Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mandatory Adult Baby Post

The Right Hand side of the internet is abuzz with the story of the adult man, Stanley Thornton, who plays a baby at home for kicks, and collects Social Security disability for his "condition", which he calls infantilism.  He kind of made a mistake when he starred in a TV show about his "condition."  His award has reached the ear of Sen Coburn (R - Meanie), who wants to investigate whether this is a worthy expenditure of funds.
“Given that Mr. Thornton is able to determine what is appropriate attire and actions in public, drive himself to complete errands, design and custom-make baby furniture to support a 350-pound adult and run an Internet support group, it is possible that he has been improperly collecting disability benefits for a period of time,” Coburn wrote in a letter in a letter to the Social Security Administration’s Social Security Administration Inspector General Patrick P. O’Carroll Jr.
This prompted, a, well, appropriately childish response from the erstwhile baby, who threatened to commit suicide if his funds were yanked:
“You wanna test how damn serious I am about leaving this world, screw with my check that pays for this apartment and food,” he said. “Try it. See how serious I am. I don’t care. I have no problem killing myself. Take away the last thing keeping me here, and see what happens. Next time you see me on the news, it will be me in a body bag.”
Now that I think about it, that response is more appropriate to a 12 year old, and suggests that he is malingering.  A true infant would just stand there and bawl, trying to attract as much embarrassing attention as possible, or perhaps, if it was a 2 year old baby, shout "No" at the top of its lungs.

Also deserving some whacks in this case is the bureaucracy that supports it.  Clearly, some one at the SS is not doing a very good job of screening the disability.  It is also well know that there are a few judges who have what must be considered an excessively liberal view of social security disability. Take for example the judge featured in this WSJ article who in 2010, approved 99.7% of the cases that came before him.  What makes this particularly egregious is that these are cases for review, which have already been rejected by the notably lenient bureaucracy.  Talk about inability to say "No!"

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