Members of the congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction — the Super Committee — failed to reach the goal of coming up with $1.2 trillion in proposed deficit reduction measures in part because so many of the cuts that could be made are hard to think about.
For anyone but the most fervent, least sentimental libertarian, it’s hard to think about selling off the national parks, shutting down NASA and seeing if Google or Facebook might have any interest in keeping Amtrak going.
The idea of cutting federal funding for programs that help people with serious disabilities is even harder to contemplate.
Certainly, there are waste and fraud in all human endeavors, including programs that serve people with disabilities, and that must be found and rooted out. But it does not seem as if transportation programs that help people who cannot walk get around or programs that provide home health aides for people who are confined to bed are flush with cash.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office and officials at the Social Security Administration have often pointed to private disability insurers and their case management and return-to-work programs as models for how federal agencies can improve federal programs, such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), that serve people with disabilities.
In some cases, those programs can help disability insurers, employers and purchasers of individual income protection policies hold down costs.