Jan 15, 2015

The "Hop Out Of Your Truck" Test

     Senator Rand Paul on disability:
What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting your disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club ... Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts. Everybody over 40 has a little back pain.
     Over half of all applications for Social Security disability benefits do come from people whose primary health problem is either mental or musculoskeletal. This includes people disabled by schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, multiple amputations and spinal problems causing paraplegia. "Either anxious or their back hurts" is misleading. It's like describing someone with no light perception in either eye as being a little near sighted. One problem is that many on the right believe that what Paul said is true. A bigger problem is that Paul probably believes that what he said is true.
     If you believe that government paid disability insurance benefits are wrong, say so. Don't resort to outrageous misrepresentations of the program you oppose.

     Update: Paul has received a fair amount of criticism for his comments. His response is that those criticizing him are " ... arguing for fraud ... I'm arguing for eliminating fraud." That makes sense only if you believe that the vast majority of people drawing disability benefits are doing so fraudulently.
     I sometimes think that the only test for disability that folks like Paul would accept is that it must be immediately obvious to anyone at any time that the person is disabled and also that it must also be immediately obvious to anyone at any time that the person is suffering badly.


Anonymous said...

Wake up people, the entire SS system is under attack. The current aim is the disability program because it is the weakest link, but the rest is also on the right wing agenda. Pay attention and be prepared to contact your congress people.

Anonymous said...

I just saw a clip of senator paul on cnn. As i understand it,senator paul has no recent experience of working for an employer while having disabilities. Considering he is a senator i do not consider the federal government as an employer.

This is what happens when elected officials believe they are all powerful especially republican scum.

Anonymous said...

Charles, while you are dead on about how wrong this idiot is, you're being just as disingenuous.

Would you like to tell the folks at home how (un)common "schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, multiple amputations [or] spinal problems causing paraplegia" are in claimants?

I totally agree that the vast majority of folks on disability are disabled and that "musculoskeletal" and "mental" are not just a little back pain or apprehensiveness about dealing with your boss the next day. However, paraplegia, brain injury, and schizophrenia are not common impairments, and your statement has the effect of making it seem like they are.

Anonymous said...

I believe it would be easy to do his job. Standing around spouting opinions is rather easy. Lots of time off, good benefits and a secure retirement. I would like to see him try working a job, at Walmart, or McDonalds for 40 hours a week with back pain. Naturally mental illness has no outward signs so of course no one is disabled for that. Guess we need to dress them in armadillo hats lined with tinfoil so he can identify his supporters. As with Reagan the attack on those with mental health will be thrown to the streets if this guy has his way.

Anonymous said...

And people with conditions like cancer, lupus, MS, coronary artery disease, kidney failure, Crohns, etc may be able "hop out of a truck" on good days.
If these conditions aren't disabling, I hope Mr. Paul is lucky enough to be blessed with them.

Anonymous said...

My first thought after hearing about and reading this quote was that this will help our position. Almost everybody has a friend or family member with a "real" disability who actually "deserves" benefits. That's much different than the "fakers" one hears about. By questioning even the "legitimate" cases, Paul may have gone too far and cause the public to think that the GOP's position on the disability program is too extreme.

Anonymous said...

Charles, you said, "That makes sense only if you believe that the vast majority of people drawing disability benefits are doing so fraudulently." You are wrong. Even if only a minority of the people are fruadulent that is a whole bunch of tax money being wasted. Why can't you see this? Why are you so afraid of anyone attempting to eliminate fraud in the system? Me thinks thou protests to much..

Anonymous said...

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) deliberately fill out this morning 40 arrest warrants related to Social Security fraud.

JANUARY 15, 2015

This was confirmed by the press spokesman of the federal agency, Moses Quiñones, who said the arrests are in different parts of the island, but will be processed at the Coliseum Mario Quijote Morales in Guaynabo.

The orders issued by a federal grand jury are against a physician and 39 beneficiaries.

The doctor, said Quiñones, a resident of Guaynabo.

Shortly before 7:00 am, the officers had managed to stop 36 of the 40 defendants. It was noted that one of the arrests would take place in Orlando, Florida.

Quiñones said this is the third research done recently negotiated related to Social Security.

Just in August 2013, 75 people were arrested for defrauding Social Security, which included a federal former employee, a physiatrist and two psychiatrists.

The operation called "Easy Money" revealed a scheme to defraud the program of Social Security disability for $ 6 million, given that 71 of the accused were receiving disability benefits illegally and doctors and former employee of the agency they facilitated the process, inventing physical and mental health conditions to receive the benefit.

However, the evidence showed them running, walking and lifting heavy equipment.

Most already pleaded guilty and many were sentenced to sentences on probation, in addition to paying refunds.

The details of the operation will be announced during a press conference at 11:00 am at the US Attorney in Hato Rey.

Anonymous said...

Just as homosexuals with the help of Harvey Milk came out to friends and family in 1978 to defeat the homophobic Proposition 6, so too should the disabled rise up and make their faces and voices known. Once people see that they will realize that the vast majority of recipients are debilitated and the frauds are few. A human face needs to be put forth to push back against the hate.

Anonymous said...

No hate, common sense and a sense of personal values.

Anonymous said...

Just because Paul works in a sheltered workshop does not mean that he is qualified to cast aspersions.

Anonymous said...

alright, everyone. we can pack it up and go home. 1:24 wins the internet today. Chuckie, go ahead and close this thread.

Ira Dember said...

Senator Paul has a major disability, obvious to all except his supporters.

Anonymous said...

Please be sure to remind Paul and the right of all the disabled Veterans that receive disability checks!

Also this site indicated that his home state has a large percentage of people on disability compared to other states, see blue colored in KY state above. Still the overall percentage is low, less than 25%, as compared to maybe some other program like food stamps, etc... What is their excuse?