34% chance, vs 16% for employed workers)

http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/job-loss

as more people exhaust unemployment benefits, expect disability rolls to keep rising.
 
2013-09-17 10:34:57 AM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


Yeah, those diabetic grandmas need to get their asses in gear and generate more record profits for Wall Street.
 
2013-09-17 10:35:13 AM  
Uh.... Subby, I'm pretty goddamn impressed the numbers are so incredibly small for such a tremendously massive program.  I've come away heartened about the whole situation, actually.
 
2013-09-17 10:36:57 AM  

doloresonthedottedline: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

The person writing that article seemed kind of oblivious. He mentions someone on disability for high blood pressure like its absurd, but doesn't even wonder how high the guy's blood pressure actually was or if doctors are able to manage it with medication. Same with diabetes. I have a friend with very poorly controlled type 1 who is afraid to drive because she gets so foggy headed. She *does* work but that doesn't mean everyone could, especially someone older with complications.

And mentioning at one point someone on disability who looked healthy is just obnoxious.

My thoughts on it going up:
A few years ago, my family could support me. Now they can't. They can't find new job opportunities, and I certainly can't considering my limitations. So I have to apply for disability.

/narcolepsy
//complicated by recenr hypothyroidism which seems to make me unable to tolerate stimulants, adds insomnia on top of my extreme sleepiness, and makes me even more foggy headed and physically tired when I'm awake
///only eligible for SSI but that, housing, food stamps, and Medicaid would at least keep me from burdening my parents


To further strengthen your point: high blood pressure and diabetes are chronic medical conditions that cause a ton of complications. For example, htn can cause end organ damage, acute kidney injuries, cardiac abnormalities, and stroke. Diabetes can cause peripheral neuopathies, nephropathy, and retinopathy to name a few. When processing disability applications, the disability code for hypertension that causes significant end organ damage is the same as hypertension that doesn't. Therefore, just looking at the basic information on the outside of the file doesn't tell you much.

Are there people getting disability that shouldn't? Yes! However, the main reason is that congress keeps cutting the agency's funding to do CDRs. I think former comissioner Astrue stated that for every dollar spent on CDRs, the gov't would save 4. This is because most "unworthy" people were disabled for a time, but have experienced medical improvement. Then again the turds in congress know that their constituents want to keep the government out of their social security disability payments, so CDRs aren't funded.
 
2013-09-17 10:57:52 AM  

doloresonthedottedline: And mentioning at one point someone on disability who looked healthy is just obnoxious.


I just got into a Facebook flamewar with otherwise logical people about this very thing. I even had a couple of idiots suggesting we drug test folks on disability and unemployment (!) because those folks are leeches. I pointed out that folks on disability are often on multiple drugs, so drug testing them would be a waste of time and money, but they didn't care. It was the principle of the thing. God forbid someone get help from the government.
 
2013-09-17 10:58:13 AM  

dumbobruni: centralized data of government program payment accuracy did not exist before 2010, when the Obama administration created this website


Interesting.

Keep in mind that those are probably lowball numbers - because they're only going to be as reliable as the people investigating them, and no matter who's in charge in Washington there will be a lot of pushback against oversight. A lot of providers bought into Medicare in the first place because there's a nod-and-a-wink understanding that they can pad their bills a bit to make up for reimbursement rates that are too low. Politicians in areas with lots of poor and old folks don't ever want to be in the spot of having to explain why a federal benefit is denied, so they make sure the cash spigot is open as wide as is possible.

And states with generous Medicaid programs have an obvious interest in clamping on to the Washington teat as fiercely as they can, even if the states themselves are ripping off billions (looking at you, New York).

Also, I don't know any business that would consider even 1% of revenue lost to fraud and theft anywhere near a good enough job, even taking into account a business' interest in hanging onto its money versus a politician's interest in spending money where it'll do him the most good, and we'll handle those pesky questions about improper payments and fraud and so forth AFTER the election, mkay?

The credit-card industry's fraud-loss rate is around seven cents per $100 - tiny compared to what Uncle Sam is losing.
 
2013-09-17 11:11:15 AM  

Mike Chewbacca: doloresonthedottedline: And mentioning at one point someone on disability who looked healthy is just obnoxious.

I just got into a Facebook flamewar with otherwise logical people about this very thing. I even had a couple of idiots suggesting we drug test folks on disability and unemployment (!) because those folks are leeches. I pointed out that folks on disability are often on multiple drugs, so drug testing them would be a waste of time and money, but they didn't care. It was the principle of the thing. God forbid someone get help from the government.


These people have been meticulously trained by unscrupulous figures and agencies to amplify any anti-social, hateful impulses they have within themselves.  These are the sorts of attitudes that will tear society to bits, and it's been working.
 
2013-09-17 11:15:09 AM  
www.cytrap.eu
 
2013-09-17 12:23:56 PM  

Gulper Eel: dumbobruni: centralized data of government program payment accuracy did not exist before 2010, when the Obama administration created this website

Interesting.

Keep in mind that those are probably lowball numbers - because they're only going to be as reliable as the people investigating them, and no matter who's in charge in Washington there will be a lot of pushback against oversight. A lot of providers bought into Medicare in the first place because there's a nod-and-a-wink understanding that they can pad their bills a bit to make up for reimbursement rates that are too low. Politicians in areas with lots of poor and old folks don't ever want to be in the spot of having to explain why a federal benefit is denied, so they make sure the cash spigot is open as wide as is possible.

And states with generous Medicaid programs have an obvious interest in clamping on to the Washington teat as fiercely as they can, even if the states themselves are ripping off billions (looking at you, New York).

Also, I don't know any business that would consider even 1% of revenue lost to fraud and theft anywhere near a good enough job, even taking into account a business' interest in hanging onto its money versus a politician's interest in spending money where it'll do him the most good, and we'll handle those pesky questions about improper payments and fraud and so forth AFTER the election, mkay?

The credit-card industry's fraud-loss rate is around seven cents per $100 - tiny compared to what Uncle Sam is losing.


Actually, given the numbers in the article, the "Uncle Sam" numbers are about six cents per $100.  Social Security is actually winning.
 
2013-09-17 12:27:55 PM  

SphericalTime: Gulper Eel: dumbobruni:

<snip>

Actually, given the numbers in the article, the "Uncle Sam" numbers are about six cents per $100.  Social Security is actually winning.


Someone might want to check my math.  It actually might be six cents per 1000 dollars.  I can't tell if I missed a zero in there.
 
2013-09-17 12:28:27 PM  

pueblonative: How many billions did we waste in tax cuts to the derp...err Jerb Creators for noncreated jerbs?


Well, there was the time that $12 billion in palletized $100 bills vanished in Iraq, and the general consensus among the "fiscal conservatives" was "Meh."
 
2013-09-17 12:44:57 PM  

Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.


Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.
 
2013-09-17 12:47:56 PM  

balthan: Establish a guaranteed basic income and we can abolish things like Social Security and even the minimum wage.


Intriguing... How much do you think it would save us compared to current social spending programs (SS, welfare, SNAP and other nutrition benefits, housing subsidies, etc. etc.)?
 
2013-09-17 12:58:23 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.


Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.
 
2013-09-17 01:01:47 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.


[Citation need]

I want to know what you base your assertion considering the rules governing disability claims haven't changed and the fact that while new people on the rolls is up, the percentage approved is actually down.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me that someone who knows absolutely zero about how SSA operates would make up statisticals to push their trolltastic agenda of discrediting the most important social safety net this country has.
 
2013-09-17 01:24:02 PM  

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.


Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.
 
2013-09-17 01:28:45 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: How much do you think it would save us compared to current social spending programs (SS, welfare, SNAP and other nutrition benefits, housing subsidies, etc. etc.)?


It wouldn't.  There are people who can burn through their handouts in less than an hour, then have the gall to demand more because "they have kids".  They will basically waste money on themselves and then hold their children hostage for more.  So, basically like most City Councils -- when the knives are out, the first thing on the chopping block is the 10% of the budget that actually goes toward stuff the town needs.

I have solutions in mind but they wouldn't even make it to Congress without me getting run out of the country.
 
2013-09-17 01:29:47 PM  
Meanwhile, we're still trying to get straight answers about $12 billion we shipped to Iraq - heck, only recently did our government claim that $6.6 billion had been transferred directly to the Iraqi government, despite clear evidence to the contrary, in a vain attempt to close the books.

One agency lost $1.2 billion in a 3-year period? Pshaw. We lost many times that in Iraq - where's Fox's outrage over that? Oh, that's right - compared to other networks, Fox said the least about it.

Again:
Democrats worry that someone who needs help isn't getting it.
Republicans worry that someone who doesn't need help is getting it.
Teabaggers worry that someone else is getting help.
 
2013-09-17 01:33:36 PM  

dragonchild: Debeo Summa Credo: How much do you think it would save us compared to current social spending programs (SS, welfare, SNAP and other nutrition benefits, housing subsidies, etc. etc.)?

It wouldn't.  There are people who can burn through their handouts in less than an hour, then have the gall to demand more because "they have kids".  They will basically waste money on themselves and then hold their children hostage for more.  So, basically like most City Councils -- when the knives are out, the first thing on the chopping block is the 10% of the budget that actually goes toward stuff the town needs.

I have solutions in mind but they wouldn't even make it to Congress without me getting run out of the country.


Ooh. Do tell.
 
2013-09-17 01:44:12 PM  

Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.


You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.
 
2013-09-17 01:59:24 PM  

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.


Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?
 
2013-09-17 02:13:58 PM  

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.


You're a well-known dookie face, and whatever: Social Security is an insurance policy against getting old or sick and it should remain that way. Making it a welfare program will eventually erode its public support and it will wind up on the chopping block along side SNAP and Medicaid whenever Republicans feel like kicking poor people in the balls.
 
2013-09-17 02:15:22 PM  

zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

[Citation need]

I want to know what you base your assertion considering the rules governing disability claims haven't changed and the fact that while new people on the rolls is up, the percentage approved is actually down.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me that someone who knows absolutely zero about how SSA operates would make up statisticals to push their trolltastic agenda of discrediting the most important social safety net this country has.


Percentage of adults on disability increased from 2.2% in 1985 to 4.1% in 2005

http://www.nber.org/bah/fall06/w12436.html

And the number of people on disability compared to people working has continued to increase to over 6% in 2012 (although this link is biased against Obama, you can ignore that and just look at the overall trend)  Utilization of disabililty insurance is growing much much more quickly than would statistically be expected.  The average age of people of working age may have gone up modestly, but improved medical techniques should be getting more people back to work, not fewer.:

http://news.investors.com/business/042012-608418-ssdi-disability-rol ls -skyrocket-under-obama.htm?p=full

So, I'm basing my assertion on simple facts and numbers.
 
2013-09-17 02:16:05 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?


Social Security is not a retirement account, it is a tax used to support old people. Many people who get social security didn't pay their whole lives because all it takes to get retirement benefits is 10 years of work. A window technically didn't have to pay a penny to get benefits.

How to fix social security: remove the soft cap on benefits by lifting the cap; in other words all wage income is now subject to social security tax. Then, put a small ssa tax on capital gains. Then, put a hard benefit cap to ensure high wage earners don't bankrupt the system. Finally, don't let the government use the money for any other purpose. Ever.

If this is done SSA will be solvent for longer than the USA will be.
 
2013-09-17 02:16:19 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?


How dare you question his half-baked policy recommendations? Are you some kind of troll?
 
2013-09-17 02:37:52 PM  

zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?

Social Security is not a retirement account, it is a tax used to support old people. Many people who get social security didn't pay their whole lives because all it takes to get retirement benefits is 10 years of work. A window technically didn't have to pay a penny to get benefits.

How to fix social security: remove the soft cap on benefits by lifting the cap; in other words all wage income is now subject to social security tax. Then, put a small ssa tax on capital gains. Then, put a hard benefit cap to ensure high wage earners don't bankrupt the system. Finally, don't let the government use the money for any other purpose. Ever.

If this is done SSA will be solvent for longer than the USA will be.


You could do that by raising the age by another couple of years, and by making automatic increases/decreases to the tax rate (max 0.1% per year for employer/employee) until the program is actuarially solvent for some period 50-75 years for example.

That way you guarantee solvency via automatic rate increases, and you keep it as the insurance program it has always been.

Your suggestion turns it into another welfare program. If that's what you want, just scrap the whole thing and give seniors who need it welfare.
 
2013-09-17 02:51:43 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

[Citation need]

I want to know what you base your assertion considering the rules governing disability claims haven't changed and the fact that while new people on the rolls is up, the percentage approved is actually down.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me that someone who knows absolutely zero about how SSA operates would make up statisticals to push their trolltastic agenda of discrediting the most important social safety net this country has.

Percentage of adults on disability increased from 2.2% in 1985 to 4.1% in 2005

http://www.nber.org/bah/fall06/w12436.html

And the number of people on disability compared to people working has continued to increase to over 6% in 2012 (although this link is biased against Obama, you can ignore that and just look at the overall trend)  Utilization of disabililty insurance is growing much much more quickly than would statistically be expected.  The average age of people of working age may have gone up modestly, but improved medical techniques should be getting more people back to work, not fewer.:

http://news.investors.com/business/042012-608418-ssdi-disability-rol ls -skyrocket-under-obama.htm?p=full

So, I'm basing my assertion on simple facts and numbers.


No, you are basing your assertion on your interpretation of some of the numbers available to you, and making baseless assumptions regarding the effectiveness of this new technology and how accessible this new medical technology is to the working class in order to ignore the fact that these numbers are not corrected for the largest generation of workers getting older.

Moreover, you are ignoring the fact that we also are just getting out of a recession. You are underestimating how many people haxd sympathetic employment; employment despite their disability where their employer provided accommodations above and beyond what is required in the ADA and paid them more than they were worth. A lot of these arrangements ended in 2008-2009.

Let me clue you into how things work, because you obviously love spreading your ignorance all over fark. Disability is really difficult to get and it is becoming much more difficult to get as time goes on because there is a general trend in disability decisions to affirm the state agency's decision; in other words, the applicant is found not to be disabled way more often or not. So, why is there an increase in the percentage of people getting disability?

(1) the disability rules favor workers who have performed heavy or medium unskilled work once those people reach age 50. They are unable to perform their past work, and because they haven't really done desk work, they are not able to adjust to sedentary or light work depending on their age. This is based on labor market studies. (But science is bad! Derp!)

(2) there has been an increase of these workers in this age group because there has been an increase of all workers in this age group.

(3) this country requires fewer workers performing this sort of work, and some of these industries laid off a great deal of workers in the past few years. While the industry is coming back (particularly construction), they don't want the old unskilled laborers that they laid off 4 years ago when there are plenty of able bodied young people available.

(4) as a result, older unskilled laborers that would have continued working for a few years, apply for benefits. They have injuries that they just toughed out while working (shoulder/back mostly) and would have not received benefits. However, now that they aren't working and can't find a job, and as a result, they have little choice. (Ftr they all hate Obama)

(5) finally, the reduction of the backlog, is the most important factor. Social Security has become more effective and efficient in terms of coming out with decisions. Before Obama, the disability decision backlog was almost 2 years, now it is below 365 days. The backlog was artificially deflating the number of people on disability.

In sum, you are uninformed at best and intentionally deceptive at worst. The rules haven't changed and the enforcement of the existing rules has become more strict. You are wrong.
 
2013-09-17 02:58:53 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?

Social Security is not a retirement account, it is a tax used to support old people. Many people who get social security didn't pay their whole lives because all it takes to get retirement benefits is 10 years of work. A window technically didn't have to pay a penny to get benefits.

How to fix social security: remove the soft cap on benefits by lifting the cap; in other words all wage income is now subject to social security tax. Then, put a small ssa tax on capital gains. Then, put a hard benefit cap to ensure high wage earners don't bankrupt the system. Finally, don't let the government use the money for any other purpose. Ever.

If this is done SSA will be solvent for longer than the USA will be.

You could do that by raising the age by another couple of years, and by making automatic increases/decreases to the tax rate (max 0.1% per year for employer/employee) until the program is actuarially solvent for some period 50-75 years for example.

That way you guarantee solvency via automatic rate increases, and you keep it as the insurance program it has always been.

Your suggestion turns it into another welfare program. If that's what you want, just scrap the whole thing and give seniors who need it welfare.


Actually my suggestion is an insurance program where the premiums are means tested but the benefits have a ceiling. In other words, employers (capital gains tax) and high wage earners (professionals and CEOs) will have to put in their fair share after trying to shift the cost of retirement for their employees on to the government.
 
2013-09-17 03:52:06 PM  

Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.


Your 401(k) program should be means tested. If the fund managers feel that you don't deserve it, they just keep the money for themselves.
 
2013-09-17 04:05:07 PM  

zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?

Social Security is not a retirement account, it is a tax used to support old people. Many p ...


These aer common sense solutions and should have been implemented yesterday.  But because we are determined to be ruled by right-wing ideologues (fueled by the chowderheads on this thread) and not even consider fiscally sound solutions, we're bound to make things worse for ourselves.
 
2013-09-17 04:44:00 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: Carousel Beast: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

I agree; waste in any program is inevitable; whatever the budget size, it's the % that matters, not the dollar figure (this also applies to people bemoaning "obscene" profits, too).

With the population aging and Baby Boomers hitting the end game, an increase in disability numbers is not surprising.

Carousel Carousel Renew! Renew! Soylent Pink, is girls, Soylent Blue is boys, Soylent Green is Boomers.

Don't forget to take your Soma.


Hit them all there. Nicely done.
 
2013-09-17 05:02:44 PM  

zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Wendy's Chili: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

Far more important is capping SS payouts to those who in no way need them.  We're sending out checks to folks basking in the Hamptons, for chrissakes.  How that's not a form of social fraud is beyond me.

Yes, let's turn SS into a pure welfare program. Surely it would be safe then.

You're a well-known troll, and whatever:  Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Why? Didn't they pay in all their lives to the program?

Means testing just turns it into another form of welfare, rather than the self sustaining longevity/disability/survivorship insurance program it has been until now.

Why not just scrap it completely and let those who need additional income apply or welfare or other benefits?

Social Security is not a retirement account, it is a tax used to support old people. Many people who get social security didn't pay their whole lives because all it takes to get retirement benefits is 10 years of work. A window technically didn't have to pay a penny to get benefits.

How to fix social security: remove the soft cap on benefits by lifting the cap; in other words all wage income is now subject to social security tax. Then, put a small ssa tax on capital gains. Then, put a hard benefit cap to ensure high wage earners don't bankrupt the system. Finally, don't let the government use the money for any other purpose. Ever.

If this is done SSA will be solvent for longer than the USA will be.

You could do that by raising the age by another couple of years, and by making automatic increases/decreases to the tax rate (max 0.1% per year for employer/employee) until the program is actuarially solvent for some period 50-75 years for example.

That way you guarantee solvency via automatic rate increases, and you keep it as the insurance program it has always been.

Your suggestion turns it into another welfare program. If that's what you want, just scrap the whole thing and give seniors who need it welfare.

Actually my suggestion is an insurance program where the premiums are means tested but the benefits have a ceiling. In other words, employers (capital gains tax) and high wage earners (professionals and CEOs) will have to put in their fair share after trying to shift the cost of retirement for their employees on to the government.


Which is ridiculous. They pay you and you can save for retirement or just spend everything today. If you don't save, you are shifting the cost of your retirement onto the government.
 
2013-09-17 05:04:16 PM  
From 2010 to 2013, Social Security paid $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments.
 
2013-09-17 05:10:19 PM  

zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: zeroman987: Debeo Summa Credo: Harvey Manfrenjensenjen: If the rate is less than 1% I'd call it good enough, even if it is $1.3 billion, because at that point you know they'll end up spending $4 billion trying to figure out how to fix it.

I'm far more concerned about the dramatic rise in the numbers who are "legitimately" on disability.

Exactly. Numbers have spiked in excess of what we should see based solely on the aging of the population.

The 1.3b is what has been identified as improper payments. It's a small small portion of the payments that have gone to people who could work and likely shouldn't be on SSDI.

The more people on disability the closer we get to the day the system is insolvent and the GOP can say "we told you so!!!". (Currently 2033, after which pnly 75% of benefits would be covered). You'd think there would be more of a consensus that we need more reasonable thresholds for disability.

[Citation need]

I want to know what you base your assertion considering the rules governing disability claims haven't changed and the fact that while new people on the rolls is up, the percentage approved is actually down.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me that someone who knows absolutely zero about how SSA operates would make up statisticals to push their trolltastic agenda of discrediting the most important social safety net this country has.

Percentage of adults on disability increased from 2.2% in 1985 to 4.1% in 2005

http://www.nber.org/bah/fall06/w12436.html

And the number of people on disability compared to people working has continued to increase to over 6% in 2012 (although this link is biased against Obama, you can ignore that and just look at the overall trend)  Utilization of disabililty insurance is growing much much more quickly than would statistically be expected.  The average age of people of working age may have gone up modestly, but improved medical techniques should be getting more people back to work, not fewer.:

http://news.investors.com/business/042012-608418-ssdi-disability-rol ls -skyrocket-under-obama.htm?p=full

So, I'm basing my assertion on simple facts and numbers.

No, you are basing your assertion on your interpretation of some of the numbers available to you, and making baseless assumptions regarding the effectiveness of this new technology and how accessible this new medical technology is to the working class in order to ignore the fact that these numbers are not corrected for the largest generation of workers getting older.

Moreover, you are ignoring the fact that we also are just getting out of a recession. You are underestimating how many people haxd sympathetic employment; employment despite their disability where their employer provided accommodations above and beyond what is required in the ADA and paid them more than they were worth. A lot of these arrangements ended in 2008-2009.

Let me clue you into how things work, because you obviously love spreading your ignorance all over fark. Disability is really difficult to get and it is becoming much more difficult to get as time goes on because there is a general trend in disability decisions to affirm the state agency's decision; in other words, the applicant is found not to be disabled way more often or not. So, why is there an increase in the percentage of people getting disability?

(1) the disability rules favor workers who have performed heavy or medium unskilled work once those people reach age 50. They are unable to perform their past work, and because they haven't really done desk work, they are not able to adjust to sedentary or light work depending on their age. This is based on labor market studies. (But science is bad! Derp!)

(2) there has been an increase of these workers in this age group because there has been an increase of all workers in this age group.

(3) this country requires fewer workers performing this sort of work, and some of these industries laid off a great deal of workers in the past few years. While the industry is coming back (particularly construction), they don't want the old unskilled laborers that they laid off 4 years ago when there are plenty of able bodied young people available.

(4) as a result, older unskilled laborers that would have continued working for a few years, apply for benefits. They have injuries that they just toughed out while working (shoulder/back mostly) and would have not received benefits. However, now that they aren't working and can't find a job, and as a result, they have little choice. (Ftr they all hate Obama)

(5) finally, the reduction of the backlog, is the most important factor. Social Security has become more effective and efficient in terms of coming out with decisions. Before Obama, the disability decision backlog was almost 2 years, now it is below 365 days. The backlog was artificially deflating the number of people on disability.

In sum, you are uninformed at best and intentionally deceptive at worst. The rules haven't changed and the enforcement of the existing rules has become more strict. You are wrong.


I like points (3) and (4) the best. You are proving that disability rolls are increasing not because of more people being disabled and therefore unable to work, but because of economic reasons. If someone is capable of working they shouldn't be on disability. Apply for one or more of the myriad of other social welfare programs available.

Combine that with expansion of disability to cover more afflictions etc. and you start to see why disability rolls have increased at such a staggering pace.

Btw, it's not just during the Obama years- it increased from 2.2% to 4.1% of the working age population from 1985 to 2005 (both good years economically)
 
2013-09-17 05:17:58 PM  

Wendy's Chili: I have solutions in mind but they wouldn't even make it to Congress without me getting run out of the country.

Ooh. Do tell.


Set a government mandate that people are entitled to the following:  Security, food, water, shelter, clothes (including shoes), basic medical care, access to education.  Set up federally funded distribution centers -- you can have all the basic meals, clothes, blankets, and basic medical care you need.  They will come with libraries that provide everything for comprehensive K-12 education.  Need a shower?  Go ahead.  Need a place to crash?  They're open (and patrolled) 24/7 and they're always free.  You only have to find a way to get there, and if you take public transportation the government will pay fare on arrival.

The beds are cots and the shower rooms are communal.  You are not entitled to privacy.
The meal are nutritious but bland.  You are not entitled to flavor.
The clothes come in all sizes but they are all the same color.  You are not entitled to style.
The books will be education or reference only.  You are not entitled to entertainment (tho local libraries can stock what they want).
The medical care will be limited according to what the government can afford -- i.e. universal healthcare.  Oops.

You will not starve.  You will not freeze.  You will not die from manageable illnesses or injuries.  You will be as protected by law enforcement as anyone.  People are free to take as much as they want, although you can't take food out (else it goes to waste) and the clothes/blankets technically remain government property such that destruction of what you take, or moving it across the border, is a crime (again, to avoid waste).  There will be no black market for these goods because everyone will know it's free.  There will be no stealing what's allocated for the children to sell for drugs or booze because even the worst junkie will know that anyone can get the same stuff anywhere at anytime.  The government will saturate the nation with plain clothes and bland food.  On the market, the food and clothes will be worthless.  Their value will be in keeping people alive.

If you want any better, any improvement to your life whatsoever, you get a job.  Poor families spend much of their money on essentials, so the magic of it is that this program provides a floor you can't fall through.  You can waste as much booze as you want off your minimum wage job; the kids' needs won't be compromised.  And if you lose your job due to being an irresponsible dumbass and get evicted from your apartment, you can ALWAYS go back to sleeping in the shelter.  The kids will have it rough, but being the kid of a dumbass is ALWAYS rough and this is nowhere near as bad as giving cash to a deadbeat.  If anything this makes the kids safer because "free stuff" will bring them out in the open whereas giving them subsidized housing might make victims invisible.  Hell, even runaways can go to a shelter to get as much food & clothes as they need.  And the beauty of it is that someone with more ambitions & responsibility can save up their money by living in the shelter instead of the incremental rotten rungs of the social ladder the working poor are trying to claw up these days.  There are a lot of upsides and the big X-factor of healthcare aside, this would probably be arguably a LOT cheaper than the smorgasbord of welfare, relief, assistance and disaster programs we have at all sorts of levels.  This can arguably eliminate some entitlement programs as well.

But I'd never propose it for three reasons.  One, it'd get laughed out of Congress.  Two, it would be a 24/7 fight to keep special interests from corrupting the process.  Three, Americans are assholes.  The way American voters think, even if this somehow overcame the million programs that would try to kill it to preserve the status quo, before this thing is out of committee it would be disastrously underfunded to ensure its failure.  And that's just the beginning.  The pennies it would be given would get wasted by special interest contracts, undercut by loophole-ridden contracts such that the food will be shiat and the clothes even worse, and with zero local cooperation making the shelters inaccessible and unsafe.
 
2013-09-17 05:24:11 PM  

DrPainMD: Scorpitron is reduced to a thin red paste: Social Security should 100% be means tested.  We're sending our tax dollars to people who in no sense need them.  A SS check should never go to some retired multi-millionaire or his widow.  That's completely senseless.

Your 401(k) program should be means tested. If the fund managers feel that you don't deserve it, they just keep the money for themselves.


www.rigsofrods.com
 
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