Are Disabled Veterans Really An ‘Unintended’ Budget Deal Cut?

Are Disabled Veterans Really An ‘Unintended’ Budget Deal Cut?

Guns were drawn over the recently approved budget deal. Well, hypothetical guns, but there was enough tension that “several lawmakers nearly resorted to pistols drawn at 20 paces,” as CSMonitor described it. It’s bad enough that military retirement benefits will be reduced as a result of the budget deal but the worst of it? It affects disabled veterans as well.

It was a “technical error” that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), one of the architects for the budget deal, promised to fix next year.

The question is will it really be fixed?

“People who have sacrificed their limbs will lose part of their pension because Democrats are in a hurry to get their way, and they want their way or the highway,” Sen. Paul told Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday.

…What happened is Republicans said we want more money to spend on the military. Democrats said we want more money to spend on social welfare, so they compromised in the wrong direction. They compromised to add $60 billion in new spending, all of it borrowed, and even borrowing from disabled veterans.

The money that they are not going to pay to disabled veterans, they are not saving it or going towards the debt. … It’s compromise towards accumulating more debt. It’s a big mistake and a big step backwards for the country.

The budget deal ‘unintentionally’ cuts from disabled veterans but then increases the country’s debt. What kind of balance is that?

As for those who support the budget deal…. Sen. John McCain fired back at critics that the 1 percent cut was necessary to avoid a government shutdown, even going as far as to mention that “retirement and health benefits…are ‘eating us alive.'”

High costs or not, it’s not lost on Babette Maxwell, founder of Military Spouse magazine, that “a disabled veteran took money away from disabled veterans.”

“I can’t imagine a nation that would support taking away earned benefits from those who have given of their life and of their limb,” Babette Maxwell said on NewsMax TV.

Others, like Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, agreed that “medically disabled retirees” should be exempted. However, he then said:

“We all know that we need to slow the cost growth in military compensation.” (The Hill)

The country has a $17 trillion debt and we can’t afford to take care of the men and women who serve our country. It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? They’re going to increase spending in other areas (and the country’s debt) while shaving off military benefits. What are your thoughts on this ‘budget deal’?

(Photo courtesy of 1/25 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, via Flickr Creative Commons CC BY 2.0)



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