Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Veterans Pension Cut Restored

Obama took time out from his golf game in Palm Springs, in one of the redoubts where he still maintains a positive approval rating, to sign both a bill to increase the federal debt limit and a separate bill to restore cuts to veteran pensions.

The cuts, laid out in the budget compromise of last December, would have annual increases to all pensions for retired veterans under the age of 62 reduced to one percent below the inflation rate.  Those who defended the cuts said that it was in an area to demonstrate that the federal budget must be brought under control.  Considering that the budget has sky-rocketed since Obama came to power, this is a novel approach for the Democrats.

Though it would definitely leave a mark in retirees' income – a retired Army Sergeant First Class (E-7), for example, would lose some $72,000 on average – the federal budget would save some $7 billion over the next ten years.  It wasn't long ago that $7 billion was a respectable amount, but considering the enormous spike in federal spending under Obama, it was a miniscule effort to ensure that Democrats could make a claim of being fiscally responsible.

Any threat to trimming the budget is met by Democrats as a cut in services despite the fact that total funding always eventually increases – so that a lower rate of increase is characterized as a "cut".  For this reason Democrats have taken Republicans to task for being hypocritical, but in this case, the cut was specified as lower than the inflation rate, making it an actual decrease in the value of the pension over time.

Of course the cruelest cut was that it was only the military pensions that were affected; federal civilian pensions were not part of this "shared sacrifice".  This was the first time that this ploy had been tried since the Carter administration.

As if on cue, we learn that the use of food stamps (in their modern incarnation) has not only greatly increased under Obama but their use by military families has almost doubled.  It is bad enough that the administration is steadfast in its march to have more and more Americans dependent on government largess.  It was Thomas Jefferson who said, "The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and for government to gain ground;" which leads to his attribution of "Any government powerful enough to give the people all they want is also powerful enough to take from the people all that they have."

As for those who defend our nation at peril of their lives as well as the more pervasive sacrifices such as prolonged family absences (and what about that "income inequality" meme du jour?), Pete Hegseth of the Concerned Veterans of America said, "It's not what this country should be giving back to those who have given so much."


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. The two previous comments bit the dust, despite the polite and, I fear, boilerplate introductory phrasing. The instructions below stand -- if you wish to link to a site or article that is related to the subject of this or any other post, one that contributes to the discussion, then that is welcome.

    If it is an attempt to link to a commercial site, then it will be deleted, usually within a few moments.


Comments are welcome and discussion is open and encouraged. I expect that there will be some occasional disagreement (heaven knows why) or welcome clarification and embellishment, and such are freely solicited.

Consider that all such comments are in the public domain and are expected to be polite, even while contentious. I will delete comments which are ad hominem, as well as those needlessly profane beyond the realm of sputtering incredulity in reaction to some inanity, unless attributed to a quote.

Links to other sources are fine so long as they further the argument or expand on the discussion. All such comments and links are the responsibility of the commenter, and the mere presence herein does not necessarily constitute my agreement.

I will also delete all comments that link to a commercial site.