According to report published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on July 16, the recent increased amount of people receiving Social Security disability insurance (DI) is a side effect of the aging population. The findings in this study by the non-partisan group are contrary to the beliefs expressed by some of the more reactionary members of congress and conservative political commentator Bill O'Reilly.
Earlier this month Bill O'Reilly claimed that the increased enrollment in the DI program was evidence of the Obama administration's plan to increase the number of Americans who are dependent on the government. He compares the percentages of Americans enrolled in the DI program now to the percentage in 1992, and essentially concludes that not only is this the result of a sinister plot by liberals but also claims that "It's a con. It's easy to put in a bogus claim."
Surprisingly enough the heavily ideology-influenced conclusion he came to without actually examining the statistics was incorrect according the CBO. In their report which was requested by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), they stated "the aging of the baby-boom generation has shifted more people from the ranks of younger workers (ages 25 to 44), for whom the rate of enrollment in the DI program is lower, and into the ranks of older workers (ages 45 to 65), for whom the rate of enrollment is higher."
While the reason for the increased enrollment in disability insurance programs is technically irrelevant because it is still more money being spent that the government does not have, the transparent and ill-thought out attempt to get people to reject the social safety net which helps people who cannot physically work and support themselves is unnerving.
There are still billions of government dollars being used to subsidize industries like nuclear power which not only are essentially corporate welfare handouts, but the industry itself is an environmental nightmare. The defense industry is full of former politicians who secure expensive contracts for private companies to create things which kill people the U.S. has no business killing, in countries the U.S. has no business being in. Those things seem like a much more obvious place to start cutting government waste. To first cut programs which help the helpless is not only a horrible indication of the nation's priorities, but a clear indication of the half-sacrifices both sides are willing to make to cut the deficit.