Monday, January 31, 2011

Michele Bachmann plans to cut veteran benefits

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Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

As if Republicans’ boilerplating about their support for the troops despite their zeal to prolong ruinous and pointless wars for purely ideological reasons didn’t sound hollow enough, here’s the latest offense by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) as a part of her new plan to cut the deficit:

Tea party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has unveiled a plan for cutting $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cutting veterans’ disability benefits.

Her proposed VA budget cuts would account for $4.5 billion of the savings included in the plan, posted on her official House of Representatives website.

Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, said cutting veterans’ health care spending is an ill-advised move at a time when the number of veterans continues to grow as troops return from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sullivan said he finds it difficult to see how VA could freeze health care costs without hurting veterans.

Because what better way to cut spending than by taking money away from those who need it most, or to show your compassion for the troops than by metaphorically telling them to fuck off when they come back all banged up from the same pointlessly prolonged and bloody conflicts people like her love to wage?

I’m certainly no fan of the United States’s military, at least not in its currently profoundly overblown state, and I generally think that those who willingly sign up to get sent into bullet-ridden hellholes overseas aren’t so much selfless as recklessly patriotic at best (or downright suicidal at worst). But, despite my disagreements with their motive(s), I do support the troops (even as a foreigner), because I recognize that the majority of them are good people who believe in serving their country, and many of them are true heroes who sacrifice life and limb to help others in the most wretched locales on the planet. They constantly find themselves stuck hundreds or thousands of miles away from home and safety, often for far longer than they even signed up for. And even when they return home, untold thousands of them end up homeless and crippled from various physical and/or psychological issues and find only minimal care, if any.

And now, under the supposedly “pro-troops” Rep. Bachmann, what little recourse they do have would be reduced even further. People like her (which seems to include the vast majority of the GOP) are self-serving hypocrites … and that’s just about the very least that could be said about them.

(via Dispatches from the Culture Wars)