Since our election of President Obama in 2009 through September of 2013, 5.9 million people have been added to the Social Security Disability program (Finger, 2013.) That compared to the less than 2.5 million jobs created during this same period demonstrates a problem (Finger, 2013.) According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security Disability benefits have reached 10.9 million (Finger, 2013.) A record one in fourteen workers is now on the “Social Security Disability payroll” (Finger, 2013.) According to Congressional Research estimates, this program costs the taxpayers $128.9 billion in 2011 and was in a deficit of $25.3 million (Finger, 2013.) Funded by the 1.8% payroll tax and making up nearly 18% of all social security spending, at this pace the funds could be exhausted as early as 2015 (Finger, 2013.)
Disability should be a fall back for the needy. It should be a bridge to new training programs and careers for those able to be retrained or rehabilitated. It should not be used as a career goal. And its goal of providing equality to its beneficiaries is not effective when there are those that are scamming the system. This controversial topic ranges from the economic to the political arena. Economically, we are seeing a rise in disability applications and a decline in those entering the workforce (Finger, 2013.) Fraudulent claims cost taxpayers money at a time when taxpayer money should be held precious. Politically, media resources suggest the increase in fraudulent claims is a result of the “poor economy” (Leap, 2011.) Insinuating lack of jobs has persuaded individuals to explore other forms of income (Leap, 2011.) Lawmakers are reluctant to address this issue due to perception that they are cruel, greedy, or intolerant (Leap, 2011.) This topic is a difficult one to bring up and as a result studies are seldom done that could quantify the abuse of government entitlements.
Disability it seems has become the new career path for some. According to Leap 2011, when he once asked a man why he was on disability the man replied “well the judge said I have a bad attitude, I don’t like people, and I can’t hold a job.” Other examples include “I have anxiety”, “I have back problems”, and “the rest of my family is on it” (Leap, 2011.) One might conclude that disability has become another form of welfare. If you can’t work or don’t want to, then you simply apply for disability.
The Social Security Disability system is only a microcosm of what ills the American job market. There are a number of welfare programs that currently provide a disincentive to those seeking gainful employment. One company published a report of a single mother with one child with a gross income of $29,000 and all the government assistance she receives actually makes $57,327 in net income and benefits. She would be better off than the mother with a gross income of $69,000 who after taxes makes $57, 045.
In 2013, the...