Social programs and the social safety net like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security have lifted millions of people out of poverty and provided health insurance to millions of Americans who cannot afford it.
But there's an issue.
Many of these programs are going to lose money and pay out less in the coming years.
The Trump administration is looking into a new way to recoup some of that lost funding.
A recent idea floated by the Social Security Administration is to now monitor the social media posts by people receiving disability benefits as a way to cut down on potential fraud — which is a major issue totaling $3.4 billion.
According to the administration, they lost those billions from overpaying people who misstated their work status, working while still collecting disability money.
Currently there are investigators tasked with looking into this fraud, and conceivably they already look at people's social medias, so asking them to dig further like this isn't more daunting.
However, digging into a person's social media doesn't necessarily paint the whole picture and raises concerns about privacy.
For starters, just because a person posts a picture of them doing something active while on disability doesn't necessarily mean they are cheating the system.
What if they're just having a good day or have a disability that precludes them from doing some things but not others?
Social media also tends not to be an accurate representation of people's lives — often times leading to positive or negative exaggerations about wellbeing that can't always be taken at face value.
So, what if that person is actually disabled but because of a social media post they lose their income stream?
The larger issue though, is the one of privacy.
Obviously things posted on social media are part of the public domain and employers, investigators and other strangers are free to look at those accounts as often as they want.
The issue comes if during an investigation, the federal government tries to get into an account marked as “private.” Will they usurp that person's right to privacy or that platform's terms and conditions for the sake of sniffing out alleged fraud?
That brings up another point, which is it remains to be seen how many people they think they would actually catch in the act of committing fraud because of a person's social media.
To be clear, monitoring people's social medias isn't a horrible idea. Some would argue that even if they only catch one person, that's more money going back to the pot, then that's a plus.
And it's also important to vet candidates to ensure the money goes to the right people, especially when you're dealing with the prospect of people's income and subsequent well-beings.
Yet, the money you're going to get from calling people out and catching people is a drop in the bucket.
That's why this solution can't be the be all and end all.
This is also far from the most controversial or heinous thing President Trump has ever done, and so many politicians have kicked the issue down the road, so Trump deserves credit for this.
But there need to be more concrete solutions to prevent fraud and also more importantly, address the solvency and funding issues to ensure the next generations might be able to actually enjoy these benefits as well.
Opinions Editor Jake Aferiat can be reached by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @Jake_Aferiat51.