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Political Fratricide
April 1, 2003 11:38 PM   Subscribe

Political Fratricide: The GOP is reportedly [+] proposing $15 billion of cuts — or is it $25? — in veterans' benefits between now and 2007, and groups like the Veterans Against the Iraq War are hopping mad. Hell, I imagine the pro-war wing is pretty peeved, too. It's part of a plan with delusions of grandeur to deliver massive tax cuts AND kill the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years. The original tip is from Stand Down. The actual status of the cuts is nebulous at this point, however, with the SF Chron reporting that they will likely fail in the Senate as the tax cut is halved and others reporting that the die is not yet cast. The House budget resolution, for metafilter accountants who like these things, is here.
posted by hairyeyeball (12 comments total)

 
... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ...
Thanks for that clear signal to not read any further in your comments.
posted by HTuttle at 3:21 AM on April 2, 2003


No, I'm pro-war and for this. This is just more fearmongering. How about we look at some facts that the article left out. First off, the proposed 2004 budget is $27.5 billion - a 2 billion dollar increase over 2003 - or about 7.3%. That alone should raise some eyebrows. Seeing as how most people aren't getting 7.3% raises these days I don't see why the government should either. Now then, back to more hard numbers. For this discussion we'll assume that they will continue to ask for 7.3% increases in 2005, 2006 and 2007. That means $29.5 billion for 2005, $31.7 billion in 2006 and $34 billion in 2007 for a total of $122.6 billion between now and 2007. So looking at $15-$25 billion in cuts over this period is a 12-20% reduction of what they're asking. I think asking them to find a way to do with 12-20% less is reasonable. They're still getting additional money - 80-88% of what they're asking for. It is not unreasonable.

The liberals have a lot of fun with word the phrase "cuts". When someone proposes a 10% increase in budget, any part that is not appropriated is somehow twisted around as a cut. It's not a cut! It's a decrease in the overall spending increase! It's like you going in for an annual review, asking for a 10% increase in your salary, getting 6% and you go tell your co-workers that you got a pay cut. It's ridiculous, but a tactic used all the time.

the deficit ... you know, the one that did not exist before W was elected, as I understand it ... in six years

This can be argued a lot of ways, but in my opinion it was largely a case of presiding over a darn good economy. Now if you want to give him credit for creating the conditions then you have to give him credit him with not curtailing the "irrational exuberance" that led to the burst and the recession. It's still a fact that he did pile on another $1.7 trillion in debt during his time in office - balanced budget or not. Our elected officials on both sides continue to spend way too much. To some degree I can't blame them as most Americans run their personal lives in the same way. My wife and I carry no debt over 30 days (travel expenses are about it), no mortgage on our house or cars and we have a "surplus" in the bank because we decided to discipline ourselves a few years ago. IMO, If most people lived like us, they'd demand the same from the government...
posted by stormy at 3:24 AM on April 2, 2003


Sorry for not having links above... all the numbers can be found at veterans.house.gov with the exception of the $1.7 trillion increase in debt which can be found in all kinds of places.
posted by stormy at 3:28 AM on April 2, 2003


You can, of course, watch the status of the legislation on THOMAS.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:08 AM on April 2, 2003


First off, the proposed 2004 budget is $27.5 billion - a 2 billion dollar increase over 2003 - or about 7.3%. That alone should raise some eyebrows. Seeing as how most people aren't getting 7.3% raises these days I don't see why the government should either.

Because military spending is going to be increasing by at least an order of magnitude?

Because the current veteran's system can't actually handle the load it has, and has conditional rather than mandatory appropriations status?

Because the current military action will increase the number of combat veterans by at least 100,000?
posted by namespan at 8:52 AM on April 2, 2003


Careful, namespan, don't inject reality into stormy's beancounting.

No, I'm pro-war and for this.

Well, at least we know your confusion is consistent.

I think asking them to find a way to do with 12-20% less is reasonable. They're still getting additional money - 80-88% of what they're asking for. It is not unreasonable.

~guffaw~

Thank god we're not asking rich taxpayers in this country to tighten their belts and do without their promised tax cuts. I mean, everyone knows these folks are really suffering in this economy, what with not being able to afford new SUVs every year. And those veterans will just have to wait on luxuries like surgeries and basic health care. It's been a woefully understaffed and underfunded VA system for years. Why should rich taxpayers NOW have to do without their tax cuts for a bunch of lower class veterans?

~wink~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 8:59 AM on April 2, 2003


"Hang in there, help is on the way!" - GWB during the campaign, lying his ass off.

Why would a bunch of kids from poor families who faithfully served their country matter to Duhbya? Hell, you gotta have money to make it in his circle.

No veteran left behind. Unless you're a poor veteran, of course. Just like with the kids.
posted by nofundy at 10:19 AM on April 2, 2003


Bush did promise smaller government and a more Libertarian approach you know. Cut taxes, cut benefits, cut welfare, and let us all handle our own cash. Those of us who are stupid will end up in shit. Those of us who are smart will not. Instituting a leftist system to teach people that being stupid is okay will not get us anywhere as a race.

Perhaps if everything was based on merit, instead of what the government 'gives' us, Bush wouldn't be in power anyway.
posted by wackybrit at 10:47 AM on April 2, 2003


"WASHINGTON - The leaders of America's most prominent veterans organizations say that President Bush is failing to honor past commitments to military men and women even as he prepares to send a new generation of soldiers and sailors into combat.

The administration's support for rescinding lifetime health benefits for World War II and Korean War veterans and continuing problems at veterans hospitals stand as proof, veteran leaders say, that America is more than willing to lean on its soldiers during times of war but tolerates them serving as political props in peacetime."

["Frustrated Veterans Accuse Bush of Breaking Promise"
By Wayne Washington
Boston Globe Staff
Sunday, 22 December, 2002 ]
posted by troutfishing at 10:55 AM on April 2, 2003


Bush did promise smaller government and a more Libertarian approach you know. Cut taxes, cut benefits, cut welfare, and let us all handle our own cash. Those of us who are stupid will end up in shit. Those of us who are smart will not. Instituting a leftist system to teach people that being stupid is okay will not get us anywhere as a race.

Mmmm. The fresh smell of social darwinism. (Or should that be the rotten, 150 year old smell?). I believe individuals can often improve their lot by working hard and smart, but there are so many things wrong with the idea that personal misfortune is caused only by poor personal choices -- which is essentially what you're saying.

And remember, of course, that the apparently "stupid" choice we're talking about here is to believe that if you join the military and put life and limb on the line for your nation, it will take care of you in return.
posted by namespan at 12:24 PM on April 2, 2003


Well, maybe I did go off half-cocked on the numbers, but I figured the thread would straighten me out. Thanks Mr. Moon Pie. I have a mental block on THOMAS and EDGAR because of the trauma of a previous career. The government was indeed running a surplus through 2001, by the way. Current CBO estimates are for a $1.8 trillion deficit over the next ten years [+].

Those of us who are stupid will end up in shit. Those of us who are smart will not

I'm not stupid, and I'm in shit. A big part of the reason for this is that terrorists bombed the city where I live, two business days after I got laid off my job because corrupt Wall Streeters lied to line their pockets. Wackybrit, you and Nick Denton can go play with the withered stump of your imperial aspirations, mate.
posted by hairyeyeball at 1:03 PM on April 2, 2003


hairyeyeball...what's with this "[+]" thing? I would think that saying something like "the Cato Institute estimates a $1.8 trillion deficit (even as they say, as is their mandate, that raising taxes will not help)" would be easier to read. No snark meant, I promise, and I realize it's just an aesthetic...

My sympathies on the layoff. I know the feeling, spent 9 months without work, lucky to have even contracts now.
posted by namespan at 1:36 PM on April 2, 2003


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