In an address at the National Press Club today, Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into John Boehner and his fellow House Republicans for suggested cutting disabled veterans’ benefits in order to reduce the deficit.
John Boehner’s deficit reduction proposal includes cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid with new tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. Boehner also called for a switch to the chained CPI, which would reduce annual cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients, and for disabled veterans.
Sanders called Boehner’s proposal morally and economically unacceptable, “It is morally and economically unacceptable that anyone in Congress would propose more tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires and large corporations while at the same time proposing significant cuts for disabled veterans,. This is not what the American people want and it is not what must happen.”
Later, Sen. Sanders repeated his call for the wealthy and corporations to pay more in taxes, “What the election results were about and what poll after poll has found is that we must not cut benefits for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The wealthy and large corporations have got to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
The chained CPI is a big change that some Democrats and most Republicans are trying sell as something minor. The reality is that disabled veterans would see their benefits cut by $1,300-$2,260 a year by the time they reach age 65. Republicans are trying to create more revenue by reducing the level of benefits for disabled veterans. If implemented, the chained CPI would push Americans who already in or teetering towards poverty deeper into economic distress.
The idea of taking money away from people who may already have limitations on potential earnings and giving it to wealthy people at the top is what Republican economic philosophy is all about. Congressional Republicans like Boehner would rather protect millionaires and billionaires than their promise to the men and women who have literally spilled their blood for this country.
It was shameful when Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would create millions of jobs for veterans then quickly fled town, and it is even more disgraceful that congressional Republicans would even consider dishonoring and impoverishing those who have sacrificed so much. I am sure that these brave individuals would do more if asked. But anyone with a conscience can’t ask them to do more, when the wealthy have done nothing.
Liberals, progressives, conservatives, Democrats, and Republicans across this country should join together to tell Republicans that the United States does not steal from its veterans to give to the rich. Bernie Sanders said it best. What Republicans are trying to do to our disabled veterans is morally wrong, and injustice can only prevail when people stay quiet and let it stand.
Don’t stay quiet.
(Note: I am unable to locate a petition related to this subject. If anyone wants to start one, please email me with the link, and I will add it to this story.)
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association