On Michele Bachmann’s Proposed Veterans’ Benefit Cuts

Ed Brayton is a journalist, commentator and speaker. He is the co-founder and president of Michigan Citizens for Science and co-founder of The Panda's Thumb

Michele Bachmann has a plan to cut the budget and it starts with freezing funding to the VA for health care for veterans and cutting spending on disability payments to those injured during war.

Via Ed Brayton in Science Blogs


Her list of cuts doesn’t explain the impact of freezing veterans’ health care funding, but the Congressional Budget Office said in a report issued in October that health care costs have been quickly increasing. VA’s health care budget was $44 billion in 2009, $48 billion in 2010 and is at $52 billion this year. The report forecasts a health care budget of $69 billion or higher by 2020 if trends continue, the report estimates.

Well yeah, the cost of health care for veterans keeps increasing. You know why? Because we keep creating more wounded veterans. Want to cut the budget? Stop invading countries like we’re going to Branson for a family vacation.

This is absolutely the last place we should be cutting the budget. I’m not one of those people who gets all weepy eyed about supporting the troops and you wouldn’t catch me dead with one of those stupid ribbons on my car. But our government keeps sending young people off to fight, die and get wounded in foreign lands and then we do little for them when they get back.

We have tens of thousands of vets living on the streets in this country, mostly due to a lack of care for the massive psychological damage that war does. If we’re going to keep putting them into that meat grinder, the least we can do is pay for fixing the results, as much as they can be fixed.

We hear all these right wingers throwing a fit over those who oppose the government’s decisions to go to war, claiming that those people are somehow hurting the troops with their policy opposition. But it is the government that is hurting the troops and it is our responsibility to care for them when they get back; they are as much victims of war as the dead here and abroad.

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