There's no question that the federal budget is bloated, but lawmakers have become so desperate to reduce it that one influential former U.S. senator is floating the idea that looking into reducing benefits to disabled veterans is an idea whose time may have come.
Alan Simpson, a Wyoming Republican who served with the Army in Germany in 1955-56, is gunning (uh, poor choice of words) for the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs pays Vietnam vets who were exposed to Agent Orange.
"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," says Simpson, who is co-chair of the White House's fiscal commission.
While one may presume that Simpson means well, I would suggest that he spend time with vets who have survived Agent Orange exposure (many have not) and hear their heartbreaking stories of brain cancers, skin conditions and birth defects and leukemia in their offspring.
Let's cancel a worthless weapons system or three, cut back on unnecessary congressional pork and make other cuts before we start impinging on our veterans' well-deserved benefits.