As you probably know by now, the Republican controlled 114th Congress attacked Social Security on the very first day of their new session. They specifically targeted the disability fund of the program that is in danger of running short in 2016. Republicans passed a rule that will no longer allow the reallocation of funds from the retirement program to the disability program.
This means that 11 million disabled workers, spouses, and children will see their funds cut by 19%, about $200 a month for the average person.
Rand Paul isn’t bothered by any of though, because he believes about half of those people are “gaming the system“:
“The thing is, in all of these programs there’s always somebody who’s deserving. But everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system.
What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn’t be getting your disability check. Over half of the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club,” he added. “Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts. Everybody over 40 has a little back pain.”
In 2013 the Government Accountability Office estimated that about 1% of the people on disability could work.
WOW! That sure sounds like a rampant fraud problem! It ranks right up there with the almost nonexistent voter fraud.
Obviously Rand Paul has never dealt with a severe back problem and if he had one, let’s be real, he’s not exactly working his butt off in the Senate. That job is hardly comparable to a blue collar job.
He also doesn’t realize just how bad someone’s anxiety can be. Severe anxiety is absolutely a disability, some people can’t even leave their house. Furthermore, anxiety is just one of the mood disorders that 14% of the disability beneficiaries suffer from.
Realizing that he put his foot in his mouth, he released a bandaid statement “apologizing” to the people he insulted:
“We absolutely should take care of those truly in need of help. But the system is broken, and when people can game the system, they are stealing from those who are truly disabled and won’t receive the care and aid they need,” Paul said.
Even his apology is stupid. The reason disability fraud is so low is because it is unbelievably difficult to obtain. Close to three quarters of applicants are denied their initial claim and 60% of them are denied their appeal.
People are not gaming the system and just because he keeps saying that doesn’t make it suddenly true.
The reality is that Paul and company have wanted to privatize the entire program for years. So they are attempting to chip away at it because they hate it. It’s another reminder that they do not serve us, they serve corporations and Wall Street.
What it all boils down to for Paul and his party is simple: I got mine, screw you.