Steven Birn Speaks
We have in the past attacked the welfare state, particularly the number of people on food stamps, WIC and other forms of government assistance.
It is our contention that many of these people don’t really need food stamps and are in fact using them to live a middle class lifestyle by freeing up food money for other consumer spending. There are other welfare problems out there, today we’ll look at Social Security disability. There are no doubt some people on disability who are truly disabled and cannot work. They aren’t of interest to us here. What is of interest is the massive increase of people receiving disability payments.
Over 8.7 million Americans have been declared “disabled” by the Social Security Administration. This entitles them to a monthly disability check. In 1992 we had about 35 workers for every 1 disabled worker. Today it’s down to 16 workers per disabled worker. Considering that there are less manufacturing jobs today than in 1992 and we have far fewer dangerous jobs as the years go on, the number of disabled shouldn’t be going up. In fact, the number should be going down. That it isn’t leads one to conclude that the government is allowing people who aren’t truly disabled to receive social security benefits.
Since Obama took office the number of disabled has increased by 1.3 million. Anecdotally I’ve never met a single person receiving disability who was truly disabled. As an attorney I run across people injured all the time. I’ve net dozens of people who are on disability and none of them have the sort of injury that would prevent them from actually working. Perhaps they cannot stand for 8 hours a day but that doesn’t prevent them from working at a job that doesn’t require standing. What disability does for these people is make them state slaves, completely dependent on the government for their existence. Make no mistake, when someone is on disability they’re also on food stamps and any number of other government programs.
By telling people they’re disabled and cannot work, the government is taking away people’s self worth. It would be one thing if we were talking about someone who became a quadriplegic and can truly no longer work. But people with a knee injury or chronic back pain are not disabled. Sure there are some jobs they cannot do, but there’s no reason they cannot find jobs that don’t bother their injuries. What government tells these people is that they don’t need to bother being independent, government will take care of you. In short, you’re worth nothing on your own and you’ll never amount to anything so become our dependent.
Is this the sort of country our Founders desired? A nation where the government views itself as a gigantic taxing charity that makes people dependent on it rather than dependent on themselves? We have moved so far from our founding, this nation barely has ties to it anymore. Even the Constitution’s original meaning has been neutered by amendments and Court interpretations. The hope has always been that the people would cherish their independence and freedom. But with 8.7 million and counting dependent on government with largely fictitious disabilities or disabilities that should not prevent someone from working, you have to wonder if we as a people have simply given up on independence and freedom.
Add in the tens of millions on food stamps and WIC, the millions receiving government cell phones or receiving section 8 housing, millions on Medicaid and we have a nation where a large percentage of society is dependent on government. The self worth of the individual has fallen by the wayside. In the span of 110 years, we’ve gone from a nation that loved the Constitution and individual freedom which rejected the paternal governments of Europe to a nation dependent on government for everything. We have become what our founders rebelled against.
Steven Birn is an attorney and conservative political junkie and blogger. For more news and commentary visit Steven Birn Speaks.