Republicans are in shock that President Obama is insisting that benefits for disabled people and veterans not be cut, while House Republicans are coming out against a fiscal cliff deal.
An important detail was buried four paragraphs from the bottom of the New York Times write up of Obama’s latest fiscal cliff proposal, “The president is also insisting on some protections for what he has called the “most vulnerable populations,” which Republican aides said they had not been expecting. The new inflation calculations, for instance, would probably not affect wounded veterans and disabled people on Supplemental Security Income. And Mr. Obama is sticking by his request for additional upfront spending on infrastructure and an extension of expiring unemployment benefits.”
Republicans were actually taken by surprise by the fact that Obama won’t go along with cutting benefits for disabled veterans. Let that sink in for a minute. Republicans fully expected this president, the Democratic Party, and the American people to support a benefits cut for disabled veterans.
Although, Speaker Boehner claims that he is not giving up on negotiations with the president, he is also moving forward on his own “Plan B.” The Boehner plan is a right wing fantasy that has absolutely zero chance of passing the Senate, and a less than zero chance of being signed by President Obama.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has argued that the chained CPI change that Boehner is pushing would be devastating for young disabled vets of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, “The largest cuts in benefits would impact young permanently disabled veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Social Security Administration, permanently disabled veterans who started receiving VA disability benefits at age 30 would see their benefits cut by more than $1,300 a year at age 45; $1,800 a year at age 55; and $2,260 a year at age 65.”
The chained CPI is bad policy, but what Republicans are proposing is nothing less than an unpatriotic attack on the benefits that have been earned by disabled veterans. The fact that Republicans would even propose such a cut speaks volumes about how much they really value the sacrifice made by those who served their country.
The far left and the far right a.k.a. the my way or no way twins of American politics were already throwing tantrums over Obama’s latest proposal, but polling reveals that 66% of Americans want both Obama and Boehner to compromise on their principles and beliefs to make a deal. Each side will have to give something for a compromise to be reached, but any deal should not include benefit cuts to disabled veterans.
The Sanders led campaign against disabled veterans benefits cuts is working. President Obama has heard those of you who have said no to Boehner’s plan. There is still work to be done. The pressure must be kept up, and you can do your part by signing this petition telling Congress no cuts to benefits for disabled veterans.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a 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