Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty, (rafflaw), Guest Blogger
The other day I came across an article about Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has a big idea to save money in the Federal budget. When I read the article I was disappointed because Rep. Bachmann’s idea to save $4.5 Billion from the Federal budget is to take it away from Veterans disability payments. “The Air Force Times reports her plan would slice $4.5 billion from the VA, including reducing 150,000 veterans’ disability compensation and the amount they receive in Social Security Disability Income.” http://thinkprogress.org/2011/01/28/bachmann-veterans/ Now, I am all for saving money from waste and inefficiencies, but Rep. Bachmann’s idea would take it from our wounded heroes!
I wish I could say I was making this up. Rep. Bachmann has tried to downplay the report by claiming that it was meant to start a discussion on saving Federal dollars. A few questions come to my mind for Rep. Bachmann and any other politician of any stripe that thinks the way to save money is to reduce the already paltry disability payments now being made to the disabled Veterans who protected us and allowed us to have this free discussion on budgetary issues. Why should the wounded vets lose their disability payments or have them reduced, when this very same politician went to the mat to save the almighty tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans that added billions to the deficit? Should any soldier, Marine, sailor or Airman or any military person give up their limbs, their health and all too often, their lives in order to come home to politicians who want to sweep their injuries under the table, because they are just too costly?
Thankfully, the VFW, DAV, and many other Veterans organizations have come out publicly to blast Bachmann for suggesting that the United State of America can’t afford to take care of its wounded Veterans. I think the National Commander of the VFW, Richard L. Eubank’s words say it best. ‘ “I want her to look those disabled veterans in the eye and tell them their service and sacrifice is too expensive for the nation to bear.” ‘
I am particularly sensitive to these issues of Veterans benefits, because my Mother and my siblings and I benefitted greatly from VA and Social Security benefits while growing up. Without them, I may not have been able to attend college and my mother would have been destitute trying to feed and house her 5 children. These payments are vitally important to survivors, let alone the men and women who are disabled! Where is your shame Rep. Bachmann?
I have two more questions. First, to the people of the 6th Congressional District in Minnesota; What were you thinking when you reelected this ungrateful person to Congress? Second, to all who are reading this post, don’t you think we can find better ways to save this money without terrorizing our wounded warriors?
Submitted by Lawrence Rafferty (rafflaw), Guest Blogger