This Memorial Day weekend is about paying tribute to the men and women who fought our wars. They deserve honor and respect that shouldn’t be limited to one day.
These are men and women who gave the most valuable gifts they have in the name of protecting our values and our country. We may not agree with the politics behind the decisions by lawmakers to go to war. If you’re like me, you do believe that war should ideally should be eliminated. However, if it must be a factor, war should be the very last option when all others have been tried.
That differs from respecting the sacrifices made by men and women who risked their lives, sacrificed time with family, missed birthdays and many of the firsts in their children’s lives – in the name of defending America.
I can’t help but think about what Trump’s proposed budget says to veterans.
It’s bad enough that our troops are paid so badly that they are eligible for food stamps (which Trump also cut, with the added insult that he did it so benefactors would be “less dependent”.
In a statement, VoteVets.org said what this budget is really all about for vets – and for the rest of us. This is classic divide and conquer.
As those who served this nation in uniform, we cannot be more clear – we will not accept increases to the VA Budget and DOD Budget, on the backs of the poor, seniors, and the security and safety of the American people. We will not allow Donald Trump to pit veterans and the military against everyone else.
The hard numbers bear that out if you look at the hatchet job Trump did to programs that benefit Americans, including veterans.
Let’s begin with acknowledging the budget does propose a spending increase of 6% for the department of Veterans Affairs.
The $82 billion total discretionary request is nearly twice as large as the department’s entire budget in fiscal 2001, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, this increase when taking with the hatchet Trump takes to other programs is a 3 card Monty.
One notable example is the Individual Unemployability program. It allows the VA to award payouts at the 100% disable rate to vets who can’t find work because of service connected injuries. Currently, this applies even if the individual is not deemed 100% disabled.
According to Military Times, the number of recipients has tripled since 2000. That’s roughly 339,000 people in 2016.
Trump wants to stop those payments once veterans are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, affecting 225,000 vets, claiming the practice amounts to a “duplication of benefits.”
The budget adds insult to injury when one considers the effect of Trump’s $70 billion in cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) over the next decade. In its analysis, the Washington Post points to the Trump “hope” that people who benefit from this program will be encouraged or required to re-enter the work force. The added salt in the wound lies in the fact, that Vets are, in many instances, disabled and unemployable as a direct result of service related injuries.
There just aren’t any words that adequately expressed the moral ineptitude of a President who financially penalizes people for getting hurt while fighting for our country.
And it doesn’t stop there. The devastating effects of this budget cut disabled people off from food stamps and housing assistance. Because injuries sustained in war would be classified as pre-existing conditions for health insurance purposes, vets will be priced out of insurance under Trumpcare, that is if they aren’t blackballed.
Jason Easley’s post on the Trump budget’s consequences for disabled people says volumes about the so called values of Donald Trump.
Persons with disabilities could lose their heath care, income, food assistance, housing, independent living assistance, and access to programs to help them with their specific disabiliti
No matter how his minions try to spin it, Trump’s budget is nothing short of a cruel recipe for making life a living hell for disabled people and that includes vets.
This budget is as morally depraved as it gets, when even our vets are under those bus wheels in the name of increasing handouts to the Trump family and their rich friends.