The Disabled States of America

by Mark Krikorian

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Census Bureau proudly notes that nearly 1 in 5 Americans is now disabled. Or, rather, “disabled”. A new report from the bureau notes the various types of disabilities, some of which are inarguable: deafness, blindness, Alzheimer’s, autism. But there are others that might strike the reader as more dubious: “Had difficulty with schoolwork,” “Was limited in the kind or amount of housework,” “Had difficulty finding a job or remaining employed,” and “Had difficulty getting along with other children of the same age.” The report notes that from 2005 to 2010, the number of “disabled” people grew by 2.2 million, to 56.7 million. Also, “In 2008, the federal government spent an estimated $357 billion dollars on programs for working-age people with disabilities, representing 12 percent of total federal outlays.”

Heck, with such broad eligibility for being “disabled” and such lucrative benefits, I’m surprised it’s only 19 percent of the population — what’s wrong with the rest of you? Get with the program and become “disabled” — someone will pay for it. Right?

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