Social Security Milestone, Not A Particularly Good Oneby Gerri Willis
It was easy enough to miss the press release. Goodness knows there was a lot to pay attention to this week. If you missed it, the government announced its payouts to social security and disability payments had hit annual records, even though there was still a month left in the budget year.
Through the end of August, the federal government paid out more than $591 billion. That's $3 billion more in social security benefits and $129 billion more in disability benefits than last year.
There is more evidence of the growing claim of entitlements on our budget and while nobody begrudges retirees who've spent their lives paying into social security claiming their fair share, the numbers of Americans getting disability benefits is concerning.
The number is growing like topsy. A record 8.7 million Americans collected disability this year.
This reminds me of the other records we are setting: more Americans than ever in poverty, 15% of us officially poor, middle class incomes declining to 69,487 from 72,956 in 2010, one in seven on food stamps, middle class incomes, and the worst performance in a decade.
I could go on, but you get the picture. Americans are in more trouble financially than at any time in memory, and many are reaching out to the government.
Washington is also encouraging we lean on Uncle Sam; advertising food stamps like well, a diet program.
We are in uncharted territory here. Worse, there is no leadership in Washington. The House just announced it was canceling its October session, so if you were looking for solutions from Congress, well forget about it.
The President is spending most of his time campaigning and appearing on “Letterman” though he did speak at a ceremony honoring the heroes who died in the Embassy bombing in Benghazi, Libya.
Then the Federal Reserve announced plans to print money to float the economy. That is no real solution. We are adrift, desperate for solutions to get our economy and our lives back on track. The longer it goes, the worse it gets.