Monday, February 27, 2012

A Smokingly Bad Policy

Another thing that this country desperately needs to do is Social Security disability reform. We currently have far too many mildly handicapped individuals who are fully capable of working (and, in many instances, who ARE working) and who are instead collecting a disability check once a month. It's an absolute drain on the system and, unless we can somehow come to grips with it, the baby-boomers are more than likely going to get screwed in the end............................................................................................Here, folks, is an example of what I'm talking about. I have a friend who suffers from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, an intermittently irregular heartbeat. Yes, it's kind of a pain in the ass (this, in that it sometimes makes him anxious and tired) but it isn't life-threatening and he's been able to navigate his way through life without a lot of difficulty. Since I've gotten to know him and his condition, I've encountered several other people with the same condition and they're BOTH on disability. And, get this, folks, one of them is a 26 year-old woman who works 26 hours a week....and the only reason that she doesn't work more than that is because it will cut into her disability check. I mean, there is definitely something wrong here. The woman can work 26 hours a week but she can't work 40 hours a week? And she frigging lives with her boyfriend who basically supports her, too. It's an absolute miscarriage of justice, in my opinion..............................................................................................And then there are the drug-addicts and alcoholics who are also collecting. I mean, I know that this is a little bit dicier in that a lot of these people are basically unemployable at a certain point and it probably doesn't serve society to have them out on the street. But they should at least be made to stay sober and/or in treatment as a condition for payment. I mean, just from my own experience, I had a co-worker whose sister was a crack addict and she was still smoking crack while collecting. Seriously, does that sound at all compassionate to you? It sure as hell doesn't sound compassionate to me as a tax-payer, that's for sure.

14 comments:

  1. Not that I expect the "takers" to believe me but... I have had this condition my entire life. I have been able to 1) work a full time job (like a 52 hour week full time) for 40+ years... 2) spend several years in power lifting to both improve my overall strength and health... 3) ballroom dance, including competitive ball room... 4) recover from migraine paralysis which acts very much as if one has experienced a stroke, and 5) I have so far refused to accept any help when I have been able to help myself. It is for me called PRIDE in self sufficiency and the belief one can overcome anything (except death) if their will to do so is strong enough.

    Call me old fashioned and a fool. But I am, and always will be damn proud of it. Ans I know ,my offspring share my pride.

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    1. I'm not opposed to a social safety net, Les. And I'm not opposed (as a part of a grander compromise) to the rich paying a little bit more. My whole issue is with this constant hand-wringing from the left about the poor poor people and this incessant divisive language about the rich not paying their fair share (pitting people against each other). I mean, I've seen the latest numbers from the tax foundation and they AREN'T blatantly in favor of the rich. The top 1% made 16.9% of the AGI in 2009 (the latest available year) and paid 36.7% of the total federal income tax. That's more than a 2:1 ratio, for Christ sakes. Still not enough for wd, though.

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  2. Democrats are responsible for these programs and responsible for reforming these programs. Republicans are not interested in reform, they are interested in elimination. So Democrats spend their time defending the programs, not reforming the programs. I would not be interested in your evaluation, if a particular case is worthy, or not. And that is the problem, who decides who is worthy of assistance.

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  3. I would rather see assistance to people who really need it than handouts to those who don't. We pay girls to have more children, we give free cell phones to people who "cannot afford them" so they can call their friends and figure out what fast food joint to meet. We provide food stamps so people can but fried convenience foods, candy and exchange their "benefits for cash". It is not "fair" that a drug test be taken to collect welfare. We reward individuals who will not work because they can make the same on welfare as the job they could qualify for. We have a president who spends his time demonizing success instead of inspiring Americans to succeed.

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  4. Les, I worked with a woman whose husband shot himself in the face. He's collecting disability BUT he's working under the table. He's NOT disabled but he is disfigured at this point because he's missing all of his teeth due to shooting HIMSELF. Although he is now getting all kinds of FREE plastic surgery and all NEW teeth. Yeah...must be nice to get FREE medical/surgery after you INJURE yourself ON PURPOSE. What ticks me off is that he IS working but is also collecting off the taxpayer. That is WRONG but SO many people do it. That is STEALING.

    I have Fibromyalgia, Anxiety and sever migraines so I qualify for disability but I will NOT apply. I am NOT disabled. Yes, my dis-orders have affected my life in more ways than you can imagine. However, if I can go to the store, then I can go to a workplace.

    Just because one CAN collect doesn't mean one SHOULD.

    These programs were put into place for people who truly need them, not for those to take advantage for every dis-order on the "list".

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    1. Pamela - As usual you are right on the mark. And for what it is worth I, as should all, admire you. You are a women of integrity. Many can learn from your example.

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  5. Sometimes getting SSI disability is not that easy ...

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  6. What I would do is reevaluate these cases every few years and institute drug-testing for the people collecting due to substance abuse. And anybody collecting money under the table would lose their disability permanently. A little bit of tough love, in other words.

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  7. The issue is one of scope. SSI disability is abused by people, no doubt but iit's a pea next to an 800lb steer n comparison to the theft going on by DoD contractors who engage in fraud waste and abuse.

    So, yes theft is wrong but can we come to grips with the Trillions wasted on Empire and the Billions stolen by War mongers?

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    1. Perhaps we could Grung_e_Gene if more people believed as Pamela does.

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  8. I think that we can walk and chew gum at the same time, GeG.

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  9. Typical conservative ploy Pamela. Pick one idiot out of millions and declare the whole program crooked. Never mind the 10's of millions the program helps, and was intended to help, showing the program works as intended. Waste, fraud, yes in EVERY government program, especially the military. Where's your indignation for other programs with waste, or are you only upset about waste in what you label "liberal" programs. What a fake you conservatives are, or should I say hypocrites.

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