Fox News reports the Senate Budget Committee has released new figures showing more Americans went on disability than found jobs over the last three months. The figures show that in April, May, and June, a total of 246,000 people enrolled in the Social Security Disability Insurance program. In the same period, just 225,000 found jobs. This swell in enrollees is nothing new; since 2008, a total of 3.6 million Americans have gone on disability.
Last year, Charlotte Hays commented on the increase in enrollment and cited a Wall Street Journal story on what has become known as the disability racket. The WSJ article covered two studies that showed a correlation between when people seek Social Security disability payments and when their unemployment benefits are exhausted. Some economists say that connection shows many people now view the system as an extended unemployment program.
Clearly this is what's happening now.
It's easy to demonize the people that take advantage of these programs. We can call them leaches, lazy, and immoral. We can declare that they are "what's wrong this country." But the truth is, many of these people simply can't find work and others have looked so hard and for so long that they are simply exhausted by the process and have given up. I'm not suggesting fraud doesn't exist or that people aren't taking advantage (who can forget the gag-inducing case of the "adult baby" who received – and continues to receive – disability). But I sincerely feel bad for people out there who are trying to find a job in these difficult times–particularly when our President is doing nothing to alleviate the unemployment problem.
Maybe figures like the ones released by the Senate Budget Committee will finally force the President to shove a few of those side dishes off his, as Jay Carney put it–"very full plate," so that he has a little time for what most Americans would consider the main course–JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.