Social Security disability fraud is like voter fraud. A right-wing fantasy.
Going after the most vulnerable.
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I have been watching the January 6th hearings on television as the select committee does a pretty good job of documenting the Trump false claims of voter fraud, claims which led directly to the Capitol Insurrection.
For years, voter fraud has been a right-wing fantasy and talking point. The reason? As the voting population becomes less white and less Republican, the right-wing strategy is to limit access to the voting booth with all kinds of voting restrictions using the excuse of voter fraud.
The failure of the Democrats to pass the John Lewis voting rights bill gave the effort to restrict voter access aid and comfort to the enemies of expanded democracy.
In the same way, these folks have used the fantasy of Social Security disability fraud as a back door attack on the Social Security system itself.
Claims of disability fraud are also a hoax.
There is a Social Security office down the street from where I live. Each day I walk by and regardless of the time of day there is a line down the block. Last week the temperature in Chicago was 90+ for several days and those seeking Social Security services had to stand in that heat for longer than it was safe.
Why? Because Social Security administrative services have been radically reduced in response to Republican demands to divert funding to investigate disability fraud.
Trump even had investigators scanning social media in hopes of finding pictures of someone dancing who was claiming Social Security Disability Insurance (DSSI).
The Trump administration has been quietly working on a proposal to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to help identify people who claim Social Security disability benefits without actually being disabled. If, for example, a person claimed benefits because of a back injury but was shown playing golf in a photograph posted on Facebook, that could be used as evidence that the injury was not disabling.
The Social Security Administration has been struggling for years with underfunding of its administrative budget by Congress. Just as bad, Washington went on a wild goose chase over the past decade hunting for widespread fraud in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program that does not exist. Fraud supposedly was behind the big surge in SSDI applications during the last decade - a claim that was supported only by some very flamboyant examples of abuse of the program. No evidence has ever surfaced of a more widespread abuse problem.
Just as in the voter fraud fantasy, the Social Security Disability Insurance fantasy has a political purpose.
I know from my own experience in combatting the public pension lies: They go after the most vulnerable. Of course, they leave the wealthy alone.
The purpose of creating imagined stories of Social Security and disability fraud is aimed at undermining confidence in a system serving the most vulnerable: Seniors and those with disabilities.