Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

A nation of deadbeats

By
From page A6 | February 01, 2013 | 28 Comments

Republicans are just going to keep shooting their toes off as long as they continue to talk about means testing Social Security and Medicare. This is just a turnoff to a big chunk of voters — those already qualified for the two programs and those now worrying about their mix of future retirement income sources. The latter category includes the portion of the population in their 30s.

However, we see no disadvantage in shifting Medicare to a subsidized insurance plan chosen by the individual. One could still purchase supplemental or catastrophic insurance as is now done by many on Medicare. The $15,000 figure that Rep. Paul Ryan talked about would buy one heck of a lot of insurance on the private market.

Only one-third of Americans are seniors receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. The real threat to the American fisc is the ballooning rolls of those receiving Social Security disability. As of December 2012 more than 8.8 million working age people took Social Security disability, which is three times the number receiving these disability payments in December 1990, according to Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute. That means one in every 17 people in the labor force is on Social Security disability programs. It’s just another form of unemployment payments, a way to mask the true unemployment figure.

But it gets worse. Like some sort of mysterious dark matter there are more disability recipients than just the Social Security program. Eberstadt wrote, “The Department of Health and Human Services reports that more than 12.4 million working-age Americans obtained disability income support from all government programs in 2011. That’s more than the total number of employees in the manufacturing sector of the economy.”

Eberstadt’s analysis of the latest census data indicates that 49 percent of Americans “live in homes receiving one or more government transfer benefits.” And that is 20 percentage points higher than the early 1980s. The AEI resident scholar counts Social Security and Medicare as transfer benefits, but notes that these two programs account for only one-tenth of that 20-point increase.

The big bananas are Medicaid and food stamps, with 35 percent of the population accounting for these. The total is more than 100 million. Let’s repeat that number: 100 million Americans on food stamps and Medicaid.

This is part of the reason the U.S. Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the economy contracted 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

More than 7 percent of men in their late 30s “had totally checked out of the workforce even before the recent recession,” Eberstadt wrote, adding that is more than twice that of Greece. “The share of 30-somethings neither working nor looking for work appears to be higher in America than in practically any Western European economy.”

That is worrisome. It is echoed here in California by another study:

“More than 850,000 California teens and young adults, ages 16-24, are neither in school nor working,” according to a new Kids Count report released Dec. 3 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Children Now.

Calling them “disconnected youth,” the foundation’s report noted that these comprise 18 percent of this age group and it has grown 35 percent since the year 2000.

The states that are generating jobs — California is not one of them — are the states that have no income tax or are lowering income and corporate taxes. They are also working to reduce red tape. Again California is not one of them. Texas doesn’t even have zoning laws, which is why housing is more affordable there.

There are a lot of needy people in this country, but there are also a lot of deadbeats. Congress needs to investigate how the Social Security disability programs have grown so radically. Somebody in the federal government is doing some robo-signing.

Mountain Democrat

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 28 comments

  • MorrisJanuary 31, 2013 - 10:50 am

    A distressing overview indeed. Finally, however, a letter that makes an intelligent argument with a basis in fact. Supported by actual quoted studies and data analysis. Sad figures indeed. But at least they are presented....a refreshing change from the typical rhetoric of the 'right' where conjecture and insults fill a space with many inflammatory words but remarkably little content. Thank you for restoring faith that at least one person on this hill processes more than monosyllabic sound bites. There is hope yet for EDC.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:26 pm

    http://feedingamerica.org/how-we-fight-hunger/programs-and-services/public-assistance-programs/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program/snap-myths-realities.aspx the numbers and quotes are off

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/health_nutrition/medicare_medicaid.html

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/basicfact.htm

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:33 pm

    http://datacenter.kidscount.org/

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netJanuary 31, 2013 - 12:37 pm

    Because SNAP participation closely follows unemployment, SNAP responded quickly and effectively to the recession. As the number of unemployed people increased by 94% from 2007 to 2011, SNAP responded with a 70% increase in participation over the same period. [iv] Not everyone is a deadbeat..sometimes there are just no jobs...maybe a major business closed down--killing a town.

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  • AnthonyFebruary 01, 2013 - 12:57 am

    It is difficult to take this commentary seriously when it contains a statement which is blatantly false ""The states that are generating jobs — California is not one of them —"" http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57562186/california-leads-nation-in-job-creation/ .......... California leads nation in job creation

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  • AnthonyFebruary 01, 2013 - 1:21 am

    The claim that Texas does not have zoning laws is also false. Local jurisdictions have authority to enact zoning ordinances appropriate for the community based on statewide guidelines. http://www.wcglaw.net/docs/1092085219_Fundamentals-of-Zoning-2-12-02.PDF .................. The Texas Zoning Enabling Act - TEX. LOC. GOV’T CODE ANN. § 211 et. seq. (Vernon 1999 & Supp. 2001), (the “Enabling Act”) empowers Texas citiesto zone. This delegated power from the state is the exclusive authority of a city to zone.

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  • Ken SteersFebruary 01, 2013 - 9:36 am

    MD, as someone who owns a corporation that deals in the global realm and yet is still incorporated in California, I must tell you that "taxes" are not the problem. And as someone who has 6 facilities in Texas, the grass isn't greener there because of taxes. They have a foundation tax base on Oil. This because 97% of Texas is privately owned. And their economy is very much dependent on oil. That's why they have healthy manufacturing growth. Our state competes with every other state for businesses. We do just fine in comparison of over all tax-fee-what ever cost of doing business regarding state taxes. Also a correction regarding housing prices in Texas compared to ours. A 5.5% annual property tax has lot o do with lower prices. The problem in California is the hostile blood sucking lawyers, who run Sacramento and have run over 900,000 manufacturing jobs out of California since 2006. When anyone can claim "unfairness" in the work place and sue a company utilizing a Law Firm who works on a percentage, knowing that for risk avoidance of the cost of defense attorneys, prompting the insurance companies to settle. Then California has inflicted a fatal wound to businesses who have an option to leave to a more business friendly environment. Thus crippling our tax base. The industry of litigious behavior needs to be regulated with some checks and balances for the sake of California's future.

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  • Harry AnsonFebruary 01, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    Hey don't go insulting Riordan like that.

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  • cookie65February 01, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    Ken you are absolutely correct about the ambulance chasers and what they have done to free interprise in California. In a recent drive from coast to coast I discovered dozens of business chains that exist in state after state and stop at the California border. The culture of victimization has been very profitable for the leftists.

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  • cookie65February 01, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/01/30/170694962/middle-aged-breadwinners-become-part-of-the-sandwich-generation

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  • GlennFebruary 02, 2013 - 10:31 am

    Saturday morning humor, Glenn Beck right wing sweetheart quote; Beck said that “America is on the verge of reaping God’s wrath and declared that if the American people are ‘so dead inside that they can no longer see the difference between good and evil’ and re-elect a demagogue like President Obama, then ‘we have to be destroyed because we will be a remarkable evil on this planet.’” Can I get an A…..Men

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  • 1036-FrankFebruary 02, 2013 - 10:35 am

    Article might be best retitled to "The Great leftist shift of working people to welfare programs" SSI has to be the most abused federal program in history, followed closely by the rest of the hand-out programs that were never designed as lifestyle choices for the unemployable unproductive and addicted and newly and illegally arrived in the country. This is a train wreck coming and it is in slow motion as it nears. The leftist manifesto is working and changing two hundred years of history in eight years of leftist policies.

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  • cookie65February 02, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    1036, government dependence begets government depedence. None of this is an accident. There is a written strategy to overwhelm the government dependency programs in order for the government to assign everyone an income. A chicken in every pot. The occupy movement was modivated by it. Cloward and Piven. Two socialists who believed that anything short of government paychecks for everyone was unjust. obama subscribes to it. From those according to their means-to those according to their need, leaves out the most important factor, the government. There is no "from" unless the government "takes". There is no "to" unless the government "gives". So the simpler version is "the government takes, the government gives". And the low information voters just gave him four more years to do his best to collapse free interprise in order to achieve it.

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  • cookie65February 02, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    1036, speaking of illegals and welfare. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/how-the-obama-administration-defies-federal-law-on-immigration-and-welfare.php

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  • Pat SnellingFebruary 02, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    "The states that are generating jobs — California is not one of them..."... Bull-pucky...... CNBC – Thu, Jul 12, 2012 3:03 PM EDT... Reported that California was #2 in Job Creation in the US ... Net Job Creation: 211,500 ..... Professional & Business Services: 90,800 -- Education & Health Services: 48,800 -- Trade, Transportation, Utilities: 42,000. For a NEWS Organization you need to do some WORK!

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  • Pat SnellingFebruary 02, 2013 - 3:43 pm

    The REAL Deadbeats...... Lockheed-Martin --> $16.7 Billion in TAXPAYERS $$$$$$ ..... Northrop Grumman --> $11.1 Billion .... Boeing --> $10.5 Billion ..... Raytheon --> $6.7 Billion .... along with another $23 Billion for 4 more companies.... That is $68 Billion in Taxpayers $$$$ (Of Non-Union, work sub-contracted out to another business) ... We are paying them OVER the Free Market prices (I know I worked for the subcontracted companies).... Who are the DEADBEATS?

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  • Dink LaneFebruary 02, 2013 - 3:44 pm

    Social Security & Medicare did not cause these problems.

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  • cookie65February 02, 2013 - 4:37 pm

    For all the talk about California being second in job creation, someone should tell the LATimes. http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-california-employers-shed-17500-jobs-20130118,0,7036051.story

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  • Ken SteersFebruary 03, 2013 - 9:06 am

    There are over 40 million people in our state. Mr Snelling, 200K jobs generated is a positive number to you? You boast of 90K new lawyer jobs and 48K new people working for Obama Care. Again another democrat socialist demonizing the private sector tax base simply because he wants socialism.

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  • CherylFebruary 03, 2013 - 12:43 pm

    Shocking beyond belief that I am for once in agreement with the editor of this paper. The seniors collecting social security are not the problem, they worked for most of their lives PAYING into the fund, probably more than they will get back. I have watched the career freeloaders who know how to work the system. Keep having kids to continue to get WIC, section 8, food stamps, etc. It's sickening. One person I know has been draining the government for almost 20 years and is not even 40 yrs old yet. You can't tell me she couldn't find a job in all that time, especially before W tanked the economy and there were many jobs out there. They need to crack down on these people who are living off the taxpayers and never have paid taxes.

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  • EvelynApril 07, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    "Recession saw US millionaires claim millions in unemployment" - HERE

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 07, 2013 - 5:07 pm

    Stockton is bankrupt. Is Detroit next?http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2013/04/03/stockton-is-bankrupt-is-detroit-next/

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 07, 2013 - 5:17 pm

    http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/DepartmentsandAgencies/PlanningDevelopmentDepartment.aspx . Mission Statement "The mission of the Planning and Development Department is to strengthen and revitalize the city of Detroit's neighborhoods and communities and to stabilize and transform our physical, social and economic environment." I m not sure--but im guessing the grant program didnt work. Across the country--economic development plans--sustainability ideas...are falling apart--really read about the New Economy...money is never "free" spending money on the hope that some one will come--just doesnt make sense. Fix what is here first. Stockton--beautiful new buildings and art center--with no one in them. Read

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 07, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    http://www.ci.detroit.mi.us/Departments/NeighborhoodCityHalls/NCHServices/BlockClubCommunityGroupOrganization/tabid/765/Default.aspx PLEASE READ--because it is here now...this is examples of detriot s community groups--they even have a guideline for group constitutions. Stockton--Detroit...others are broke.

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  • EvelynApril 07, 2013 - 6:16 pm

    Fran: Stockton was "redeveloped". Likewise, Chicago. Likewise, Detroit. Likewise, Sacramento. Placerville almost was. Now comes the NEXT Economy.

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  • francescaduchamp@att.netApril 07, 2013 - 6:33 pm

    Evelyn...I think it is scary that no one is reading about what is happening. Some in my community are so geared up to be able to "tell" their neighbors what to do--its just so odd. At the same time they are talking about loving their neighbors--as long as everyone paints their house or business the same. As an artist I reject this...each person is so unique. And if we lose that--how can we be a global society? I have never lived where people tell you what color to paint your home...what fence to put up--and I grew up in the Hollywood Hills...where some really wealthy people lived. I just dont get it. lololol...sometimes when I listen to the people at these meetings--im thinking...oh sure--talk about bringing in museums--while removing all color from your surroundings. Really? Im still stuck on the guys remark of "key" people--key people of what--these are community meetings.

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