And I'll raise you an acedemic paper written by a pair of Wharton and Michigan State University economics professors for the National Bureau of Economic Research that systematically dismantles Bernstein's opinion:
Their findings, in a nutshell?
The rate of SSI disability claims is skyrocketing, in large part as a function of increased unemployment, an increase in the "kinds" of "disabilities" that SSID is paying on, and an increase in the dolar value of benefits being paid.
Guy loses his job, learns that he can claim disability for a "back injury" that is undetectable by any known method of medical testing or imaging and won't be refuted by the government, that he can knock back $20,000 a year in federal SSI entitlements, plus supplemental state disability payments in many cases, plus full coverage health insurance through Medicare (which he's automatically enrolled in after 24 months on disability), maybe a couple hundred dollars a month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program entitlements (if the SSID determination isn't at or near the max).
And as a kicker the "disabled" may qualify for a lifetime supply of free (courtsey of Medicare) narcotic pain medications!!!
Pretty sweet deal, no?
Be warned, it includes more than a few deceptive charts and a handful of paragraphs.