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GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled


#1

GOP Assault on Social Security Could be 'Death Sentence' for Nation's Disabled

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Republican opposition to a plan that would shore up a critical government safety-net program amounts to a new front in the GOP's class war and could equal a "death sentence" for many poor recipients, defenders of Social Security said this week.

The White House has proposed shifting money between two Social Security accounts in order to avert deep cuts in disability payments—specifically, reallocating a small portion of the Social Security payroll tax from its old-age account to disability for five years—as has been done numerous times in the past.


#2

Congress has made it obvious that America will never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor, sick and elderly so long as adventures and profits in wars of interchangeable terrorist continue to draw men and skills and money like flies to crap.


#3

The current crop of GOP legislators appears to have taken off their masks to reveal their true identity: warriors for the 1%, ruthlessly out to transform this nation into their sweatshop, where the old and those who are sick (and therefore unable to labor) are considered useless burdens and eventually eliminated through attrition.


#4

A solution to the problem would be to put Congress on Social Security, just like everyone else. Congress doesn't deserve the luxury retirement plan that they gave to them selves. If Social Security was their retirement plan, they would make much wiser decisions in regard to it.


#5

The Wall Street vampire squid is knocking at Social Security's door--don't invite it in.


#6

My husband is a 100%+ disabled veteran of the Vietnam war and we live on SS and VA disability benefits. If those benefits were each cut by 20% we would literally lose the money to pay our house payment. Like his brethren -- b4 and after -- he fought for the very scum who now want to take those benefits away from him! I seriously believe so many of our elected terrorists want to lay waste to these benefits because THEY have never fought in a war, and have no clue what it's like to put their lives on the line -- it is BEYOND time they were shown how valuable our veterans really are ... send THEM to fight the wars we are now embroiled in!


#7

Recall, though, that most of them are millionaires.


#8

Something does need to be done to get us out of debt. I cannot type to long due to my nerves and the diagnoses of RSD CRPS (before reply to my comment, please read about RSD CRPS here at this link.http://www.rsdhope.org/what-is-crps.h.... I was a Certified Nursing Assistant, loved working. Now, I am facing hard times and to be on disability because of the work injury causing me to be disabled and not able to work. I am sure that the GOP can find other places to cut before cutting benefits from those that are disabled that cannot work, the elderly that have not got a cost of living raise with Social Security. Maybe congress needs to have a pay cut of their own, live in our shoes, and find it the hard way how one lives before cutting something that provides a little income to those who are in need of assistance. I have worked, I have paid in and helped others, and I would love to be able to work but I will be need assistance (hopefully for not a long term extended time.).


#9

I have no patience for this crap. Tax the f---ng billionaire class already.


#10

The re-pugnacious-can'ts sole purpose is to apparently shore up the balance sheet of their donors, and lobbyist/lobbying firms, and corporations filling their home coffers while completely ignoring the NEEDS of their constituents across the nation. Banks and investment firms would like nothing better than to get their hands on Social Security money and with their track records since the demise of Glass-Steagal, they should be able to plow through those funds in less than 90 days leaving recipients of SS literally out-in-the cold. They are shameless, heartless, hubristic, and downright nefarious. With little to no exceptions, they have no compassion for those in need nor do they take any initiative to make themselves aware of the plight of millions of Americans. They have two homes, cars, kids in Ivy League or private "Day" schools, extravagant wardrobes, free health care, a secure retirement fund, and virtually no care in the world beyond what to wear to the next fundraiser.

Some facts from ssa.gov: total # of beneficiaries - 64,189,000
Aged 65 or older - 42,948,000 (
Disabled, under age 65 - 14,282,000
Other (beneficiaries who are neither aged or disabled such as early retirees and young survivors) -6,959,000.

Average monthly payout across the board varies from $1,000 to $1298 with SSI benefits around half that amount. Wonder how long these avaricious curmudgeons like Enzi of WY would last living on such paltry payments? About six hours, maybe.

This attack on Social Security and any other social safety net will bite them in the A-- in 2016...unless corporate/international/Koch money buys the elections lock, stock, and barrel.


#11

Better still if no one signed up to fight these bogus wars in the first place. Nonetheless, I hope your family's benefits are not cut. There should be a billionaire's tax and anyone who offshores funds to avoid taxes should PAY Social Security's alleged deficit.


#12

The debt is meaningless. Don't worry about it, this country can afford whatever it wants. Too bad it mostly wants war and its accoutrements. When does the Pentagon "fund" run out of money?


#13

It appears that the republicans in congress once again believe that the social contract between the citizens and the government can be ignored. Do they not understand that the benefits due the disabled by the Social Security Administration are not merely some agreement that can be ignored at will but are in fact services that have been paid for by a lifetime of work and making payments into an account? This is the same as paying for an insurance policy for a lifetime and once a claim is made against that policy the insurance company defaults.

The republican congressmen who seem to feel it's hunky dory to go ahead and cheat Americans out of their disability benefits so they can do a little social engineering and transferring of funds that belong to others to financially benefit themselves or their owners had better do some serious thinking about the actions they are taking. Afterall, it's not like they have broken their backs trying to help ANYBODY other than themselves or their rich cronies anytime in the recent past and they might want to just stop and think about their immediate health and well being before they screw too many people again. Afterall, this is getting to be a regular thing for these creeps.

I have to ask a final question before I finish this comment. I have to ask those people who do vote for republicans when they go to the polls, why do you vote for these people? I mean it's not like they represent you or anything,. In fact, to the contrary, all they do is represent themselves and their rich campaign donars. Sure, I know the democratic candidates aren't any bettera lot of the time and in some ways they are worse! That's politics and of course the scuzziest people always seem to run regardless of party... but look....these guys, the republican candidates tell you up front they intend to screw you and they keep theiir word everytime. Why would you want to suppiort someone like that? Isn't the purpose of voting afterall an attempt to better the society that we live in so that our lives are maybe a little bit easier or better? Look you ahem, good conservatives pay for your disability benefits just like everybody else does. Don't you think you would expect to get them at full face value if you needed them since you already paid for them? And look at our congressmen slugs. See what wonderful insurance they have voted for themselves? Do you rhink if there were a shortfall in their disability fund (there wouldn't be of course because they would increasethe taxes we pay for their benefits to insure that there is no shortfall in the first palce) that our beloved congressmen would expect to take a 19% cut in their disability benefits? HELL NO!!! So don't let them do it to us!!!


#14

If the GOP or anybody cancels the Social Security money that I depend on to pay my survival bills, I will not have much left to lose letting the GOP know how much a bunch of filthy, slimey, garbage, butt holes they are. Give me 5 minutes with any of the clown creeps.


#15

Yes and they just love to get their filthy paws on the trillion dollars of SSI surplus money do't they? SSI is an example of government working well for the people, those dollars have been collected form us the working Americans for over 70 years. I will fight back with vengeance to keep social security not only safe but thriving for everyone who needs it. Like Greece Americans also need to boot out the assholes brown nosed corrupt senators and congress people and give back the reigns of governance to the people of America not the wealthy fascist oligarchs 1% and the too big to fail banks and corporations.


#16

Actually, this might be a good thing for progressives. I would suggest that there will be significantly more conservative voters affected by disability reductions than liberal voters. I live in a small, profoundly conservative, rural town in KY where a family of 4 had both parents on full disability with enough income to purchase a double wide trailer on a small lot near the edge of town.

There were 4 other families on disability in the neighborhood, mostly for injuries and conditions that did not appear to be overtly acute what with all the lawn mowing and backyard barbequing and general activities I attended. They speak of "welfare recipients" as lazy freeloaders, but do not consider themselves to be freeloaders at all. Let this bite them in the pocketbook and it might finally eclipse the amount of cognitive dissonance necessary to open their eyes to some political fundamentals.


#17

What these politicians are doing are causing people to die. No one should have to take that without a fight. I think the time has come to give them a fight. They treat us as the enemy. What could they say to anything we do in return? They are threatening lives and think nothing of it.


#18

If this issue were reported truthfully, people would have a clearer idea of how likely it is that this dangerous legislation will move forward.

It's vitally important to understand that this isn't just a Republican attack. To my knowledge, Bill Clinton was the first president to begin "reforming" Social Security, starting by targeting the disabled. As a result of Clinton's cuts, the disabled and seriously ill became the fastest-growing group of homeless people 2000. This is how we know for certain that cuts/elimination of disability aid is a death sentence. With extraordinarily rare exception, our liberal media ignored this issue for years, remaining focused on the worries of those who are still middle classers.

It was President Obama who finally restored disability benefits, unquestionably saving lives. He received virtually no credit for this. Unfortunately, the right wing of the Dem Party in Congress agreed to a couple of cuts since then, and are considering extreme cuts that will virtually end Social Security Disability and SSI.

Contrary to the wave of propaganda launched back in the Clinton admin. (and repeated periodically ever since): Eligibility requirements for disability aid are extremely stringent, making fraud virtually impossible. The fact of having a disability does not make one qualified for benefits, although they are able to receive assistance in finding disability-appropriate jobs. To qualify for benefits, it must be medically determined that the disability is so severe that gainful employment is impossible.


#19

Actually, there is a wide range of legitimately disabling conditions. This is a complex issue. That said, I am highly skeptical of your claim about the four families. This is because the eligibility requirements for disability aid are extremely stringent. Many people with disabilities do not qualify for benefits. It must be medically determined that the disability is so severe that gainful employment is impossible. In family situations: While one member of the family might have a legitimate disability, any benefits they receive would be determined by the total income of that family. Non-disabled family members, of course, would be required to work, and their wages would be counted, reducing the benefits of the disabled family member.

Further, I am very skeptical of your claim that any disability benefit recipients would claim that welfare recipients are "freeloaders," in part because there is no welfare. Both General Assistance and AFDC are long gone. TANF is a short-term, marginally subsidized work program, exclusively for those with minor children. Either way, people with disabilities tend to be more aware of the real life barriers to employment, for both the disabled and those who are able to work.


#20

Any temporary "shortfall" in Social Security Disability -- something that was anticipated (or, perhaps, planned) years ago -- can very simply be corrected by readjusting budget priorities -- a very routine part of the budget-making process. Social Security retirement and disability insurance are financed the same way. A small reduction in tax cuts to the rich/corporations would solve the problem, IF that money were put into repaying all the money "borrowed" from Social Security funds by Congress since the 1990s.