Continuing budgetary pressures affecting the Congress and the Obama administration, which is just beginning its second term, means that people will continue to call for changes to be made to government benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It’s important that Washington is aware of what is at stake for our society’s most vulnerable individuals.
An easy target may be Social Security disability benefits. Some estimates have been made that project the federal government’s disability trust fund being in such poor financial shape by just 2016 that benefits will not be able to receive the full amount that they are entitled to.
Many have noted one of the more prominent lines in President Barack Obama’s second inauguration speech, in which he praised what many people derisively call entitlement programs as programs that “do not sap our initiative; they have strengthened us.”
Obama has signaled that he will not accept any changes to Social Security that involve reducing benefits. But some argue that by doing nothing the program’s financial condition will continue to deteriorate.
Some have proposed raising payroll taxes in order to preserve existing benefits. With the number of applicants for disability benefits doubling during the last 10 years, the program will likely not be able to sustain that rate of growth without enough revenue coming in. But some want to change the program without raising taxes, which could mean benefits are cut.
Social Security disability benefits are an essential lifeline for disabled people to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. It’s important for people to realize what is at stake and who stands to lose the most.
Source: Fox News, “Social Security’s disability trust fund could fail to cover all benefits early as 2016,” Jim Angle, Jan. 25, 2013