Nov 23, 2018

They Don't Give Up; Neither Can We

     It won't surprise anyone familiar with the publication but the National Review has posted a piece calling for Social Security disability "reform." The "reform" they have in mind is ending Social Security disability and letting the states handle disability benefits, if they choose. You know the same people arguing for letting the states handle it would then argue that the states shouldn't handle it.
     Don't worry. This wouldn't have happened even with Republicans in control of Congress and it's definitely not happening with Democrats gaining control of the House of Representatives in a few weeks but the right wing doesn't give up. They keep coming back with the same bad, hugely unpopular ideas.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you say that it would not happen even with Republicans in charge? Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has publicly stated that they want to "reform" Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And we know what that means -- get rid of these programs so there can be even more corporate welfare.

Anonymous said...

IF the recommendation was to give SSI back to the states that would have made some sense. Social Security is a federal program so why would the feds have states completely controlling it?

Anonymous said...

We should shine a bright light on people who want to do extremely unpopular things like cutting our Social Security benefits. Collin Roth is the author of the linked article. I looked him up and his greatest listed accomplishments on the sites I found appear to be graduating with a bachelors degree from a university, and being the president of his fraternity while at college. If he has any experience with Social Security it was not apparent.

He appears to rely on an ill-conceived article whose basic theory was that since some criteria for disability include subjective evidence in addition to objective evidence, that a very large portion of disability beneficiaries must actually be able to work. No evidence is cited to support the article's theory, of course, because there is none.

His solution: dump a lot of people off of disability benefits and remove their "disincentive" to work. In practice what that means is to make a lot of seriously impaired people either work or become homeless or starve, since many rely exclusively on their disability benefits for income. Sink or swim. Survival of the fittest. He seems unconcerned about the inhumane and impossible position of those dumped off benefits who would not be able to work, which given the extremely strict criteria of the disability programs, would be the vast majority. Is he ignorant of the issues and consequences, as suggested by his lack of education of experience in Social Security matters? Or, more disturbing, does he realize the suffering, pain and premature deaths his proposed solution would cause and not care? Neither alternative is very flattering to Mr. Roth, or the National Review which published his article.

Tim said...

Pain and mental illnesses. Those are the ones these people always want to squeeze. It's not a left vs. right issue, as there are plenty of people on both sides that feel that the disabled are "lazy bums that just don't want to work!" So, you mention the pain you always have and how doing even a little can elevate your pain for days. Then, they talk about their paikn and how, "if I can work through it, so can everybody else." I compare this to snowfall in Houston, Nashville and Buffalo. Houston gets snow, everything shuts down for a day or two (pain for those who cry when they get a shot). Nashville gets a little snow... (normal persons pain after working hard a few days). Buffalo..people with chronic pain, especially back pain). Now, imagine a winter in Buffalo with snow to the roof lines with 8-10 inches of snow EVERY DAY. Not just in winter, EVERY DAY. THAT's what people like me are dealing with. The point is, it is overwhelming.

Arizona Jim said...

Collin Roth is hardly a mouthpiece of the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

When I read this article I thought back to other ways that opponents of the Social Security Disability program have tried to kill it. For most politicians their low cunning and survival instincts have led them to understand that coming out and saying "I want to cut your Social Security" is a bad idea given the program's popularity. Bring in the sneaky con men, who have been diligently plugging away at finding some way to bleed or kill the program, while not being caught holding the bloody knife.

Some recent strategies? Under fund agency operations, forcing reductions in service that lower the public's opinion of the agency. Support articles that suggest that SSA won't be able to pay out for much longer, to lower public expectations of receipt of benefits in the future. Politically maneuver to prevent common sense solutions that would easily shore up Social Security's trust fund. Fund faux academic articles that argue that disability standards are not strict enough, with the goal of convincing the public that cuts are needed. Blow rare instances of fraud out of proportion to falsely make it seem like it is much more common than it really is. Anyone reading this blog regularly knows what party the above attempts are associated with and the identities of the major private funders supporting them.

Now we have the latest re-warmed gambit, endorsed by Mr. Roth. Let's give it to the states. As he surely knows that opens a broad front of attack, allowing SSA to be bled piecemeal, one state at a time.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand why the right wingers have such a desire to go after the SSDI program. It is a small program in the grand scheme of government funding. Less than 4% of federal spending in 2017. Even eliminating the program would do next to nothing to reduce the federal deficit.

Tim said...

Sure, people like the Koch brothers want to get rid of SSDI and SS. Then again, I am pretty sure the Koch brothers only care about the Koch brothers. But, the rank and file Republicans don't. If the Republicans couldn't overturn Obamacare, what makes you think SSA is in any real danger? SSDI/SSI are easier targets, because many on the left have also bought the myth that it is easy to get and fraud is everywhere. The media, especially the Washington Post, has helped to foster these myths. Part of the problem is there isn't any prominent leadership in Congress that supports the disabled and too many against. Senator Tom Harkin was one of the few in the past. Today's Democrats seem more interested in the Russia Hoax and anything else they can use against Trump than in helping the poor and disabled. Illegal immigration, LGBT and identity politics is in, the poor and disabled are out!