Skip to comments.The Failures of Obamanomics (More Americans signed up for disability than got jobs last June)
Posted on 07/10/2012 7:03:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
June brought the perfect encapsulation of the Obama economy: More Americans signed up for disability benefits than got jobs. According to government statistics, 80,000 Americans found work last month, while 85,000 dropped out of the labor force altogether to collect Social Security disability payments.
It is possible that an unusual number of Americans have become disabled during President Obamas tenure but if so, what does that say about the virtues of Obamacare? In any case, though Mr. Obama promised that unemployment would not top 8 percent if we passed the stimulus law, and though he predicted that the unemployment rate would be at 5.6 percent today, the private economy itself is quite disabled under this leadership.
There are very few jobs on offer. People are accordingly going where the money is. From the beginning of the recovery in June 2009, more Americans have joined the ranks of the disabled (3.1 million) than have found jobs (2.6 million). Record numbers have also filed for unemployment insurance, welfare benefits, and food stamps (which one in seven Americans now receive).
The federal government has so many welfare programs that a top official of the Government Accountability Office couldnt even provide a fixed number to a House oversight committee, nor would Patricia Dalton hazard a guess as to what percentage of these programs are accomplishing the purposes for which they were created. What is not in doubt is the increase in funding President Obama has requested for welfare 42 percent over 2008 levels.
Since the administration believes unemployment insurance to be the best way to expand the economy, it isnt surprising to find that the Food Stamp program (or SNAP, as its now called) is also advertising for more customers. The SNAP website encourages local offices to be creative about finding more beneficiaries. Throw a Great Party. Host social events where people mix and mingle. Make it fun by having activities, games, food, and entertainment, and provide information about SNAP. The Daily Caller reports that SNAP is also running radio ads (cost to you: about $3 million) to encourage greater participation in North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, California, Texas, and New York.
SNAP, with a touching faith in the Keynesian multiplier, explains that every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates $9.20 in additional community spending. If the national participation rate rose five percentage points . . . $2.5 billion total in new economic activity would be generated nationwide. Right.
The president is fond of saying, regarding the Republican partys economic philosophy, We tried that, and it didnt work. Obama never acknowledges that his economic philosophy enthusiastically enacted by a Democrat-dominated Congress in 2009 not only has failed but makes no sense. By what logic does adding record numbers of people to the welfare rolls aid the economy? Fewer and fewer Americans are earning the money from which these expanded benefits are to be paid. Though the president predicted a strong recovery by 2010, he now claims that the poor economy is still somehow George Bushs fault, all the while still maintaining that things are moving in the right direction (which, presumably, must not be Bushs doing).
There are only a couple of non-governmental sectors that the president routinely praises and endorses (and you cant really call them private, because both have received generous taxpayer subsidies): high-speed rail and green jobs. In California, the feds have partnered with bankrupt Sacramento to begin building a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. In a survey of potential customers, 69 percent said they would never or hardly ever use such a train. No matter, they will soon break ground for the first leg of the system that will traverse the 130 miles from Madera to Bakersfield. From, as a wit noted, where nobody lives to where nobody wants to go.
The five million green jobs President Obama promised, and toward which he shoveled $25 billion in stimulus funds, have obviously not materialized. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been working overtime to reclassify existing jobs as green. As Rep. Darrell Issa discovered, There are 33 times as many so-called green jobs in the septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry as there are in solar energy and utility areas. More than 160,000 of these green jobs are related to school bus drivers. A plumber who installs a low-flow toilet becomes a green plumber. In some cases, government claims of new green jobs were based only on unaudited claims found in industry press releases.
Mysteriously, these boondoggles, subsidies, transfer payments, and trains to nowhere havent boosted the economy. It must be the dead hand of George W. Bush.
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist.
How much money does someone get on disability, as compared to unemployment? I know the disabled also get many fringe benefits, like medical/dental insurance, and probably some more I am not informed about. Do people on disability qualify for food stamps?
And once you qualify as disabled, that is basically permanent for the rest of your life. Right? You never have to work again.
Depends on if you are talking SSI or SSDI.
SSI is set at about $670 a month and you qualify for many welfare programs such as Medicaid. SSDI amount is determined based on earnings history and can vary widely. SSDI benificiaries qualify for Medicare after receiving benefits for 2 years. Only SSI gets you dental under Medicaid.
SSI qualifies for food stamps. SSDI depends on payment amount.
All SSI/SSDI recipients are subject to medical review in 1, 3 or 7 years depending on the medical condition they are declared disabled for. Supposedly, if your condition improves to where you are no longer deemed disabled the payments stop. I have no idea how many are actually kicked off each year for “improved” conditions.
I’m going to go for it. I talked it over with my wife. I said “Honey, check this out’’. I said I’m ‘’disabled’’, right? She said “Oh, you’re disabled alright’’. So I’m going to try it. (sar.) Why not? I’ve been paying for others all my life.