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Thread: Republicans "Support the Troops"--Cut Benefits For Vets

  1. #1
    chequita guevara
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    Thumbs down Republicans "Support the Troops"--Cut Benefits For Vets

    http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0328-11.htm

    Published on Friday, March 28, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
    Support the Warrior Not the War: Give Them Their Benefits!
    by Ashley L Decker

    The recent rally cry "Support Our Troops" seems to me little more than a perverted, propaganda ploy to "Support the War." But we can support our troops, without supporting the war, by rectifying some of the following conditions.

    The House of Representatives have recently voted on the 2004 budget which will cut funding for veteran's health care and benefit programs by nearly $25 billion over the next ten years. It narrowly passed by a vote of 215 to 212, and came just a day after Congress passed a resolution to "Support Our Troops." How exactly does this vote support our troops? Does leaving our current and future veterans veterans without access to health care and compensation qualify as supporting them?

    The Veteran's Administration, plagued by recent budget cuts, has had to resort to charging new veterans entering into its system a yearly fee of $250 in order for them to receive treatment. It is a sad irony that the very people being sent to fight the war are going to have to pay to treat the effects of it.

    According to the Veteran's Administration, 28 million veterans are currently using VA benefits. Another 70 million Americans are potential candidates for such programs. This amounts to a quarter of the country's population. Veterans and their families will sadly begin finding that they have no place to turn for their medical treatment as V.A. hospitals across the country face closing their doors. With the budget shrinking, staff will be let go. This could mean the loss of over 19,000 nurses. Without these nurses, this leads to the loss of over 6.6 million outpatient visits. Approximately one out of every two veterans could lose their only source of medical care. That is, if they even realize help is available to them. The Bush Administration recently ordered V.A. medical centers to stop publicizing available benefits to veterans seeking assistance. This follows discontinued enrollments of some eligible veterans for healthcare benefits as of January, 2003.

    Bush Administration funding cuts will also prevent veterans from receiving their disability pensions. My father was granted 100% disability six years ago for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder associated with the Vietnam War. He deserves every cent of it. As do all soldiers who are willing to go to war. Under the Bush administration, being granted the ability to receive war related compensation has become a rare privilege, not a right as it should be. Nearly a third of Gulf War veterans, about 209,000 veterans, have submitted claims to to the VA for disability. The backlog of unprocessed claims has reached the astronomical count of 489,297, a number which is unfortunately increasing all of time. There are also currently 500,000 Compensation and Pension cases still pending.

    Making matters worse, forty percent of Vietnam Veterans are homeless. They went from the jungles of the war to the jungles of the street. Before President Bush decided to declare war, maybe he ought to have considered correcting this situation first. How many current veterans will return home, only to find themselves in the same situation?

    I have seen the effects of war written upon the face of a man who grew old at 17. I have seen it in the way he awakes from yet another night terror. I have seen it in the countless pills he has to take. They have only succeeded in erasing his memory, but the images of the war he fought are so graphic that they will never be able to stop playing themselves upon his mind.

    Even I, his daughter, have not escaped unscathed. Exposure to the chemical Agent Orange has left me with several genetic problems, including growth problems and digestive ones. I fear that these current soldiers will be exposed to toxins that will not only affect them, but their future offspring as well.

    And today we are told that we must "Support Our Troops." "Wear a yellow ribbon, wave your flag, support the Bush Administration's War on Terror and War on Iraq." Questioning the war is equated with deserting our troops or treason. And yet how are the warmongers supporting our troops? By eliminating their healthcare and slashing their pensions. Let us support the warrior without supporting the war.
    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

  2. #2
    chequita guevara
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    Here's a RealAudio segment about this issue.


    edit: I'm a dork. I put a link to the previous article. The link to the RA file is now correct. Here's the blurb:

    Story: DEMOCRATS ACCUSE HOUSE REPUBLICANS OF SLASHING $15 BILLION IN VETERANS BENEFITS IN FAVOR OF TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH. WE WILL HAVE A DEBATE ON THE NEW BUDGET
    The vote got little attention. The date was March 20, the invasion of Iraq had just begun. So you might have missed what happened that day in Congress.

    On a near strict party line, the House of Representatives passed a draft budget for next year. Contained in it are $1.4 trillion in tax cuts. And it has caused a quiet storm of controversy especially among veterans groups which charge the Republican leadership is cutting the Veterans Affair budget by $15 billion.

    On the floor of Congress, Democrat Rep. Edward Markey of Massachusetts said:

    "Last night, President Bush officially created a whole new group of 250,000 war veterans, yet he does not even have enough money in his budget to take care of this country's obligations to veterans of the first Persian Gulf War, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, or World War II.

    "Never before has a President cut taxes in the face of war. According to The New York Times, the Civil War gave birth to an estate tax and World War II expanded the income tax. But during the war in Iraq the Bush administration plans to cut taxes by a total of nearly $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

    "This tax cut for the rich is a fiscal MOAB [Mother of All Bombs], pointed right at the heart of the Federal budget."

    Meanwhile the House Republican leadership countered that Veterans Affairs will not see a budget cut but an increase of $4 billion next year.

    Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ).
    Susan Edgerton, Democratic Staff Director of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
    Ashley Decker, sophomore at University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Ashley wrote an article published last Friday at Commondreams.org called "Support the Warrior Not the War: Give Them Their Benefits," Her dad, a Vietnam veteran is 100% disabled.
    Last edited by chequita guevara; April 2, 2003 at 16:19.
    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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    Arrian
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    Ms. Decker makes a very good point.

    -Arrian
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    chequita guevara
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    The budget cuts would affect the vets from this war. I'm not at all pro-military, but shafting those whom you send to war is disgusting.
    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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    Gov's voice :
    "Support our troops"
    "So that we don't have to support them"

    How far will their hypocisy go ? I'm amazed your admin can go that far into betrayal, and get away with it.
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    The government has been doing this for years. The most shameful was when Reagon cut medical benifits for the spouses of KIA (which used to be life time benifits) and drastically cut back the health coverage for retirees.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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  7. #7
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    "Does leaving our current and future veterans veterans without access to health care?"
    As I understand this bill, it only removes Veterans medical benefits from thoses who are qualified (elderly) for medicare. It tranfers them from one promgram (and department) to another (which is apparently less prefered). They still get medical coverage, but in another (less expesive per patient) program. Yhus a large 5 of what is cut from the verterans administration is still spent on them through medicare in a differetn department.
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    chequita guevara
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    Where is the outrage from all the pro-war people?

    Bunch a phucking phonies who don't give a damn about the military and just like seeing bombs blowing people apart. Hypocrits!
    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

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    uh Clem
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    Angry

    Cognitive dissonance. For war supporters, if you admit that the Bush administration is really doing this, then you are also forced to admit that your view of the Bush administration is basically a crock. No telling where that could lead.

    It's a lot simpler to pretend that this is not happening. Plus, you won't have to worry about anyone calling you a traitor.

    Show's over, folks. Move along.

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    SlowwHand
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    Thank you, Commies !

    American Legion tries, but Communists, ahem, impede all they can.

    http://www.legion.org/



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    JohnT
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    Apparently, the American Legion differs from your editorial, Che:

    Veterans Win Budget Battle

    WASHINGTON (March 25, 2003) — Cuts in veterans benefits are off the table -- for now. Leaders of the nation’s three largest veterans organizations today praised members of Congress who fought alongside them to keep veterans’ health care, pensions and disability compensation off the chopping block.

    Under an agreement brokered by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Smith, House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle agreed to “accept a level of discretionary and mandatory spending for veterans programs at least as high as reported by the Senate Budget Committee.” The House-approved spending plan provides an approximate $3 billion increase for veterans health care as well as maintaining mandatory spending for veterans compensation and benefits.

    “For the freedom we cherish, the nation owes a debt of gratitude to patriots past and present, and cutting veterans benefits is no way to pay that debt,” American Legion National Commander Ronald F. Conley said. “I commend all members of Congress who oppose cutting veterans benefits, particularly in this time of war. I especially thank Chairman Chris Smith and VA Health Subcommittee Chairman Rob Simmons. They worked tirelessly to exempt veterans benefits from across-the-board cuts that were in the Budget Committee’s resolution.”

    “When the chips are down, that’s when you get to know who your true friends are,” said Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander in Chief Ray Sisk. “There is no doubt Chairman Smith is a friend of America’s veterans.”

    “America's veterans are grateful to those members of the House who stood by them in opposing deep cuts in veterans programs,” said Edward R. Heath Sr., National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans. “They are to be commended for the courage of their convictions.”

    Joining Chairman Smith and Rep. Simmons were fellow Republicans Rick Renzi of Arizona, Michael Bilirakis of Florida, Walter B. Jones of North Carolina and Charles W. Pickering Jr. of Mississippi.

    In an apparently persuasive March 14 letter to congressional leadership, the veterans advocates wrote: “Congress must rethink drastic cuts in benefits and services for disabled veterans at a time when we have thousands of our servicemembers in harm’s way fighting terrorism around the world and when we are sending thousands more of our sons and daughters to fight a war against Iraq.”


    Note that this happened 3 DAYS before the above editorial was published. Talk about sloppy!!

    Edit: link. Emphasis mine.

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    SlowwHand
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    Che has a habit of speaking about things of which he has no frame of reference.

    What would you expect from a Commie ?


    Thanks for your "concern", Che.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
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    JohnT
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    Che's a good guy. He's intelligent, polite, and genuinely concerned with the plight of the less fortunate, so cut him a little slack, Sloww.

    But, like all of us, his biases prejudice him to believe things that, with a little more research, just are not factual. Nothing wrong with that - he's just being human.

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    SlowwHand
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    Bullshit.
    It's just another dig.
    Just another tactic.
    Just another scam.
    Just more propoganda.
    Just more vintage Che and his politics.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
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    Well, I guess it depends on who your accountant is. Here is another view of the same budget, which suggests a $28 Billion cut over 10 years. I am curious as to how the Legion calculated the budget to be a $3 Billion INCREASE.


    Etheridge Fights Budget Cuts for
    N.C. Veterans
    27,000 Veterans Could Be Cut Out of Health Care

    RALEIGH - As thousands of North Carolina soldiers fight in the Middle East for our nation and our freedom, U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-Lillington) today took a stand to fight for North Carolina's veterans. At a press conference in Raleigh, Etheridge and veterans denounced the budget passed on March 20th by the U.S. House of Representatives for cutting funding to veterans' programs by over $28 billion over the next ten years. Etheridge voted for an alternative budget that would have fully funded veterans' benefits and included additional funds for veterans' health care.

    "Our troops fighting overseas today should know that when they come home the country that they have served will not turn its back on them," Etheridge said. "That's why it's absolutely outrageous that the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives pushed through a budget that severely cuts funding for our nation's veterans. That budget breaks the solemn promise made to the very men and women who fight for our freedom."

    The House budget, which passed by just three votes, cut mandatory veterans' benefits, such as disability payments and pensions and the Montgomery GI Bill. The budget also cut $14.2 billion in discretionary veterans' services, such as the VA Health Care System. These cuts could mean that burial benefits for veterans are discontinued or that cost-of-living adjustments for disability benefits are delayed.

    In addition, many North Carolina veterans will not be able to continue receiving VA health care due to a new $250 annual enrollment fee. The VA estimates that 1.25 million veterans nationwide who are already a part of the health care system may be forced out due to these steep new fees. In North Carolina this may translate into more than 27,000 veterans who can no longer afford VA health care.

    For those who can afford to stay in the VA health care system, many will be forced to pay significant new costs. An estimated 22,000 North Carolina veterans will pay the new $250 enrollment fee, increased co-payments for physician benefits and prescription drug fees. These new fees may increase out-of-pocket expenses by $347 each year.

    The budget passed by the House excludes 4,100 North Carolina veterans from enrolling in the VA health system. Priority 8 veterans, who were not injured in service and who fall in an income level above between $24,450 and $38,100 depending on location and situation, will be denied care.

    Congress is expected to consider the final version of the budget next month.
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    chequita guevara
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    Re: Thank you, Commies !

    Originally posted by SlowwHand
    American Legion tries, but Communists, ahem, impede all they can.
    We're only trying to impede the creation of war vets. The Republicans are the ones impeding your benefits. If the Legion weren't joined at the hip to the Repulican Party they wouldn't have bought the GOP's line that the VA budget was increased by $3-$4 billion as opposed to being cut by $15 billion.
    Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...

  17. #17
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    Lightbulb

    SSDD.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
    "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
    He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead

  18. #18
    Imran Siddiqui
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    Note that this happened 3 DAYS before the above editorial was published. Talk about sloppy!!


    Or a good April Fools Joke.
    “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    - John 13:34-35 (NRSV)

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    Originally posted by chegitz guevara
    Where is the outrage from all the pro-war people?

    Bunch a phucking phonies who don't give a damn about the military and just like seeing bombs blowing people apart. Hypocrits!
    Believe it or not I actually wrote a letter to my Congressman (Deryl Issa I think he's name was) about this very issue back when I was in High School. I was motivated at the time because my Grandfather was a WW2 (Army Air Corp) who had some of his V.A. benifets reduced (he was wounded over Japan but he managed to still fly his plane back to base; still the VA gave him a lifetime partial disability).

    I never did hear back from the crook.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
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  20. #20
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    Che: BTW I'm a card carrying member of the VFW so I do care about this issue.
    "Our scientific power has out run out spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." - Martin Luther King Jr.
    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself."
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  21. #21
    SlowwHand
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    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
    "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
    He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead

  22. #22
    CyberGnu
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    What is the VFW?
    Gnu Ex Machina - the Gnu in the Machine

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    JohnT
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    Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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    Aaaah, thanks.

    Umm, are there still veterans around from the civil war to worry about?
    Gnu Ex Machina - the Gnu in the Machine

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    Originally posted by SlowwHand
    SSDD.
    I DUDITZ!!!

    Anyways, this is typical. Republican politicians only like to give money to their religious organizations, corporate constituents, and the rich. This is part of a bigger problem though. Intelligent, moral conservatives are duped into voting Republican. And likewise, intelligent, moral liberals are duped into voting Democrat. The only way to fix this is to do away with the two-party system... And we need to prevent corporations and special interest groups from running the political parties.
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    SlowwHand
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    To go further; No Bounce, No Play.


    So what's your plan?
    Appoint RJ as Queen?
    Che as dictator?
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
    "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
    He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead

  27. #27
    Sava
    Deity Sava's Avatar
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    Nah, I'll be dictator.

    You're not Jonesy!
    (\__/) "Sava is teh man" -Ecthy
    (='.'=) Sava may be considered a hoax
    (")_(") bring me everyone

  28. #28
    SlowwHand
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    ohhhhhhhh yes I am.
    I'm reading the book. How was the movie?
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.
    "Hating America is something best left to Mobius. He is an expert Yank hater.
    He also hates Texans and Australians, he does diversify." ~ Braindead

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