The exploding rise in Social Security Disability benefits *or* The 100-Ton Elephant in the Room
The fastest rising cost for Social Security isn’t retiring baby boomers, but skyrocketing Disability Insurance benefits. Disability benefits now make up 18 percent of all Social Security costs, up from only 10 percent in 1990. This year, the federal government will spend $125 billion for disability benefits. Including the Medicare benefits that are paid to D.I. recipients, total expenditures approach $200 billion.Above, the words of Andrew G. Biggs, writing for the New York Times in a piece titled "The Disability Insurance Monster."
The explosive rise in disability benefits is the 100-ton elephant in the room in any discussion about homelessness. It is the "third rail of homelessness"; the topic that no one dare touch, though it poisons everything and is the one thing that must be dealt with if we are ever going to get serious.
As discussed elsewhere in this blog, between a third and half of homeless families or solo individuals in Sacramento get disability income. Social security disability income is the prime source fueling addictions in Homeless World Sacramento with this income getting used to buy addictive substances and not being used for basic living expenses.
But make no mistake: A high percentage get disability income for a real disability but it is also quite true that a high percentage get disability income fruadulently. Often, in either case, the money gets used for alcohol and other, powerful mind-altering substances and "to play" while living out on the street and using charities to get food and shelter and whatnot to survive.
And let's get real: The prime homeless-services agencies in Sacramento have a Faustian Compact with the addicted street people. Let's all be quiet about the massive amounts of money out on the street because it lets you [the addict] remain obliviously happy and tilted or tweaked or blasted or dufflebummed, while it allows us [in the Homeless-Services Racket] to have a bodacious donor-snookering business.
Meantime, overlooked are 'responsible' homeless people with no income and the mentally ill, left to fend for themselves. The 'legitimately' homeless, with their feet stuck in concrete, are those forgotten.
Further, writes Biggs,
Why have disability costs risen so fast? The main reason is looser eligibility standards passed by Congress in the 1980s that expanded the criteria for disability and put greater emphasis on evidence presented by applicants' own doctors rather than the Social Security Administration's experts. Likewise, increasing numbers of D.I. applicants are represented by lawyers, with the result that S.S.A. loses two-thirds of appeals against denied benefits. The economists David Autor of M.I.T. and Mark Duggan of the University of Maryland conclude, “The rapid growth of Disability Insurance does not appear to be explained by a true rise in the incidence of disabling illness, but rather by policies that increased the subjectivity and permeability of the disability screening process.”Yeah. No kidding.
And let us not overlook the result of the insane way things are in Homeless World Sacramento. Addicted individuals are enabled [by the wacky Leftist agencies, mostly] and 'die young' from cirrhosis and other effects of wildly powerful intoxicants. People are left without meaning in their lives; they get high to escape. All the while these nonprofit charities rather obliviously 'grow' their bureaucracy and footprint in the community.
Like Major Clipton at the end of Bridge Over the River Kwai, all you can do is pace back and forth and bellow Madness! … Madness! … Madness! … Madness!