OK, I’m a little slow on the uptake here, but thanks to eagle-eyed Jeff Shannon, friend and fellow NEW MOBILITY contributor, I now know that the days of the Great Disability Scam are numbered. Via Jeff, I just learned that Bill O’Reilly, the self-designated “Paul Revere” on all things ruining this great nation, has found hard evidence that disability con-men and scofflaws — and you know who you are — are out there running helter-skelter and robbing us of what little national treasury is still in the account.
O’Reilly recently exposed the crippled underground for its almost gang-like corruption and thievery. His evidence: In June of 1992, there were 3.3 million Americans receiving federal disability payments. Twenty years later, word apparently got around and those disability rolls now number a shocking 8,733,000 individual hand-outs. Why such a budget-busting increase? “I’ll tell you why,” straight-talking Bill says, “It’s a con. It’s easy to put in a bogus disability claim.”
Bill’s not buying the lame arguments that there are 65 million more Americans in 2012 than in 1992, that more disabled people are living longer, thanks to medical science, or that Baby Boomers are turning 50 at the rate of one every seven seconds, thus increasing the number of people of advanced age who can become disabled. All liberal, do-good hogwash. In Bill’s view, it’s those pity-meisters, the placard-waving, lazy, wheelchair-using, “I-got-my-rights!” unproductive disabled folks out there who are stealing your tax money so they can live in X-Box Heaven.
The question is, what do we do about this public menace? First, we send undercover local news reporters out to catch these crippled crooks in the act, much like they do with workers collecting worker’s comp for a bad back although they can still lift a grand piano with one hand and place it on a flat-bed truck. It’s easy to play Video Gotcha with the guy in the Sears lot who parks in a disabled spot but “has a heart problem” or is perfectly mobile with a set of full-body crutches. The big catch is the disabled guy at home, collecting all that government largesse and spending it on “medical marijuana” to get high and not even trying to get that job as a farm worker or the guy standing on the corner all day waving the oversized sign for Mattress Emporium.
Next, appoint a Congressional commission to study the problem. Maybe this scam has been going on for decades without the rest of us knowing about it. I mean, really, how many pictures of FDR actually using crutches or a wheelchair have you seen? There aren’t many. He didn’t want the public to feel sorry for him. Or, was it because he didn’t really need a plaid blanket and wooden chair when he was chasing his mistress, Lucy Mercer, around the Lincoln Bedroom? Maybe he had a little polio, sure, but if you can end the Depression and punch Hitler in the nose, you can’t be all that disabled. I rest my case.
Once the commission has shocked the nation into action, it’s time to play hardball with these citizen bandits. Follow Arizona’s lead with those pesky illegal immigrants: make all so-called disabled persons carry their official D-card at all times. It would be blue, of course, not green, but police would be free to stop you at any time and demand to see proof that you really are, say, a T12 para. Even if you’re a high quad in a power chair with a vent, if you can’t produce that card, you’re headed for jail and possible deportation to Canada, where they apparently like the disabled.
And how much are those SSI or SSDI checks, anyway? With SSI, it’s 439 big ones, but with SSDI, checks average a King’s ransom amount of $850 or $10,200 a year. Well below the poverty line, sure, but still a wad of free cash. Under the Bush Tax Cut, if you make a million dollars a year, you get a tax cut of $113,000. That’s a lot more than $10K, but it’s American money — money some Wall Street guy earned selling CDOs to Greece — and anyway, everybody knows, it’s better to be rich than to have carry a D-Card the rest of your life.
Thank you, Mr. O’Reilly, for opening a weary nation’s eyes to this epidemic of money-grubbing crippled people.