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Senator Sherrod Brown (OH) poses a question to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during Secretary Vilsack’s testimony on “Healthy Food Initiatives, Local Production and Nutrition,” before the Senate Agriculture Committee on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Was

Senate Republicans have Social Security in their sights, as usual, but this time they're going to be trickier about it. The trust fund for the Social Security disability insurance program is going to be depleted in 2016, a situation that has happened before and has been resolved before by a reallocation of payroll taxes. But Republicans see "crisis" and the opportunity to push for more Social Security benefits cuts.

But now Democrats see opportunity, too, to point out how this funding crisis points to the the critical need to expand Social Security. Sen. Sherrod Brown is taking the lead on this one, Greg Sargent reports:

Senator Orrin Hatch has requested a Finance Committee hearing into Social Social Security Disability Insurance—whose trust fund is set to be depleted soon—and Dems on the committee have agreed. It may take place this month, before the August recess.

[Tuesday], Brown will give a speech to the Center for American Progress at which he will attempt to preview the Republican criticism and outline a Dem response. Brown will argue that Republican criticism of SSDI is part of a “divide and conquer” strategy designed to pit supposedly undeserving recipients of disability insurance (who are allegedly defrauding the program, threatening its financial foundations) against deserving recipients of retirement benefits (i.e., the elderly). Brown will argue that this is part of a broader GOP assault on the basic principles undergirding social insurance programs, and urge Dems to counter with an expansive moral defense of them.

From Brown's prepared remarks:
There is a quiet, covert war being waged on Social Security. The tactic? Divide and conquer.

They have made so-called “structural reforms” their goal. But it’s up to us to call it like it is: privatization. […]

We need to recognize these attacks for what they are—backdoor attempts to weaken Social Security by dismantling disability insurance.

It's a smart counter for Democrats to this Republican tactic. Conservatives always have a measure of success in scaring older voters (death panels), and in pitting them against other vulnerable populations. In this case, it's by telling them that younger people are pretending to be disabled to take Social Security away from them. But a strong push by Democrats to expand Social Security, to make benefits more generous and more secure, can counteract that fear.

Sargent points out that Brown's speech will be given to the Center for American Progress, which is also releasing a report to rebut Republican lies about the disability insurance program. What's significant is that CAP is giving Brown a forum for talking about what just a few years ago was something only dirty hippy bloggers talked about: expanding Social Security. It's becoming a mainstream Democratic issue to at least discuss. Which means elected Democrats can indeed learn. Working to protect and expand Social Security is just smart, all the way around. It's fair, it's just and it's popular.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders, Central Ohio Kossacks, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (169+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mimikatz, Mogolori, deben, Gooserock, cotterperson, TracieLynn, TexDem, Catte Nappe, dkmich, Diana in NoVa, side pocket, KayCeSF, dewtx, ChemBob, Gary Norton, Burned, blue jersey mom, Hirodog, Themistoclea, markthshark, camlbacker, cville townie, fb, HappyinNM, Steve15, KJG52, enemy of the people, papahaha, kevinpdx, BlueOak, Polly Syllabic, cany, afisher, political mutt, Grandma Susie, Canuck in Ohio, jediwashuu, PhilJD, bakeneko, sow hat, IndieGuy, rukidingme, belinda ridgewood, this just in, poopdogcomedy, PHScott, northerntier, prettymeadow, Capt Crunch, hbk, BMScott, Yoda54, where4art, cybersaur, MBramble, Brian82, gypsytoo, anastasia p, GeorgeXVIII, jiffykeen, CoyoteMarti, bigrivergal, stlsophos, sea note, RJDixon74135, Oilwellian, Just Bob, skepticalcitizen, SteelerGrrl, Raggedy Ann, miracle11, HoosierDeb, wasatch, tofumagoo, yoduuuh do or do not, SparkyGump, rapala, susakinovember, Ohiodem1, Mr Robert, BrowniesAreGood, bnasley, Arahahex, fixxit, majcmb1, 3goldens, BlueMississippi, gsenski, Al Fondy, Shippo1776, joedemocrat, ColoTim, renzo capetti, slowbutsure, akeitz, kjoftherock, mayim, mjd in florida, Skennet Boch, merrily1000, NoMoreLies, EdSF, onionjim, lcrp, Puddytat, bleedingheartliberal218, jbsoul, jnhobbs, JML9999, ozsea1, Pixie5, CA Nana, Lipstick Liberal, Shelley99, concernedamerican, mrsfixit, kerflooey, eagleray, spaceshot, orlbucfan, libera nos, eeff, METAL TREK, Buckeye54, jamess, magicsister, thanatokephaloides, KenBee, cocinero, Crashing Vor, Larsstephens, ditsylilg, leonard145b, on the cusp, hawkertempest, LarisaW, rlk, Liberal Thinking, ItsaMathJoke, thewhitelist, waiono, okpkpkp, 207wickedgood, Steve Masover, Alumbrados, MarcKyle64, Rosaura, splashy, Russ Jarmusch, sphealey, jbob, lennysfo, MKinTN, hlsmlane, Rogneid, Jeffersonian Democrat, CenFlaDem, Haf2Read, kziemann, Betty Pinson, redcedar, minkins, vahana, kfunk937, flatmotor, penelope pnortney, NH LABOR NEWS, JamieG from Md, Oh Mary Oh

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:25:38 AM PDT

  •  Beware anyone selling "reform" esp the rotten Rs (42+ / 0-)

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:40:26 AM PDT

  •  This is the perfect time to expand Social Security (60+ / 0-)

    The economy is poised to take off. Expanding SS would help  drive economic growth.

    "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." - 17th-century French clergyman and statesman Cardinal Richelieu.

    by markthshark on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:41:12 AM PDT

  •  From his mouth to god's ears to (21+ / 0-)

    right down the f-ing toilet.  We won't be expanding Social Security, with the media already doing a colossal hit job on the program (see recent 60 minutes piece). Sherrod Brown is a great Senator. Its the other 90-91 stooges who I don't trust.  

  •  Brown is allowed to say these things (24+ / 0-)

    right up until election day. This is to drive up turnout and to convince people that the Democrats care. That's also why Elizabeth Warren is getting press for her proposal on student loans.

    Then Obama will go right back to beating the austerity drum, and Brown and Warren will be told to cool it. If the Dems win, he'll say: "I have a mandate for my program of cuts to SS!" and proceed to push it. If the Repubs win, he'll say: "Gotta be bipartisan!" and proceed to push it. Either way, he'll push it.

    The only thing that kept the GOP from accepting Obama's offer was that he kept asking them to raise taxes on the rich. But each time they rebuffed him, he kept lowering his asking price.

    Now, with only two years left in his presidency, the clock is ticking for Obama to achieve a Grand Bargain to slash the safety net. He might just get desperate and offer them SS cuts without corresponding tax increases--at which point they'll accept, and it'll be a done deal.

    Nothing will come of Brown's encouraging talk because this president will not allow SS to be expanded on his watch. He's worked so hard and invested so much political capital into cutting it. No way he'll let the opposite happen.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:00:27 PM PDT

    •  The "mandate" to cut SS (29+ / 0-)

      is the finding of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. I.e., what Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles pulled out of their officially appointed rear ends and presented to the President.

      I'll support Sherrod Brown's strategy as good offense, as refreshingly different from the usual Washington Dems' offer to give up everything in advance of negotiations and being turned down by disdainful conservatives for not groveling and backpeddling enough.

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:20:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama doesn't "allow" anything about Brown (12+ / 0-)

      Obama is not Brown's boss and doesn't control Brown or Warren.

      That's just your conspiracy fantasy.

      Will Obama suddenly see the light and change his approach? Probably not.

      But to think that Warren and Brown are somehow controlled by a lame duck president is just not understanding the real world.

      •  Obama already changed his approach. (4+ / 0-)

        Remember the fiscal cliff talks? Ted Cruz's government shutdown?

        The "adult in the room" strategy was useful in 2011 and early 2012, but he dropped it by the 2012 election season and it hasn't made any reappearance.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "The "adult in the room" strategy" (4+ / 0-)

          is pretty much bullshit, and millions of us know it.   so why not just talk about the issues.  

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:41:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because it works. It worked like a charm when.... (3+ / 0-)

            the most important thing was to destroy the Republicans' credibility and brand.

            You and some characters from an Aaron Sorkin script can "just talk about the issues" without thinking about political strategy.

            Actual activists and office-holders are fighting a war, not holding a freshman symposium.

            Art is the handmaid of human good.

            by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:42:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, you grizzled veteran, you! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              limpidglass, MarcKyle64

              Because the "negotiations" of the past couple years have been a non-stop display of "pragmatic" political gamesmanship on the part of Dems, and not a constant multi-year shitshow of watching the Tea Party save Obama from himself. And for what? So the Dems can point to how "cuh-raaaazy" the R's are, while hoping against hope that nobody notices that the Dems aren't proposing the expand SS? That's some solid political strategery you got there. It'd be nice if we had anything to show for it.

              I for one can't believe most of the reactions to this diary.

              But a strong push by Democrats to expand Social Security, to make benefits more generous and more secure, can counteract that fear.
              What naive foolishness! Isn't it obvious that the Republicans will say no, therefore it's a colossal waste of time? It's just not pragmatic!
              •  Have you ever noticed that your best example for.. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MarcKyle64

                your thesis is one in which you have to come up with an elaborate explanation for why your thesis failed?

                "Sure, Obama didn't do the thing I kept saying he wanted to do, but I have an explanation." "Sure, the maneuver didn't turn out to play any role whatsoever in the election, like I said it would, and Obama was actually able to use Social Security as a campaign line, but I have an explanation for that,too."

                This is your best example? That is a not a good sign.

                If you want to know what the Democrats have to "show for it," kindly review some polling data about the Republicans in Congress, or go back to some media archives from 2011, and note how the Republicans' standing has changed.

                Art is the handmaid of human good.

                by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 07:34:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And yet they still own us, politically (0+ / 0-)

                  and otherwise. The House is theirs, the SC is theirs, and they're even threatening our hold on the Senate. Who cares that their "standing" has changed? Their voters certainly don't, and that's what's important, given the lack of progress we've made with what control we do have. Until polling shows up at the polls, crowing about our victories rings pretty hollow in my ears. Heck, they were doing about as well in 2008-10, right up until they cleaned our clocks.

                  "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                  by bryduck on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:46:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yup, office turnover lags public sentiment. (0+ / 0-)

                    On the other hand, some of us think that keeping control of the Senate is a big deal. Some of us also have time horizons that extend beyond right now.

                    And some of us have noticed that the Republicans, who spent early 2011 advancing an affirmative conservative agenda, haven't gotten any big wins in three years. Who cares? Not you, apparently.

                    Art is the handmaid of human good.

                    by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:02:56 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  They haven't advanced anything (0+ / 0-)

                      since 2006 without Dem help--except for SC rulings, which we haven't once been able to correct or reverse. Or haven't you noticed that?

                      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                      by bryduck on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:31:14 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Or: (0+ / 0-)

                      We're in worse shape now than we were in 2009-10. How does that fit your model?

                      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                      by bryduck on Thu Jul 10, 2014 at 09:35:19 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  No, Sen Brown is realistic about Obama (0+ / 0-)

        He likely knows POTUS doesn't like SS and wants to start moving towards privatization.

        Same with most good Dems in the House and Senate. They're fighting an uphill battle against both parties and they need all of us to apply pressure to the WH and Congress.

        Corporate DC will keep this issue out of the news media,  so its up to us to applynthe pressure.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:20:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Why were you wrong when you said this in 2011? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thanatokephaloides, MarcKyle64

      And what has changed since then, to make your long-standing false prediction into a good one?

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:18:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Your facts are wrong. Obama INCREASED his price... (8+ / 0-)

      when it looked like Boehner might agree to the $1 trillion offer in 2011, changing it into a $1.4 trillion offer.

      For the record, the only deal Obama actually agreed to involving Social Security benefits was the Sequester, in which he explicitly excluded Social Security and Medicare benefits from the cuts.

      But don't let the facts get in the way of a good narrative.

      Tell us again how the Republicans are going to use the offer "on the table" against him in the 2012 elections.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:22:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, there was this... (5+ / 0-)
        For the record, the only deal Obama actually agreed to involving Social Security benefits was the Sequester,
        The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (often called Bowles-Simpson/Simpson-Bowles from the names of co-chairs Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles; or NCFRR) is a Presidential Commission created in 2010 by President Barack Obama to identify "policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run"

        SS wasn't cut but not for lack of Obama trying to cut it. he didn't appoint Sanders did he? No, he appointed 2 cutthroats he knew would come up with the answer that pleased his wall st. masters.

        •  You mean the Blue Ribbon Panel that did nothing? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO

          In response to a description of an actual policy that was implemented, your counter is to cite the creation of a Blue Ribbon Commission. One that didn't release an official proposal, and whose unofficial proposals in this area were never adopted.

          Appointing blue ribbon commissions to study things and report back is what politicians do when they want to look like they're doing something but not actually do anything. This knowledge is so widely known as to be a cliche. The Simpsons have a joke about this: the mayor announced "I'm creating a Blue Ribbon Commission." Lenny says, "Did he say a Blue Ribbon Commission?" in an awed voice, and Karl answers, "That's the best kind!" Lol.

          I know you're very, very devoted to your narrative, but try to be a little objective: the very best evidence you can come up with is 1) a blue ribbon commission that didn't do anything and 2) some bargaining positions that also didn't result in anything.

          That is not a strong hand.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 08:09:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama wants SS cuts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NonnyO, waiono

          Thats very plain, given his past actions and statements.

          Rather than support SS expansion, he proposed a new scheme for low income people to "invest" in retirement accounts.

          Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:31:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  aka "privatization..." (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            waiono, Betty Pinson
            Rather than support SS expansion, he proposed a new scheme for low income people to "invest" in retirement accounts.
            Clear back to Obama's '08 acceptance speech on the column-decorated stage that reeked of power hearkening back to classical Greece and empirical Rome, Obama mentioned Social Security and Medicare "entitlement reform."  He does not view Social Security payments back to those of us who paid for it as earned benefits.

            As usual, Obamabot supporters were not listening!  He had mentioned "entitlement reform" off and on all the way through the longest, most tedious political campaign I've ever seen..., and no one listened.  They were too busy with trivialities like wearing lapel pins to show how patriotic politicians were/are.  [NB: They still wear flag lapel pins.]

            Didn't Obama's 'temporary payroll tax cut' also take money away from the Social Security trust fund?  It was a stupid move designed to get us to go along with privatization of all kinds of things, including politicians' plans to privatize Social Security.

            Somewhere on my previous (now broken) laptop is a link to a YouTube video done before the last election where Obama is seated at a round table with a media interviewer defining himself as a 'fiscal conservative' who is in line with Republicans.  [I tried to find it just now, but the title the person who published the video gave it was odd and I can't get it to come up on a search.]

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 10:52:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You are wrong. (10+ / 0-)

      I can't speak for Warren but Sherrod is saying these things because he believes them and ALWAYS fights for them and speaks out about them. He doesn't care what supposedly you think the president will "allow" (why not blame the REAL perpetrators, the Republicans in Congress?)

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:43:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They don't know Sherrod Brown very well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarcKyle64

        I've followed him since he was a Representative up in the Toledo area. He is pretty much the same.

        When you think he has done something you don't agree with, he takes the time to explain himself. He makes sense.
        I encourage everyone to email him if you need clarification.
        His keeps his website up to date.

        Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

        by Citizenpower on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:08:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sherrod is a smart guy and a realist (0+ / 0-)

        He knows the WH record on SS. He'll take any opportunity he can get to talk up SS expansion and deal with conservative Dems as best he can.

        Money is property, not speech. Overturn Citizens United.

        by Betty Pinson on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 09:34:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's a very cynical outlook. Its also counter- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MarcKyle64

      productive.
      Democrats can afford to be more progressive. The public is ready for it because the times are right for it.
      I believe Obama has figured this out.

      Republicans are crazy, Democrats need to be useful and its up to us to save our democracy. Get to work.

      by Citizenpower on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 09:25:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm very happy to see this push (13+ / 0-)

    but the problem isn't just the GOP. The plan has to include a way to pressure the rest of the Democratic caucus to get behind this. Discussion is good, but it's time for more.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity. Notes on a Theory

    by David Kaib on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:00:32 PM PDT

  •  Boy, he sure was a big improvement over Dewine, (8+ / 0-)

    wasn't he?

    "Those who put their faith in fire, in fire their faith shall be repaid..." -- Gordon Lightfoot

    by camlbacker on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:08:46 PM PDT

  •  Make the connection to the end of private pensions (15+ / 0-)

    Bush made a serious error, which is on the verge of being repeated.  Seniors aren't just looking out for themselves.  Seniors have kids and grandkids.  Anyone who is enjoying a relatively comfortable retirement thanks to a private pension is a good target for this tactic.

  •  It's from 2000, but go read Charles Pierce (19+ / 0-)

    on this.  Incredible article that will break your heart.  These jerks never stop.

    http://www.esquire.com/...

  •  lame duck president and congress.... (7+ / 0-)

    when better than now

    Obama has made the offer many times.  Maybe he'll get his way now.

    I will not vote for Hillary.

    by dkmich on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 12:33:59 PM PDT

  •  Fake disabilities and Welfare Queens (9+ / 0-)

    who use SNAP to buy drugs.  Is there ever an end to the lies and scare tactics?  (snark  --->) You work hard, so why should you support these lazy bums who found a way to work the system?  Now, we'd better let the disabled all die because the Social Security system and all the doctors must not be capable of figuring out who is disabled and who isn't.

    What I can't figure out is why anyone would believe these tactics anymore since they are used so often.  

    •  I'll Agree, But... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coffeetalk, ditsylilg, Boris49, MarcKyle64

      When the legal industry is advertising on late night TV for services that can get you that disability claim, I have to scratch my head.  Fraud does exist and I expect due diligence in the review process.

      •  Those lawyers are there because it is HARD to get (15+ / 0-)

        disability. They routinely turn the majority down the first time just to discourage people from applying.

        My sister has been trying for years even though she has thorough documentation of her disability. They DO NOT HAND OUT CHECKS LIKE CANDY.

        She is in constant pain and her hubby is out of work which means that my 86 year father is supporting them and their son.

        Excuse my yelling but I get frustrated because so many people have the wrong impression on this. It was this way EVEN BEFORE the recession and now it is worse. That is why you see this explosion of disability lawyers.

        Fraud is very rare, however I am all for going after the those who take advantage of the system. The problem is that people think MOST PEOPLE are doing that.

        And people don't think about the fact that disability claims are going up simply because of an aging population.

        I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

        by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:19:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And My Sister In Law is Fraud (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MarcKyle64

          I totally realize there's a need.  As much as I totally realize my sister in law is a lying cheat grifter whose main employment problem is laziness and stupidity.

        •  You've got it! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937, Pixie5
          Those lawyers are there because it is HARD to get disability. They routinely turn the majority down the first time just to discourage people from applying.
          I agree with that.  I'm disabled.  I went through the process of applying for disability.  The amount of doctor's documentation required in your patient chart is enough to make most people ineligible even if they are truly disabled.  Plus there are periodic reviews to make sure you're still disabled, also requiring doctor's documentation.  You also get to appear before the social security (or them looking at you flat on your back).  Fakers won't pass by a social security person standing there looking at you.

          Also, you have to wait 6 months before you get your first check, once approved.  That's living 6 months without any income whatsoever.  This means that if you have a short-term disability, like a car accident or whatever, you won't get one check of disability during the time you can't work.

          As for the TV ads for an attorney . . . they can't help you if the doctor's charts and documentation aren't there or the diagnosis isn't real.  Try finding a board certified doc who will fake his diagnosis just so you can fake a disability check.  They won't risk their livelihood so you can watch TV all day.

          It's like the Medicaid fraud claims.  All those welfare queens who work the system.  The real facts, though, are that corporations are responsible for almost ALL the fraud of medicare/medicaid by billing for services not given.  That's freely available facts from any state's medicaid program or the medicare websites.  Yet, the poor folks who need the benefits are blamed and said they don't really need them.  The truth is that it isn't that easy.  These programs have had decades to revise its' screening process to weed out fraud.  But the legislatures/Congress just aren't that interested in preventing fraud by corporations and requiring even the smallest amount of corporation review as aggressive as they go after an individual (I mean a real individual, not "a corporation is a person, too" BS).  

          For every person who believes these lies coming from the right are just plain ignorant and uninformed.

          •  Yes, the wait...I forgot to mention that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoda54

            Fortunately in my state of CA they have short-term disability for up to a year. That does help a lot. Although you can still run out of it before being approved for SSDI. However another thing people may not know is that with both programs, you definately DO NOT get paid ANYWHERE NEAR what you made while working. You get a percentage of what you made.

            That often means having to find affordable housing at a time when you are least able to handle the stress.

            Also I found out when I became disabled many years ago I had to wait TWO YEARS to get Medicare after I was approved for SSDI. I hope that has changed with ACA. I got COBRA from my last job, but there was NO WAY that I could afford the premiums without my father's help.

            All and all I am grateful for what I do have, but people need to understand that this ISN'T a picnic!

            I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

            by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 02:00:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's like the voter fraud lie . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pixie5

              there's probably isolated cases of voter fraud, just like there may be isolated cases of someone who managed to get social security disability when they aren't actually disabled.  But, I strongly doubt that there's enough fraud to justify the scare tactics or to change the laws or the SS program.

              It goes to the idea of scarcity.  If there's a limited amount of resources, people worry there won't be "enough" for them with just the suggestion.  When we rely on the social security check to actually live and breathe, that suggestion sends panic fears through your hear.  But, it's just another lie.

              If you're Mitch McConnell and you choose to make it a priority to build a bridge in your own state, then money is there.  If there's a RW wingnut, there's plenty of money for yet another Benqazi special committee.  

              There's enough money in our government to keep social security solvent for centuries to come . . . as long as the Republicans never get the WH, Senate, and House ever again.  If they do, then all bets are off, and we'd all better find a cozy spot under a bridge to live.

              Yep.  I know what you've been through, because I live it, too.  I'd LOVE to be able to work.  It would be nice for just one month to have the same paycheck I used to earn.

              •  Yes,the party of "fiscal responsibility" my ass! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Yoda54

                I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

                by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 05:06:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  My sister, the misguided republican, said (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Pixie5

                  in one of our many political discussions, in an accusatory tone, "democrats just tax and spend."  Gosh, like that was an original observation and not an old talking point.  I said back, "and all the republicans do is borrow and spend, now tell me who is the most responsible!"

                  Remember not that long ago when all the RW could do is talk about the deficit?  Well, the deficit is falling so fast that they can't talk about the deficit as a reason to cut SS, Medicaid, and Medicare.  So, the new mantra is fraud.  Voter fraud, individual fraud, disability fraud, and they are all riding in on their white horses to save the government from all us takers.

                  I have to wonder when they will start claiming that little old ladies who are 70 years old are faking their age just to get their earned social security.

                  In the meantime, the one thing Congress managed to get done lately is to hide their lobbyist freebies and trips from being reported.  Talk about fraud!

        •  As it gets harder to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kfunk937

          received SS for a disability it becomes easier to get a military disability retirement.   Three in my office get 100% military benefits, one for getting prickly heat, one for getting too fat and one for carpel tunnel.

    •  Unfortunately the reasons why people believe these (10+ / 0-)

      things is because they have not experienced these things themselves. People on Welfare don't get free cable TV. SNAP benefits are so small that they barely feed people. And most people on disability are not pushing over big boulders while hiking.

      And a big problem is that often you cannot see a disability in the first place. The majority are not in wheelchairs. I had one idiot say to me that if you are not paralyzed then you can work. Most likely some twenty-something who has never experienced hardship. When you are young you fail to think about what it is like when you get older and your body starts to go out on you or you contract a chronic disease. And the fact that to the average person you can look perfectly healthy.

      Four percent of the population is on welfare. FOUR PERCENT, but according to these liars it is a big problem. There are work requirements as well. And no, they do not get free childcare so that they can lounge on the beach!

      The majority of people getting government help are the working poor and those who can't find jobs through no fault of their own.

      I have yet to have any Repub be able to answer the simple question as to how people can find jobs THAT ARE NOT THERE? How does cutting off unemployment insurance magically translate into these people finding jobs?

      Of course the real reason for that is simply that the poor have to be punished for being poor. Because if you don't have any scapegoats then people might actually figure out who REALLY IS RESPONSIBLE for all this misery!

      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:50:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually, I have a friend that was a partner in a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MarcKyle64

        start up 'employee leasing' company.

        He used to spend quite a bit of time using a video camera filming disability cheats. He used to laugh about guys out surfing with "bad" backs.

        Heck, my office manager's husband has had two jobs in the last 8 years. The first one he went off on disability the very first day on the job…that one he bilked for 2 years. The next job he liked(delivering beer) and he kept that for over a year before injuring his back. 4 years disability, finished college, then a cash payout to get him off their books.

        Now he got himself hired by the State as a Corrections officer. I guess he figures if can can get State disability then he's hit the jackpot. His back was miraculously cured.

        yes, there are lots of sad, real cases, but there is quite a bit of fraud as well.

        •  Were any of these people on Social Security (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MarcKyle64

          disability? Or were they getting them from their jobs, worker's comp?

          That is an important question because the topic is the difficulty of getting government disability.

          If what you are saying is true then how come it takes YEARS for many people to get it? Most people are routinely rejected the first time to discourage people from applying.

          I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

          by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:54:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the topic is 2 fold (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pixie5

            yes, there is difficulty in getting SS disability

            My other friend has been going at the feds over 3 years now for his disabled 30 something daughter. She has been mentally challenged all her life.

            Even with the atty it is rough.

            the other topic is fraud. Good fraudsters know the fraud docs and how to work the system.

            The above leasing company involved fraud in workers' comp.

            The point being that there is are a lot of free lunchers out there.

            OTOH, there are many hard workers that loath to miss work for any reason. They tend to want to avoid SSI because they somehow feel ashamed to be on disability when in actuality, they should.

            My ex partner is a great example. 190% disabled according to the VA and he refused an increase from 40% until they took away his driver license.

            •  Thanks for your response... (0+ / 0-)

              I am sorry about the troubles your friend is having with getting help for his daughter. That kind of thing should never happen.

              Yes people who need disability should not be ashamed, this is one of the cruel things that is done in our culture.

              One small correction: SSI and SSDI are two different programs. SSDI is for people who have worked enough to put tax money into it. SSI is for those who have never worked or have too few work credits to qualify. They get significantly less than those on SSDI. Last I heard, $600 or $700 a month. They raise it if a person is in a board and care to cover the increased cost.

              At any rate people often think that those on disability live in the lap of luxury but the truth is far different. I get $1000 a month and yes I did pay into the system. I am grateful for what I have but I am just pointing this out that people really don't get it. I would rather be working than stressing over my finances!

              I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

              by Pixie5 on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 03:18:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Please make a difference (0+ / 0-)

          between an employer run disability claim and social security disability.  Employers are more likely to grant a disability to prevent a lawsuit for an on-the-job injury.  

          We've all heard these fake disability claims.  We've all heard about the guy pulling three SNAP benefits and selling them for drugs.  We've all heard these.  

          But, I assert that most of it is something you've "heard" and that you are not in a position to personally know all the facts of the situation.  

          I'm not doubting your story, but it sounds to me like your boss has been doing some complaining in the break room about her erstwhile husband.  I have to wonder just how much you can trust her griping as representing all the facts.  And this husband was not getting social security, which is the subject of this blog.

    •  SSDI (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, MarcKyle64, Yoda54, kfunk937

      Less than 30 percent get approved the first time they apply for benefits, I would remind you that many pay into for years when they become disabled from working at physical jobs that cumulatively create conditions that make it impossible to hold onto jobs. If you are approved you are subject to monitoring to assure you remain disabled. all these ludicrous claims of fraud are smoke and mirrors. sure there are people that cheat, but anywhere there's money someone always steals some of it but the fraud rate is less than 8 percent tops. 100 percent of the republicans in congress are stealing far more by refusing to do the job they were hired for.

  •  It seems to me that America has always had a ... (15+ / 0-)

    certain meanness to it, that culturally we are at our core schizophrenic in our attitudes towards one another, at once both generous and mean spirited. Who's in or out, up or down, idolized or scapegoated, seems to whip and snap around like an angry cat's tail. Although, there's never a place set at the grownups' table for those who put empathy, social justice and peace first. If these are things that you want, if actual equality, justice and economic and physical well being for all, is what you want, you have to fight like hell to even get into the dining room, much less get a seat at the table.

    Weariness is setting in, after a lifetime of fighting those who want to destroy the legacy of national social progress brought by the Democratic Party of FDR, JFK and LBJ in the Republican Party, I find myself fighting a rearguard action against conservative Democrats and idiot globalists that preach the same tripe as our enemies. I like Sherrod Brown, I think he is genuinely a liberal of the old school, but he puts Party before principle and is still a professional politician. I hope he succeeds, but I don't think the President and the Party big-wigs agree with him and I don't think he will be helped by them.  

    "Intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are..." George Santayana

    by KJG52 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:11:18 PM PDT

    •  Meanness is characteristic of authoritarians, (13+ / 0-)

      Especially authoritarian followers.  See the classic book by Bob Altemeyer called The Authoritarians.  Available on-line free as a PDF.  Someone linked to it here the other day.  Try QL-YbgtN2rc.pdf for starters or google Altemeyer's name.  Really good.  It is from 2006 but is still very timely.  His description of why authoritarian leaders lie is classic.  It is because it is so easy, because authoritarian followers are so gullible.  Authoritarian leaders are mostly sociopaths and gravitate to the Right because he followers there are authoritarians and looking for a leader.  Fascinating study.

      Don't bet your future on 97% of climate scientists being wrong. Take action on climate now!

      by Mimikatz on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:38:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the Democratic party is just a giant machine now (8+ / 0-)

      that runs on corporate money. Even Obama is not running the machine, he is just the most prominent component. It runs by itself.

      Every institution now is just such a machine. There are too many giant economic players whose interests would be threatened by providing people with a decent standard of living. That's fundamentally why we're not allowed any kind of benefits that would make life livable.

      As for Brown, unfortunately in politics, if you don't put party before principle, you don't last very long. This is true in any field of human endeavor--the tribe comes first, whether that tribe is the company you work for or the gossips at the church you attend or your nosy judgmental neighbors or your disapproving family. You have to pay a heavy price to defy them and if they have control over your employment status then you simply have to grin and bear it.

      So Brown grins and bears it.

      "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

      by limpidglass on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:48:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cultural schizophrenia (4+ / 0-)

      I suppose that describes the Republican Party and the Tea Party phenomenon fairly well!  Or should I say, diagnoses?

      If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

      by NM Ray on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:45:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Repubs saved us Twice from Obama SocSec Cuts (11+ / 0-)

    so let's not pretend Dems are blameless.

    Both parties Suck on this issue.


    No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

    by CitizenOfEarth on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:14:42 PM PDT

  •  Brown is totally correct on this. This is all part (9+ / 0-)

    of the safety net the GOP wants to do away with. They are chipping away at everything. As one who is disabled and on SSD, I will be following this very closely!

  •  Proposed cuts to SS COLA increases (6+ / 0-)

    via chained CPI were included in Obama's 2013 budget with the goal being to initiate talks with Republicans. Republicans never accepted Obama's calls for higher tax revenue to go along with the cuts and no deal was made.

    The cuts were not included in Obama's 2014 budget, and he has finally cut himself loose from his former goal of trying to negotiate with Republicans.

    Nebraska GOP Senate candidate Ben Sasse is on record rejecting the idea of bringing more revenue into Social Security.  He advocates cutting benefits for those born after 1960, raising the eligibility age for full benefits (currently 67 for those born after 1960), means testing, and privatizing.  

    NE Democratic candidate Dave Domina supports and defends Social Security.

    http://davedomina.com/

  •  Raise the Minimum Wage; Eliminate the Cap! (15+ / 0-)

    SSN would have no problem.  Raising the Minimum Wage would create an enormous increase into the Social Security Trust Fund.  Eliminating the Cap on Wages and Earnings subject to the SSN withholdings would end any future threat and begin a downpayment by all of the high end earners to pay back their ill-gotten earnings by funding the Trust.

    If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

    by NM Ray on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 01:40:47 PM PDT

  •  There's nothing wrong with Social Security (12+ / 0-)

    that wouldn't be completely fixed on all levels by eliminating the cap and mandating that public servants (ie police, fire and other civil servants) pay into it like everyone else and collect benefits commensurate with their lifetime contributions.

    Of course, that makes way too much common sense for the current crop of avaricious, amoral corporatists currently in charge of this country. But, if they really wanted to fix it, those two solutions would do the trick.

    I sincerely doubt that given the proliferation of this country's "I've got mine, so f--k off" attitude won't decline sufficiently to enable any majority of politicians capable of spearheading such legislation to be elected in my lifetime - but I' like to think that my kids and grandkids would have a shot at it.

    (Good lord, listen to me... if someone told me I'd be writing something like that 30 years ago, I'd have told them they were reading too much George Orwell.)

  •  I've always heard that SS Disability benefits are (4+ / 0-)

    difficult to get in terms of qualifying and in terms of wading through a long process of paperwork. Furthermore, whether my impression is correct or incorrect, I believe it's shared by a lot of people. I don't see how any politician could expect to convince a lot of people otherwise.

    "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 02:17:54 PM PDT

    •  Yes you are correct it is difficult to get... (6+ / 0-)

      but you are incorrect as to how many people know that, as far as I can tell.

      Most people seem to think that getting government help is simpler than it is and that conception is even higher amongst Repubs. 80% of them think the poor have it easy, according to a recent PEW poll. The reason why is that 1) They think getting help is too easy and 2) They overestimate the amount of help people actually get.

      Another problem is that some government help is easier to get than others and so they don't understand that it takes a lot of effort to get disability and that in fact they turn the majority of people down the first time to discourage people from applying. You don't just get a doctor's note and you are all set. They might have that a little confused because short-term state disability does work that way, at least where I live, but not federal disability.

      And people are getting the wrong impression about these disability lawyers. They see ads all the time and figure that they are appealing to the fakers who can't get it any other way. But the reason for those lawyers is because it is getting more and more difficult to get, not because it is too easy to get!

      Then you have to factor in the fact that people are just plain angry about anyone getting help these days and equate everything to welfare. And ironically even welfare is being misjudged as only 4% of the population is on it. But there is the unpleasant reality that people often like thinking the worst about others.

      I am speaking from experience, because I am disabled and there are a lot of nasty people out there who judge me, including a family member.

      I take the phrase "Bleeding Heart Liberal" as a compliment...

      by Pixie5 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:33:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  SS is popular. (3+ / 0-)

    Polls have established that much.  How does the idea of expanding it poll, though?

  •  The Media Will Rush In (5+ / 0-)

    With exposés about how welfare mothers are using SSI to get abortions.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:09:20 PM PDT

  •   Biggest Disability We Have Is/Republicans.. (6+ / 0-)

    decent wages don't eliminate jobs. Republicans eliminate jobs; and workers, and prospects, and then excuse it all and call for more austerity. there is no end to their ignorant, arrogant avarice. only political dinosaurs support their treachery.

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:25:07 PM PDT

  •  So the Democrats will vote for this. (3+ / 0-)

    Great ;(

    Sherrod Brown warns of new Republican effort to divide and conquer on Social Security

    Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

    by gooderservice on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 03:43:08 PM PDT

  •  3rd Rail of Politics Once Was Tinkering With (11+ / 0-)

    (Privatizing, Ending, or Cutting) Social Security -- no one dared to think of it because it was political suicide.

    It's time to end the political careers of politicians who want to tinker with Social Security unless they want to end the Social Security taxable income cap.

    (The filthy rich should pay FICA taxes on every penny of their incomes just like the peons have to do and then pass a means test to collect.)

  •  This goes hand in hand with the Debt 'Crisis' (3+ / 0-)

    Pure propaganda and our parents are falling for it--every time they watch Faux News at night!  

    Time for the GenX to have some serious discussions with our baby boomer parents.  It's hard, I know, but we need to explain who owns Faux to our parents.  Follow the money, as Deep Throat said.

    We are a nation that respects religious beliefs, but also the right not to have those beliefs imposed upon you by others...and we should therefore keep it out of other people’s business — and bedrooms. George Takei 7/1/14

    by Lipstick Liberal on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 04:59:40 PM PDT

  •  Oh, I don't know (4+ / 0-)

    How about offering to trade better auditing of SS disability claims in return for for full funding of SS Admin expenses, the VA, and , and no more action on SS in this congress?

    •  Plus of course the increases (3+ / 0-)

      Sherrod Brown is talking about

    •  Full funding of SS Admin expenses (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libera nos, kfunk937

      is not the tradeoff for but instead the key to better auditing of SS disability claims.

      Pixie5 is 100% correct here about the difficulty of qualifying for SSDI. But maybe not highlighting the right point.

      In my view Congressional starvation of Social Security Admin (even though it is not funded via 'On Budget' funds, it goes through the Appropriations process) has forced SSA into its current pattern of denying almost all initial DI claims only to approve most of them on appeal. Because they don't have the staffing and funding to do the review right the first time through. With the result that the claim is denied and the action clock moved to the appellant. And BTW you see the same thing with the VA and their disability percentage and service related calculations. Both programs have strict timelines to handle initial claims and the way to meet that is to stamp the claim either 'Denied' or 'Incomplete'

      This isn't because SSA or VA staff are monsters, instead they are almost as much victims of the process as the disabled workers and veterans they end up screwing around.

      Of course there is fraud in both SSDI and VA disability. On the other hand the way we tease that fraud out comes at the cost of having actual disabled workers and veterans dying in poverty and without appropriate health care because of claim delays. In a rational world we would double the amount of money spent reviewing and approving initial claims in both programs and then pursue recovery in that small minority of fraudsters. That is Approve First, Audit Second. Instead staff is forced by (mostly Republican) Congressional sociopathy to Deny First, Approve Later - If Gramps or Gramma or Sgt York is Still Alive.

      SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

      by Bruce Webb on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:22:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is in part (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kfunk937

        What I had in mind. Immigration is the latest area where the GOP feels it can keep cutting funds and then criticize the White House for relaxing the rules and not enforcing the ones that remain.

        Even the Children of Israel found it hard to make (mud) bricks without straw.

  •  Sherrod Brown... (8+ / 0-)

    What a true warrior of the common man. He's one of the few people who I hope actually stay in congress until the day he drawl his last breath on this earth and I hope that day isn't until he's 100 or more. I could say the same about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

  •  Ike on social security (7+ / 0-)
    "Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

    November 8, 1954

    Please proceed, Republikooks.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 05:42:42 PM PDT

  •  Where did I see that report (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, MarcKyle64

    I'm going to research this, but I read a report that in the past 5 years, Social Security Disability has SOARED exponentially.  

    How's that happen anyway?  Or, is it even true?  Anyone got something?  I'm not real good on the "net", but will try to find out whazzup on this.

    •  Assume it to be false. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ditsylilg, MarcKyle64, 3goldens
      Where did I see that report[?]

      I'm going to research this, but I read a report that in the past 5 years, Social Security Disability has SOARED exponentially.  

      How's that happen anyway?  Or, is it even true?  Anyone got something?  I'm not real good on the "net", but will try to find out whazzup on this.

      You should assume it to be false.

      If you cannot find this so-called "report" easily (i.e., it comes up on Google or ixquick within the first page, and within seconds) then, chances are, it's more right-wing nut-job farragoes of lies and disinformation.

      In other words, what gushes 24/7/365 from Fox "News".

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:07:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is easily findable (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boris49, waiono, MarcKyle64, VClib

        See for example here or here.

        •  And easily debunked here (4+ / 0-)

          http://www.cbpp.org/... Basics: Social Security Disability Insurance  Revised March 14, 2014

          Or you could read this post of mine at Econoblog Angry Bear in 2009:
          http://angrybearblog.com/...

          By the official measure used by the Social Security Trustees the Disability Insurance Trust Fund failed the 'Short Term Actuarial Test' back in 2005. And for years before that projected to run out many years before the Old Age/Survivors Trust Fund. The 2007-2008 recession simply accelerated by a fraction a process that was fully foreseen as early as the 1997 Social Security Report, a time when the combined OASDI program was entering a period of surpluses well in excess of $100 billion a year. (And BTW giving the official defense for Bush Tax Cuts in 2001).

          DI could have been fixed for pennies per week per average worker back in 2005 and should have been. And the breakdown even now puts it in a few nickels per week due to a combination of inaction and economic downturn. But there was no 'trebling', certainly not when compared to the baseline as established in the 1997-2009 Reports. Which isn't to say that ALL of this is just hysteria. Because given a long enough time frame you can find those multiples. As the CBPP piece cited at the outset points out (and then explains):

          "The number of disabled workers has tripled since 1980 and doubled since 1995.  The bulk of that rise stems from four big demographic factors — overall population growth, the aging of the baby boomers into their 50s and 60s (the peak ages for DI receipt), the rise in women’s labor force participation (which means more women now qualify for DI benefits), and the rise in Social Security’s full retirement age (which delays DI beneficiaries’ reclassification as retired workers)."

          Bruce again. Note that none of that involves huge levels of new fraud in recent years. That is just Republican agit-prop. You can make almost any fiscal number 'double' just by playing around with the difference between 'nominal' and 'real'.

          SocSec dot.Defender at gmail.com - founder DK Social Security Defenders Group

          by Bruce Webb on Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 12:42:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the way to flip this on the GOP (4+ / 0-)

    If there is a shortfall, demand that the federal government pay back the money it borrowed from the trust fund; about 2 trillion dollars.

    Where would the money come from?  Raise the top income tax rate back to what it was in 1981 before Reagan cut it in half: 54%

    When the conservatives blather on about class warfare Democrats will then make it an issue of not letting deadbeat conservatives and chiseling 1%ers get away with being the new American welfare recipients.

    Paying back what you owe is something everyone expects.

    •  paying back what you owe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ditsylilg, jbsoul, MarcKyle64
      When the conservatives blather on about class warfare Democrats will then make it an issue of not letting deadbeat conservatives and chiseling 1%ers get away with being the new American welfare recipients.

      Paying back what you owe is something everyone expects.

      Especially when everyone knows you can pay it back, easily.

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:09:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Divide and Conquer is the Repub signature (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, MarcKyle64

    which is why it is best defeat be a sense of Unity!

  •  If we had a map of SSI recipients (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ditsylilg, MarcKyle64

    I'm betting they'd be concentrated in the South, just like all measures of poverty, joblessness, poor education and criminal punishment are.
    I'm fine with defending SSI, but let's be honest, it's misnamed. It's really the Social Security before you age into SS program.  In the face of a lack of other welfare programs, it's the program for people who have no hope of ever getting a decent paying job again and maybe haven't worked in years, who maybe live in a region that hasn't had decent jobs since NAFTA.  
    I've seen it in action in rural Kentucky. Everybody over 50 either was on it or trying to get on it and billboards advertise lawyers' services to "get you your SSI."  Of course, everyone also has a disability, diabetes, heart disease, back problems, lung cancer, obesity, from a lifetime of unhealthy living.  Yeah it's hard to get in many areas because so many people need it or need Some income.  
    With SS, age and lifetime earnings are the determining factors.  With SSI, there has to be some criteria other than, just give it to me.

    Freedom of speech, in my view, does not mean the freedom to buy the United States government -- Bernie Sanders

    by OnePingOnly on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:08:46 PM PDT

    •  You're oversimplifying it (4+ / 0-)

      by a lot. First of all SSI and SSDI are two different programs. If you have a five year or longer work history and you can prove disability you receive SSDI benefits. These tend to be more substantial because they are based on your contribution to the system. SSI is for people who are disabled an unable to develop a work history.

      SSI is not a welfare system for people who haven't worked or don't want to work. It's a system for people who can't work. Most claims are denied the first time, but even ones that aren't take at least ten months and several different doctors to prove. Further you have to have a documented history of the disability and it has to be severe enough for the state's physicians to conclude that you can't work. Not every disease or even disability qualifies. Some diabetics would qualify, some would not. Some back problems would qualify, some would not, etc.

      You mentioned the fact that there are lawyers and advocates offering to help people get their SSI/SSDI benefits. That's true - although anyone applying is generally told to be very wary of what services they might choose; many such adverts are from disreputable companies fleecing people who are in desperate circumstances That being said anyone applying for SSI or SSDI should be advised to have an advocate or a lawyer. The process is complex and without someone advocating for the applicant's interests, for the position, they're almost certain to be turned down at least once. While a rigorous process is understandable you have to recognize that we're also talking about months or years of people's lives - months during which you don't receive benefits. It can be hard to get by while the process plays itself out.

      Finally SSI and SSDI recipients have their cases reviewed every 3-5 years, both in terms of their financial position and their health. If your health improves you will no longer qualify; if your financial situation changes for any reason you may no longer qualify.

      No one goes to the SS office, fills out a few forms and just gets a check. There is a strict criteria, a rigorous process and a periodic revisiting of your circumstances.

      The nation is burning but we won't look up as long as the fiddle plays.

      by Miang on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When the Democratic Party embraces (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boogalord, jbsoul, waiono, MarcKyle64, 3goldens

    its principles, I will embrace them and so will an overwhelming majority of Americans.    

    I will not vote for Hillary.

    by dkmich on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:22:24 PM PDT

  •  Republicans are relentless... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarcKyle64, 3goldens

    ...in their efforts to DESTROY our safety-nets, Social Security, unemployment, Medicaid, school lunches, you name it. They're just not happy unless they're taking something from someone, preferably the someone who can least afford the loss.

    I'm too [insert adjective of choice, e.g., sane] to vote Republican.

    by Linus Too on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 06:44:48 PM PDT

  •  Social Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarcKyle64

    Simply by raising the cap on earnings Social Security could be made solvent well into this century if not beyond, there is no good reason the promise made to workers that they have paid for should be broken. The Republicans will demand any increase be offset by cuts in in other social programs, they should be ashamed of themselves. They want privatization so their donors on Wall Street can steal the money involved in this very successful program.

  •  CAP & Social Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarcKyle64

    Has CAP ever formally withdrawn its support of chained CPI and other forms of cutting Social Security? It gave up pushing for a deficit-cutting "grand bargain" last year, but I'm not sure if it involved an admission of their wrongness on SS.

  •  Social security (4+ / 0-)

    is my only hope when I reach 70 besides a part time job.

  •  I am collecting SSDI for a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarcKyle64

    very, very painful brain disease. Why can't they just reallocate the money as before?

    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.---George Orwell

    by okpkpkp on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:09:41 PM PDT

  •  Why aren't Democrats more vocal about this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MarcKyle64, 3goldens

    We can't expect Teabaggers or the Investment Class to defend Social Security, but why the fuck won't Democrats shout about this to high heaven? It even fits nicely on the proverbial bumper sticker:

    Raise The Cap Now!

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 08:42:17 PM PDT

  •  I have been on SSDI for awhile (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChuckChuckerson

    and I have to fill out  a report about whether or not my health situation has changed and if so, is it better or worse.  I have to document recent visits to my dr. about my disabilities and you can bet that the SSA has requested my medical records from him.  This happens every three to five years.  It took three years from when I first applied until I was approved after an administrative law judge hearing.  I used to do casework for people with disabilities, most of them were barely living on SSI. This years maximum SSI payment is $721 a month - let's see YOU live on that!

    http://www.ssa.gov/...

    You reap what you sow. The Republicans sowed the Tea Party. It's harvest time.

    by MarcKyle64 on Tue Jul 08, 2014 at 11:30:13 PM PDT

  •  Same thing they've done to hospice (0+ / 0-)

    Most of us think benevolently of hospice, but I was told by a CEO for a traditional hospice program in New England that in the Midwest and South there has been a move to privatize hospice.  She told me about hospice conferences where guys with cigars come in to find out where they can make money with hospice.  No surprise that where hospice is privatized is where hospice care disappoints many who have only known hospice as a wonderful guide through death.

  •  I'm reminded of that old joke . . . (0+ / 0-)

    How can you tell when a RW rethug is lying?  (His/her lips are moving).

  •  As a Social Security recipient (0+ / 0-)

    I am violently against any changes unless they improve the system.

    A friend of mine has gradually lost his sight. He has been turned down for disability payments repeatedly.  HE IS FREAKING BLIND but they still think he is...what?...faking it?  

    They told him that he could do telemarketing, but didn't tell them how he could get from his home to a place where he could work.  Oh, that's not their problem even though the closest mass transit is over 35 miles away!

    I had a massive hemorrhagic stroke and lost my short term memory.  I was approved the first time around because it was obvious that I couldn't work.  Now that I'm 73 I get regular Social Security FOR WHICH I PAID INTO FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS!

    Social Security is not part of the budget, never has been, never will be.  Yet the Taxpublicans treat it as though it is charity.  They spread bovine fecal matter all over the place, lying their rear ends off.  

    Because I made some fairly good money during my working life, my Social Security is higher than many folks get but I just had to cancel surgery because I can't afford the hospital's copay.  I'm in excruciating pain and needed the surgery, but hey, if you can't afford $1,000...

    The agencies that are supposed to help people in my situation only take into consideration the gross income you receive.  Since I almost make $20,000 a year, they consider me too wealthy!  Forget that I have to pay rent, utilities, food, gasoline, etc.

    So I'm screwed.  I have Medicare Plus but...well, do you know how hospital gowns and medical insurance are the same?  You just THINK you're covered.

    I'd commit suicide but I'm fond of living, even in pain.  If the Going Obsolete Party messes further with SS I just hope that the Pubs will lose their hold on the House this year.

  •  2008 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    loco moco

    That is the year that a major bank managed to lose my ENTIRE LIFE'S SAVINGS!

    The only income I now receive is from Social Security. Mind you, it's not enough to actually survive on even though I get close to $20K a year.  Thankfully, I invited my sister and her adult daughter to move in with me while I was still working.  Now we have THREE incomes coming into the family.

    The Gone Obsolete Party has HATED Social Security from the git-go.  They've been trying to kill it from the first day it began.  Without SS, however, this country would be on a par with countries such as China, North Korea, and other countries where only two classes exist: The very wealthy and the destitute.

    The GOP would LOVE to go back to those days when when a person could no longer work, they either lived with their families or simply died.

    Since I was old enough to have an idea about what politics was about, I've been convinced that the GOP is the party of the wealthy and the Democrats are the party of justice.  

    THAT is why I am a proud liberal Democrat.  Check out the number of letters in the word "liberal." It is a seven-letter word, not the four-letters that the GOP thinks it is.

    The bastards want the SS to start at 70...but who in the hell is going to hire anyone at that tender age?  I'm only 73 but cannot get a job in my old industry (computer science) because I've not been able to work for almost 20 years.

    Thank God for people like Senators Sanders, Warren, and a president who has his head screwed on straight.

  •  The squid chaws off another of its tentacles... (0+ / 0-)

    ... this time pushing geezers like me -- who might otherwise be its last-ditch core constituency -- straight under the squidmobile.  

    Brilliant strategy!  Thank you Karl!

  •  Poor reporting is a trademark of faux news (0+ / 0-)

    GAO Found That Error Rate In Improper Payments Of Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits Is Negligible. A FY2011 investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that improper payments of Social Security benefits that include Disability Insurance had an error rate of just 0.6 percent. [Government Accountability Office, 3/28/12

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