May 23, 2017

If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits, White House Budget Director Mick "Freedom Caucus" Mulvaney would like you to know that he considers you a moocher and your disability to be something you'll just have to deal with.

When asked about SSDI, Mulvaney described it as a "welfare program for permanent -- for the long-term disabled." He went on to claim that it is not Social Security as we know it.

Except, of course it is. When your Social Security payroll taxes are paid, a portion of them go specifically to disability benefits as well as retirement benefits. So that claim is nonsense.

When asked whether people who currently receive SSDI benefits would receive less as a result of the budget proposal, Mulvaney answered, "I hope so." He added, "If there are people who are getting SSDI who should not be getting it."

But that wasn't the question. The question was whether people who are currently on SSDI would be receiving less.

When pressed, Mulvaney admitted that there are some people who are "really disabled" and "need this program," but went on to claim that there's rampant fraud and waste to be dealt with.

He wrapped up his rant against the moochers with this. "That’s not — we have plenty of money in this country to take care of the people who need help. Okay? And we will do that. We don’t have enough money to take care of people — everybody who doesn’t need help. So what we try and do is look at these programs, again, through the perspective of the people paying for it."

Hmmm. He seems to miss the part where everyone pays for it, even those people who are now disabled. They, too, paid for it.

As if to hammer home his point about the mooching disabled among us, he added this (which is not in the clip above), via TPM:

“If you’re paying for it, isn’t it reasonable for you to at least ask the question: Are there people on that program who shouldn’t be on there?” he asked. “And shouldn’t it be up to the government to make sure we can look folks who are paying the taxes in the eye and say, ‘You know what, we did everything we could to make sure that everybody on SSDI is really disabled’?”

“We don’t think that’s unreasonable,” Mulvaney continued. “In fact, we think that is the definition of compassionate: a compassion that is balanced between the people who get the benefits and the people who pay them.”

The application process for SSDI is draconian and difficult. It is far more often the case that people who are truly disabled are denied SSDI disability and not the other way around.

When Mulvaney refers to "folks who are paying the taxes," he seems to think that it's just his billionaires. But every worker in this country pays those taxes right alongside their employers. They have the right to be fairly considered for disability benefits, should they need them. And if they do need them, they also have the right to be treated with dignity instead of being accused of mooching.

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