tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 10, 2015 3:00am-5:01am EST
a small percentage where raised in an extremist environment. they were taught violence. they are individuals who were raised in a prejudiced household or they were taught racism as children. some will grow up and rebel against that and others will grow up looking for a place and say, this is what i was taught. there are individuals who will have maybe one experience that, punm that point on, upon intended, it will color their view of the world from that point on. and some will react to history. they will see something unfairly or that one group is represented more than another. we cannot classify across the board. it is case-by-case. you to help give us
the u.k. perspective on this. i also wanted to talk about the role on ideology. aremany people, when you thinking about early intervention, the first thing that comes to mind is, you need to take on immediately the ideas , that political radicals would have felt. have you found that to be the case in your experience when we are talking about islamic radicals? deepes this result from person issues or deep societal issues? >> i think in my experience is, all you have is individual pathways are different. some buy into a narrative.
verylook at the world as similar to what was old school. now, you have the evil capitalist west which is hegemonic late dominating the world. it is a suppressing the natural aspirations of most people in the world. instance, the west is islam. they look at everything in the world through that. they look at israel and palestine through the ideological mindset. they look at any conflict through a manifestation of another attempt of america to dominate the middle east. all of everything is viewed from
that lens. then you get others who actually are not as such, but they have had various reasons of personal and social political views. questionsave actually that shape their identity. they may have grievances related to racism and past experiences of disenfranchisement. they are approaching it because they already feel they need something else. you then have others who have neither had a specific orblematic set of grievances are embracing a political ideology, but are embracing a form of religion that separates them from everybody else. therefore, they are separate.
they are analogous to what we have discussed as. technical. are some who have a religious inspiration for their political worldview. asy look at the world nothing fairly representing the islamic world. it comes from a very direct engagement with scripture. rights exactly what is and what is wrong and what should be enforced. they have this very theological and political ideology. then, you have the other trend suffer different mental health issues. therefore, those things have pushed them toward embracing a black and white perspective and therefore, that ideology is appealing in that context.
mix of thosere a things. tackling orhen engaging with individuals, you need to be able to ascertain, what are the push factors. somebody who embraced the ideology? when they are reading the and i thought that was a good analogy. but if you are reading i scripture in that way, it should be enforced by the government. it is very totalitarian. the only way you can engage with that person is to break down the methodology in the way they are approaching scripture. very narrow particular worldview. the only thing you can do is
make them realize the complexity is in the way the world is made up. in the u.k.y works and politics as well. tony blair is not the most popular politician. the day, thereof th is a complexity to the worldview. that applies to people, society, and religion as well. they do need their needs met. ae u.k. approach is multi-pronged approach.
p's.ve the four we have protect. then pratical measures. then, prepare. pursue,r two areas are which is investigation, gathering,e arresting people and prosecuting them. and last, prevent. prevent is this area of what we have spoken about now. engaging with people who are vulnerable toward radicalization or who have become radicalized. the economic
ande and business space public space. the authorities tell someone who is appropriate to engage with that individual to make an analysis and put a plan together. >> there has been criticism of the program as well. >> huge. this is an important thing to look at. it are very good ethical questions we need to ask. the first is, what we talking about, the language is pre-criminal. we are talking about engaging with someone before they have committed a file and act.
they are natural concerns about how we determined that, how do we know this is the case, etc. these are reasonable concerns to have. the second i guess, is the question of one engaging with radicals, especially one who has an ideological foundation, what you are going to do, and there are a number of different youoaches, but in some why, will engage with their religious proclivities. in reality, we are a secular state. we have secular, liberal values. then, a comes down to the logic behind intervention. we can actually take an individual who is experimenting
with soft drugs and engage with them. d in schoola young ki who starts to get involved with gangs, we have an early engagement. that is the same idea here. people feel the need to go do something about it. whatever the need may be, it can inform intervention. the other side of that is the problematic criticism. thehey mentioned, difference is huge on the investigative side and the prevention side. prevention has nothing to do with the investigation side. it has nothing to do with intelligence gathering.
it becomes, the state must be using this intelligence gathering. it must be spying. it must be targeting a community. all of these things come into this anti-prevent thought process. many things can be dismissed. withhave nothing to do it. actually, the overriding referralsas mentioned from within the community.
you have to remember, people also have political agendas. they are going to be critical of the prison program because they are pro-al qaeda. to understand, there will be some groups which buy into this. complicated, but actually there are good and bad reasons. this was based on propaganda. >> daniel, i want to turn back to you. the counterterrorism part of my
brain hears about prevention and i say, that makes sense. you are focused narrowly on people who may become a problem. they likedemonstrated the propaganda of a violent group. that is the one you really want to focus on. but then the american part of my brain speaks up and says, well, wait a minute, these folks are entitled to free speech like anyone else. this is not exactly criminalizing speech, but it seems to get right up on the line, if not over. tom trying to figure out how strike this balance. i gather from a lot of your comments that a lot of this has to do with the unique political culture in each country. if we were in germany, they would have a different answer, versus in the united states. how do we find that wine? how do we keep this focus on a
very narrow problem without of the tradition of free speech we all value in a liberal society? >> that is the core question of how you make theoretical is d intervention programs -- make theoretical programs and intervention programs work. we know on the other side, starting one something criminal the prison system is much more ineffective and expensive. we know there is a process leading to that criminal act, leading to violence, that is inherently dangerous to democratic society because it embraces an ideology and a spread an ideology that is actively attacking and trying to
destroy the democratic society. in germany for example, have always tried to hide under that freedom of speech, freedom of political opinion, and even though the german version of freedom of is very different. i would say, to figure out this problem when it is an inherently dangerous process starting and balancing it against what is morally acceptable, in terms of the program, is an sensually a question -- is essentially a question of how to use structure that program. and amhe fact, critical of government run programs that try to change the political worldview. there are programs that are more or less courses in prison that say, you are free to participate, but if you
don't, don't expect to get any beneficial treatment, or anything like that. on the other hand, there are nongovernmental programs that will have close to the same corporation, but they don't own political slots. they say, we are part of the society at large. people come to us when they want help. say, we have our own version of how democracy goes. help, this to us for is what we expect in turn. in these instances, theoretical is a shunt can be completely -- theoreticalization can be completely acceptable. i think it should be somewhere in the middle. i worked with a new dutch
program and they are building a new strategy and program. they have set out a very interesting framework. they have specifically set out the framework of where they work and how they work, in close cooperation with ngo's. they are strong on their own political philosophy and they have recognized that intervening when people have gone to prison is far too ineffective and inexpensive. out,ed to figure it especially in northern america, what is the point that we figure out it is not acceptable. propaganda spreading is trying to destroy that society you are actually living in that protects you. these programs, when there are public partnerships, they can benefits from both sides of it. i can say, you are protected on
a certain area, but what i do now is aimed at abolishing these principles, these constitutional rights. ask yourself this question. system you were propagating would be realized 100% in the u.s., would any person who is not part of your group have a different or the same rights, or how would you treat them? would you violently try to force them to leave? would you put them in camps? would you grant them much lesser rights of speech? with the have to pay an extra tax or be killed right away? these indicators are essential to figure out where you are going. >> thank you, daniel. i hear daniel. response in the audience from americans.
it is a very european perspective. county, we let an awful lot of stuff fly. i wonder again, how does the united states, who has barely of its toe in the water these sort of interventions, how does it find that line? u.k., it is a voluntary process. there cannot be any c oercive approach. they either choose to engage or they don't. if they choose to engage in the --untary process >> if they are radicals, why would they engage? a different question. why do radicals engage?
i don't know if i should make any comments. they could be inappropriate. the thing is, why do people put themselves forward? they fundamentally believe they have something for us. the matter how utterly ridiculous it may be, they believe they have something alternative to offer for the betterment of the society, or their people. it is either a benevolent or nationalistic motive. they want to engage because they want to share with the rest of society around them the radical worldview. they want to present their point of view. secondly, with a lot of individuals, they are devout about what they are doing as well. have leakage is
because people also want that intervention. it is the same people who talk about it. they are reaching out for help as well. in almost all cases, you have a high rate of people who want to engage. that is a problem because we do similarly, need interventions. the problem is here, it seems like we are controlling the political persuasion of people, or the religious proclivities of people. that is really why we have a problem because we do believe in free speech. in that sense, there are reasonable criticisms to be made. they are talking about disruptions to people who have extreme views. anti-democratic,
radical estat.d . whoe are a lot of people come from the left wing political specter who are fighting. on the other side of that i think there is a moral imperative in a civil society as a whole to stand up and do something about this. what relate you have is a partnership between government and between civil society. we in civil society can engage in the prevention process in countering these arguments. the governments can support or facilitate them. socio-economical
process at the same time. in the social and moral's perspective, we can't sit back and do nothing about this. huge number of migrants coming out of syria and iraq. they are talking about 2 million people. a retaking extremists into europe? extremists into europe? we have a moral responsibility to not send terrorists abroad, which is essentially what we have been doing. and hence my point earlier that we actually have contained, incubated, and created these things. we have a responsibility to do
something in a policy space as well. toangela, i am still trying find this balance between public and private. you are deputy director of a private ngo. if you can, and you can talk about it in the abstract if you like. what is the right relationship between an ngo and the government? or should there not be one at all? >> are you trying to get me in trouble? >> not at all. >> from our perspective, we all in intervention and disengagement, but we have needed andhat is who is best suited for each different aspect. for instance, the easiest example i can give is when i and i waslescent
becoming radicalized, i was becoming involved and going toward violence. i am always asked, what could have stopped you? what could have been done? what would you have heard? what would've changed your mind? i have fun about this for years and i know that the kind of teenager i was, it would have taken someone with real life experience that actually understood what i felt and what i was going through. the obstacles i faced. the issues i dealt with. i think, when we go out and look at these relationships, there has to be support. there have to be people who can go out and act. thereafter be all of these different aspects of it. this may be unpopular and i apologize if it is. i do not believe that a relationship between ngos like
mine and say, law enforcement should be anyway intelligence. it should not be telling on people are giving up information. we are going in there to do this work, we have create communities of trust. feedback, for instance, we originally produced four psa messages. we targeted individuals currently involved in the violent far right in the u.s.. expected a negative response, but in essence, what we are one, we saying, number have been there, we have the experience, and we know what it is like. so, from behind closed doors when you are feeling that this is not what you thought it was going to be.
those feelings of shame or doubt are creeping in. we get a response from some individuals that is so intense, so filled with rage. we will hear things like, you are the worst traitors of all because you knew the truth and you walked away. those of the kind of responses that are telling us, we are striking nerves. we are doing a good job because aree individuals doing that probably the ones having those doubts. they are the ones unde entertaining them and they feel ashamed. when we look at things like that and start to build these relationships between government , between ngos, and people on the ground, we need to keep this in mind. i will be more successful going out and doing intervention work because i am a credible voice,
because i have been there. especially with the far right and that the u.s., we are dealing with people who cling to conspiracy theories and paranoia. they already don't trust the government and the law enforcement. we need to be very clear about those wines and the relationship lines and the relationship there. we'll have a part to play, but we have to define it. the wanted to point out problematic part about the conversation between the rogram andon p the agencies. there are programs that use it for hard intelligence gathering. actually hurts the idea of intervention. it also puts the families at risk, or the social environment at risk. it is accepting the risk to burn
them by getting a couple names. but, i am very positive about counterterrorism efforts. this weird, soft approach by something that they think should be handled by the pros. if you look at, how de-radicalization programs operate, they know what they are doing. they do risk assessment and counter radicalization in an area that overlaps. with facts.tify the group needs to refill that cap, needs to invest resources and train other people.
it is proven that this organizational cost that you put on these groups by getting people out can even cause a complete collapse of the terrorist group. call soft i would intelligence gathering, i am not talking about individual names. that is something you can pass on to the authorities. you can't a lot of special knowledge about connections, radicalization process, skill building that is very influential, very important and you make the work of law enforcement much easier and more effective by providing that additional angle. or peopleth families who want to get help themselves, with thee gap
terrorism network and helps to remove a blindfold of that area, that social area where radicalization is and you can actually help the police to become more effective. i want to open it up for questions, but before i do, i want to ask lorenzo a final one. tankse to think in our about, what kind of policies come out of this stuff. au and i have been thinking lot about why it is we don't have intervention programs in the united states for political radicalism. angela's program is unique in this country. m, there is as
it'sram, but it is in beginning stage. i have my own ideas as to why, youi am curious as to why think there has not been a lot of groundswell in the government for these kinds of programs. >> i think there are a couple of reasons, overlapping reasons. first of all, there is not a debate. the debate is just on the jihadists. how are we going to get them? side, wehe prevent have seen a lot of talk, but in reality, very little action and resources. the day, the thread has not been as big, on the domestic side of it at least. we have never seen the sense of
urgency that exist in european countries. if you look at which european countries have been the most active, they are those that have been touched by some kind of attack. >> is anything worth doing? the scale is so small? >> yes, of course. active aftere been the assassination. there was always a trigger event. somean argue we have had of those in the u.s.. the boston marathon bombings been a trigger and boston is a pilot city. numbers here are some much smaller than most european countries. there is not much of urgency. add to that that the tools law enforcement have here are some much more powerful than in most european countries and at the end of the day, the fbi can it do it's nice thing which no european law enforcement agency can do. the problems,out
the ethical problems, the engagement issues. if you in the fbi, it is a very nice tool to have. it is effective from that point of view. the fbi is an organization that is very much based on numbers, on effectiveness. fbi field office somewhere, you make a good name for yourself. a career based off of the number of people you are prosecuting, not the number of people you have prevented from radicalizing. i am not trying to say this in a negative way. the fbi prevents a lot of discourse. >> would you also say it is the political culture as well?
mean, reading the channel document, it is a very sober document. they talk about risk. they talk about what happens when someone goes through the program, who carries out the ax, who gets the blame. politically, nobody wants to put their name on this program because they are terrified that one person will go through the program and carry out an attack. the program is done and their career is done. >> what we are seeing is, the fbi and more in general, the counterterrorism community, they need to use these kinds of tools. and they are occasionally doing it, but without clear guidelines. we see cases when it comes to minors. issues in mental denver, where the fbi or other agents, does this kind of intervention.
they do not really have guidelines on how to do that. the legal part is a big one. that is one of those things we have advocating at a center, do it, but do it right. do it with the right training, the right knowledge, the right partner, and the right legal guidelines. that goes for the f the i, but also for -- it goes for the f bi but also people in the community who want to help. so, to burke in that space that most people recognize as the next step for counterterrorism policy, it needs to happen, but it needs to happen right. >> and you mean the department of justice? entitiesare a lot of
that are fighting about who should be running that space. the whole alphabet soup of agencies there. everybody sort of claiming one part of the portfolio. not seem to have a leading agency there. then, you have the federal estate and the local level. all of those come together and nobody has taken charge. >> let me open it up to the audience now. let's see. down in front, please. >> thank you, very much. i write the mitchell report. it is a fascinating discussion. i want to focus, if i can, specifically on the jihadi and isis sort of cluster and post a
couple questions. is, as opposed to far right radicals or neo-nazis, etc., some of us attended sessions in ofs very room on the role messaging and counter narratives and i would be interested to know particularly, as i listen to what angela had to say about how you do this successfully. whethererested to know and to what extent, you think narrativesnd counter in this some success process of keeping people from stepping over the edge? and a second, if it is appropriate or there is time, i am interested to know how you
workate the considerable that the saudi's do on this issue and how you evaluate that? >> with a question about the efficacy of counter messaging and a more particular question about the saudis. who wants to take that? >> obviously, there is a lot of tradition with prevention promise in the middle east and south asia. saudi arabia is leading that. ithink they would classify as an active government highly ideological program. what's they try to do is, with a lots of money and effort to m, which is notts that far away. dohing of what they
could work in the western country. what they do have, is a very strong sense of what is necessary in the practical dimension. toting financial support marry. getting financial support to move out. they finance the families to come in and meet them in prison. the practical dimension is very good and there is no weston country that would put so much resources in to that kind of work. there is no de-radicalization program on that planet that 100% success rate. some programs are different. they say they have a 95% excess rate. a year ago, they arrested a person in saudi arabia. there were a number of terrorist plots led by graduates from the program.
the only information that comes out are from people who run it. they say, 95% success rate. i am very critical and skeptical. i am convinced that the radicalization can be evaluated, should be, and can be affected. there are a lot of questions like data access, relationship with the program, who finances it, highly complex and political. i think the saudi program is popular in the muslim majority world because it is very outspoken in terms of, we teach them the right form of islam. we sit down and debate them out of it. have never seen that work and practice. when you have jihadi kids in prison.
this is islam what it should be. they have a reason to listen. they say, you are not a real muslim. i listen toy should you? you are a government paid, westernized muslim. it because they want to get out of prison earlier. it is an interesting program. it should take into account what can be done practically, in terms of art classes and financial support and sustainability. the ideological component, i am very critical of. i just know what has been written in the media and what has been written in very rare studies about the program. there needs to be a real evaluation. >> on the question of counter messaging. is it worthwhile to do, given that isis has gone out of its way to anger most muslims in the world. sunni not light a fellow
muslim on fire unless you want to upset every one. we don't message sa government against neo-nazi is him. the mainstream culture has already decided it is a violent culture. should we be doing counter messaging? >> the saudi program is essentially saying, you should only really engage in acts of terrorism when we tell you to do so. otherwise, it is wrong. is there kind of theology. that is what it boils down to. be set with all sorts of issues. that is the credibility thing. when you are acting on behalf of it is justified.
my experience has been very different. casese looked at over 100 in the past 6-7 years. it that space, in the overriding majority we have looked at where there has been a theological component in the deep at a class has taken place in this continuous engagement. it can be done. i just don't believe that the perspectiveecific of the saudis is the only way to do it. everyone has various different takes on it. they do the whole ideological dimension, theology, and taking care of the individual and their families. have got a lot we can learn from, in that respect.
coming down to this, this is why i say, if it is calibrated appropriately and has the right message, it can be helpful. bloodthirstythe sociopath who wants to join isis because they are attracted to the savagery. the book is about how you need to be really savage to win. the other that you mentioned is,
he actually talks about the women and children and civilians. direct convention with a mass transmitted saying. om and academiccted the voice, that's would resonate with the young people i speak to. that is an objective. it is pointing out, religion is not bloodthirsty in that sense. i am seeing that exponentially. in it various different spectrums. if the message is calibrated work.riately, it canw
there will be people at various levels of the persuasion. no matter how much you dislike a it canlar government, have an impact. we have to calibrate and get the right messenger. i firmly believe it can be effective. >> the gentleman in the brown jacket. >> thank you. i am a retired analyst. i worked for, among other
places, the counterterrorism communication center. and 2009.n 2008 the strategy that we worked on at that time was to mobilize voices in the islamic community to do the counter messaging that we have been talking about, not from the u.s. government, but to eobilize people in the use islamic community. those are more acceptable voices to the target audience we are talking about. that is still a valid approach i would be interested in further comments about. please jump in. what happens when the communities don't radicalize? talking about far right extremism. there has not been a big movement to push back against
that. you were saying that yours is one of the first in the united states to push back. does the government needs to fill that a space? does it need to quietly encourage nongovernmental organizations to do it. where should it be more lai ssez-faire about it? from my perspective, i know the numbers are not great, but i don't think we can afford to wait to see what happens. my will give an example. it could be something as simple as a community being empowered with knowledge. what do we do if we see x, y, and z. for that example, i will use the charleston shooting. stateddividual publicly to several people that he was acts to go out and commit
of violence. if that community was empowered, if they weren't afraid, and didn't think, do i call the police, who do i go to, i don't know if it is a critical threat. with that that example, i will say, we can't afford not to do something. we can't say, the numbers are not that big. the numbers are getting bigger. withinly not on the scale other things we have seen, but there is a problem. >> and when you say we, you mean private citizens. we need to mobilize to set up for ngo's. >> came into all kinds of stuff. i told the academic fields. we as a community, all of us who are engaged in this type of work. whether it is on the academic side, intervention, counter
narratives, policy. take extremism more seriously. >> absolutely. >> but make it another question. ideologies are different in different countries. the failure in britain was because society did not stand up against the idea of radicalism. that is what the government now is reacting with a fairly aggressive counter extremism policy. he destroying trying to disrupt extremist activities and ban organizations. we stop individuals from speaking in public because they have extreme ideas. but reaction is terrible, the reaction is because similar societies failed to challenge the idea. what do i mean by that? leadere as an example the e
reasond a able rationale when you created that constitution. we fail to stand up for those people. that is why we are saying a lot of aggressive measures. that is for the muslim communities, and everybody who shares that stake in standing up for the "american dream." >> i think what he is saying is very fitting to the u.k. dynamic, but does not apply to the u.s.. it is very country specific. it works and saudi, but not other countries. here in the u.s., we don't have a problem with communities
radicalizing, it is individuals. occasionally, it is more clustered like an online community, but it is a different dynamic. the counter messaging, the work and the communities, great stuff all stopped it can't hurt. places, it canme if not done right. we are rejecting some of the more radical messages. it is a very different dynamic here. some of the big roles of the state. .gain, some social engineering the needs of the community is to speak out. i am not saying it would hurt in the u.s., but it is not necessarily needed. it is something about the communities.
generally speaking it is a few individuals who are not part of the community. his study we did on crisis in america. individuals who had been indicted in the u.s.. 40% of them are converts. they don't really belong to communities. most of them are new converts. there is a fourth category. people who have personal issues who radicalize. we don't do much in that case. does notthis stuff apply to the u.s.. it is country specific. >> let me gather a few questions. the gentleman in the baseball cap in the back. thank you very much for an interesting discussion. my work was with attics. -- my work was with addicts.
i wanted to see if there was some comparison with addiction treatment. need information to self diagnose. you can diagnose them forever, but if they don't have a self-diagnosis they don't take steps. of sickness.sure i have seen that with guys in combat. idf gotple in the disgusted with what they were doing and had to make a journey. they also needed to have charismatic individuals around them. that was almost like a sponsor in aa or recovery. perhaps this is someone who went through this difficult turning back. i am wondering if you might want to talk about that comparison. >> let me gather a few more questions. there was one in the back. nope, her hand is not going back
up -- there it is. hello. i would love to the panel's view on some of our "allies' approach terrorism."iolence israel.key, islam, and >> let's take another. fascinatingfor a discussion. i am curious if any of your groups might actually become a target for some of these violent extremists. when you think about the example that you are saying.
itld you dismember a cell, is a soft way of destroying it. ultimately, you are an enemy. i was wondering if that was something of concern. >> we have a question about you do and what tdo with people who have a problem, but are not willing to take the next step. with a question about how states in the middle east handle radicalization. and then, we have a final question about whether any of heard off you have anyone being a target as a consequence of doing this at the radicalization work. last question, yeah. a lot of people who get involved the come targets, at least in the u.k.. risk for those
who get involved. with regards to the psychology threre is aidual, danger. i think it is fairly normal. the rest of the world is not like that. that comes to the last question. yes, some of the horrific practices of the egyptian government are something we should stay far away from, in terms of suppressing violent means. they are not even terrorists, just political radicals. people we might not see eye to we should not be supporting that horrific suppression. does israel really -- how long
have you got? turkey as well has become more and more authoritarian, and that is a problem. -- thenecdote to that politics from turkey from the police, radicalization -- i talk a lot about intervention and all that. a colleague stood out and said we do that. we kick in the door at 3:00 a.m., we have a big stick and we had them on the head and throw them in jail and they are due radicalized. -- are de-radicalized. i know that they have changed a little bit in their community outreach project, so they have a lot stronger community policing aspects, where police officers would go uninvited and just be
present in to be nice and be open, but they don't have individual de-radicalization intubatio intervention programs. threat, i think you have to differentiate between those who are formers rally feel attacked because they are an inherent threat, and those who are professionals coming from another background. it is how you frame these interventions. to give you another example of counter narrative intervention, i am leading a group with the inspirational christianity -- mothers from nine countries across the globe who all have lost sons and daughters, most killed, in syria and iraq.
some of these mothers wrote an open letter to the islamic state, posted it on various social media site. you can find everything on it online. the idea was mothers are in an essential position to challenge beliefs and ideologies, because there is a saying that paradise lies at the heat of your mother. -- at the feet of your mother. we wrote that letter, deliberately used certain jihadi terms, describing how they felt. we tried to underscore the message, but after a couple days when it was translated, they shifted their response in jihadi recruitment videos, saying
you may have a point, but jihad is something different and you misunderstood what we do, and here are our videos. the response shifted from ridiculing to acknowledging parts of the message and trying to turn around. we were able to engage in the message -- none of these mothers were threatened after that. even me, as the family counselor, i was never threatened directly. ist you said, of course it dismembering the ideology, empowering those who are really dangerous to these groups, by simple natural being. can be done in a way they don't recognize. simply, getting more difficult to recruit, to hold new members.
indenly you are engaged internal controversy or argument, why the person left. mothers saying we should go to syria? we have been told the mothers are so important? we create much more noise within these groups that potentially create doubt, fallout from all the other sites. more have time for two very quick questions. burning questions. good. all right. we have answered everyone's question. lorenzo, a final one for you. and that is, if you had one recommendation to make to the u.s. government -- you have looked at this issue in europe, in the united states -- what
would that one suggestion be? >> thank you. i think it's a couple of things. one, it's resources. there has been a lot of talk about resources. at the same time, we do not need a massive, large l program. -- large-scale program. they are very limited, number was. targeted intervention accompanied by the engagement. securitizing the relationship is problematic, per se. keep the engagement, but start the intervention programs with partnerships and community, open up the space for civilners.
clear guidelines for everybody, and it can be done on the cheap. these pre-existing structures would allow law enforcement to zero in on problematic cases. and not just 15-year-olds from facebook googling baghdadi just because it is a phase. resources use the right way. >> thank you very much. join me in thanking our panel. [applause] >> on today's "washington journal," two former indiana representatives talk about campaign 2016. tim roemer about his article in "politico" on the influence of 158 families on the political system. on conservatives and campaign 2016. liveington journal" is every morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern, and you can join the conversations on facebook and twitter.
>> israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu speaks at the center for american progress today. he is expected to address the iran nuclear agreement, u.s.-israel relations, and the israeli-palestinian conflict. live coverage starts tomorrow on c-span. >> c-span has your coverage on the road to the white house 2016, where you will find the candidates, the speeches, the debates, and most important like him your questions. this year, we are taking our road to the white house coverage into classrooms across the country with our students can m contest, giving students the opportunity to discuss what issues they want to hear from the candidates. follow our student cam contest on tv, on the radio, and online at c-span.org.
spoke at an obama event hosted by organizing for action monday in washington. he talked about his legislation priorities, including immigration and criminal justice are warm and climate change. his remarks are 15 minute. -- 15 minutes. [cheering] pres. obama: hello! [cheering] pres. obama: everybody give jordan a big round of applause. [cheering] pres. obama: everybody sit down, sit down. settle down. it's a rowdy crowd, as usual. it's always good to be here. it's a little bit like coming home. we've got folks from all across the country here, every walk of life. an exceptionally good-looking
crowd. [laughter] pres. obama: but it is wonderful to see all of you. i see some familiar faces, some people who i haven't seen before. just a little refresher on how this came about. it started eight years ago, when people of all different backgrounds and political beliefs came together with a simple conviction -- that people who love their country can change it. on that campaign, we tried something different. we had to, because you had a candidate named barack obama. [laughter] pres. obama: who, when i look back at the pictures -- i looks like i was 14 or something. [laughter] pres. obama: clearly, we weren't going to be able to run a conventional campaign. because of my background, because of the work i had done helping put,
together voter registration drives, there was a biase on our part for grassroots action. so we put power in your hands. we organized, we had offices in every great corner of this country. it didn't matter whether it was a red state or a blue state. everywhere we went, two volunteers. or one volunteer who gets another. then we are game. we will work with you. volunteersted our with a simple set of organizing principles. respect people, empower people, include people, listen to people. find out what is on their minds, find out what is moving them. so that this wasn't a top-down affair, but a bottom-up affair. people could come up with their
own ideas about how to get people involved, and what to emphasize, and how to organize themselves. and together, we created a movement for change that couldn't be denied. some of you were there from the very beginning. [cheering] pres. obama: and all of you ar e heirs to that movement, including me. i couldn't be prouder of what you have done and everything you continue to do, because there organizing for action chapters across the country. [cheering] pres. obama: we are training anywhere from 2000 to 5000 organizing fellows every year with the skills required to make a difference. we are not telling them what it ssues they should care about, we are telling you what tools you need for civilc participation, to
move the country in a better direction. back into your communities, you are not given marching orders from me or from washington. you figure out what is important in your communities, and you organize around it. you be the change that you want to come about. it is because of committed citizens like you that this country keeps moving forward. spirit of thee entire seven years we have been here. sometimes people haven't reported on it. sometimes there has been so much of session with the in's and out's of the legislative process in washington or lack thereof that. thatze all the work -- folks don't realize all the work that has gone into it. when we took office we were losing 800,000 jobs a month, unemployment rate was 10%. over the last five years, our
business created more than 13 million new jobs, unemployment down to 5%. [cheering] were told wewe couldn't put new rules on walstreet, or more protections for consumers. but we did it, in the stock market doubled. we have seen the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record. that happened because of you. when i took office, more than 15% of americans were without health insurance. for the first time, because if you, more than 90% of americans are now covered. [cheering] pres. obama: more than 17,000 people were able to get health insurance. insurance companies can't discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions or charge women more. that'll happen to because of you .
we were told that if we did get health insurance passed, the deficit would explode. you know what? we have covered 17.6 million americans know far, and in the -- americans so far, and the deficit has been cut by 2/3. [cheering[ ] pres. obama: that is all thanks to you. that is what you did. that is why we have seen the longest streak of private-sector job growth on record. that is why we have got the uninsured down. same on energy policy. we were told we were going to be hopelessly addicted to war and foreign oil. we have tripled the amount of wind energy. increased 20 times the amount of solar energy. doubled clean energy overall. plenty sources of good jobs that can't be outsourced, and we were also able to keep prices low for
families well at the same time reducing carbon emissions that create climate change. american energy is booming, prices are falling, and we use less energy, even as our economy is growing, we cut our carbon pollution more than any other nation, advanced nation, on earth. think about that. that is your accomplishment. our influence was waning when we came in, standing diminished. today, america leads the world in confronting new threats, making sure iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon -- [cheering] pres. obama: making sure we have smarter, stronger trade rules. america is leading the world towards dealing with climate change in a serious way. global action. one of the reasons the state department decided the keystone pipeline would not serve -- [cheering]
approving that project would have undercut our global leadership, and we have to lead by example. if we are going to prevent large parts of the earth from becoming not only inhospitable but goingbitable, then we are to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground. we will have to reduce the amount of dangerous pollution released in the skies. we will have to make sure that we develop a cleaner energy alternatives that are sustainable. as long as i am president and as long as you are organizing, america will hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we want to hold the rest of the world. [cheering] pres. obama: here is the bottom line. whether you are working on the high cost of college tuition, or you are working to make sure that we have common sense gun safety laws that prevent the kinds of shootings we see in so
many parts of our country, you know we have more work to do. you wouldn't be here otherwise. when they tell us we can't change his country for the better, we know they are wrong. we have proof. we have made those changes. when people said marriage equality is not going to happen, it's now a reality of 50 states. [cheering] pres. obama: don't ask, don't tell us something that don't exist. american manufacturing is growing, creating jobs. it was on the verge of collapse that has come back, selling more cars and trucks. housing market healed. high school graduation rates hit 80% for the first time. we are welcoming dreamers, telling them that they belong. [cheering] pres. obama: this is progress, but you know we got more work to do. the progress isn't guaranteed. it is not inevitable. some of it has to be fought for
with discipline and persistence. and hope. [cheering] pres. obama: instead of fear. that is where you come in. that is why you are organizing more important than ever. we still have to keep rebuilding an economy that rewards hard work, that rewards everybody, not just those at the top. we had a good jobs report last week, unemployment went down, wages are starting to go up. the we have a lot of catching up to do, because a lot of folks haven't gotten a raise in a long time. we have to keep working to make sure that the hardest working americans get a raise. we have to make sure way are getting paid the same as men -- [cheering] climate change, all the work we have done on the clean power plant rule, it's not going to be enough. we have more to do, and we have to educate our communities to
understand that this is not a hopeless cause. but we have to take it seriously who want to leave our kids a safe it acros and prosperous planet. we still have our work cut out to fix a broken immigration system, at a time when we have so many people playing on anti-immigrant fears, we have to remind that this is a nation of immigrants. it is how this country got built. [cheering] pres. obama: and by the way, those immigrants were from everywhere. amre was a beautiful -- i trying to member what magazine i saw it -- they had a picture of immigrants from ellis island. 1800s, early the 1900s. andhad folks from sweden bulgaria. they were all in their native outfits. look like -- they
did not look as if they had just topped off a jet and were all spruced up. they were, you know -- they were strivers. but they were escaping poverty, in search of a better life. a lot of that didn't have great education, but they knew if they were able to get here, that their kids would have a greater education. the notion that this generation is different than the past is just not true. the only thing that has happened is we forgot where we came from. [cheering] we are going to have to work hard to build a smart and fair criminal justice system. we have to work hard to make sure our kids are they from the mayhem of gun violence. tell them their lives do matter.
businesshis unfinished will be completed in the next 14, 15 months. it is not going to be completed within my president he or the next or the presidency after that. but that is the thing about america. the task of perfecting our union is never complete. understand this. i may only hold this office for another 14 months, but i'm not going anywhere. [cheering] pres. obama: i am -- -- i will still hold the most important office in our democracy, the office of citizen. [cheering] pres. obama: the only thing that will be happening is that i'll get a chance to visit you more often. [cheering] pres. obama: it will be such a
hassle for me to move around. [laughter] pres. obama: the point is, when i read for this office, i did not say yes, i can, leave it to me. what i say? >> yes, we can!. pres. obama: it does not depend solely on me, or on the members of congress, or the next president. it depends on us. what we, the people, can do together. that is something i will be focusing on in my final year of office -- the idea of an active, involved, engaged citizenship. that is what i will be focused on after i leave office. [cheering] pres. obama: so if you want to help me -- i need you to stay involved, stay active, recruit other citizens. we have to keep organizing, keep mobilizing, lift up issues we care about, pursue referendums
and ballot initiatives that can move this country forward, get organized at the state and local levels, inform people about the issues before they vote on them. we have to make sure they turn out to vote. we have to make sure they know where their leaders of stand. if their leaders don't stand in a tenable position, we need to get new leaders. [cheering] pres. obama: we need to keep fighting to make sure that this country is one where it doesn't matter what you look like or where you come from or who you love. you can make it if you try. that is what you are all about. i am so proud of all of you. i am so proud to be standing with you and marching with you, and i went to keep on going as long as you will have me. [cheering] pres. obama: thank you all. bless you. ♪ >> israeli prime minister
benjamin netanyahu speaks at the center for american progress today. he's expected to address the iran nuclear agreement, israel relations, in the israel-palestinian conflict. live coverage starts at three clock p.m. eastern on c-span. >> thanks to arkansas senator on, his remarks at the heritage foundation were loaded by a panel with recommendations for lawmakers. this is an hour and 10 minutes. was tom cotton of arkansas. this is an hour and ten minutes. [ applause ] >> thank you, john. and let me add my welcome this afternoon to the heritage foundation. social security's disability insurance program was established in the 1950s.
like much of our federal government's social safety net, the disability insurance program was founded with noble intentions, to ensure that americans who could not work because of mental or physical impairment would not suffer from poverty or destitution. however, over its nearly 60 years of existence, the disability insurance program has morphed from a small scale anti-poverty program, provided benefits to less than one half of 1% of our population, to a program that now provides not only disability insurance but also unemployment and early retirement subsidies to over 5% of our population. 5%. well rather than deal with the manifest problems in the
program, congress chose in its recent budget deal to go with a short term financial patch. they bailed out the program with $150 billion from the even more underfunded social security trust fund. kicking the can down the road seems to be the best we can do, under the current administration. in the face of an entitlement funding program that threatens to overwhelm our government's financial stability. despite the infusion of cash, the disability program will run out of money in 2022. with the social security program its creeping closer to insolvency, it's hard to see where the money will come from then for yet another bailout. our guest, senator tom cotton, was one of the heroes who voted
against that reckless budget fix. and he's here today to talk about some of the real reforms that could improve the efficiency and integrity of the disability insurance program. tom cotton grew up on his family's cattle farm in yale county, arkansas. he went to harvard and then on to harvard law school. after a clerkship with the u.s. court of appeals and private law practice, tom left the law because of the september 11th attacks. he left to join the u.s. army. tom served in iraq with the 101st airborne, in afghanistan with the provencal reconstruction team. between his two combat tours, he served with the old guard at arlington national cemetery. tom's military decorations
include the bronze star. between the army and the senate, tom worked for mackenzie and company and served one term in the u.s. house of representatives. tom and his wife anna had their first child this past spring, congratulations, senator. please join me in welcoming senator tom cotton. [ applause ] >> thank you. or miller, thank you forletting the very kind introduction. it's a privilege as always to speak at the heritage foundation, especially before this distinguished panel. rachel glesz her and romina boccia, our work has been instrument tall. both staffers and legislators rely on your analyses. and when the disability reform does come, your great work will
have advanced the work significantly. and kim hildred, your work was a critical element to my own legislation. we know the challenges of the social security disability insurance program. it's grown far too large, well past the rate of demographics. there's a lack of program integrity and those who should recover never leave the program. but i want to highlight today two other specific concerns with social security disability. first, the effect of social security disability on communities, what might be called the disability tipping point. and second on ways to better help those who can recover return to work. a dynamic of the disability program that's sometimes under appreciated is how regional and concentrated it's become. in arkansas we have the third highest rate of social security disability usage, only behind west virginia and alabama. about 7.5% of the working age population in my state collecting disability benefits.
by contrast, the dakotas, nebraska and wyoming all have about 3% of their working age population on disability, les than half of arkansas's rate. within arkansas the disparity is more striking at the county level. arkansas, along with the other states in what's been called greater appalachia have counties where close to 20% to have population is on disability. that is an astonishing figure. one in five residents on disability in these places. that also means that disability is the largest source of income in those counties. on the other hand, other counties in arkansas, particularly the fastest growing ones have rates of disability well below the national average. the evidence is pretty clear. there's an inverse relationship between the rate of disability usage and population growth, which most economists would
agree is a good proxy for economic vitality. sadly our 20 counties with the highest rates of social security disability suffered a population decline of more than 2% in the last four years alone, while the rest of my state grew by more than 2%. by contrast, the 20 counties in arkansas with the lowest rates of social security disability usage have boomd with population growth of more than 4% over the same time. this correlation is too striking to ignore. the same trend is also true nationwide. buchanan county, virginia with 22% of the population on social security disability had more than a 4% decline in its population in four years. mcdowell, west virginia, with a 21% rate of social security disability saw more than an 8% decline in its population. the fastest growing counties in the country, in places like
north dakota, texas and northern virginia have less than 2% of their population on disability, or about one-tenth the rate of the declining population counties. it's hard to say what came first or caused the other. population declined or increased disability usage. or maybe economic stagnation caused both. regardless, there seems to be at least at the county and regional level, something like a disability tipping point. when a county hits a certain level of disability usage, disability become as norm. it becomes an acceptable way of life and income to a good paying job. as opposed to a last resort safety program to deal with catastrophic injury and illness. after a certain point when disability keeps climbing, employers will struggle to find employees or begin or continue
to move out of the area. population continues to fall in a downward spiral kicks in driving once thriving communities into further decline. not only that, but once this kind of spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime. an urgent policy goal therefore should be the to stop the tipping points from being reached. there's nothing compassionate about accepting these disability rates usage. after all, they will receive poverty level checks for the rest of their lives. those who can work but are instead on disability will likely never again receive a paycheck, never enjoy working with others, making friends at work, developing new skills and achieving the fulfillment that comes with the dignity of work. these tipping points, along with the general increase in the
number of disability recipients have always endangered the program's financial health, including medicare benefits for recipients, the program now costs more than $200 billion per year. or the equivalent of about half of all nondefense discretionary spending. in turn, the financial uncertainty around the disability programs puts at risk the genuinely and permanently disabled who depend on the program. i'm introduced legislation to address this challenge. it will have three main parts. first, social security will distinguish between those who have generally and permanently disabled and those who are disabled but expected to recover. today the system treats a paraplegic the same as someone with a severely broken leg who's expected to recover in a year. those expected to recover will be categorized and likely or potential to recover.
second, it will allow beneficiaries in the category to earn an income while in the program through a benefit offset. the beneficiary consist take time for rehabilitation and then gradually rejoin the workforce. with the offset they won't be at risk for losing their benefits as they begin to earn more money. further the off jet can improve the program's integrity because the judges can review it. third, my legislation will also set timelines for these individuals to exit the program and return to work. if the recovery goes more slowly than expected and they're not yet ready to return to work, they can reapply. but they're no longer disabled, we must help them leave the program and return to the workforce. the past years have shown this approach is necessary if we want to increase the number of beneficiaries returning to the
workforce. social security's ticket to work program, for instance, has operated for more than 16 years. there are also dozens of other resources available to beneficiaries from countless federal agencies, yet, after billions of dollars of studies, pilots and other programs, the return to work rate has dropped to nearly zero. i believe that our challenge is in a lack of good intention or lack of federal programs. our challenge is a lack of expectations and a lack of incentives for those who can recover. my legislation attempt to fix this. these reforms won't solve all of the problems of social security disability, but they will address one of the most urgent crises in the program and the once perhaps most corrosive to affected communities. thank you all for your interest in this issue, for your outstanding work on the tappic and for allowing me to address you today. now we will turn to the real experts on the panel. thank you.
[ applause ] >> thank you so much, senator cotton. i would ask the panelists please now to join us to continue the discussion right now. we're joined by a distinguished group who i'm going to introduce as soon as i can find my notes. we have three speakers today who will discuss their proposals for transitional benefits for disabled individuals who might return to work, as senator cotton talked about. also for a private disability insurance option to increase the scope of the program, and a flat disability insurance benefit to make it more sustainable and more fair for those who are lower income to start with. our first speaker will be romina
boccia. she's the deputy director of the thomas a. rowe institute for economic policy studies. romina focuses on federal spending and the national debt, including social security and disability insurance. prior to joining the heritage foundation, romina served as an associate at the charles koch institute and a palsy analyst at the independent women's forum. kim hildred currently serves as president of hildred consulting. prior to this kim served for 17 years as the staff director on the committee of ways and means subcommittee on social security. there she assisted committee republicans in the development and passage of legislation to strengthen social security, retirement survivors and disability programs. as well as in the oversight of these programs. her prior service also includes
three years deciding social security disability claims for the states of kansas and wisconsin. followed by ten years of increasingly responsible positions in managing social security disability programs in the chicago and philadelphia regions. and our final panelist is rachel greszler, she's at the center of data analysis at the heritage foundation. if her current role rachel focuses on social security disability insurance, tax and pension policies. prior to joining the heritage foundation, rachel spent seven years as a senior economist on the staff of the joint economic committee where she focused on similar issues. so let's start with romina. >> thank you, terry. the bipartisan budget deal that
passed last week did one thing right. it prevented automatic benefit cuts for disability beneficiaries. but it failed to make substantial reforms to make the program work better for the beneficiaries that it serves and also for the taxpayeres who fun it. it only included very minor changes to deter fraud and reduce overpayments in the disability program. beyond that it also included one demonstration project to test out a reform proposal that some believe will increase work participation among disability program beneficiaries. my remarks today will explore this demonstration project in greater depth and in particular i will try to answer the follow questions. is this policy change so promising that it was worth congress putting all of its eggs into that one putting all its en
that one basket for the budget deal. was this the best one that congress could have chosen? and the answer to both of these is a flat-out no. demonstration projects exist to test and measure the effect of potential program changes. i'm sorry to tell you, but the demonstration project that congress chose is among the least promising. that is, if we're trying to accomplish if what we're trying to accomplish is to focus the program on those who need it the most and to reduce program costs as we do that. the demonstration project authorizes another variant of a so-called benefit offset policy. the idea behind it is to let disability beneficiaries work more without losing their benefits. this policy will likely increase entry into the disability program by individuals who can do some work, and it will discourage those already on the program from leaving trolls.
one might say, hey, let's not fault them. maybe it will work. the thing is that this proposal has been found in different variations here in the u.s. and in other nations. because the u.s. is not alone in struggling under the weight of growing disability program spending and also the accompanying reduction in labor force participation that occurs when individuals leave the labor market to join the disability rolls. most people agree that society does have a proper role in providing benefits for those who request not provide for themselves. however, poor program design ends up discouraging participation among individuals who might otherwise work. and this is what program reforms should effectively address. now before i get into details, i'd like to draw your attention to a story in this sunday's
washington post about a young man named paul that illustrates this program, this problem very effectively. are we able to pull up the slide? any ways, you can always find it online in the post as well. paul is 34. and in the picture in the post, he's shown with his rock-climbing gear, and i've actually seen paul at the rock climbing gym where i go as well. and the story is about paul, who used to work at the outdoor outfitter, rei for about five years, but he lost his health insurance coverage when his hours got cut back. now paul has a rare condition that requires him to take costly endocrine system drugs to manage his condition. so the post writes about paul, and i quote here. so, instead of going out and trying to support himself with another job, paul took the safer option, applying for social
security disability insurance and medicaid. now in order to qualify for disability benefits, applicants are required to prove that they are unable to earn more than $1,100 about a month from working. this earnings test is called the substantial gainful activity level. the story in the post goes on to describe how paul, shortly after being admitted to the disability program got another job offer in d.c. that would have paid him enough to get him over that earnings test threshold, but then he risked losing his free medical and government cash benefits. so, i was very saddened yesterday, as i was having my sunday coffee to read about a young's holding back his professional career so can he maintain valuable benefits. this is a human tragedy. it is a tragedy of lost
potential. some have suggested that lawmakers should eliminate the earnings test or smooth out this benefits cash cliff by allowing individuals to work indefinitely for higher earnings while maintaining their disability benefits, because there are already a lot of programs on the books that allow individuals to test out their ability to work at these higher levels. but over time, individuals are expected to leave the rolls. some say this is discouraging individuals from trying to earn at higher levels. now fiscal conservatives who are proponents of this policy believe that more individuals like paul might, once they earn substantial amounts above this earning threshold leave the rolls. they are hope this will this might happen over time. the smoothing out and the budget deal includes one variation of it. but existing research suggests
that a benefit offset would likely increase program costs by encouraging more individuals like paul who have marginal work capacity to enter the disability program. it is effectively a benefit expansion. and it would also discourage others from leaving the rolls. a national benefit offset program is on the other hand expected to increase the earnings and disposable income of disabled beneficiaries while increasing costs at the same time as the program expands beyond its statutorily targeted population, which is individuals who are unable to work at those levels of income. the social security administration began a similar project as was authorized in the recent budget deal in 2009. and the researchers concluded that adopting this as a national policy would most likely increase program costs. a benefit offset policy in
encourages people like paul to accept higher benefit jobs or make more hours -- it's unlikely to reduce the number of individuals who are on the rolls if this is the only policy change that congress were to adopt. now, in combination with other reforms that will more likely to result in program savings and effectively return people to work, a benefit offset can improve the welfare of individuals with disabilities, and i was very encouraged to hear senator cotton speak about just such a proposal. because one of the big issues with current program design is that it sets no clear expectation that individuals with marginal or temporary disabilities return to work. and by returning to work, i don't mean increased labor force participation by those who are
on the disability rolls but supporting yourself through work. other nations, notably germany, which is where i'm from, another way and the u.k. have built-in incentives for those to return to work to focus on accommodations and highlighting benefits for certain populations. in 2014, then senator tom coburn introduced a bill that would have introduced time-limited benefits when recovery is expected for those on the rolls, and i'm grad to hear that senator cotton is picking up that mantle. this bill also would establish pilot projects to test early intervention projects to help capable individuals like paul with disabilities to return to work before ever entering the disability program. and i look forward to hearing from my colleagues more about some of those promising reforms. >> thank you, romina. kim? >> okay. good afternoon, everybody, and
thank you for the opportunity to be here today. this presentation is going to summarize our paper, which was entitled the transitional benefits for a subset of the social security disability insurance population. i want to acknowledge my co-authors, pam aserski and dr. jennifer christian. and this was submitted as a proposal to the ssdi solutions initiative that's co-chaired by former chairman of the sub committee, jim mccreary and earl pomeroy. so we were delighted to submit this paper for that initiative. so, to start, our paper addresses essentially a small subset of new beneficiaries who the social security administration currently identifies as expected to medically improve after a benefit award is made. today there are about 3% of ben fisheries that are expected to medically improve. examples of medical improvement
include those who were in a catastrophic injury, or those who had reconstructive musculoskeletal surgeries, those impairments are arising out of situations that respond well to medical or rehabilitative treatment. and so, and should their benefits be ceased for a continuing disability review as well. nor are they required to pursue services to facilitate return to work upon their benefit award. in contrast, when congress first considered adding a disability insurance component to the social security program, many contemplated a system of transitional benefits coupled with vocational services, designed to help people get back onto their feet and into the workforce. so essentially, our paper encourages lawmakers to revisit
the link between rehabilitation services and disability and consider creating transitional benefits for the small subset of new beneficiaries whose disability is not in question, but who have conditions expected to improve. the social security administration would administer a compassionate system of transitional benefits with employment supports with the goal of employment, financial independence and better quality of life. so, as i mentioned in terms of the problem, ben fisheries with conditions that are expected to improve are not encouraged to work, nor are they provided with employment supports they need to return to work. continuing disability review backlogs, which had reached $1.3 million by the end of fiscal year 2013 harm beneficiaries, according to a report by the bipartisan social security advisory board. and this happens by delaying return to work efforts, which become more difficult with time. potentially creating a
misimpression that eligibility is permanent, regardless of disability status, and preventing the social security administration from taking timely action to discontinue payments to beneficiaries who are no longer eligible, causing a misuse of program resources. beyond backlogs, there are other problems facing the continuing disability review process. if the decision supporting the initial disability finding is vague, decision-makers may not be able to determine medical improvement. in addition, beneficiaries face significant problems, employment challenges, given the length of time that they wait for an award. in addition to the length of time before continuing disability review occurs. and should they be ceased when a continuing disability review occurs, they are not offered services to help them reenter the labor market. our paper also references experts who have highlighted the need for ben fisheries to receive assistance to return them to employment and the value
of work and increasing the number, and the increasing number of oecd countries that have implemented time-limited or temporary payments. so, briefly, our proposal for transitional benefits would change the dynamic of disability by ensuring that beneficiaries have access to supports and services that will aid them in medical and work recovery. sending a clear message through a fixed length benefit award that temporary financial support is needed while a beneficiary is recuperating, while also signaling the expectation that they will be returning to work. allowing transitional ben fisheries to earn income without limits during the benefit period and finally, maintaining the beneficiary's ability to file a new application at the end of the transitional benefit period should they still believe they are unable to work. so, under the proposal, disability determination services examiners, these ddss are 100% federally funded state
agencies who make those disability decisions at the initial and reconsideration level. and administratorive law judges would determine whether they meet the statutory definition of disability. they would use an analytics model to determine whether the medical condition is expected to improve. if so, transitional benefits would be awarded for a two or three-year period, specified by the predictive model with the decision-maker having the ability and discretion to expand the traditional period of up to the maximum three year traditional term. as soon as practicable, information of individuals receiving transitional benefits would be sent to their local community work incentive coordinators under the program, which would be modified to prioritize services to transitional beneficiaries, including a direct referral to a ticket to work service provider.
under a modified ticket to work program, and as the senate are mentioned, that's a current law program under the social security administration. they would provide customized services to increase recovery if necessary in order to achieve employment. and, as mentioned previously, there will be no cap on earned income during the transitional benefit period to encourage work. okay. so the paper further addresses a number of implementation issues. regarding the use of predictive modeling, it points to ssa's experience in the disability review process, determining which matured, dire cases should undergo a full review. it also points to the needs to update the guidelines to determine these diary assignments the instructions for the examiners who set the diaries
for when people will have a disability review, they have not been updated since the 1990s. so we point to the need for that to happen. and finally, that an expert panel will be convened periodically to update the medical criteria used by ssa decision-makers to determine medical improvement. regarding appeals, we propose making the decision to award transitional benefits nonappealable to avoid undercutting the goal of encouraging beneficiaries to take the steps needed to reenter the workforce instead of waiting for the appeals process to unfold. and we point to examples where congress has precluded appeals and analogous context in the past. and as to reports we provide further details regarding the expedited and tailored services through existing return to work programs and a study regarding amending the rehabilitation act. as to required compliance, transitional beneficiaries would be required to follow prescribed
treatment and take advantage of return to work services if needed to facilitate a workforce reattachment. ssa would also be required to notify transitional beneficiaries six months in advance of their benefits ending so they may take any needed action. here we go. the paper also required that we would, all of the authors were asked to specify statutory changes that would be needed. so we included a list of those statutory changes as illustrated here. whoops. i jumped ahead. there i am. okay. so you can see that those are just spelling out some of the changes that would be required. and also asked us to identify some potential intermediate steps that could be utilized by law makers so the paper includes certain intermigediate steps.
a congressionally authorized testing of all elements of the program through a pilot in a few states or a region, which could be expanded if preliminary results are positive the and the paper also includes options for demonstration projects through federal interagency agreements or state innovation or experimentation. that could be through non-profit foundations or social impact bonds. finally, we were ask the to address some of the concerns or question the people may have about the proposal in the paper, including those for example who may oppose the time-limiting benefits, and while we believe that establishing transitional benefits for the small subset of
beneficiaries whose conditions are expected to improve, combined with the employment support services is not only a compassionate solution that better serve the these individuals but is also consistent with congress's intention that some disabilities would be temporary, since the definition of disability does specify that the disability must last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, and we defend also the use of predictive analytics as a probablistic approach that would ensure more consistent outcomes nationally, and the senator spoke to some of the inconsistencies that we see across the nation. we acknowledge the transitional disability concept would impose greater administrative burdens. however, we explain why we believe these burrs would be manageable. and although the costs are somewhat speculative, we explain why we believe the increasing
administrative costs would be a benefit. the transitional term, unlike the uncertain prospect of a cbr reenforces that they should be able to return to work and provides help for them to do so. so in conclusion, the ssdi benefit is $13,890 a year, only slightly higher than what constitutes the poverty threshold. we believe individuals with disabilities deserve better outcomes that are consistent with the disabilities act. studies have indicated that age, health, and time on the rolls are characteristics related to activity and success. and we brief limiting time on the rolls for a small subset of