Army Times

Veterans groups blast proposed tea party cuts

By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 28, 2011 16:20:26 EST

A proposal to cut $4.5 billion from Veterans Affairs Department health programs to reduce government spending has earned a quick, sharp rebuke from major veterans groups.


Proposed by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., the freeze in veterans health care funding — along with a cut in disability compensation for veterans also receiving Social Security disability benefits — are part of a $400 billion package of spending cuts that the tea party leader says could be enacted to avoid increasing the $14.3 trillion cap on government borrowing.


Disabled American Veterans called Bachmann’s ideas “ill-advised,” “nothing short of heartless” and “wrong-headed.”


Veterans of Foreign Wars said she was “totally out of step with America’s commitment to our veterans.”


Veterans for Common Sense said they were “outraged” that her proposal “would leave veterans twisting in the wind.”

Discuss (at Army Times)

The proposal


“It is unconscionable that while our nation is at war, someone would even think of forcing our wounded warriors to sacrifice even more than they already have,” said David Gorman of the DAV. “Their injuries and disabilities were the result of their service to the nation, and our nation must not shirk its responsibilities toward them. How do you tell a veteran who has lost a limb that he or she has not sacrificed enough? Yet Rep. Bachmann wants to do just that.”


Bachmann’s proposal would result in a reduction of up to $2,224 a month in veterans’ disability compensation for a veteran who also receives Social Security Disability Income, known as SSDI. Additionally, it would freeze veterans’ health care funding at current levels.


Richard Eubank, VFW national commander, said his organization will work to stop the proposal. “No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress,” he said.


“There are certain things you do not do when our nation is at war, and at the top of that list is not caring for our wounded and disabled servicemen and women when they return home,” Eubank said. “The day this nation can’t afford to take care of her veterans is the day this nation should quit creating them.”


Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, who first spotted the proposal on Bachmann’s official congressional website, said 10,000 new veterans a month are seeking treatment from VA.


“In the middle of this dramatically increasing need at VA to care for our veterans, comes Rep. Michele Bachmann,” he said, calling her efforts to cut veterans funding just as combat operations appear to be winding down in Iraq is similar to cuts after the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War that left VA struggling to care for veterans.


DAV’s Gorman said capping veterans’ health care funding “will not only freeze out sick and disabled veterans seeking care, it will also end up costing the federal government even more money.”


“With the number of veterans seeking health care rising, the effect of a freeze would be to either block enrollment of veterans, many of them just returning from battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to ration care to currently enrolled veterans, including disabled veterans who have relied on VA dating back to World War II,” Gorman said.


The Obama administration is prepared to cut federal spending, but not like this, said White House spokesman Shin Inouye.


“While we need to make tough choices across the federal government to get our deficits under control to be competitive in the global economy, we should do so in a way that upholds the sacred trust our nation has with its veterans, troops and military families,” Inouye said.



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I will never understand why Michelle Bachmann made the statement she did.  She just struck fear in the heart of every mother who is up at Walter Reed holding her Heroes hand and hoping with all her heart that she can at least count on the Conservatives in this country to help her help her Brave Warrior.  WHY??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You want to cut spending, get the illegals out of this country!!!  You want to cut spending, quit funding the education of the children of illegals!!!!!  What have they ever done for this country?!!!!   Quit dishing out welfare and food stamps for people that aren't looking for work!  

Our Soldiers and our Veterans deserve every little bit of the beneifts they get!  They never played politics with our lives, they selflessly answered the call of service to the country they love.  Shame on Ms. Bachmann.  

Beverly Perlson 

The Band of Mothers

Why is it that the FIRST place everyone looks to CUT the budget is the seniors and veterans?  Why don't they start with some of their own cushy benefits?  And then all  the millions of illegals sitting around popping out babies for bigger checks, etc.  The amount she's talking about cutting would leave me OWING the government about $1,000 every month. Seniors and veterans PAID for the services they're being rendered, sometimes very high prices.  Why not start with the programs that AREN'T now  and never have "paid" for the benefits; cut back some of those exorbitant union brokered benefits for the Federal employees that the nation simply can't afford now.  Cut back on Obamas' fancy trips that are so frivolous and unnecessary.  Clean out the illegals' costing us untold billions in education, housing, health care, food and so on, and STOP paying them to do so!  We could start with Obama's illegal auntie, whose income is also higher than mine!   Yes, I realize we all have to sacrifice, and a SMALL cut wouldn't be unreasonable, as long as they make the cuts in OTHER place first, where the funding is undeserved, but Vets and seniors and those on SSDI haven't seen a COLA already for the past 2 years and this is the 3rd, so we're already making considerable sacrifice, while the Federal government goes on spending and Congress has had 3 raises in that same time!

The irony in all of this is that everyone is for spending cuts so long as we don't lose ours... As a lifetime DAV member I support Rep. Michele Bachmann in her attempt to bring federal spending under control. She is not proposing a permanent freeze and since we claim to be independent and support each other in our needs perhaps it is time to stop complaining and start doing more to help each other. I served with a lot of good men, some came home in one piece, some did'nt. And some never made it home at all. But all of us watched out for each other and we are still the same men. 

I'am a veteran, thanks to obummer, we all will have to give up something, maby a he.. of alot more then we want.Michelle telling us the truth. thanks Allen Johnson. i get it.
Gene and Allen, I also am a life member of the DAV, VFW and Vietnam Veterans of America. I, as are both of my brothers Vietnam Veterans. My 93 year old mother knows more about the horrors of war then any of you. She had 8 uncles, WWI, 5 brothers 4 brother-in laws WWII, 1 brother, 3 brother-in laws Korea, 3 sons in Vietnam and countless nephews serve this country in wars. My mother didn't spend a Christmas or any other holiday with all of her 3 sons from 1966 to 1972  I have been helping severely disabled Vets fight the VA since 1989, full time since I retired in 2003 and watched some of them die before they ever received the benefits they earned. Out of the 2.8 million IN COUNTRY Vietnam Veterans there are less then 900,000 of us left. The US government, the American people and the Veterans Administration have disrespected, ignored and cheated this whole generation of of Vietnam Veterans for over 40 years. They took care of the WWII and Korean War Vets but not the Vietnam Vets. After fighting for almost 40 years for the benefits we earned and deserved and are finally starting to get you all want to cut what little that we are getting. Four years ago the VA medical was fully funded for the first time. The total budget for that was about 70 billion or about 1/3 of what was given to bail out AIG, 1/4 of Fannie-Freddie bailout with more to come, less then the 80 billion given to GM, about 1/10 of the amount spent on new government  increased by 25% under Obama and Congress, not to mention the 1.5 trillion for Obama-Care. Hell we just gave the teachers unions 50 billion and they don't teach anyone anything. The Energy Departments budget is 85 billion, we really need them, they do such a fine job. We spend 400 billion on benefits to illegals, we even give them SS that they didn't earn. Vietnam Veterans are dying at a faster rate then any other generation of Veterans ever, so lets cut our benefits now so we can die even faster, problem solved. I could spend hours telling you all Nam Vet horror stories but why waste my time or yours, you wouldn't listen anyways. If they get away with this what's going to happen to our newest and without a doubt greatest generation of Veterans and how bad will they be screwed. Hows this let Congress cut their own heads off and leave the VA alone a better solution. I have shrapnal scars, tinnitus, bilateral hearing loss, blown out left knee, 2 Agent Orange conditions and PTSD and you want to take the crappy 30% I receive. The first 10% in 2001 and the other 20% in 2006, SCREW YOU. Every Vet I know who is receiving service connected benefits earned them and more in spades. Those benefits are less then we earned and deserve but are needed just to live a half normal life. I don't know one Veteran who started a War for this Country, all we did was fight and die in them. I say again SCREW YOU, over. Beverley you go girl and remember your Band of Mothers has a Band of Nam Vet Brothers covering your back. I would rather have you next to me in a fox-hole or on a bunker when the enemy is coming through the wire then those who would screw our Vets. Veterans benefits is the one thing that should never be on the table period. Sp-4 Luke P. Patrino, 937th Combat Engineer Group, Pleiku- Kontum- Dak To, Republic of Vietnam 67-68

THANK'S BROTHER YOU SAD IT ALL!!!!!!!!! had 18.5 yrs in put out with 10% but i am 100% has taken me from 1989 till now to get 40% But when gave 110% all the time. I dont want a free ride just what i am do.

Here's a thought.. why don't we cut ALL the free benefits and cash to the people that are here illegally, and push that money to the veterans.

I can tell you where the ,money cuts need to come from.  A goodly number of our politicians vote themselves a payraise every chance they get.  Every Senator and Congressman has life long medical care AND a fat retirement check.  They should get a salary when in office and that's it.  Most of them have already held jobs previously to serving in Congress, lawyers, etc. so why do they need yet another pension?  Pelosi spent millions on supersizing her jet and her staff.  Michelle Obama has quadrupled her staff and takes vacations in France and then complains to the French that she HATES the White House.  Why are we paying for HER vacations?  Isn't it enough we pay for HIS multiple vacations? 

They are more than happy to cut VA Medical programs.  They can cut Military Retirement Programs.  But very few, and I'll give a nod to Sarah Palin, who cut their spending.  I say start at the top, the very people who send us to war,  and work your way down like they do in military downsizing.

And yes, I am a Disabled Vet who served in Desert Storm.  But I also went to work when I got out and earned a second retirement.  Its not much because I had to retire from it due to my DS problems but I at least could work for a little while.

I think the politicos should put their money where their mouth is and give up all the perks and advantages that they have inherited from previous politicians.

Every time I go to BAMC I see the violence this nations wars have done to our brave warriors.  Young men and women with no legs from IEDs, people horribly burned, features mangled by bullets and others with less obvious but no less vicious injuries.  They don't need their medical services cut.  The people up on the hill and the hangers on, they need their money cut and with a damned sharp knife.

God bless our Brave Warriors.

Debi Cole


To be able to get this country back on a fiscally responsible path there are going to have to be cuts and I mean cuts to the bone.

One thing that could be done is to start with the illegal aliens and then progress up to the welfare crowd and continue up the entitlement ladder until we get to the balance needed to bring this government to a balanced budget.

This country is headed to hell in a hand basket and none of the politicians are willing to do what is right because of their job and entitlements, and we have let them get too this point.Now it is our responsibility to make these things wright.

Right on Darrell.  In Texas we have to push one to GET to English.  I don't mind immigrants with the proper documentation.  I want to help them, but the illegals are just one more thing pulling at the hem of our country while the upper eschelon is unzipping the dress.

Debi C




All good things, like the Garden of Eden" their is always a SNAKE OR TWO, Bechmann is one! ! !


TSGT Clough

Willie, I too am a Oath Keeper, one of the Founders, you hang in there brother and keep fighting for what you have earned. Just a little history lesson for you cut the Vets Benefits supporters. After WWII the US Government passed new Veterans Benefits Law for the 14 million War Vets, the New GI Bill. The cost was over 16 billion dollars a staggering sum for 1946 when our national debt was 120% of GDP from the cost of the WWII. We did that and rebuilt Europe under the Marshal Plan at the same time. Estimates vary but anywhere from 25 to 50 trillion dollars was realized from the men and women who took advantage of those benefits and their contributions to our great Nation. Sadly those benefits were cut severely for the Vietnam Era Vets. My uncle became a lawyer under the WWII GI Bill, he received almost 3 time as much as did the Nam Vets for college. It paid his tuition, books, travel expenses and $50.00 a month to live on. I got a whopping $130.00 a month 22 years later but only if I went full time. That didn't even cover tuition. But hey screwing the Vietnam Veterans has become a national pass-time since the mid 60s. We got away with screwing them we can do it again to our newest generation of Vets too. Why stop screwing our Vets now, besides we have have to feed, clothe, educate, house, give medical and SS to the illegals at a cost of $400 billion per year. I mean it's only right, we don't want to be bigots or racists. Just for giggles and S**ts, I have decided to be both, you all can call me a RIGOT, that's both a bigot and a racist, maybe that should be BASIST, either or I no longer care what I am called. For you Tea Party late comers who think they know what the Tea Party is all about, The Tea Party Express started out as The Freedom Tour, their first Express launched in Sept. 2007 and ended in Washington DC 9-15-07 with a Support the Troops Rally. I march with Col. Harry Riley, Twana, Debbie Lee, Lloyd Marcus, Carolyn and Fernando Vanzorge, George Semick, the GoE, Eagles Up and all of the original Tea Party members before we were called the Tea Party. We countered the anti-war moon-bats march that day. My point is the Tea Party started by our support of our men and women in uniform. The first Gathering of Eagles, GoE, March 17, 2007 change my life, thank you Col. Harry Riley, it gave me reason to believe. March 19, 2011 will be the 5 straight time in the month of March I will be in Washington DC to stand against the Code Pinks ( Media Benjiman hates Walter and I ), Move On.Org, the anti military liberal left, the George Soros funded commies and the Hanoi Jane Fonda ( American Traitor Bitch ) wanna bees. I will be standing in support of our brave Men and Women who are fighting and dying for our Liberty and Freedom. I wonder if any of you CUT OUR VETS BENEFITS SUPPORTERS will be there too. It's easy to screw our Vets but much harder to stand up for them. A Country will be judged by the way it treats it's Veterans who fought for Her survival. The Vietnam Veterans have saying, NEVER AGAIN WILL ONE GENERATION OF VETERANS ABANDON THE NEXT GENERATION OF VETERANS, like the WWII and Korean War Vets did to us.



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