(LibertySociety.com) – Republican presidential primary candidates have spent the new year in Iowa ahead of the January 15 caucus, vying to be the state’s choice for the general election. Florida Republican Governor and 2024 presidential primary candidate Ron DeSantis held an event on January 7 in Grimes, Iowa, where he spoke out about fraudulent disability claims. An attendee asked DeSantis what he thought about how the economy was causing stress for people who live on Social Security disability. DeSantis said that he was sympathetic to people who truly have disabilities, but that he had concerns about people who would “fake being disabled” and then go on to work anyway. He added that he thought it would be good for partially disabled people to work, but it was a “fine line.” He elaborated further, stating that allowing partially disabled people to supplement their income with certain types of work would be “a good incentive.”
DeSantis also discussed how some people secure disability benefits and then continue to work under the table. He said that a person is either disabled or they aren’t, and that “there has been a big problem with fraud” in the Social Security program. According to Newsweek, Michael J. Astrue, former commissioner of the Social Security Administration, has conversely said that fraudulent disability claims make up less than 1 percent of cases.
DeSantis’s previous comments about Social Security have resurfaced since he announced his bid for the presidency. Back in 2012 when he was running for Congress, DeSantis said that he would support privatizing Social Security and Medicare. He also expressed support for raising the retirement age to 70. He has since changed his tune, saying that he would not change anything about Social Security.
DeSantis and other primary candidates are fighting an uphill battle to catch up with former President Donald Trump. The latest Morning Consult poll in Iowa showed Trump with 58 percent support. Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley came in second with 15 percent support, followed by DeSantis at 14 percent. A nationwide Morning Consult poll showed Trump at 65 percent, DeSantis at 13 percent, and Haley at 11 percent. Vivek Ramaswamy was close behind DeSantis and Haley in Iowa with 10 percent support. He did not fare as well nationally, only capturing five percent support in the poll.
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