Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Why do Republicans hate disabled veterans?

So you're a veteran. You served your country and you were disabled as a result. When you retire, you receive retirement and disability, right? Nope. For each dollar of disability pay, you have to give back a dollar of retirement pay.

Not fair, you say? You're not alone. A bill that would allow veterans to draw both retirement and disability has 348 cosponsors. Unfortunately, because Bush opposes it, it remains in committee.

Jim Marshall began a discharge petition to force a vote on the bill. Currently, it has 201 signatures. The list includes every Democratic House member from Georgia - and none of the Republicans. That's representative of the list. Where are the Republicans?

It is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office that redressing the retirees' grievance would cost the Treasury between $3 billion and $5 billion a year - and the Bush administration has turned thumbs down because they see it as a budget-buster . . . "Republican representatives are being forced to represent the White House," complains retired Air Force Lt. Col. B.E. Cushing, a Florida resident. He adds that the word is that the Republican leadership is "urging and even threatening" members to keep them from signing the Discharge Petition.

Bush could give trillions in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, but he can't spare a few billion for our disabled veterans. What kind of person is he?