Fact-Checking Site Crushes Rand Paul’s Ridiculous Lie About Disability Abuse

rand-paul-liarFor much of my life I’ve lived under the belief that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So whenever I run across a stat, headline, story or anything that meets that description I always make sure to properly investigate it. Let’s be honest, with the Internet and social media practically anyone can make most anything seem real, even if it isn’t. And, sadly, the Internet is quite known for perpetuating lies, myths and other pieces of false information.

But you would think if you’re a United States Senator that you would fact-check stats that spew forth from your mouth before saying them publicly. And while it’s true that some statistical information can be subjective, most of it isn’t.

So when Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) ignorantly spouted off about Americans abusing our disability programs, he really should have made sure he knew what the heck he was talking about because he was completely wrong.

“The thing is, all of these programs, there’s always somebody who’s deserving,” Paul said during a breakfast event on Wednesday. “But everybody in this room knows somebody who is gaming the system. Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club. Who doesn’t get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts? Everybody over 40 has a little back pain.”

Politifact rated that statement as “False.”

Their investigation found that:

The numbers don’t add up. The two broader disability categories that include back pain (“diseases of the musculoskeletal system”) and anxiety disorders (“mental disorders – other”) don’t even equal close to 50 percent, let alone those two ailments by themselves.

So, not only was his statement completely wrong, but his numbers weren’t even close. Then the ignorance of his statement to essentially belittle people he’s never met is absolutely disgusting.

Now look, I’m not saying there isn’t abuse of our disability program. I’ve met quite a few people who know how to “play the system” to get benefits when they really don’t need them. But I’ve met far more who’ve desperately needed those benefits but had to jump through hoops and sometimes wait several years in order to get them – if they were even approved. I’ve met many people who can’t work because they simply cannot find jobs that will accommodate their disability, yet they “don’t qualify” for disability benefits because the government claims they’re healthy enough for employment.

Yeah, good luck being a low-skilled worker trying to get a job where you can’t sit or stand for long periods of time or can’t lift heavy items.

Paul tries to pretend that he’s more enlightened than other Republicans, but he’s not. He’s a coward and every bit the fear-mongering panderer to right-wing voters as the rest of them. The only difference is, every once in a while he tries to appeal to young and minority voters in a desperate attempt to “lure” them to his side hoping that might give him an edge in the 2016 presidential race.

But at the end of the day, Paul is just another clown performing in the circus known as the Republican party, and he’s proven he’s willing to lie and belittle Americans to get what he wants.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • Eg Kbbs

    The title puts the word “Fact” too close to “Rand Paul.”

    From plagiarism to forming his own ophthalmology board (so he could falsely claim himself as Board Certified) the guy has never been anywhere near a fact.

    And I still say for a Medical Doctor to say that is reprehensible. Does he not realize how many people have diseases which cause a loss of vision ?

  • Fred Bastiat

    Perhaps he should have added fat and then the numbers would have jived.

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  • War Games WOPR

    Although I agree that the Ru Pauls are cowards and clowns….Where are your facts and stats to back up this claim?

    • pattyp

      Follow the links in the above article and you’ll find stats and sources.

    • thomasbone63

      Do some feaking research.

    • hellyeah_rook

      Read the article, and follow the link. Can you not be bothered to even do that much?

  • Johns.Opinion

    Maybe he’s talking about his state disability SSI, not SSDI. State disability has to many people. That’s the problem not SSDI.

  • Dr_MJ

    while Rand Paul is a complete idiot. SS disability is abused more than any other program… pbs and various other liberal media have documented this.. The main problem is drs like Rand Paul who file fake claims and lawyers who get funded by filing claims.

    • Daddycool67

      Sorry to have to use logic.
      But if the problems is (as you say) “fake” claims … in order to have statistics on that that, the fake claims would need to have been discovered and documented. Which would put an immediate end to each one of those claims.Making those claim no longer a problem.

      So the truth seems to be that you have no statistics about any fake claims … and are just another cranial rectum case.

      • The problem is here that there are enough anecdotal claims about people abusing disability that should warrant further investigation and better recordkeeping. Rand claimed half. I think that’s an overreach, by common sense.

        Wonder if there’s more out there than the gumment might claim, just as we see lots of able bodied people park in handicap zones for the short walk into the grocery store… and whose doctor likely would have them exercise..

        Everybody plays on stereotypes, and we’ve all seen lots by Republicans to make their points. Lets just remember that stereotypes an STATISTICS are BOTH used to make points.

        NO, not any old unvalidated strereotypes or ANY old statistics will do.

      • Daddycool67

        Anecdotes don’t pass the smell test anymore for the very reason you just gave.

        And I don’t want our lawmakers using stereotypes backed by ZERO statistics to make ANY points!
        That’s not the job they’ve been hired to do for us.

      • Don’t expect too much from POLITICIANS. Theirs is not to report but to PERSUADE.

        Reporters jobs is to REPORT, but too often their real job is just to FILL AIRTIME or FILL SPACE and KEEP PEOPLE’s ATTENTION>

        And COMMENTERS? Most just like to do cheap shots, most report just second hand unproven stuff they gleaned from the media or off the internet, and otherwise air their hostilities.

        Remember, Daddy. This is for entertainment only. I’m drawn in here when someone reposts a WASHTIMES webpage on my Facebook. I click on it to read it, and then browse down to read all the right wing commenters.

        Sometimes I engage or set them straight. They always respond…but very few with facts. They mostly namecall because they think anyone not a rightwinger must be a troll playing games with them,

        Again, entertainment. I used to try to make sense with people, to set them straight, but its a rare thread where someone gets clarity. People here don’t look for answers. They accept their right leaning diet on faith and make their propaganda points part of their repertorie of their own thinking. They’re here just to vent and feel part of the red team.

      • Dr_MJ

        I personally do not have the statistics. However, pbs and NPR have both published documentaries with data. That is they both argue that blue collar workers can not often can no longer find work for a living wage and they therefore resort to SS disability. And many of the people abusing medicare and medicaid are Dr.s. taking advantage of these people. I am as liberal as you can get. But we have to be honest about the problem….

      • Daddycool67

        Liberal vs not liberal has nothing to do with it.

        It’s about facts vs hype.

      • Dr_MJ

        so state your facts….what data do you have???

      • Daddycool67

        I already did … but I’m happy to cut and paste it for you.
        Or you could just scroll up.

      • Dr_MJ

        I have seen opinion no facts….. again I think the problem is not big government it is the system in general. We need to have a one payer system to reduce costs. as is the system is not sustainable.

      • hellyeah_rook

        Where are YOUR facts? Any links to this documentaries and sources supporting them? Just because it was in a documentary doesn’t mean that it is completely factual.

      • alex

        one payer system should be the next healthcare fight.

      • alex

        if thats anywhere true, then they are probably starving for a few months, bc the process for SSDI is incredably long and complicated, not even counting on the fact that most ppl get denied automatically the first time they file. i dont personally know of too many ppl who can afford all those months w/ work.

  • Wish Clifton would have actually provided the statistics on what people claim. This article is no better than Paul’s.

    • HayesOose

      He did. Can you not read? Do you know how to open and close web sites?

      • I read it. While Paul over simiplified his claim down to a stereotype, Politifact didn’t help all that much either for its categories were far too broad and didn’t assign a percentage of disability to ascertain if people could work in another field. Lots of us can no longer do what we did, but that doesn’t mean people of working age can’t work.

        I still go back to a favored position that if the min wage were higher many more people would work because it would be a survivable wage. IT appears to me that the corporatists would rather keep their profits in the stock market rather than invest in their companies and their people… all of which would build demand.

      • hellyeah_rook

        They don’t give disability to people who can work in a different field. They only give disability to those who can’t work.

  • fraNKLIN

    Tell ya what friends, I’m on disability and sure as HELL don’t want to be. I have a piece of wood that extends from my hand to the ground about seventy percent of the time. The process to get my to get it took me better than six years. What pisses me off about this is doing stuff like this, I’ll have to go through more test and pain. Pain I can’t take anything for because I’m allergic. All this because some DICK in government wants to take the stick and stir the pot a few times

  • Ian Da Ous

    I hope you progressives are smart enough to elect Warren over Hillary.

    Otherwise you are like Jonathan gruber (Obamacare architect) has stated, a stupid american voter.

  • Aaron

    Media too often focuses our attention on something insignificant to distract from what is really being said.
    How perfect someone would have to be to never misspeak. That must be why so many read every spoken word from a teleprompter (looking at you Obama). Look at the flack Bush caught for saying things wrong or mixing up a word here and there, not that I am a fan of Bush.
    I am well above average intelligence but I am not a good speaker. I misspeak often, but the words I say are true. If you hammer away at mistakes in an obvious attempt to detract from what is really being said or just to tear someone down you are inherently dishonest and a hypocrite.