Jan 11, 2015

Driving While Blind

     ABC ran a report Friday night on a man drawing Social Security disability benefits on account of blindness who was working without telling the agency and also driving. Maybe this is how Republicans plan to stigmatize Social Security disability recipients -- hidden videos of isolated individuals committing fraud. Sounds weak to me but maybe it will work. There are plenty of videos of people robbing convenience stores but we aren't planning to close them.
     By the way, I've had a couple of clients over the years who were unquestionably blind as that term is defined in the Social Security Act but who drove occasionally. They weren't defrauding Social Security but they were endangering everyone on the roads. Blindness as defined in the Social Security Act isn't the same as complete loss of vision. 20/200, the most important component of the definition of blindness in the Social Security Act, means things that are 20 feet away are seen about as well as a normally sighted person sees them at 200 feet but people with 20/200 vision still have some vision. I told the blind clients to stop driving, by the way.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure this will be deleted within a day -

but why is everything a Republican conspiracy to take away benefits.

if you actually watched the show....this was discovered several years ago - and the guy just got out of prison.

regardless of what his medical/visual condition is or was - he was working. Remember the program says if you are working - you are supposed to report it - and in most cases your benefits will eventually stop.

Mr. Popp did not - he's a crook.

Anonymous said...

He looks like a registered republican to me (if not barred by his conviction).

11:25 it is pretty clear that Republicans want to to away with the SS system as we know it. I believe attacking it was one of their first orders of business upon taking over Congress.

Anonymous said...

The statutory definition of blindness is CORRECTED vision of 20/200 or less in the BETTER eye. It may very well be that an older definition of blindness may be outdated and need to be examined for possible change. But trying to change the statutory definition of blindness, which does not necessarily preclude the ability to work, involves placating many strong interest groups. So good luck.

Anonymous said...

"There are plenty of videos of people robbing convenience stores but we aren't planning to close them."

Why did you choose this analogy? Is it because convenience stores are taxpayer-funded repositories for goods that are available only to select groups of people?

Anonymous said...

Look, the problem is that the crony capitalists (Republicans) are ostensibly trying to "reform" a system that does need reform because of a certain level of fraud within it that could be remedied with an increase in actual investigation and action.

However, if the "reform" that the crony capitalists want is enacted, it will only result in more money being funneled into their pockets.

So we can either leave the system the way it is and let the fraud remain at the level of the recipients or we can make the so-called 1% receive even more unearned wealth.

At this point, there aren't any other options on the table.

Anonymous said...

OOh, oh, Mr. Cotter, I have an idea, let's cut the Social Security tax by 1%. That will certainly help. Wait, what, Obama already did that? When you have a program helping people that is in jeopardy why in the name of all that is decent, would you cut the tax that supports it? Stupidist idea ever. Perhaps it is the Democrats that really want to do away with the program?? Can there be any other explanation??

Anonymous said...

The answer, 8:10 is that many Democrats are being bought by the 1% just as are Republicans. And, in a later post, it is said that many don't trust President Obama re Social Security. I don't either. It's been several years ago, but when I read THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, I believe Obama allowed that "entitlements" would have to be cut or reformed. Republicans have opposed SS since FDR, but this is the first Democratic president who will probably fold and bargain some part of it away.

Anonymous said...

11:13 is correct. Too often we get bogged down in the liberal vs. conservative thing, which all too often is not as good an explainer for what is going on than a class-based view.

Just watch and see what happens with any of these grand bargains. I would bet any of you dollars to donuts that any such change, when you look at the net effect (even with this new monumental Democratic middle class "tax break giveaway at the expense of the rich"), will result in the most rich and powerful persons (both real and only legal [i.e., corps]) in our country having more cash in their pockets, likely immediately or after a very short wait.

That's the common thread to almost all this stuff--just look at the bottom line of all these changes after all the debates and party talking points and social issue red herrings--all of this stuff invariably winds up letting the most rich of all of us keep more of their money. And that's because that end result is the only one anybody making the laws really wanted to reach.