Social Security’s disability trust fund will be bankrupt in three years, and all those folks currently on disability will see their payments slashed. Those coming onto disability will see far smaller payments than they were expecting. Whether or not there should be a disability program, if so at what level of payment, or who should fund it are separate issues. Let’s talk about what we have, and how we got here.
With the Panic of 2008, unemployment spiked, reaching above 10%. President Barack Obama’s economic policies have slowed our recovery to the point of not recovering at all. Even the current unemployment rate of 7.8% both is as high as it was when he took office and misleading in itself since it’s based on a far smaller work force than when he took office.
On top of this unemployment rate, whose primary effects here are to reduce the tax monies going into the disability fund and to increase the number of people going onto disability—anything to get enough money for an unemployed person, or someone who’s given up trying to find work, to put food on his family’s table or to pay the rent/mortgage—we have the following.
Obama is actively making it easier to apply for disability with no parallel move to make funds available to make the payments. Indeed, Obama has steadfastly refused to allow any of our entitlement programs to be fixed, or revamped, or changed in any way so as to enable them to survive (again, whether they should as Federal programs is a separate discussion).
His Lieutenant in the Senate, Chuck Schumer (D, NY), insists that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are off the table in any debt, deficit, or budget discussion. Obama said in his inaugural address last week that
the commitments we make to each other—through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security—these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us.
Leaving aside the vapid ignorance of this remark, the statement demonstrates his refusal to touch them in any way.
And we have this nonsense from a tired old man, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, NV), about entitlements generally, using Medicare as his example:
…savings from cutting wasteful spending and fraud will extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by an additional eight years….
Let’s ignore the fact that Reid cannot name a single instance of actual wasteful spending or of fraud—or explain why those have not already been rooted out, if he knew of them—Medicare’s (for instance) lifetime could be extended for a whole eight years, he says, like he’s proud of that fact.