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Saturday, February 4, 2017

Republicans Aren't Thinking Straight on Overturning Gun Laws to SSDI Recipients



     According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), as of 2013, approx. 35.2% of recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) receive it for mental health reasons vs 64.8% who receive SSDI for physical disability.  On Feb 2, 2017, according to Politicu Usa, House Republicans voted to overturn an Obama administration ruling that blocked disability recipients with mental disorders from buying guns.  This move surprised me, not because the Republican Party always sides with gun manufactures, regardless of the societal cost, but because it doesn’t make sense financially – something the Republicans espouse.  
     I was surprised when I retired, after nearly 50 years of working, to find I would have received more money from Social Security if I were disabled than I was going to receive from all of my years of working and contributing.  I have no problem helping out people who need extra help - within reason. But this doesn’t make much sense to me.  And the situation has gotten worse over time.  Based on a study by the Cato Institute in 2013, titled ‘The Rising Cost of Social Disability Insurance,’ “the number of SSDI beneficiaries jumped from 4.3 million in 1990, to 6.7 million in 2000, to 10.9 million in 2012, and the ratio of SSDI beneficiaries to all working-age people has doubled in the last two decades.”  This upward trend is not because there are more disabled people around, as the report states “the share of the U.S. working-age population reporting a severe disability has remained stable,” it is because more people are relying on SSDI permanently who are capable of working but can’t find a job, which is clearly a problem.

     Since Republicans would prefer to have fewer people taking SSDI payments, why not keep a policy that does not allow them to possess fire arms.  That would reduce the number of people who file for SSDI, who don’t really qualify, and who are obsessed with their right to bear arms.  It would also keep guns out of the hands of the 33% of SSDI recipients who do have mental health issues and should not be running around armed and dangerous.  This is a win win for people who would welcome more intelligent gun controls, and for people looking for ways to cut government costs. 

Some other gun statistics I learned when doing research for the George Lucas Books title "Cause of Death" here:
http://causeofdeathbook.blogspot.com/2008/11/how-americans-use-guns.html

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