Saturday, January 17, 2015

Republicans Going ALL OUT Against Social Security

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the new House Budget Committee chairman, hinted to the Heritage Foundation on Monday that he has big plans for Social Security “reform” in the next two years, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Talking Points Memo blog. Price mentioned means-testing and increasing the eligibility age as possibilities. He also suggested that privatizing Social Security is a possibility.

“With Chairman Price’s comments this week, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hinting at a Grand Bargain last week, there definitely seems to be a House-Senate consensus and a plan to cut Social Security,” said Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance.

Talking Points Memo also posted on Wednesday that “The 80-Year Conservative War on Social Security Is Back for More,” noting that conservatives have virulently opposed Social Security since its inception. The post went back to the New Deal Era creation until 1955, when conservatives called for the complete dissolution of Social Security or for its replacement with much less substantive programs. As concerns about solvency grew in the 1980’s, President Reagan signed a bill that slowly increased the retirement age while also boosting payroll tax rates, opening the door for later failed privatization efforts by President George W. Bush. The conclusion: with a Republican majority now in Congress, it is entirely possible that Social Security could face further attacks.

On Monday, several Democratic Senators sent a letter to McConnell (R-KY), pressing him to repudiate a rules change by House Republicans that could cut Social Security disability payments by 20%. Last week, the House included language in their new rules for the 114th Congress, making it more difficult to allocate payroll tax revenues to replenish the Social Security Disability Trust Fund, which is due to run out of money in 2016. The Hill reported on the Democrats' letter, which warns that nearly 11 million Americans could see their Social Security benefits cut if Congress does not take action in the next two years. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (IL), Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (NY) and Finance Committee ranking Democrat Ron Wyden (OR) signed the letter, as did Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

“We are deeply concerned that the rule change in the House will impact millions of Social Security beneficiaries,” the Senators wrote. “House Republicans acted according to their extreme ideology and put these benefits at risk by adopting a legislative rule change that creates a point of order against simple bipartisan technical corrections.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) accused a large subset of Americans of being able to “game the system” to receive Social Security Disability benefits. Senator Paul then joked that "half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts.” These comments have generated substantial criticism from labor and disability advocates, with some also noting that Senator Paul is a likely contender in the 2016 Presidential Election and has reportedly been visiting New Hampshire and other early primary states.

“Senator Paul should not trivialize the challenges faced by of millions of people,” said Ruben Burks, Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “The kind of fraud he is talking about is very rare and distracts from real concerns over the well-being of the disabled.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: Although I don't expect a response, I emailed Fox News with the subject line "20% Cut in Social Security Disability" to:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

Is there Fraud in Disability — or in the GOP? I didn’t see a segment on Fox News regarding the new GOP rule change to block Social Security funds from being reallocated to the disability fund to keep the fund solvent beyond 2016. Is it possible to air a segment on this issue and have someone like Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren on one of your shows to debate this issue? And if an article was posted on the Fox News website about this issue, can you please provide a link? (A Google search only showed posts on your website about “massive fraud” and how our Vets are “triple-dipping” the system.)

Bud Meyers

cc: Warren, Sanders, AARP, etc.

I also emailed AARP (with links to my posts below) to and (FYI: AARP never responded to my email, so I'll look for their next newsletter to see what they have to say on this matter.)

Why has AARP not come out (LOUDLY) about the GOP’s recently proposed rule change to cut disability benefits by 20 percent? Do Republican voters, who ONLY watch and read Fox News, even know about this?

My recent posts:

New GOP Congress Launches First Strike (on the Disabled)

Disability Fraud: Facts and GOP Fiction

The Republican's Attempted Murder of Social Security

History of the GOP's War on Social Security

* Please sign this Credo petition — Tell Speaker Boehner and House Republicans: "No cuts to Social Security benefits!" (Name, email and zip code is all that is required.)

** As an aside: Nancy Altman-Eric Kingson Book Makes a Case for Expanding Social Security Now: Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson, co-directors of Social Security Works, have written a new book, Social Security Works!: Why Social Security Isn’t Going Broke and How Expanding It Will Help Us All. The book explains why the time is right to expand Social Security. Events related to the book are scheduled in Washington, DC for January 21 at Busboys and Poets with Sen. Sanders and January 28 at the AFL-CIO with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler.


  1. I get occasional work as a Spanish Interpreter doing SSA hearings with judges and claimants. There is no fraud going on. The volume of documentation and scrutiny involved in a disability claim is enormous to say the least. There are no "back aches" as claimed by Sen. Rand Paul. These people are visibly disabled, and in some cases, victims of unscrupulous doctors/surgeons who left them with permanent damage to their bodies. Most of these claimants don't even know they are entitled to an attorney or legal help to assist them with their claim until the judge advises them and reschedules their hearings.

    The GOP is blatantly using lies and scare tactics and false allegations, just as they have in the past by claiming voter fraud. They will stop at nothing to destroy Social Security and Disability. They are foaming at the mouth with their newly acquired power in the Senate, combined with the House, just licking their chops in hopes of privatizing SS and making money beyond their wildest dreams in a Wall St. minute.

    We have all paid into this system since our very first job, and now older workers are about to start collecting their SS benefits for retirement, or as they become disabled. The Baby Boomers are being threatened with changing the year one can retire again. And to add insult to injury, the GOP will attempt to pit the disabled against retirees with regard to funding. Are they insane?


    CALL AARP or your Senator and tell him/her we will create a class action lawsuit against Congress, and demand an investigation to their claims of "not enough money". This is beyond politics. This is about our survival and our dignity and our lives.

  2. Excellent points. Receiving disability benefits is not an easy task. I have been a witness at one of those hearings and it’s a very involved process in front of lawyers and a Social Security judge who makes a final decision. Yes, much documentation is required and you need stacks of medical and financial records to prove your case. And very rarely is an application accepted the first time. You need a lawyer and the process can take 12-18 months or more (sometimes over 3 years). I am sure there are a few scammers in the system, but to say the system is favors fraud is being dishonest and hyperbolic. But that’s all the GOP does about any problem.

  3. It's not rocket science but if the idiots in Congress created real jobs (as in infrastructure) more taxes would be coming in to keep $ in the SS & Disability system. They took away our jobs by offshoring, then they came up empty handed for a real jobs program, and ignored the simple reality that less workers equates to less tax revenue. And then they blamed Obama & swore to cut benefits to retirees & the disabled. WTF! And our taxes pay their exaggerated salaries & benefits.

    1. phuckin sickening is it not! these putrid republikkans and also many corporate democrats have sold out the middle class to their corporate masters. There needs to be a true party that represents workers in this country. I won't be holding my breath.

  4. UPDATE ///////////////////////////////

    L.A. Times: Is this Social Security trustee trying to undermine Social Security?

    "Watch out, grandpa! Republicans are coming for your Social Security!"

  5. Senator Paul’s latest attack on Social Security disability was only the latest salvo in a decades-long attempt by the Republicans to defund, destroy or privatize our Social Security system. But Paul’s attack on Social Security and disabled Americans wasn’t only heartless and offensive, it was also untrue.

    According to a report released in November by the Social Security Administration’s Inspector General, fraudulent Social Security Disability Insurance claims are exceedingly rare. Dean Baker wrote a great piece, and says fraud accounts for just 0.02% of all payments. He also notes:

    "It is also important to note that there are undoubtedly people who should be getting disability who have been wrongfully denied benefit. We could have workers dying of cancer or unable to work due a heart attack or stroke or other disability who an a judge somehow decided was not eligible. If we put more pressure on judges to turn down claims then there will be more people improperly denied benefits."

    And as Social Security Works Executive Director Alex Lawson noted recently, “America has one of the strictest disability standards in the developed world.”

    This wasn’t the first time Senator Paul has attacked Americans living with disabilities. In a 2010 interview, Senator Rand Paul said he supports abolishing the Americans with Disabilities Act – the landmark 1990 legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability – because it isn’t fair to business owners.