[Notice: This article is not meant to convince anyone to believe anything in particular. It is simply presenting the opinions and ideas of a group of conservatives. Although the names of the participants are fictional, the comments are not. They have been taken directly from the comment sections of multiple conservative news articles over the past two years concerning the rising numbers of Americans collecting disability. I have corrected spelling errors and removed vulgarities, but I have done no other editing. Personally, I find the different views and opinions expressed here to range from interesting, well thought out, valid, and sometimes troubling. It is amazing to me that some who will call themselves “conservative” or “conservative Christian” would actually hold to some of these viewpoints. I will point out, however, that not all conservatives are at the same point on the “conservative scale.” Some are closer to the center mark on the political spectrum, while others are bordering on fascism. All here, however, do consider themselves to be conservative. Enjoy.]
Roundtable Participants: Hieronymus Jones, Moderator; Ezra Rokill; Isabel Lotnut; Scarlet Karpcourt; Isaac Korlacker; Corey Muway; Jarvis Cegh; Bert Crippole; Marv Klapwater; and Esther Flothill.
Hieronymus Jones: This discussion is not about welfare reform or other “entitlements”. It is about disability “entitlements”. So please, let’s restrict our comments to that topic alone.
According to a recent study, there are currently almost 11 million individuals receiving some form of disability benefits in the United States. This number actually exceeds the individual populations of all but seven states. Never before have there been this many people on disability. Your comments.
Jarvis Cegh: I have the actual stats in front of me. As of April 1, 2013, the population of the United States was 315,913,000. There are currently 10,978,040 on disability. That equals 3.47% of the population. By contrast, in December 2000, the population was 282.2 million, with about 5.9 million on disability – or 2.09% of the population. And in 1970, the population was 205.1 million, with approximately 1.8 million receiving disability benefits – or 0.88% of the population. Clearly, the number of those receiving disability benefits is rising. It may only be 3.47% of the population today, but clearly it will continue to grow and grow and grow. What will happen when there are more on disability or other entitlements than are actually working? I think you know that answer to that one.
Ezra Rokill: The simple fact of the matter is, that half of the disability claims are fraudulent, and the reason for it is because disability pays more than unemployment. And pays longer too!
Isabel Lotnut: When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.
Esther Flothill: With the epidemic of autism the Medicaid rolls in this country are set to increase. The epidemic began with those born in 1992, probably because of the overly ambitious vaccine requirements. As these people turn 21, they age out of the schooling system, but still require day care. In NJ they will enroll at 18 into Medicaid, and at 21 begin receiving money to help with the cost of their day services. I guess it’s the least the government can do, considering they mandated these shots of poison.
Marv Klapwater: That whole thing with the vaccines has been refuted many times over. I’ve done a good bit of research on this. Turns out that autism is associated with the age of the father – sperm from an aging male are associated with that type of genetic defect.
Esther Flothill: You, my friend have no idea what you are talking about. Autism is one in 89 male’s births nationally. 1 in 49 in NJ, the Pharmaceutical capital of the world, not all those daddy’s are old, including my own husband. You vaccinate your kids; just give me the choice of what to do with my own.
Ezra Rokill: How about reviewing all these DI claims annually to find out exactly how many are actually disabled to the point where the person can’t actually hold any job. Who reviews the initial claim and are the pseudo, bought and paid for doctors actually vetted?
Isaac Korlacker: Social Security has their own doctors that you have to go through and that is why so many are denied as most of them should be. I know from experience that if you are truly disabled you fly through the system without any hesitation. I paid into the system for 42 years and do not feel bad about getting something from all that I paid in…. Having advanced COPD is no fun and you cannot work with it as you cannot do much….
Scarlet Karpcourt: Let them find their own means and solve their OWN problems. YOUR problems are NOT mine and I REFUSE to let you MAKE it mine. Tough teaties. Go make your own destiny.
Isaac Korlacker: Disabled Americans are entitled to certain benefits. Many aren’t getting the compensation they are entitled to. With the increased number of aging baby boomers, coupled with the high number of abortions since the 1970’s, I think the number of those receiving disability is rather low, all things considered.
Scarlet Karpcourt: They are entitled to it? From those of us that pay into the system and never use it?
Using your logic, I guess homeless people are “entitled” to free homes from the American tax payers. When you have a system that will pay disability benefit to individuals for “Mood Disorder” you can rest assured that the system has been taken over by the inmates of the asylum. I have a hell of a hangnail I should be able to be on DI by the end of next week.
Marv Klapwater: I have a news article titled: “Able-Bodied People Defrauding Social Security Disability Program.” It says, “After shimmying up trees and doing away with storm debris, the obviously able-bodied tree trimmer asked his customer, ‘Could you make the check out to my mom? I’m on disability.’” The system is being used and scammed by lazy people.
Bert Crippole: The Defrauding is just part of the nature of any public government program. My theory is that Entitlements only work in a real capitalist free market system (with minimal government oppression on its economy). The closer a country gets to a communist/socialist/Marxist state when it comes to government burdens (taxes, regulation) the more the “Entitlement” system falls apart.. So in essence the closer you get to a “Nanny State” the more the “Nanny State” entitlements will fail.. (Greece as an example). If the people who depend on government promises fought as much against the corruption as they do fighting for their benefits there would be more accountability to insure the abuse stops and the “Nanny State” would be seen as a threat, and not a good thing.
Jarvis Cegh: The abuse of this program is one of the largest scams perpetrated on the taxpayers. There is big money for the lawyers. Just observe the number of ads on TV. I see many able bodied patients who are on disability for minimal depression and other minor ailments. I even had a lawyer ask me to testify that his client should be given disability after she started having pelvic pain caused by a sexually transmitted disease that occurred because a grocery cart struck her in the stomach. Even a layman should know STDs are not caused by grocery carts. Senator Tom Coburn (R–OK) , who happens to be a medical doctor, personally reviewed the application and evidence in 100 individual cases. His summation was even more startling: “In about 75% of the cases I went through, people were not truly disabled.”
Isaac Korlacker: It’s obvious you lack a great deal of knowledge about the social security system. Do you also not know reviews are completed every 3, 5, 7 years to determine if a person is still disabled or not? To get on disability, you can’t just allege, you need medical proof to back up your claim and it has to be from acceptable medical sources like MD’s, etc, not nurses, etc. So if a person gets on for a less disabling condition, chances are when they are reviewed, they will be off of benefits.
Corey Muway: I am regretfully on disability. I was badly hurt on the job. I am in constant severe pain and cannot walk without a walker. I sued the workman’s comp insurance company and won. That money lasted me two years. In Florida, there is a new law limiting awards for workman’s comp. I sold all of my assets and lived off of that for about three years. I then applied for disability and when they got my X-Rays, I was quickly granted disability. No doctors will operate on me. I won’t take opiate pain killers, so I take 32 Motrin’s a day. I get in one month what I used to make in a couple of days. I would love to go back to work. I can’t even get in the car to get there.
Bert Crippole: This irritates me to no end. My wife is on SSDI. She was initially turned down and it took nearly two years to be approved. My wife was an RN. She loved her job. After a severe car accident and two surgeries resulting in hardware spanning six vertebrae on her neck, she could no longer do nursing. She tried to teach pre-nursing at a tech school after that to continue doing what she loved. She eventually had to stop that also. Going on SSDI was very emotional for my wife. She broke down into tears when she was told by her Doctor that she could no longer do what she saw as her calling. My wife is now on a pain regimen. The amount of medication she requires just to function is overwhelming. Her faith is what gives her the strength to cope day to day. You know, clinging to her religion and guns and being afraid of people that don’t look like her. Obama turns my stomach. He has waived the strict requirements just to skew the job numbers. This man has no shame.
Isaac Korlacker: Sadly, going on disability as one approaches retirement age is rapidly becoming the new norm. Many employers use SSD finding as their test for getting a company disability pension. These are often more generous which makes it a double windfall for someone who was going to retire soon anyway. That plus the fact that after two years SSD awards Medicare regardless of age.
I have no problem with truly disabled collecting SSD. But it it obvious that many are gaming the system.
Scarlet Karpcourt: Someone I know has received social security disability for a “mental disability” for more than ten years, but she’s a complete fraud. Her husband is a CPA and in the past six years they have started three additional businesses. In addition to working full-time for her husband’s CPA business (home-based) and even working six to seven days/week during tax season, during the past six years she received a license to become a private investigator, received her certificate as a certified fraud examiner, and also became a certified forensic consultant. Their tag line is “All we do is fraud.” She also does volunteer work and is currently the district governor for a private investigative group, arranging the meetings, calling to make sure private investigators are going to make the meetings, and arranges for guest speakers. She benefits financially from her husband’s CPA firm because by her working they don’t need to hire someone during tax season. She handles the phones, filing, running errands, makes appointments for clients, etc. In addition, they hide income directly derived from her working as a private investigator and a fraud examiner through their businesses — she doesn’t receive a 1099 or W-2 because she is an owner. She lies on her annual reports to social security saying she does not work and zero volunteer work. She also brags that her doctor worked for social security before going into private practice and “knows” how the system works. Absolutely sickening.
Isabel Lotnut: I work in a financial institution and see this every single day. Of course, persons who are truly disabled deserve to receive compensation as that is what the program is for. However, I interview people for loan applications and it is disgusting how many people are on disability and work for cash. I tell them if you work for cash we do not consider that. If you are not paying taxes on it we do not consider it as income for your loan request. It seems to run in families – one family member goes in and gets disability and sees how easy it is and the others follow suit. So I guess I will work harder so all you deadbeats who are not truly disabled can receive your free money. Also why if someone is about to retire do we allow their Social Security to be bumped up for a lifetime. At age 62 it should go back to what it would have been had they not been awarded disability.
Jarvis Cegh: “The Social Security Disability Income program is meant to provide a safety net to one of our most vulnerable populations—individuals with disabilities who can no longer work. It supports the neighbor coping with severe brain injury from a car accident and the family member whose multiple sclerosis has progressed to a stage where work is no longer possible.”
This is exactly right! The patients I see applying for disability are claiming they are too sad or that their backs or knees hurt too much to work. Yet, 95% of them smoke and about 75% of them are obese. There have been VERY FEW patients I have reported should be limited in work related activities and ALMOST NONE who I have reported can’t work at all. As far as I’m concerned, unless you physically cant move or mentally function (i.e. MS, MR, TBI, or paralysis) you should be able to work. MILLIONS of people go to work every day with some kind of pain…including ME! We battle through the pain because that is what you do to be a productive member of society!!!
Isaac Korlacker: That’s why it’s called Disability Insurance. You pay into it hoping you never use it. They paid into the system too.
Scarlet Karpcourt: How so? They don’t PAY taxes, they GET A CHECK. Big difference there.
Isaac Korlacker: That’s up to debate
Scarlet Karpcourt: No, it is NOT. Go out and EARN it. I am not going to just give it to anyone. If you can’t go out and EARN it, then you should be on YOUR OWN. No one is OWED fair, or a living, or ANYTHING. Don’t want to do for yourself, THEN DO WITHOUT.
Isaac Korlacker: Many people CAN’T earn it because of they got injured AT their WORKPLACE.
Scarlet Karpcourt: Then that is covered by WORKERS COMPENSATION, and is up to THEM to deal with. NOT the rest of society! I refuse to buy into your “poor me” BS. NO ONE IS GUARANTEED FAIR at birth. Trying to make people believe so is a FALLACY.
Jarvis Cegh: The government website specifically states that only “people who cannot work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death” can be paid benefits. Does this country really have close to eleven million recipients who fit that description? Baloney!!!!
Isaac Korlacker: Define, “Cannot Work.” One thing that everyone seems to forget, is that there is more to “cannot work” than just being physically unable to do something. Everyone can do something, even if it is just putting ping pong balls in a box – use your hands, or your feet, or your mouth. Unless you’re a total vegetable, of course.
But will employers hire someone like this? Someone who could conceivably do something, even of it is something trivial and pointless? Likely not. Employers, especially small business owners, do not want to hire someone with serious medical issues, who will be a drain on their resources and cause their insurance premiums to go up, and in the end wind up costing the employer more than the employee is making for the business.
So although some of those disabled people could conceivably perform some sort of job, there simply are no jobs for these people. No one will hire them because they are not just disabled, but they are a liability for employer.
Scarlet Karpcourt: I, for one, still do not see how that is any of my problem. I work, I support my family, I pay my taxes and my bills. I go to church and I pay my tithe. The church should be taking care of these people, not the taxpayer. Show me in the Constitution where I am responsible for these people. And doesn’t the Bible say, “I am not my brother’s keeper”? No, we are not responsible for the disabled, and especially not for the poor. It’s the government who has taken up that role when they never should have. So my stand on this is, “Not my problem.”
Marv Klapwater: I agree. We’re beginning to have more takers then givers.
Hieronymus Jones: From a GAO report from 1995:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed fraudulent claims for disability benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, focusing on: (1) the extent of fraudulent applications submitted by non-English speaking immigrants using middlemen; (2) factors that contribute to SSI vulnerability to such fraudulent applications; and (3) government initiatives to combat such fraudulent activities.
GAO found that: (1) although the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been aware of allegations of SSI fraud related to the use of middlemen since 1990, the number of applicants who have obtained SSI benefits illegally through the use of middlemen is unknown; (2) the number of immigrants receiving SSI disability benefits rose from 45,000 in 1983 to 267,000 in 1993; (3) in California, about 6,000 potentially fraudulent applications have been identified, of which about 30 percent represent SSI claims being paid; (4) ineligible SSI recipients can receive about $113,000 in SSI, Medicaid, and Food Stamp benefits by the time they are 65 years old.
Esther Flothill: Of course the government, itself, allows these anomalies… The SS fund is for us who have contributed and it’s being breached by scammers and not by disabled persons… Do you want to sling dirt on the truly disabled?
Isaac Korlacker: But again, we are back to just what is truly disabled?
Marv Klapwater: Alcoholics now are able to qualify for disability benefits as well as children diagnosed with the now stated, made up ADHD! And, your local poorly paid nursing assistant who works in a job that most people refuse to do whom actually gets injured are treated like dirt! Social security admits to this as they have a higher rate of injury than the over paid construction worker. This issue will never be resolved because of the age old male/female disagreements. Most family’s whom have an elderly loved one puts them in nursing homes because they can no longer “lift” these people but expect others to do so. And, it has not been that long that most facilities have been required by insurance companies to purchase expensive lifts. But, there is still a fair amount of lifting by nursing professionals before they allow the use of these lifts to keep these people mobile as long as possible. And, your local work comp denial group do EVERYTHING within their power to avoid being responsible. If a IME tells the truth they lose their job. I think it’s time ALL nursing homes are closed and the family’s can do their own lifting.
Esther Flothill: Many people are on disability because they can’t stand or lift but could do a desk job with retraining.
Scarlet Karpcourt: I’ll say it again. We are not responsible for helping disabled Americans. We should just let them sit homeless. If they need help, the church should be helping them. Not the government. Not the taxpayer. If they were required to make their own way, then eventually they would. Either that or die. And either way is a benefit to the country. The current system is unsustainable. There is no denying that fact. And it will either cause the destruction of our country, or at the very least, contribute a great deal to our destruction. My question is, why should the majority suffer because of the minority? Because that is what is happening and what will continue to happen. On our present course, it is inevitable and irreversible.
Ezra Rokill: So people who are drug addicts and claim that as a disability, deserve to live off the rest of us?
Esther Flothill: Most disabled haven’t touched drugs in their lives. They are just hard-working Americans who have been dealt a bad hand, no pun intended. There are tons of people that need help and our government helps them.
Marv Klapwater: But do you believe that drug addicts should qualify for disability due to their drug addiction? Do you believe that someone that is overweight and refuses to exercise, deserves disability? Let’s eliminate the bogus claims, kick off the drug addicts, and make the rules more stringent. Let’s not turn this into a second from of welfare for the lazy.
Scarlet Karpcourt: This is essentially welfare. The government wants those people whose unemployment insurance has run out taken care of by the government and in a category that doesn’t adversely impact the unemployment figures. Put them on disability, take care of them and don’t count them as unemployed. Obama looks good!!!!
Isaac Korlacker: How is it welfare when they have paid into the system for 20, 30, 40 years?
Scarlet Karpcourt: Most people on SSDI and particularly SSI never paid in a dime. Most of the remainder are young enough and paid in so little that they will draw out every dime they ever paid in less than 6 months. “Disability – the inability (either deliberate or forced through a CRAPTASTIC Obama economy) to get a job.” It’s the Liberals NEW form of welfare. Because, 99 weeks just wasn’t enough of free money.
Isaac Korlacker: Anybody that receives disability QUALIFIES under the law. Don’t like it, CHANGE the LAW.
Scarlet Karpcourt: Today they are NO DIFFERENT than welfare. They are welfare by different names. They are a drain on society. Here’s a real tip for you, simple little man, if you are getting a check for sitting on your butt watching CNBC and clicking Huntington Post using your government Disability/welfare/etc check, and you don’t want to BOTHER to get off your butt and feed YOURSELF and family, who you gonna vote for? The people who FORCED you to get off your butt, or the ones sending the checks? EXACTLY, it’s BRIBERY on a massive scale, and is why morons and lazy people vote for Democrats. IT’S IMMORAL in every way. It is WHY conservatives consider liberals IMMORAL. It isn’t their love of gay sex, though that isn’t helping either. Like I keep saying, it’s their problem, not ours. If they are too lazy to get up off their butt and get a job and support themselves and their family, that’s their problem. If they starve to death, then that’s their problem.
Isaac Korlacker: You keep saying that you are church goer (I notice you didn’t say Christian), and you pay your tithe, and so it is the church’s problem and not ours – or more specifically, not yours. But aren’t Christian’s told by God Himself, to take care of the poor and those who cannot take care of themselves? Some of these people find themselves disabled without a lot, if any, warning. They still have debts that they are trying to pay off while at the same time trying to deal with a disability and the accompanying medical bills. And they still need to eat and have a place to live. So how is this “the church’s problem and not ours”?
Scarlet Karpcourt: You are an idiot. Parasites have no debt problem, and I can spend MY money better than some leech sucking off MY productivity. Not to mention they deserve to starve MORE than they deserve the fruits of MY labor. And don’t you dare question my Christianity. I KNOW what the Bible says about taking care of the poor, and God was talking to the CHURCH, not to the individual Christians. Get your facts straight.
Isaac Korlacker: No one deserves to starve. Your assumption is not rational or possible. We’re not going to let people starve. Not everyone is capable of supporting themselves, especially when jobs are scarce and don’t pay enough to live on. Disability stops the disabled from becoming a burden to society and the economy. You people would be complaining if they sat disabled with no help.
Scarlet Karpcourt: How does stealing money from ME relieve ANY burden? Hint, it doesn’t remove any burden, it spreads it out, which makes EVERYONE poorer. DO it on a massive scale like Oblidiot has, then you have a WHOLE NATION which is poorer. Freaking BRILLIANT logic there skippy.
Isabel Lotnut: If society is already paying out billions in disability benefits, aren’t they already a burden to society?
Isaac Korlacker: I’m not questioning your Christianity, I’m questioning your twisting of Scripture to make it fit what you clearly want to believe. The Bible is full of instances where God tells His people, His followers, to take of the poor and those unable to take care of themselves. The “Church” IS the people of God, not some building or some organized religion. It is the FOLLOWERS OF GOD. Therefore, IF you are a Christian, then God Himself has told you to take care of the poor and those unable to take care of themselves. Whether or not you obey God is, of course, your decision.
Scarlet Karpcourt: And how many so called disabled people have you helped out lately?
Isaac Korlacker: God also says not to do your good works in public like the Pharisees do. Any good works you do, any disabled or poor or sick or whatever people you help is between you, them, and God. No one else.
Thom Paine: In the way of a disclaimer or sorts, or perhaps simply throwing in my two cents to this discussion (since I did not participate in any of the original discussions from whence these statements were taken), I will say that I am a disabled vet. I do not make that statement to elicit any sympathy or empathy. Nor do I make it in the hopes of being thanked for my service and any sacrifice I made. After the war, most of us were mocked or spat upon or vilified in some way. Thanks now seem a bit cliché to most of us. Yes, we do appreciate them and we are thankful for them, but only when they are sincere, not when they are born from some obligatory based guilt. Besides, the VA thanks me every time I call or visit them. My disabilities are a combination of service connected and non-service connected. I was gainfully employed continuously for more than 40 years before my disabilities “put me out to pasture.” (and for those enquiring minds that need to know, I do not receive SSDI or SSI).
That all being said, however, I will also say that that there are many legitimately disabled people in this country. People who struggle and suffer and go without, all because of those who abuse the system. And as an American, watching my fellow American’s go through that, really, really, really makes me angry. There is no valid reason for all of the system abusers to be on disability. None whatsoever. I do not subscribe to the views as presented above (and in other places) that the record number of those on disability can be attributed to a lack of jobs. Why? Because there are jobs out there. The problem is, however, that people do not want to do them.
I remember one of my former son-in-laws who was out of work, and would not take any job that paid less than $10 per hour (the equivalent of almost $20 per hour these days). As a result, he and his family went without. When I told him of a job that paid only $5 an hour mending fences on a ranch, he refused it. It didn’t pay enough, he said. I asked how much he was making at the time. He said, “nothing.” I looked at him and said, “exactly.” He took the job.
But these days, people must have the latest and greatest of everything, and they look for jobs that will support their habits – their lifestyle, rather than looking for a job that will at least put some food on the table, and they want nothing to do with a job that just might put a little dirt under their fingernails, or where they might get a scuffed knee or knuckle. Back in my day, we did not consider people like this to be real men. I will not repeat the sobriquet we gave them.
I know that there are three huge oil fields, now producing, and which are now hiring at top wages and fantastic benefits (two in Texas and one in North Dakota). Gas stations, convenience stores, fast food franchises, farms and ranches are now hiring across America. There are more manual labor jobs than you can shake a stick at, now available in America. Maybe not in your neighborhood, but you just might have to relocate. You just might have to park your family at your folks house and hit the road, and send money back to them until you get on your feet and can send for them. The jobs are there. Maybe not the jobs you want, and maybe not at the pay you want, but they are there.
After the war I mucked stalls, dug ditches, did telemarketing, door to door sales, house painting, concrete work, and I worked as a section hand for the Union Pacific swinging a spike maul for 8 – 10 hours a day. I was a miner, a construction worker, a security guard and store clerk. Then I found a career in law enforcement and stuck with that for almost 25 years. Don’t ever tell me there are no jobs.
My “advice” (for lack of a better word) to those who abuse the disability system: Show some respect for yourself. Grow a backbone, and get a job. I have had RA (look it up if you must) for many years and I worked with pain many of you cannot imagine for a lot of years. (and no, it is not the source of my disability – although it does contribute to it. If you must know, I have severe complications from diabetes and a bum ticker. No more heart attacks, please, they really suck.) If you are not truly disabled, then get a job and stop making it hard on those who truly are disabled.
And to the conservatives (lest you think you will be getting off easy here), stop all of your squawking and fighting! How do you ever hope to get this country back on its feet and out of the whole we are now in, if you can’t even politely agree to disagree? It’s almost enough to make me turn into a liberal! Well, not really, but it is getting pretty bad out there in the conservative camp! I can, however, see how many conservatives alienate those who are still on the fence politically speaking. So knock it off, and get your, um, “poop” together in one little ditty bag (as we used to say in the Navy), and start working together instead of against each other, as those included in the discussion above are clearly doing. It’s an embarrassment.