Study: Most On Disability Can Work, Don’t Want To

In 2009, the Social Security Administration (SSA) put together a study intended to gauge the character traits, behaviors and tendencies of people who were receiving Federal disability checks. Although the study was a matter of public record, it wasn’t intended to communicate its findings to the public — only to academics and policymakers.

The Washington Examiner recently analyzed the raw data from that study, going through the individual responses of 2,300 respondents — each of whom was on Federal disability in 2009.

What the newspaper found was at the same time both predictable and, in a disgusting way, shocking:

Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals.

And even though many of the Nation’s 11 million SSDI (earned disability) enrollees, along with 7 million SSI (unearned disability) recipients, cite medical reasons for getting and remaining on disability, most of them reported that they had never received any kind of medical treatment for their stated illness and that they hadn’t been to a doctor for any reason related to their condition in more than a year.

Among many more details, the survey demonstrated:

  • 71 percent of SSDI recipients — those who’ve paid some money in to Social Security through payroll deductions from previous jobs — said they aren’t looking to return to work; 60 percent of SSI recipients — those who haven’t ever had a payroll deduction (and, in all likelihood, a job) — said they have no interest in finding work.
  • 75 percent of the SSDI recipients said they aren’t likely to go back to work within five years; 65 percent of the SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • 87 percent of SSDI recipients admitted they don’t want to look for employment because they don’t want to lose their disability check — not because of the disability that’s allegedly preventing them from working in the first place; 81 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.
  • Of those few SSDI beneficiaries who did attempt to find a job while receiving disability benefits, 72 percent said they were paid under the table; 70 percent of SSI recipients said the same thing.

Have you ever known someone who’s milking the system in similar fashion? Most of us have witnessed it firsthand at least once in our working lives.

Are you legitimately disabled and have a story to share about freeloaders you’ve seen who are able to work, but continue to receive the same (or greater) benefits that you receive? Sound off in the comments.

Manning Not A Traitor; Arkansas Teachers Carry Guns; Hillary’s Patriot Award Undermines Benghazi Horror; Ted Cruz Blasts President’s Obamacare Delay Tactic; USDA Pays Dead Farmers— Personal Liberty Digest ™ P.M. Edition 7-30-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Hillary Clinton To Receive Patriot Award; Benghazi Survivor Recounts 20 Hour Wait For Help

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… American patriot? The National Defense University Foundation thinks so. Read More… 

GAO Report: USDA Subsidizing Dead Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid our more than $32 million in crop insurance and soil and conservation payments to farmers who are dead between 2008 and 2012, according to the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office Report. Read More… 

Faculty, Staff At Arkansas School To Carry Firearms

More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards. Read More… 

Cruz: End Obamacare Before President’s Delaying Tactic Makes Repeal Impossible

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is sounding an alarm over President Barack Obama’s real intentions in delaying the tiered implementation of his signature first-term accomplishment – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Read More… 

Bradley Manning Cleared Of Aiding Enemy Charge, Still Faces Possible 150 Years In Prison

On Tuesday, a military judge acquitted Pfc. Bradley Manning of the serious charge of aiding the enemy which was levied against the serviceman for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military reports and diplomatic cables to the website Wikileaks. Read More…

Cruz: End Obamacare Before President’s Delaying Tactic Makes Repeal Impossible

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is sounding an alarm over President Barack Obama’s real intentions in delaying the tiered implementation of his signature first-term accomplishment – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a Breitbart interview, Cruz cautions that Obamacare will soon be inextricably rooted in America’s bureaucratic structure – if the President continues to stagger portions of its implementation while Congressional Republicans sit on the sidelines.

“It is why, hand in hand with delaying the employer mandate for big corporations, the Obama administration announced it wasn’t going to enforce the eligibility requirements for the subsidies,” he said. “It’s essentially encouraging liar loans; encouraging fraud for people who come forward and say, ‘I qualify for a subsidy,’ and the Obama administration saying, ‘we’re not going to check on anything, we’re just going to take your word for it and grant you the subsidy.’ That is all Chicago-style politics designed to buy as many votes as possible. It is why the fight is now or never.”

According to Cruz, defunding Obamacare as Congress begins its evergreen fight over government spending this September represents the best opportunity opponents will have to ensure the law never gets out of the starting gate – because once it does, he argues, it’ll never be reined in.

“Right now is, in my view, our single best opportunity to defeat Obamacare and it may well be out last opportunity,” he told conservative radio host Dana Loesch Monday. “We have our best opportunity to do so on September 30th; the continuing resolution which funds the federal government it expires on September 30th and that’s the best opportunity…

“The Obama Administration’s plan is to get to January 1st. Because on Jan 1st, the exchanges start; the subsidies start. And their plan is to get everyone addicted to the sugar, addicted to the subsidies and look, in the modern age, there has been no major entitlement plan that’s been enacted that’s ever been repealed. So this is our last chance to take on Obamacare. And every one of those Republicans who says ‘let’s not fight on the continuing resolution’ – what they’re really saying is ‘we should surrender to Obamacare being a permanent feature of our economy.’”

Hillary Clinton To Receive Patriot Award; Benghazi Survivor Recounts 20 Hour Wait For Help

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton… American patriot? The National Defense University Foundation thinks so.

On November 14, the organization will present Clinton with its American Patriot award for being a leader who has “strengthened America’s strategic interests and advanced global security.”

“As First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton tirelessly worked to support and defend our nation and our allies around the world,” said Al Zimmerman, chairman of the NDU Foundation Board of Directors, in the press release announcing the award.

“Secretary Clinton will be the first woman to receive this award and in doing so joins an outstanding group of Americans who have been honored with the American Patriot Award, our very highest recognition,” Zimmerman continued in the release. “By honoring Secretary Clinton’s exemplary career in public service the NDU Foundation celebrates not only the American spirit of patriotism, but the leadership qualities necessary to preserve and protect that spirit.”

A look at previous recipients of the award, however, calls into question just how “patriotic” one must be to be considered and what exactly NDU considers patriotism. Among them: President George H.W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and General Colin Powell.

In other news, Diplomatic Security agent David Ubben, who was at the consulate in Benghazi, Libya, during the attack that Clinton never really acknowledged except when pressed during Congressional hearings, is speaking out about his experience.

During the attacks on Benghazi, Ubben was on the rooftops with the Navy SEALS when several rounds of mortar attacks found their mark, killing Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty and shredding Ubben’s right leg.

Ubben was stuck on the rooftop for 20 hours before help arrived.

Of course, the Benghazi failures and cover-up only equate to phony-scandal material for people like Clinton and the Administration she served.

GAO Report: USDA Subsidizing Dead Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture paid our more than $32 million in crop insurance and soil and conservation payments to farmers who are dead between 2008 and 2012, according to the findings of a recent Government Accountability Office Report.

GAO said the payments were made because the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and Environmental Working Group failed to check master lists compiled by the government to assure payments go only to living recipients.

The GAO said of the findings : “USDA spends about $20 billion annually on federal programs that support farm income, conserve natural resources, and help farmers manage risks from natural disasters, benefiting over 1 million participants. Given their cost and continuing nationwide budget pressures, these programs have come under increasing scrutiny. One concern has been the distribution of benefits to ineligible participants, including potentially improper payments to deceased individuals, which, as GAO and others have reported, may call into question whether these farm safety net programs are benefiting the agricultural sector as intended.”

This isn’t the first time GAO has discovered USDA payments being made to dead farmers. A 2007 GAO report listed $1.1 billion in farm payments over six years to people who were not living.

Faculty, Staff At Arkansas School To Carry Firearms

More than 20 teachers and administrators at schools in one small Southern town will be concealed-carrying firearms on campus this fall, after the school district in Clarksville, Arkansas, a family-friendly town of about 9,000 people, agreed to train and license certain employees as armed security guards.

In addition to completing a 53-hour training course, each licensed employee will be awarded a $1,100 stipend to buy a handgun and holster. The identities of most employees carrying the weapons isn’t being revealed, so that would-be criminals won’t hold an advantage – in the unlikely event a school is ever attacked. The district will, however, post signs at each school alerting students and visitors to the presence of armed guards.

The school district is also paying $50,000 for ammunition and for training at a privately-run academy.

“We’re not tying our money up in a guard 24/7 that we won’t have to have unless something happens,” explained Superintendent David Hopkins. “We’ve got these people who are already hired and using them in other areas. Hopefully we’ll never have to use them as a security guard.

“The plan we’ve been given in the past is `Well, lock your doors, turn off your lights and hope for the best,’” he added. “That’s not a plan.”

Report: NSA Surveillance Programs To Be Declassified

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The U.S. intelligence community plans to declassify information about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, CNN reported.

A senior official told CNN the information included not only “white papers” on surveillance programs but also previously undisclosed information about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

The official said the information could be revealed as soon as Tuesday.

The official said the release was part of a “concerted [and] deliberate” effort to declassify additional information in the wake of the leaks by former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden.

The moves come amid growing bipartisan congressional pressure to pass legislation that would change or possibly end some of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has been trying to declassify at least some detailed case opinions by the surveillance court, the official told CNN.

“I think there is a high likelihood of FISC opinions being declassified soon,” the official said.

A DNI spokesman told CNN Monday the agency was “leaning forward and telling others to be more transparent as much as possible.”

Snowden has been in a Moscow airport’s transit zone since June 23 and has sought temporary asylum in Russia. He has been on the run since leaking information on NSA electronic surveillance programs.

Washington has called on Moscow to reject Snowden’s request for asylum and return him to the United States for trial.

Senate Confirms James B. Comey As Next FBI Director

WASHINGTON, (UPI) —  The U.S. Senate Monday voted 93-1 to confirm the nomination of James B. Comey to be the next FBI director.

Comey will replace Robert S. Mueller III, who is required to vacate his post as head of the FBI on Sept. 3.

The bipartisan vote, with two senators voting “present,” came after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., lifted his hold on Comey’s nomination after the FBI briefed Paul on the domestic use of surveillance drones, USA Today reported.

Comey, 52, was deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and later worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC.

“Jim is a natural leader of unquestioned integrity,” President Barack Obama said in a statement issued by the White House. “In the face of ever-changing threats, he has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to defending America’s security and ideals alike. With Jim at the bureau’s helm, I know that the FBI will be in good hands long after I’ve left office.

“As welcome as today’s vote is, however, the Senate still has work to do,” Obama said. “Like the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is a critical law enforcement agency, and it has been without a confirmed director for far too long. I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Todd Jones, my nominee to lead the ATF, so that he and his team can do their part to keep American families safe. As senators from both parties recognized today, we cannot allow partisan politics to get in the way of protecting the American people.”