The struggle is epic, yet largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Every day, millions of Americans are added to the rolls of those classified as recipients of monthly checks based on their alleged physical or mental disability.
Once on the roll, there is little chance they will ever be forced off, except through death.
(Even then, given the inefficiency of such agencies as the Social Security Administration, people have been known to receive checks after their death.)
There are so many federal and state programs — there are a couple of dozen, no one really knows how many — competing in the race to give taxpayers’ money to those who can’t, or don’t want to, work.
(Note to readers: If you receive a disability monetary benefit, and are qualified to do so, you shouldn’t be offended if ineligible recipients are called deadbeats, you should be happy for them to be so labeled.)
The bureaucracy is so huge and unwieldy that it is impossible to know how many recipients there are nationwide who are receiving financial benefits based on disability.
That government bureaucracy also makes it impossible to enumerate the number of people employed in agencies working to add more people to the disability benefits list.
There is no doubt, though, that they toil mightily, because if for no other reason their job security is yoked to how well they succeed in increasing the number of those receiving disability checks.
(They also don’t want publicity about fraud, because that would make the public feel that they are not doing their job.“
In addition to taxpayer-funded government agencies working to get checks to disability beneficiaries, hundreds of taxpayer-funded non-profits are laboring to put checks on the tables and in fishing-tackle boxes belonging to those who can’t, or don’t want to, work.
An even more powerful group lobbying for those who wish to no longer have regular, if any, jobs, is lawyers. They inundate television ads each day promising poor and needy disabled people that they have the experience and are willing to outwit cowardly government agencies and get them the benefits they so richly deserve.
Sometimes their ads slip and call all potential disability recipients "hard-working” Americans which, if true, would mean that they are not eligible to receive disability benefits.
“You worked hard for your money, even if was only for a few years,” some of the ads seem to be saying, “and you deserve, and have the right, never to have to work again.”
But wait, there is some truth to the “hard-working” bit.
Many people receiving disability checks toil by going on day-long fishing escapades, forced to sit in a boat all day long, fighting mosquitoes, the heat or the cold, stiffness in their joints, and maybe at the end of the day get into their forty-six-thousand-dollar pickup with only a small bream or two.
Others must toil playing golf, a needed therapy for those who no longer have the structured life of a person with a regular job.
Still others volunteer for one social program or another, often because it helps if they occasionally feel guilty about receiving a monthly check for doing nothing. Any experienced volunteer knows there is nothing more laborious than to have to sit through several hours of meaningless bureaucratic drivel.
Still others must go through rigorous physical exercises to maintain a picturesque physique, flabbiness being at risk because they have no job.
The popular myth is that the majority of people receiving disability assistance are those who fall under the definition of “Americans With Disabilities Act,” in other words, people with lifelong disabilities.
No so, the program has morphed so that it now includes people who worked for a few years, maybe even 15, and didn’t like it.
They began looking around and became aware that many of their fishing and hunting buddies didn’t work, and when they probed they found out why.
One survey claims that people with disabilities account for approximately 15% of the world’s population — more than one billion people. And, it says, a staggering 80% of people with disabilities live in developing countries.
What may be the only way to help weed out able people from receiving disability benefits is for the government to establish a “ratting out program,” whereby neighbors of deadbeats receive a cash payment when they report the actions of a deadbeat.
Another way might be to deny sporting licenses, such as fishing, hunting and boating, to disability recipients. There are likely hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of deadbeats who wouldn’t be willing to forgo fishing for a monthly check.
L.E. Brown, Jr. is a writer based in Magnolia, N.C. Contact him at [email protected]
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