Former head of Illinois Veterans Affairs, Lt. Col. Tammy Duckworth, finally voiced her concern about the budget being balanced on the backs of veterans.
In a recent article “Duckworth fears cuts to veterans’ programs,” she spoke openly of her concern that the bipartisan “super committee” may ultimately fail in their negation. A failure will cause automatic cuts split between domestic and defense spending.
This comes as no surprise to some veterans who have suspected veterans’ benefits cuts were just over the horizon. Across the board cuts are believed to be the presumed result if the “super committee” can’t sort out their issues and cut at least $1.2 trillion.
Keep in mind, this past year, Republicans and Democrats have eyed various benefits reductions. While many veterans think this hysteria about cutting veteran benefits is new, think again.
In reality, many reductions of veterans’ benefits have been proposed for years, far before the current economic downturn. Lately, one issue has been proposed cuts to military retirement, again. Here’s a quick list other instances our beloved Congress and Presidents have targeted just retirement, along:
- “Mounting Retirement Worries,” Washington Post, 2006
- “Bush Threatens Veto of Defense Bill: President Wants Costly New Disabled Military Pension Benefits Eliminated,” Washington Post, 2002
- “Military Is Angered By Pension-cut Plan The Change Would Affect 800,000 Who Are In Uniform Or Have Retired. Top Officers Doubt Savings,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1995
- “Senate Cuts Pension for Future Service Personnel,” NY Times, 1986
- “Pentagon Reportedly Ready to Accept Retirement Pay Cuts,” LA Times, 1985
There are oodles more of these but I thought this would get the point across. Our leaders are great at sending us to war. They are also great at cutting benefits after we commit life and limb to missions like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Do I think the “super committee” will allow veteran and retiree benefits cuts? Absolutely. It seems like these benefits are almost the first to go when Washington DC forgets to balance their checkbook.
[note color=”#FFCC00″]Special thanks to Military Officers Association of America for spending the time and money necessary for the above video “Dear Soldier.”[/note]