Stop Benefits Abuse, Aid Immigration Reform

U-T San Diego, March 29, 2013

Entitlement fraud, extended unemployment and welfare have forced employers to hire unauthorized workers.  The government skillfully practices socialism with its proficiency at paying citizens for doing nothing.

Ted Hilton

President Obama and Congress can make real progress with spending cuts and immigration reform by first resolving entitlement fraud, particularly disability benefits.  Despite the workplace becoming safer, there has been a rise in disability recipients between1960 and 2011 from .0254 percent of the population to nearly 3 percent of the population, an increase of more than 900 percent.

In the last fifteen years the nation has added 8.8 million non-farm jobs while adding 4.1 million people to the disability rolls.  Of the 8.6 million on federal disability, over four million receive benefits due to “mood disorders” or back pain according to research by the American Enterprise Institute.  Researchers conclude that collecting disability has now become an American “profession.”

Since 1960, overall entitlements have increased from 28 to 66 percent of all federal spending.  By 2010, over 34 percent of households were receiving $2.2 trillion in benefits for low-income families.  Over the last four years food stamp recipients increased from 32 million to 47 million, and unemployment benefits were extended to 73 weeks.  Between 2009-2011, California social workers told welfare recipients that they did not have to seek work.  Out of control entitlements are fueling the need for California’s one and a half million unauthorized workers.

In the Great Depression Caucasians worked any job and picked the crops.  But America is a very different place today.  In this economic downturn the government funds our tax dollars to four million with suspicious disability claims and four and a half million on welfare who say they can’t find jobs.  District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis announced the state is incurring four billion dollars annually from workers compensation fraud signifying tens of thousands more who could be working.  Congress ignores the citizens committing entitlement fraud while it prepares to legalize 11 million illegal migrants.

Congress has the facts that there are enough welfare recipients, parolees and unemployed to work the estimated 7.5 million jobs held by illegal workers. There are now 24 million under-employed or unemployed Americans.  Unemployment is highest among African-Americans at 14 percent, and Hispanic-Americans, 9 percent.  Unemployment is 22% for both teenagers and veterans under age 25.  More prisoners, juvenile offenders and white collar criminals can be working in agriculture and other jobs.  California needs legislation requiring job placement for parolees which can reduce crime.  Parolees have a 70% recidivism rate but data shows that if they continue working for more than six months, their chance of committing another crime drops below 10%.  We should be legislating to rehabilitate parolees, not legalizing illegal migrants.

If Congress is genuine about long term solutions to wasteful spending and immigration reform, it must first resolve the abuse of federal benefits.  To end disability entitlement fraud, Congress must adopt strict guidelines for applicants and require mandatory re-examinations for the millions of questionable recipients.  It cannot allow doctors and medical personnel to be complicit and certify dubious claims any longer.  Congress must not permit courts to set lenient disability standards that have lead to fraudulent schemes.  It must curb insurance companies from pressuring people to obtain premature Social Security benefits.  Let’s be honest, entitlement fraud, extended unemployment and welfare have forced employers to hire unauthorized workers.  The government skillfully practices socialism with its proficiency at paying citizens for doing absolutely nothing.  Government is also excessively funding illegal migrants who are 6% of California, but comprise 21% of all parents receiving child welfare.

If Congress does not remedy entitlement fraud there will be increasing budget deficits, and continuous illegal migrations.

Once a new generation learns what others have been able to defraud from the U.S. government, they are inclined to proceed in the same way.  The U.S. Senate Budget Committee has already projected federal welfare spending will increase 80% over the next ten years.

It is imperative that Congress no longer resort to making cuts across the board without fully resolving real problems.

By ending entitlement abuse, Congress will provide more funding for Medicare and Social Security.  President George Washington predicted “greed” would destroy the United States which is now evident from the government’s spiraling, irresponsible, misappropriation of hundreds of billions of dollars in spending.

Congress must enact a real solution to stopping illegal migration by solving entitlement waste, fraud and abuse which will direct able-bodied Americans to work any job available.
Hilton is chairman of the Taxpayer Revolution Committee, which advocates for immigration and entitlement reform solutions.