Cutting Veteran Benefits
Michelle Bachman has pissed off veterans by proposes in some rather modest cuts at the VA. As a disabled veteran myself, I can understand why, but you need to look at the whole picture of VA benefits, why they exist and what she wants to make cuts to.
The first part of vet benefits is easy, why do they exist? The reason has a lot to do with the hazard of being in any branch of the military, whether you ever deploy or not. The hazards are so great due to the type of activities that are required to keep the military ready and fit to fight, within 2 weeks of shipping to basic training you are already at risk of life and limb that you would be hard pressed to find in another occupation.
You have to take into account also, the pittance that military members are paid to do these jobs, a level of income you would be hard pressed to find lower. They make up for it with educational benefits, which serve as a good investment for the country, and with assurances of health care for service connected disabilities
To put it simply, guarantees need to be made that if you are injured in the service of the United States, you will be compensated for that injury. That that injury will be taken care of. It’s a tough sell and a lot to ask of someone to do the things the military does at the price at which they do it and risk being unemployable for the rest of their life.
Michelle Bachman would like to cap increases in spending, which is probably a good idea, and she would also like to make cuts to disability payments for those who are “double dipping”, that is collecting both SSI disability and VA disability.
These are both good ideas. While it is important to recognize the noble and risky act of signing that contract with the military, it’s also important that the country they swore to protect and defend remains healthy. To do otherwise undermines the sacrifices service members have made to preserve it. Sacrifices that often continue for a lifetime after they leave the military, in the form of disabilities.