Sen. Rand Paul, R. Ky., was wrong in claiming that more than half the people receiving government disability checks “are either anxious or their back hurts,” according to the fact-checking web site Politifact.
Paul made the assertion in New Hampshire this week as he laid the groundwork for a 2016 run for president. He was talking about people “gaming the system” to get government benefits.
“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 back pain," Paul said.
The Social Security Administration doesn’t group people on disability into back pain or anxiety categories.
But Politifact found that, even if everyone categorized as being on disability for a “musculoskeletal system problem” were assumed to be suffering back pain (which they aren’t), and that everyone with a “mood disorder” had an anxiety issue (which they don’t), it was still less than half.
“Paul’s quip might make for a good soundbite, but it’s not rooted in reality,” Politifact found.