Archive for the ‘Disability’ Category

Captain Rick : U.S. Labor Report disappoints those looking for a job and paints a stagnant image of the U.S. Economy as it continues its course toward Socialism.

The Labor Department reported the U.S. economy added only 151,000 jobs in January, well below expectations for 190,000 jobs. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.9% from 5% the month prior, while forecasts called for it to remain unchanged. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate rose to 62.7% from 62.6%, despite expectations for it to hold steady. Its all a sign of America headed toward Socialism.

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This Labor Report sends a cold chill for the U.S. Economy …

The creation of only 151,000 jobs is very weak considering it is only 0.56 % of U.S. population (323 million). That does not even equal the U.S. population growth rate which is about 0.7% … which means that job growth is not only stagnant, but going in reverse. The U.S. still has not recovered millions of jobs lost during the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate of 4.9% is totally bogus … its meaningless. It only represents the minority of job seekers that are still receiving unemployment compensation. The real unemployment rate is more than twice as high. Most job seekers have exhausted their benefits, still looking for work with no income, are working a part-time job to make ends meet or have given up looking for work.

Perhaps the most important statistic in the labor  report is the drop in the Labor Force Participation Rate … to just 62.6%. It means that about 1/3 of eligible U.S. workers are not working. Some retired early and are living off of savings. Some have managed to work the system and are living off of welfare benefits, including many who have managed to acquire ‘Disability’ status and are collecting U.S. Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI) and some who are being supported by friends or relatives and some who are homeless. The Labor Force Participation rate has been in steady decline since its peak of 67.3% in 2000. This trend is a vivid indicator of America’s march toward Socialism.

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Interesting ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Links:

ANJ: Unemployment

ANJ: Economy

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Captain Rick: U.S. entitlement programs are going broke. Disability will be broke by 2016, followed by Medicare by 2024 and Social Security by 2035. These sobering projections were made by the U.S. Social Security Administration. This report presents an in-depth study of the U.S. Disability program.

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Disability recipients in jeopardy
Nearly 11 million people depend on federal disability payments.
Unless changes are made, beginning in 2016, the revenues coming in would not be sufficient to cover all of the disability payments.
Unless taxes are increased, disability benefits will have to be cut or the number of claimants reduced.

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Disability soared 27% since the beginning of the Great Recession
The number of people collecting federal disability has soared to nearly 11 million, up from 8.7 million in April 2007.
The federal government spent nearly $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some type of disability claim. That’s about 7% of the overall population, and 16% of the workforce.

Causes for the Disability Program Increase
The Great Recession pushed many people into the disability program because it was a safety net to save them from economic disaster.
The aging of the baby boomer generation is one of the primary drivers. Workers typically enter the disability program in their 50s.
Disability claims among veterans are up 28% since 2008, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
With better surgical techniques and body armor, soldiers are ten times as likely to survive today’s wars, according to the Veterans Administration. But soldiers often come home with severe injuries. The recent decision to recognize post traumatic stress disorder as a disability has also lifted the number of benefits claims. The Veterans Administration noted that illnesses tied to the cancer-causing chemical defoliant Agent Orange used in Vietnam are also now viewed as a disability.  
More women have entered the workforce in recent decades, making them eligible for the program should they become disabled.

Americans are abusing the system because of the ease of entering the program. It’s morphed from a program that pays benefits to stroke victims and cancer patients to people with mental illness and chronic pain.

Prognosis for a Disability Program Solution
The disability program … the smallest of the three, will be the first that Congress has to deal with.
There is not much consensus about entitlement reform on Capitol Hill these days. Attempts to rein in Medicare spending have gone nowhere recently.

Disability Program Solution Possibilities

Solution 1
Congress could authorize increasing the amount of payroll tax supporting the disability program from its current 1.8%. An increase paid by workers and employers by 0.2% each would keep the program solvent for 75 years. But there’s little appetite among lawmakers to raise taxes these days.

Solution 2
Congress could authorize increasing the share of Social Security payroll tax going toward disability, instead of Social Security. Currently, the combined rate paid by employers and workers is 12.4%. The disability program’s rate is 1.8%, while the retirement system’s rate is 10.6%. Congress could authorize increasing the share going toward disability payments to 2.6% for two years and then slowly cut it back to 1.8% by 2030. This would keep the disability fund solvent until 2033, but it would shorten the retirement system’s predicted lifespan by two years, to 2033.

Solution 3
Congress could take the most controversial approach by raising the bar for eligibility for disability benefits.

Captain Rick’s Disability Solution Preference: I believe Solution 3 is the most intelligent solution … but considering how welfare-oriented the U.S. Congress is becoming, I do not hold much hope for this solution. I believe Congress will take the most cowardly path … Solution 2 … and rob money from Social Security to pay the rapidly expanding crowd who are abusing Disability. Do you agree/disagree? I welcome you to comment below.

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Associated ATRIDIM NEWS JOURNAL Report Categories:

Entitlement Reform: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/entitlement-reform/

Medicare: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/medicare/

Social Security: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/social-security/

Medicaid: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/medicaid/

Tax Reform: https://atridim.wordpress.com/category/tax-reform/