Don't be so modest, Mr. President! I have learned just this morning about how you have improved the lives of millions of people.
As of January, the federal government was mailing out disability checks to more than 10.5 million individuals, including 2 million to spouses and children of disabled workers, at a cost of record $200 billion a year, recent research from JPMorgan Chase shows....
Mental-illness claims, in particular, are surging.Well of course! It's the easiest thing in the world to "prove" a mental illness exists; the DSM-IV is widely available and explains exactly how you should act when you go to the doctor. For that matter, the Social Security office helpfully explains how you can satisfy their requirements. For example, here is the criteria for establishing that you have a personality disorder.
Once you establish your disability, you are eligible for disability payments and may also be eligible for supplemental income payments. After two years, you automatically gain membership in Medicare. You can even work part time, or as a self-employed person, as long as you're careful not to overdo it.
As someone who has often been self-employed, I can easily imagine the benefits of getting cheap health care and a guaranteed income floor. No wonder so many smart people are signing on.
...a growing number of men, particularly older, former white-collar workers, instead of the typical blue-collar ones, are applying.The big concern about the swelling ranks is that once people get on disability, they’re unlikely to give it up and go back to work.
“It’s not like other support programs, such as unemployment insurance, which you lose after a year or two,” says Michael Feroli, chief US economist with JPMorgan.Of course not! Not that there were jobs for them anyway.
There's only one small problem:
Social Security’s disability fund, which has been operating short of cash since 2005, is forecast to run out of reserves by 2018.But hey, that's years away. We'll figure out how to tax the rich before then, right?
Well, no, we won't, because there isn't enough money on earth to pay for our existing obligations -- and that's without this rise in disability claims. But the disability issue is small potatoes; its unfunded liabilities are only a little more than twenty trillion dollars. The people who are really going to get it are the military retirees, who have been promised more than nine hundred trillion dollars in health care benefits that the government hasn't actually funded.
It's already the case that many people are working until they die, paying taxes that fund a system that seems to be subject to some abuse. Those are the really smart people, in my opinion. The people who are putting themselves on government largess are going to be left high and dry when the money runs out.