Jan 9, 2014

And You Thought That Sequestration Was Almost Over

     From Politico:
Senate Democrats are coming together on a proposal that would pay for a revival of emergency unemployment benefits through the fall by extending the sequester for one year, senior Democratic aides said.
Republicans are demanding that any extension of unemployment insurance be paid for and, in turn, Democrats are pitching an extension of the sequester’s mandatory savings through 2024. Along with a crackdown on people who draw both disability and unemployment benefits, the proposal would raise roughly $18 billion and fund an extension of an expired unemployment benefits through November.
     Why in the name of God would Democrats be pushing for sequestration through 2024?


Mike B. said...

Maybe it's a typo - should be 2014.

Anonymous said...

Why not, these are the same people that brought us the last sequester, Obama, second debate, "There will not be a sequester." They had the full power to stop it and didn't. When you the lefft wind idiots realize he is not there to protect them anymore than he is to protect us. He is out for himself along with other politicians that are hell bent on destroying our country. They certainly could have done a budget the first two years when they controlled everything and they didn't do it. They are into nothing but chaos and drama.. Be afraid, very afraid..

Anonymous said...

@4:19 - since when is Obama in the senate?

Anonymous said...

I guess the Senate isn't controlled by the Democrats???

Anonymous said...

This is somewhat confusing...the term "sequestration" typically refers to the Budget Control Act of 2011, which was originally a 10-year plan, ending in 2021. However, it has since been extended to 2022/23 by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_Control_Act_of_2011

This is just an example of both parties simply too afraid to make decisions. The Act makes the cuts mandatory and reduces spending without requiring any political action and when the cuts are too painful (i.e. reduced air traffic control at Reagan), they just amend it to their liking.

This is the new normal.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike B. said...

Based on Anonymous 5:10's comment, I guess it is 2024. I guess, assuming the article is correct, that the Democrats think this is meaningless - if they can get control of the Presidency and Congress any time before 2024, they can simply do away with the sequester. So they can get extension of unemployment benefits and give up something that might be moot.

Anonymous said...

It's only extending the 2% cut to Medicare physician payments for another year (the Bipartisan Budget Act already extended those from 2021 to 2023). That's the "extension of the sequester's mandatory savings" referenced in the story.

Anonymous said...

Those attempting to cut disability benefits for those who rec'd unemployment are either completely heartless or have never represented a disability claimant. What a horrible position this puts a disability claimant in: choose UE now that will allow them to keep paying rent and put food on the table, or wait for the possibility of disability benefits a year to two down the road.

Anonymous said...


Gripe to the States.

I'm sympathetic to your moral argument--it takes a long time to get disability benefits (if one gets them at all). Thus, it is very cruel to those who would apply for disability benefits to punish them for taking UIB now.

But I think the practice is correct. UIB is for unemployed persons trying to re-enter the workforce. SSI/SSDI is for those who can no longer work (at least for a 12-month period or until their death). It makes logical sense that each program would disqualify applicants/recipients of the other since their purposes are opposite.

Now I know some of you are thinking, "but one can honestly say he is available for work (State UIB requirement) and still disabled under SSSA law." People who GRID fall into this category. However, if your state is anything like mine, its UIB statutes render ineligble someone otherwise eligible who has applied for or is receiving benefits based on disability.

I agree that people in this situation shouldn't be there. Shorten the disability process, have some stop-gap federal or state money, something. But it would make no logical sense and undermine the purpose of both state UIB and federal SSI/SSDI law to allow people to apply/collect both.

I'll say it yet again--it is precisely when, even if out of a sense of morality, people start bending SSA and trying to fix problems with it that the program was not meant to fix that the program is weakened and risks attack.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you being "sympathetic" to the moral argument. But for you, it's an academic exercise as you sit in your warm home. For my clients, receiving UIB while their SSD case is pending can literally be the difference between being homeless, having food to eat, or affording medication. Not to sound overly dramatic, but I regularly take phone calls from desperate clients who are faced with the above situations. For me to tell them not to take unemployment and wait for a possible disability award in 12 months because they will be punished for receiving UIB is wrong. And even your academic argument loses its logic for those over 50.

Anonymous said...

You must not have read all of what I said. The academic argument is not lost considering that most States add into their UIB statutory language that applicants/recipients of SSI/SSDI cannot get UIB.

It's interesting how you call me out for engaging in an academic exercise and then make an argument regarding people who can honestly answer UIB certifications and assert disability (namely, those who would GRID)--this situation relies on a hyper legal technicality to justify its consistency. The person is saying they can work to one and cannot work to another, and these statements are only legally consistent because of special GRID definitions and the abiltiy to search only for jobs of those lower exertions. And my argument is the specious academic exercise?

Also, in stating how my position is illogical, you fail to consider that SSA will not allow one to collect disability (find one "not disabled") if he is engaging in SGA at a sedentary or light job he otherwise would GRID out at. That is, it does not matter that he is in fact limited to light or sedentary and would GRID there, he's working at substantial gainful activity levels and is therefore not disabled. Would you suggest removing Step 1 for people of GRID age to remove that inconsistency, as well?

You have no idea how wholeheartedly I agree that people in your example clients' situation should get state or federal money. I would support that legislation, I would support my takehome pay going down due to higher state or federal income and other taxes to pay for it.

But as it stands, I will not support that money coming from a source that was not intended for that purpose for fear of weakening that existing system by making it a bigger target to those who look for every example of fraud/misuse/etc. to justify completely gutting it. Call it concern trolling, but the threats to SSI/SSDI are not made up or overblown--we can all agree that a lot of people who could do a lot of changing to these programs are itching for any excuse to do so.