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Friday, April 12, 2013


It seems there was a psychiatrist who reported about a woman who was “disabled” when a casino money cart fell on her leg in Reno.

She still managed to play basketball, crawl about under her car, carry heavy groceries and tote luggage around. But she developed a limp and used a cane just in time for a hearing on her disability benefits.

There currently are 14 million Americans on disability payments, up from 4.3 million in 1990.

The program is paying out $200 billion per year, and according to the Congressional Budget Office, as of 2009, Social Security Disability Insurance pays out more than it takes in from payroll taxes.

SSDI is slated to go broke in 2016.

Now from across the political spectrum, experts are warning of problems ahead, not just economic but societal, as one of the products of the decades-old SSDI system is that it has fostered a standard of long-term dependency.

MIT economist David Autor tells WND, “As currently designed, the SSDI program spends too few societal resources helping individuals with disabilities to remain employed and too many resources supporting the long-term dependency of individuals who could be self-sufficient with the appropriate accommodation and support.”

Autor is sympathetic to the plight of those on disability, noting that many workers with non-medical problems have turned to SSDI as a “last resort” in the face of a dismal economy.

Mary C. Daly, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, tells WND, “Disability insurance has turned into a long-term unemployment benefit program, which taxpayers have to pay for.

“SSDI is reducing the nation’s potential workforce as people move onto the program,” Daly says.

She “doesn’t like the word dependency because it is pejorative,” and instead criticizes the structure of the disability system for incentivizing continued use without any constructive route into work for those who are able.

Others are less sympathetic: SSDI “has become a voluntary life sentence to idle poverty,” concludes the Washington Examiner.

And a consensus is emerging that SSDI is not being used for its intended purpose, which was to support those who are unable to work.

Cornell Professor Richard Burkhauser, a disability policy expert, warns, “SSDI is increasingly being used as a long-term unemployment program for workers who, given the appropriate rehabilitation and accommodation, could work.”

The sheer number of people on disability is staggering, without even considering the policy’s other consequences. The number of people on disability, 14 million, is “more than the total number of employees in the manufacturing sector of the economy,” observed Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute.

The government spends more on disability than it does on both food stamps and welfare combined, according to a blockbuster NPR report. The dependency trend and fiscal trajectory continue their death spiral, unmoved by the supposed economic recovery.

The recession officially ended in 2009. Since the recession ostensibly ended, the number of SSDI enrollees is double the number of jobs created, as Investor’s Business Daily reported.

The current unemployment rate would necessarily be higher if some of those on disability were instead seeking work. Aside from the economic consequences, SSDI could lead to a destructive self-fulfilling prophecy.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/04/disabled-outnumber-workers-in-u-s-manufacturing/#f52sUtq5hASuASM3.99

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