Thursday, January 8, 2015

Divide and Conquer in the Republican Congress

I have three deadlines now I'm late on thanks to snow days. I have a babysitter coming in today to take care of my darling monsters (seriously - two weeks of vacation, back to school for two days, and now snow days. They need a schedule to re-order themselves. I need them out of the house. Sigh) and will be writing all day.

But I don't want to let this pass.

The first act passed by the new Republican congress was to attack people with disabilities; moreover, this is not an aberration. The GOP plan is to divide and conquer, splitting the working poor from the disabled, the elderly from the working poor, the urban poor from the rural poor, and so forth. Worst of all, it works, because humans are easily led astray into me-first thinking. It's no exception in the disability community, only this time we are the targets.

Here's a wonky blog post:
I’ve explained that a new House rule will make it harder to reapportion payroll taxes between Social Security’s retirement and Disability Insurance (DI) trust funds to avert a one-fifth cut in benefits to severely impaired DI recipients in late 2016. In a revealing statement, co-sponsor Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) says the change is designed to prevent Congress from “raiding Social Security to bail out a failing federal program.” He’s doubly wrong.
First, far from “failing,” DI has grown mostly in response to well-understood demographic and program factors like the aging of the baby boom, and the program’s trustees have long anticipated the need to replenish the trust fund next year, as I noted yesterday. Second, DI isn’t distinct from Social Security; it’s an essential part of Social Security.
Ruffing, the author, concludes:
Statements like Representative Reed’s implicitly attempt to pit Social Security retirement and disability beneficiaries against each other.
This is their playbook. I wrote about it in regards to ABLE (splitting the "good" disabled from the "bad" disabled). More of this is coming in the next two years.

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