GOP Looks at Cutting Veterans Health Benefits for 2011-12 Session to Fulfill Pledge

The Republican Party has it knives out and is casting its eyes with a lean and hungry look on ‘Quite Extreme’ Veterans Health Benefits. “My feelings on veterans benefits,” Max Cleland said, responding to the 2010 Republican pledge to slash them, “they’re all pre-paid. Veterans gave at the office.”

By Joel Wendland on the GOP 2010 electoral pledge

Democrats ramped up their campaign against a Republican Party takeover of Congress this week with charges that the Republicans want to eliminate some veterans benefits passed in the Democratic-controlled legislature. GOP leaders vowed in their “Pledge to America” that, if they take power, they will cut veterans’ benefits because they are not “paid for.”

“The Republicans would like every Democrat, every veteran, every retired military person in this country to be muted in this election. We will not be muted,” Max Cleland said on a national conference call, Oct. 18, with veterans on behalf of Organizing for America, the organizing arm of the Democratic National Committee.

“My feelings on veterans benefits,” Cleland continued, responding to the Republican pledge to slash them, “they’re all pre-paid. Veterans gave at the office.”

The Politico, a neocon journal used as an entree into the mainstream is in the anti-veteran game. Old age and Agent Orange are “closing in on Vietnam veterans, a legacy of hurt for those who served — and a very big bill for American taxpayers,” reads the Politico.

“It is the moral obligation of this nation to take care of them,” he added. While it is impossible for any government or treasury to replace the years they have sacrificed for their country, or “compensate them for lost time, lost hopes, lost lives or lost limbs,” Cleland, a paralyzed veteran of the Vietnam War, said, it is our duty to do our best to care for them.

This vets-cost-too-much is a meme still coursing through the rightwing sectors of the Internet, taking the tract of Sally Satel who has made a career of knocking Vietnam-era vets.

Satel is part of a network, a “cabal,” as veterans’ advocate Paul Sullivan calls them, of anti-benefits ideologues in the media, the Congress [believe Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) has been brought off] and of course in the VA.

It’s not war that is costly, about which lawmakers have no reservations about spending. No, it’s those damn veterans who should go away or at least die.

And the Democrats have lived up to that duty, he said. Since they took the lead in Congress in 2006 and since President Obama was sworn into office, “we have seen the greatest increase in the VA budget since World War II,” Cleland pointed out.

In the past 72 months of Democratic Party leadership, the VA has seen a budget increase of 45 percent.

“Democrats get it,” he said. “Voters who care about these issues care enough to send Democrats to Washington to ensure the government adequately fund and care for those who have made the ultimate sacrifices.”

Cleland cited large increases in counselors and mental health professionals assigned to aid veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.

“Dane County (Wisconsin) Veterans Service Officer Michael Jackson said he expects claims from Vietnam-era and earlier veterans ‘will be coming out of the woodwork, grasping at straws’ regarding revised veteran-friendly PTSD benefits [Steven Verburg, Wisconsin State Journal]. Editor’s Note to VSO Jackson: Fuck you.

The VA’s health care budget is at its largest in decades. He also pointed to the new GI Bill – authored and passed into law by congressional Democrats over Republican objections – which specifically addresses the needs of returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to get into college and into the workforce. “The GI Bill is the best single veterans program ever devised,” Cleland said.

The record shows that the Democrats and President Obama understand the needs of America’s veterans, Cleland said. He urged veterans to exercise their right to vote on November 2, and to support the candidates that are going to protect veterans’ benefits rather than the Republican Party, which plans to slash VA budgets.

Republican Party leaders have vowed to cut non-military federal spending, including veterans benefits, in order to pay for new tax breaks for the very rich and for corporations that move jobs overseas.

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17 Responses to "GOP Looks at Cutting Veterans Health Benefits for 2011-12 Session to Fulfill Pledge"

  1. vinnie  December 29, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Got a idea. every ex-military get a AR-15 Rifle and make every rebublican march off to war. let all These SLIME BUM IDIOTS GET A PIECE OF THE ACTION. let them all SHIT IN THEIR PANTS. see them run. all the way to IS–RA–HELL. all republican politicians have a BIG MOUTH AND NO BRAINS. Nothing backing them up but CRAP.

    • Beryl  February 24, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      You said it!! I am so very honored to have our men and women overseas fighting for my right to be free. Heroes deserve to be treated as such!
      My best friend is an Iraqi War Veteran….she is amazing as is everyone else who puts their lives on the line so that we can have everything that we have on a daily basis!

  2. usmcvietvet  December 29, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    The shit WILL hit the fan if the idiot Republicans screw with us veterans.
    God help them…then again, maybe he won’t. Revolution on the horizon ??
    Just might happen. They get what want..screw the veteran’s, the elderly….the ENTIRE middle (and lower) class(es). Semper Fi.

  3. Ronald Douglas Kennedy  December 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Yes it’s long past time to put American Tax Dollars wear it deservedly belongs first in Taking Full Care of All Our AMERICAN Military “Finest”. As these two current wars were started by the zionest land grab in taking Palestine Land’s, and then with deliberate false zionest Intel feed to baby Bush, to blindly put down his toy rattle in starting the first war in Iraq.

    We need the real American Senator’s & Congressmen to draft new Bill’s in the next session, That not one more Dollar will go to zionest Israel until, ALL FUNDING FOR ALL VETRANS PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED IN TOTTAL….

    IT WILL BE A INTERESTING VOTE, to see who are sane in supporting our “Finest” Fist. And those insane quislings [peace first] who support taking there funding and giving it away to the zionest and Israel?

  4. Matt Ford, M.P.A.  December 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    I am a life member of eight service organizations and the President of one.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs projects a backlog of 1.2 million disability claims in 2011. ( Source: Army Times, February 2010, article by Rick Maze )

    In my opinion, the time is long overdue for us to make our voice heard in Washington, D.C. because writing to our President results in no response.

    The Bonus Marchers of World War I, made their presence known. I think the time is long overdue for us.

    As a result, I will be writing in 2011 to the Presidents of many Veterans organizations to see if we can all come together to protest any ” cuts “. In addition, I think it is high time that we show our nation and the world how disgusted we are with the shabby treatment our government gives to those who have worn our nations uniform and to their survivors. This will require a team effort and the earliest I can see this happening is 2012.

    Stay tuned.

    Matthew C. Ford, Jr., M.P.A.
    President, Uniformed Services Disabled Retirees

  5. jack h.  December 29, 2010 at 9:01 am

    shame on the heartless and mean spirited gop.they are the ones who beat the war drums,and lie to create war.they the republican party act so patriotic,but just like jobs they expect the people to work and sacrifice themselves for nothing.a prime example dick cheney and they want to cut the benefits for vets while screaming about tax cuts for millionaires.wake up americans,the gop think nothing of the people and that includes vets.go to the polls and re-elect obama ,before they take your benefits that you fought,got hurt and died for away,or slash them in half where you barely exist.

  6. ROBERT VN Vet 11th Armored Cav  December 29, 2010 at 3:49 am

    Hell brothers, just look at the shirt labels in any WallMart store, and see how many were made and imported from Siagon…. A Communist Country just like China.. Now what is wrong with this picture… What about our brothers and sisters that died over there??? If this isn’t disrespectfull to our fellow Vetrans, than what is???
    And we buy the crap because it’s cheap, what does that say about us than… And we still let the scum in Washington sell us out with their backroom trade deals…
    What about bringing our jobs back on our soil, and giving our kids a fighting chance, I don’t hear anyone in the News or on FOX saying anything about that, or ending those Bush and Cheaney wars too…..

  7. vinnie  December 29, 2010 at 1:39 am

    The whole Rebublican Party is nothing but a JOKE. they should change their name to the SCUM BAG, SLIME BALL PARTY. ALL THESE BASTARDS SHOULD BE DEPORTED BACK TO THEIR COUNTRY. (Is–ra–hell ) they worship the Zionist Jews.what a CESS-POOL OF SHIT.

  8. Tim Zerr  December 28, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Where is our main stream media around the issue of the Republicans who want to cut vetereran benefits after almost 10 years of 2 wars? The media sure pounded the war drums after 9/11. The media was co-opted into demonizing Iraq and Afganistan as eminant threats to the US and they damn sure owe us veterans and the american people not just an apology but fully funded liberal health and educational benefits for life for the soldiers who were taken advantage of by their own country. Its not enough to wave a flag and yellow ribbon, a parade and a “thank you for your “service” statement when 2 or 3 million soldiers were used and abused. If you say they signed up for it and served honorably you are missing the point. One of the worst things this country can do is to lie to its soldiers and use sophisticated psychological techniques on them before depolyment, during, and when they are veterans so that the soldier/veteran will believe he did a good thing for his country when the whole damn thing is a big violent farce.

  9. jim  December 28, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    anybody who votes for these bums is anti american. they tell more lies than any congress i’ve ever seen. as long as they keep getting voted in by the stupid morons who believe everything they are told we have no chance. there are no jobs unless yoyu move to china,or maybe these so called americans can raise their families on5 dollars per hour. when they get rid of the low class then they will be coming after the zeros that are voting for them.

  10. brian  December 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    let them keep breaking the promises to vets.I learned in the Marines to keep going on,don’t get mad,get even.

    • Budreaux  December 29, 2010 at 5:42 am

      Don’t get even, get ahead!

  11. ROBERT VN Vet 11th Armored Cav  December 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Here we go again… The GOP is forgetting who started these two wars and we can’t afford,, How about cutting into all the money that their buddies that are private contractos or the companies that they have special interest in for starters…
    How about NOT crying on TV and thinking about the love ones and families of the men and woman that have been killed or injured because of their dumb ass wars that they started just for profit, and crying for them….
    How about paying back Sosial Security for all the loans that the past Presidents borrowed to balance their budgets too… All the way back to their beloved Regan,and pay it back with interest, we’d have more than enought money there to keep it going…
    Instead of spending in excess of 10 million a day for nothing just so the rich can get richer,they wouldn’t have to cut any programs that us taxpayer have paid into for the future… So lets just get on TV and cry like babies, and at the same time stab the American public in the back…
    I for one have paid into the Social Security System ever since 1963, and how much
    has the crybaby paid into it???? I also did two tours in Viet Nam and Cambodia so I know I paid my dues for the benifits I’m finally getting from the VA also…
    What did the GOP crybabies pay into or really earn????
    How many cuts in their income are the crybabies haveing to survive on????
    Just wait to see what happens for the next two years now, People are forgetting we had 8 years of the crybabies, and how did that go??? And two years of them not doing a damn thing which they got paid to do nothing… Where are they on giving us that money back????
    Maybe seeing a grown man crying on TV turns some of you on,I’m sorry for that.. But knowing at the same time these same crybabies have been having back room deals being made without any of us having a say, and are only going to be continually stabed in the back by them, UNLESS you Rich that is…
    GOOD FOR THE CRYBABIES, You wanted the GOP and Now See how this works for you!!!!!

  12. Jim S  December 28, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    All one needs to say is “Yep!!”! All one needs to do is remember the previous admin and their tepublican congresses, as they waged two more wars of choice, on what they didn’t do and check the All Public Congressional Records of the past four decades plus no matter who controlled, but as to the obstruction!

    • Jim S  December 28, 2010 at 6:30 pm

      By the way, anyone hear a teabbager ‘Demand’ ‘Sacrifice’, me neither, as they waved those flags!!!

  13. Glenn  December 28, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Screwing veterans, yay! Gods Own Party?

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