Saturday, November 25, 2006

Support the Troops, Screw the Veterans

Two of my hottest buttons are hypocritical politicians and the erosion in government-paid veterans benefits.
With the war in Iraq, the two have come together nicely to make a hot button the size of a volcano.
In fairness, the erosion in vets benefits began during the Clinton administration, but has accelerated since The Decider took the throne and sent hundreds of thousands of Americans to fight in the Mess in Mesopotamia and in Afghanistan.

Many of those veterans have since been discharged, and by one estimate one in five have post-combat physical and mental disabilities requiring treatment, or more than 100,000 to date.
Trouble is, many of these vets are trying to tap into an already overburdened Veterans Administration medical system and are not getting the help they need and very much deserve.

Wait, it gets worse: Given current projections, one expert estimates that about 400,000 eventually will need treatment.
What has the response of Congress been to this looming crisis? To cut back benefits, of course.

Who are the leading benefit cutters? The very Republicans who slavishly backed the war and have yammered on ad nauseum about how we have to support the troops.

A guy by the name of Bob Geiger and a terrific young organization called Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America took a close look at 324 Senate votes on veterans bennies and healthcare in the last five years that affected American troops and veterans. Their conclusion:
All Senate Democrats have been more supportive of the troops and veterans than any Senate Republicans.
Read their ratings for both Senate and House here. And weep.

(Poster by Adam Kline at Jesus' General)

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