Century Foundation fellow Harold Pollack sat down with Fox Business News to explain yet again that increased participation in disability insurance programs is not the result of rampant fraud. Pollack keeps his cool amidst a great deal of shouting.
It is true, by the way, that the 2016 date isn’t a new crisis. Here’s an excerpt from a 2006 report from the Social Security Administration:
This is not the first time the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has faced insolvency. As recently as the early 1990s, the DI trust fund was facing imminent insolvency and, in 1994, Congress enacted a change in the allocation of payroll taxes between the DI and OASI trust funds. The allocation of tax revenue to the DI trust fund was increased from 1.2 percent of taxable payroll to 1.8 percent. The 1995 Trustees Report estimated that, on the basis of the intermediate assumptions, the reallocation of taxes that occurred in 1994 would leave the DI trust fund solvent until 2016.
Do we need to make some changes to our disability insurance programs to guarantee future solvency? Absolutely, just as Pollack says.
Is this an unforeseen crisis driven by fraud and an overly-lax Obama Administration? Of course not.