Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Your share of the average disability payment

ATTENTION: Anyone who is resentful of persons on "Disability/SSI" who receive a stipend from the government due to their inability to work after having paid into the system.

Some numbers:

There are approximately 5.18 million recipients of disability payments in the U.S.

The average disability payment is almost $500 month.

There are roughly 138 million taxpayers in the U.S.

$500 x 12 months = $6000 in disability income a year (well below the poverty line. These people are NOT exactly living high on the hog).

$6000 ÷ 138 million taxpayers = $0.00004347826087 per disabled person per taxpayer per year. That's a little over 4/1000ths of a CENT per year to keep 1 disabled person from being homeless.

Collectively it comes to about $225 a year per taxpayer (that's considerably less than the average tax refund) to support all the disabled receiving SSI (which is barely enough to keep their heads above water). One should also not forget that part of the qualifications for disability benefits is that one has to have paid into the system as well. That's the social contract. Pay into the system and it will be made available to you if you should need it.

A lot of people like to complain about the "welfare state" and how Social Security is a "burden." When times are tough, as they are now, people make use of the social safety net, when times get better, it balances itself out quite nicely.

The solution to our government's fiscal problems is not going to be found in gutting the social safety net. It's going to be found in adopting policies that make it easier for people to become more prosperous on their own. Once that is accomplished, tax revenue to the government will rise and enable the social safety net to remain in place for those who need and qualify for it when they hit hard times.