1. MISSION CREEP

    Aid to Disabled Kids Surpasses Welfare

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 18:  In this photo illustration U.S. Treasury checks are piled at the U.S. Treasury printing facility July 18, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. President Obama recently stated that he can't guarantee retirees will receive their Social Security checks in August if the House and Senate can not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit.  (Photo Illustration by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

    William Thomas Cain/Getty

    The amount of federal money going to families with disabled children has surpassed traditional welfare programs as a source of income over the past two years. Roughly $20 billion was spent by the children’s Supplemental Security Income program, about $2 billion more than other welfare programs. Analysts say that the program has become an access point for families that lost benefits in the welfare overhaul of the 1990s. It started in 1974 as a small program serving families in which parents could not work because they had children with severe physical disabilities. The program has doubled its number of recipients in the past two decades, and now serves 1.3 million youths with behavioral, mental, or learning disorders, including harder-to-assess conditions such as ADHD. Its defenders say it is one of the last programs for the poor that hasn’t faced severe cuts from Congress.

    Read it at Boston Globe