Saturday, February 17, 2007

More cut than run

WHITE HOUSE TO US MILITARY: "We said we support the TROOPS...we never said anything about veterans."

Mon Feb 12, 2:00 PM

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now _ even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly _ by more than 10 percent in many years _ White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends _ its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office _ sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.

"Either the administration is willingly proposing massive cuts in VA health care," said Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, chairman of the panel overseeing the VA's budget. "Or its promise of a balanced budget by 2012 is based on completely unrealistic assumptions."

Edwards said that a more realistic estimate of veterans costs is $16 billion higher than the Bush estimate for 2012.

In fact, even the White House doesn't seem serious about the numbers. It says the long-term budget numbers don't represent actual administration policies. Similar cuts assumed in earlier budgets have been reversed.

This is actually a weird one. The White House spokesperson basically says that they're proposing a cut in VA funding to create a fake balanced budget but really, they're not going to cut VA funding.

So...why say it? And why, when the budget has ballooned to massive proportions because of a WAR would you even PROPOSE cutting funds to needy veterans?

Unless you're an asshole, of course.

So let me help the Democrats out here by proposing something myself. A suggested response to this proposal, if you will.


An open letter to ANY politician who would suggest cutting funds to veterans, wounded or otherwise:

Dear Asshole who has suggested cutting funds to veterans, especially at a time when the VA medical care budget has risen 83% in the last 6 years,

Go fuck yourself.