Open thread April 20, 2012 Dan Crawford | April 20, 2012 7:19 pm Tags: open thread Comments (4) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
The SS Trustees Annual Report will come out here next week (IIRC.) Arne pointed out that the claims filing rate for retirement and disability claims is down to more normal levels. Actually, a little under average for retirements. Before we make too much of this apparently encouraging trend, remember that about 700,000 hearings are still in the mill and the hearings rate, while slowing, is still steady at about 25% of disallowed claims.
In this regard, the only hiring going on in SSA is for Administrative Law Judges, the people that conduct and decide hearings and other appeals. It will take several years to just crank through the backlog assuming Congress provides adequate funding (a doubtful proposition.) Meanwhile, the DI Trust Fund is depleted and because of unemployment is not refilling fast enough to get back on track anytime soon.
So, as Bruce Webb has previously pointed out, the OASI Trust Fund is in fine shape but the DIB part of the program could be in trouble in a few years. Of course, any dip in the economy will cause an increase in both retirement and disability claims. As long as SSA remains critically underfunded and understaffed, the claims operation will be subject to periodic backlogs and service delivery problems. FYI. NancyO
emphasize that its the DI fund that is depleted, and it is DI cases that are in backlog. OASI is doing fine.
DI may borrow from OASI for a long time with no disruption to the system… other than Congress limiting its ability to spend its own money to improve service. But it would be better for the people to demand that their own payroll tax for DI be raised immediately about 3 tenths of one percent.. or about a dollar twenty a week for each the worker and the employer. That should put even DI in the black for the next forty or fifty years, another one tenth of one percent at that time should put it in the black for the “infinite horizon,” not that anyone can see that far.
I would prefer to see the OASI TF to share with the DI one. As a practical matter, they function as a unit in various ways. But whether we consider a tax increase or a TF transfer, Congress won’t go for it. Not this one, anyhow, who would give their eyeteeth to be the wonderful people who kill Social Security. NancyO
Is Barak Obama the biggest ass sincve George Bush? And why is the pathetic Mitt Romney our alternative? From the NY Times comes an article describing our near future involvement in Afghanistan.
“Even so, the United States expects to make substantial contributions toward the cost of Afghanistan’s security forces beyond 2014, and is seeking contributions from its NATO allies as well. A total figure of $2.7 billion a year has been discussed, and it could easily be more; there would likely be aid for civilian programs as well. That would be a steep reduction from the amount the United States now spends here, which has been running close to $120 billion a year lately, according to the Congressional Research Service.”
Note the estimate of our current cost of “helping” the Afghan people. What would that sum of money mean to education of Americas youth? What would that sum of money mean to decreasing the cost of college at public universities in America? Why would any rational President spend that sum of money on Afghanistan? And Mitt Romney is the alternate choice? What would it cost me for a nice three bedroom in Stockholm? This is f..ing nuts.