Cut it. And taxes.
Thread: VFW Will Defeat Bachmann Plan
"No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress."
January 28, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2011 America's oldest and largest major combat veterans' organization announced it will do everything within its power to defeat a plan introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to cut $4.5 billion from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress," said Richard L. Eubank, the national commander of the 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.
On her website, the three-term congresswoman lists more than $400 billion in suggestions to cut federal spending. The VA suggestion would cap increases to VA healthcare spending, and reduce disability compensation to account for Social Security Disability Insurance payments in other words, an offset. She says her plan is intended to generate discussion.
"The only discussion the VFW wants is to tell the congresswoman that her plan is totally out of step with America's commitment to our veterans," said Eubank, a retired Marine and Vietnam combat veteran from Eugene, Ore.
"There are certain things you do not do when our nation is at war, and at the top of that list is not caring for our wounded and disabled servicemen and women when they return home," he said. "I want the congresswoman to join us in a tour of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and Poly Trauma Center the next time she's in her home district to witness firsthand the great work the VA does every day to heal their wounds and ease their pain. Then I want her to look those disabled veterans in the eye and tell them their service and sacrifice is too expensive for the nation to bear.
"The day this nation can't afford to take care of her veterans is the day this nation should quit creating them," said Eubank.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans' service organization composed of combat veterans and those who currently serve in uniform on active duty or in the Guard and Reserves. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans' organization. With 2.1 million members located in 7,600 VFW Posts worldwide, the VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to "honor the dead by helping the living" through veterans service, legislative advocacy, youth scholarships, Buddy Poppy and national military service programs. The VFW and its Auxiliaries volunteer more than 13 million hours annually in community service to the nation. For more information or to join, visit the organization's Web site at www.vfw.org.
Contact: Joe Davis, Director of Public Affairs, VFW Washington Office, 202-608-8357, email@example.com
Just me sayin' it boys and girls, don't get me wrong I think Michelle Bachmann is a great gal, but she's way out of line on this one.
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. Thomas Jefferson
Cut it. And taxes.
but of foreign wars?
I am of the firm opinion that the best thing we can do for our veterans, is insist that our government stop creating more of them.
A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801
For years, organizations I belong to have been fighting to allow retirees to receive full retirement AND VA disability payments, on the premise that they earn both. I don't see where this is different. If you're going to cut Social Security for everyone (a goal I support, though on a long timeline to account for (rash) promises made), that's one thing -- but you don't cut it just to veterans.
Don't get me wrong. I believe VFW (of which I'm a life member) is wrong on this issue -- their "the only discussion we want is .... " is totally off base. Entitlements will HAVE to be reduced, but it cannot be a short-term process. Whether or not we should have done so, we as a nation made promises which we must keep.
FAIL. Particularly when it's a fellow vet this sort of smugness sets up for failure.
Others: "Cut THEIR money. Not MINE."
Me: "Cut it all. And taxes."
BTW, cutting does not mean eliminating all benefits. A tremendous amount of money could be saved by eliminating the VA Department, with its bloated overhead, and by ending the practice of double-dipping, whereby some collect BOTH a percentage of their base pay as disability and an unreduced portion as retirement. There was a time when someone due a 75% retirement with a 50% disability would receive a total of 75%, the 50% would simply be tax-free and the remaining 25% would be taxed as retirement. A relatively recent change allows the two to be stacked.
When you consider some of the crap they pass off as "service-connected" "disability," this is crap. When I retired, they tried hard to convince me to take a disability. "If you don't claim it now, it is almost impossible later." "How's your back?" "Your feet hurt?" Disgraceful. I had the normal aches and pains of any 40-year-old who worked any job.
My back hurts more than it did at 20. My feet hurt more than most folks' do in their mid-fifties. But, that's LIFE, not "service-connected" disability. Almost all of the retirees I know take advantage of this (for most) unjustified benefit. They wonder why I didn't use the fact that I had bouts with sciatica and plantar fasciitis while on active duty to claim a disability. I dunno, maybe because, even though I could have buffaloed them into giving me a disability and would not have been really breaking the law, it still would be WRONG.
Anyway, the VA can take its share of cuts by removing its departmental status, by ending the double dipping, and by being a little less liberal in handing out (and I do mean "handing out") "disabilities."
It would also eliminate the problem of sub-standard care perpetrated by those who are protected by government employment.
If anyone wants to preach about denying care to veterans who have earned it, they should start in the waiting room of their nearest VA clinic.
Last edited by KBCraig; 02-04-2011 at 11:27 PM.
Starve the beast. Cut taxes at the Fed level until they are reduced to something similar to their constitutional boundaries.
(Lapsed VFW member)