Defense Cuts will Benefit Veterans

October 02, 2011 | Benjamin Krause

The Pentagon was told to reduce its 10-year budget by another $25 billion to protect VA healthcare from spending cuts. Sources within the White House reported that the move was done in an effort to protect VA medical funding from deep cuts in the future.

The Budget Control Act is the source of tension between Defense spending and Veterans Benefits. The Act caps spending for the Defense Department, State Department, Veterans Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

In a hopeful sign, the White House seems to be supporting spending to support current disabled veterans over making new ones with even more war spending.

The President’s budget request for next year is $52.6 billion for veterans’ healthcare. By 2016, the budget is expected to increase to $60 billion.

Overall, the cumulative cuts of all spending under the Budget Control Act could be over $1 trillion over the next 10 years.

In this current economic climate, it’s nice to know programs for disabled veterans are not on the chopping block more than other programs.

For more on this, go to White House Cuts $25 Billion More From Defense to Fund VA in Business Week

About Benjamin Krause

Benjamin Krause is a Veterans Benefits Attorney and journalist who investigates problems veterans face with the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. He regularly reports on veterans' benefits news and analysis on the website DisabledVeterans.org.

Comments

  1. Kown what!. Our government is full Chiefs and no Braves. It is full of yip yap and cackel and crows, brags and complaints. The President could fix most of the nations money woes with his pen. Declare a National Emergency and cut all social benefits 10% and increase all taxes .5%. Double that for out of the country businesses and benefits. (I am on the benefit side, I can live with it). The economy would be stimulated because with any workable solution thousands of lawyers show up with thier you can't do that laws. Lawyers serve themselfs and thier clients, they ahould not be allowed in congress.

    • I agree, the lawyers have literally messed this country up, we need some good college grads in congress and get rid of the traditional rifraff! All they do is argue about who is right, can't they once agree on what is right? Even a highschool graduate can read a bill!

    • stuart card says:

      spell check next time ,please THEIR not thier

    • Enrique Flores says:

      No he can't. What fiction have you been readinng?

    • You were half right… lawyers only serve themselves. As to the rest of your post; a concise, common sense approach like that will never work in this country anymore. The vast majority from that got cut by 10% would rise up and take to the streets, finding energy they never had to simply go find work, and the press would distort and demonize any such attempt.

  2. That's what happens when the Dems are in control. Gut the military and support the illegals.

  3. If they brought home our occupation troops from Japan and bring home most of our units in europe. Just leave a couple of brigades as a quick reaction team for the middle east and then make South Korea pay us for protecting them. Bring our troops home and put them shoulder to shoulder on the mexica border, problem solved.

  4. Del Abercrombie says:

    Why should VA health care be dependent on DOD cuts.DOD puts them in harms way and then says we hurt them let the the VA take of them, but we won't or can't support that care independent of DOD cuts. Washington wake up and pay attention to what going around you.

  5. Why do we need va I joined DoD, got hurt while employed by DoD and get sent to another agency!

    America is fantastic!

  6. Cutting military budgets brings us back to the issue that got most of us disabled in the first damn place… Fewer troops with crappy malfunctioning outdated equipment = More injuries and permanent disabilities. A smaller weaker and underfunded military also = MORE WAR, more disabled soldiers and more spending later.

  7. MacDaddyDC says:

    Time to oust the tea party & republicans, first and foremost, they historically have put us at war. The reason we’ve gone in harms way? The stated reason is always to protect America’s interests; unfortunately, that simply means American corporate interests.

    We’ve watched our American corporations dispose of unions, jobs, pension plans (everyone happy with their 401k?), renig on healthcare they promised their workers and continually screw the backbone of their workforce into poverty and they’ve accomplished all of this with the permission and whole-hearted endorsement of republicans.

    And now we’re surprised they don’t want to live up to their end of the deal? Yet again we’re astonished the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

    We need a court above the Supreme Court made up of regular working folks, no lawyers allowed. We could call it the Court Of Common Sense and disallow all lobbyists, politicians, and others who would place their interests ahead of the country. Veterans could play a major role simply by exemplifying our common belief and oath, to uphold and protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign or republican … er domestic.

    • What would be nice is a fair tax. Everybody pays their way. You spend a lot, you pay more taxes. No free rides. But GOVERNMENTS lose their kick backs. I'm a moderate Republican, who believes ina lot of what you say. However it takes two to tangle. Both parties have taken care of themselves by passing laws for them. They don't have to follow the healthcare that they passed. They have their own. Which is for life after their service, even if its for one term of service. It's time for a change, that's why I am for the Tea Party. They are from both parties, who want this country back on the right path.

      • Look at Snopes, pretty much everything you say has been disproven.

        • lol, please… so you get your economic and policy views from Snopes.com? A website that specializes in letting you know if Richard Gere actually stuffed a rodent up his a**? Besides the point all he really said was he supported a "fair tax"… how can that even be disproven? Everything else he said, such as Congress not applying the healthcare law to themselves, is absolutely 100% true. Nice try though.

        • Snopes is a great place for urban legions, but if you look on the politics side the are about left as you can get

    • Think you need to read history a little better.

    • Grateful in Florida says:

      You hit the nail on the head amigo. I can't believe there are so many veterans who have bought into the tea party adgenda of destroying everything that makes America the greatest nation in history. I am retired law enforcement (28 years) and am glad to be out…..they are after my enforcement brothers and firefighters too. What on earth is going on in these people's minds?

      • What part of "WE'RE F*&#^ING BROKE" is so hard to wrap your head around? So handouts and pensions made America great? News to me, I suppose. I foolishly thought it was the freedom to work hard and be successful at whatever you chose if you wanted. At least that's why my family immigrated here decades ago… they sure weren't looking for a handout or guaranteed retirement that would break the backs of local, state, and federal budgets. But as long as you got your's, right?

    • Ahhh yes it is the Tea party and the republicans !!! News flash for you MacDaddy, Historically huh, maybe you should take another history lesson. I cannot stand either political party, as they only care about themselves. Yes even the great Obama, does not give a rats ass about you, me or any other american. But back to the subject at hand, historically both sides of the aisle of put America at war an equal amount of times 13-13. The Democrats have the unfortunate honor of having the most loss of american lives on thier hands, as well as the bulk of the major conflicts. ( http://www.mapsofwar.com/ind/american-wars.html ) I encluded a link for you Mac, since I know you are to busy slurping up the party kool-aid , research it for your self.

    • Henry E. Sitgraves says:

      You know if you check history in the pass years its the republicans who go for the rich and the (H) with the poor who are the ones who bring the country out of trouble with low wages and if you pay the rent you don't have money for food. So why not get down to business and get the county back on the right path.

    • Did you ever hear of the U.S. Constitution? I guess not.

    • Hey Mac, By george you have it right. I,ll vote for you.

    • The Tea Party has "put us into war"? As soon as you make such a false statement you have lost the debate.

      What part of : Limited federal government, Individual freedoms, Personal responsibility, Free markets, Returning political power to the states and the people do you not understand or like. That is the Tea Party.

      You want to lay blame? Look at every President and Congress for the past 70 years. I for one am proud to be a part of the people who are standing up to an out of control government.

  8. Ronald D. Ferguson says:

    War is a non-party political act. We needed to secure the Middle East from instability because U.S. involvement prior to 9/11 was wanting. We made great strides so quit the whining. My son-in-law died in Afghanistan in August protecting our freedoms, including you whiners. Get off your a** and do something productive if you dont like the condition of this country!

    • Concur!!!! Quit the bitchin and get productive. 9/11 did happen dumb a** and we went after the bad guys like we should have. The end game here is if we send our troops out to fight and defend then make damn sure we treat them correctly when thet return regardless of who pays or the dang cost. They earned it!!! Many Died for it!!!!!! Fricken idiot, always putting politics in where it doesn't belong. Nuff said

      • MacDaddyDC says:

        I’m very sorry to here that your warrior paid the ultimate price. I mean that sincerely.
        However, we as a nation squandered a rare opportunity to once again come together as a unified force and pursue those who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. Rather than hold the Saudi’s accountable, we chose to target Iraq, a country whose only real crime was to attempt to assassinate Bush Sr. Tbere are those who would point to their use if chemical weapons on their own peoples as some sort of justification. Unfortunately, we choose to overlook who gave them those chemicals – we did and, still have the receipts to show for it.
        No, rather than go after the financiers and organizers who coincidently own vast reserves of oil we buy and make obscene profits from by “American” big oil companies, we go after a country based upon revenge and not liking their leader anymore. Was he despicable? Sure. But did he or his country have anything to do with 9/11? absolutely not
        It’s all about money, more specifically it’s about the rich keeping and increasing their “interests” (read money), and sending patriots sons and daughters to die for same.
        Then they have the audacity to rescind VA healthcare budgets and beleaguer us with reticence to provide what they promised?
        Not while I still draw breath my friend. And I’m willing to wager there are plenty of like-minded veterans as well as civilians who’d take the very same stance.

    • Bruce Kennedy says:

      Mr Ferguson please remove you head from your a$$. Your delusional thoughts about the current wars in the Middle East about protecting American freedoms belie a certain naivete and ignorance. The current wars in the Middle East are Republican driven wars. The Viet Nam war was a Democrat driven war. So get off your high horse and quit acting like most 'holier than thou' Republicans and face reality. The reality is that most of us who oppose such politically motivated wars have done something productive with our lives and now we want to do something meaningful with our lives, like like holding Congress responsible for the killing of American soldiers for the sole purpose of protecting American Corporate interests and not protecting American freedoms. In fact recently American freedoms have been restricted since 9/11, not protected.

    • You say your son-in-law was killed in Afghanistan…you have my sincerest sympathies. My question is..What have YOU done to make this a better country? Have YOU served in the military or done anything productive as you suggest? I agree that war is a non party political act…prompted by those who have the most to gain…the polititians and big corporations that the Republicans seem to adore. However the Democrats run a close second.

    • Love my country says:

      I would get up but I am a VET in a wheel chair, please tell me how afghanistan is a threat to our interests, no oil , not a needed outpost or airbase area, all else can be taken care of with b-52s, sorry for your loss but its a worthless war …….
      I say put regular people with common sence in power, no one with a net worth of over 250K …
      get rid of the irs and income tax , go to a fed.sales tax of a straight 15% on everything sold and everything bought by both the people and the company's. look at the extra income from cash workers, like tips, lawn care , drug dealers, hookers, every time anyone spends a dollor bam 15 cents…thats fair all the way the poor buy a 1000 used car 15%, the rich buy a 100000. car and bam 15% EVERYBODY PAYS, even us on social security will pay a 15 % tax on all items bought ……..

    • Your Son is a hero not like these whiners. Very sorry for your loss.

  9. Amen Mr. Ferguson!!!

  10. Enrique Flores says:

    some veterans, like me, get their medical benefits from the Military and not the VA. That would really hurt us.

  11. Mr. F, you are 100% correct. That whole area needs stability for the future of the U.S. and the world. Each war that was declared should have been handled like Japan or Germany. I would have liked to seen a surrender of the government and country rather then just taking a few rabid dictators out. I believe it was a bad choice to let them try and fix themselves. Can you imagine firing CEO&Executives&managers&supervisors of a company and say 'hey workers! fix the way your company works'. Not a good idea eh?

  12. 1)Why don't the Govt sell some of the properties/ BUILDINGS (265 federal buildings that are not in use due to one issue or another. some not used because they are in proximity to white house, others are not in proximity and are spread out over 50 states. they are chained up, guarded, and falling apart. FBI, CIA, FEMA, FDA, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, NSA, DIA, and so on). they sit with no one in them using them. 20/20 did a report on this and it showed that over 116.8 billion dollars is wasted annually on this.. Congress refuses to do anything about it. That we the tax payer pays for.
    2) Cut out the wastful spending of govt, and all agencies associated or affiliated with govt.
    3) get rid of the health care plan that obama wants.. it is not going to work.
    make all govt officials from President down, take a 15% pay and benefits cut.
    4) tax all businesses that are american based businesses that are overseas or in foreign countries.
    5) get rid of the politicians health care plan and have the same as the average income family.
    6) higher taxes on the rich. over 200k yearly income.
    7) stop paying other countries to be our friends… 400 billion+ total is given to saudi arabia ( all middle east countries), egypt, south korea, china, russian, macedonia, and so on…. cut this out and we would solve the deficit in 8 to 10 years..
    8) reduce the size of our govt employees.get rid of those that do not produce and lack the skills and mind set.
    9) stop illegals from getting benefits from social security( i am a social worker) on average the get 2500 monthly in benefits..
    this is just a few.

    govt and politicians wastes more money . impeach them and get new non politicians to take their place, if they don't perform, fire them and get new ones till the issue is resolved….

    Time to get the leaches, useless politicians, lazy govt employees and so on out of office and make the USA STRONG AGAIN…. it does say" WE THE PEOPLE" and NOT " WE THE POLITICANS…

    • Randy, you are right on with most of what you said, except raise taxes on the "rich'. The top five percent of wager earners in this country pay well over 50% of all taxes already/ Punishing achievment is never a good idea, especially in a Capitalist system. How long can producers watch what they work for be taken from them and given to people who's hardest job in life is to get up at the crack of noon to get their check from the mailbox, in a Socialist/Marxist, unconstitutional redistibution of wealth system. At what point do the people who create the wealth of this great country just throw up their hands and say "screw it, I want mine too!" That is when we say goodby America, hello Greece, Turkey, etc, etc. We need to get our priorities straight. May the "Federalist Papers" should be required reading…

    • I can agree with all you have said but alas it is not likely to change. Our voices are falling on deaf ears.

    • I like this alot!!! This is the american way…

    • AMEN TO THIS

    • they sold one to the city of Greensboro for one dollar…yeah i said one dollar. I dont think the person in charge had the tax payers in mind when he done this !!

  13. How come we always want to tax the rich. Lets cut benefits to welfare recipients and take non performing children out of the school system and teach them some skills that would enchance their future.
    Lets grow our own food.
    produce our own energy, start with coal clean it up (we got a lot)
    Send every illegal alien and their progency back to where they came frome and mine the border.Every other country does it.
    Give Americans the opportunity for everyone to prosper and we will do it.
    Think about the fact that if the value of the dollar keeps decreasing the inflation will have us all making over $250 K and barely getting by. How would you feel about another 15% tax then?

  14. Oh yes, send our service men and women in harms way they cut their legs out for under them once they are back home. Sound like we need to be more aware of the enemy here at home . . . the ADMINISTRATION!!!!

  15. This is what happens when you have a Commander in Chief that never served. Let's see Clinton cut the military and did not serve, Bush 1 and 2 served expanded the military and VA funding and made us proud. Obama did not sever and want's to cut, cut, cut, the weak (Veterans and the elderly benefits), spend, spend, spend for re-election, and give our tax dollars to failing companies both here and overseas. We need to vote them all out and elect congressmen that will vote for term limits and no retirement for themselves. Our founding fathers never envisioned the congressman would be a career. It is sad the a brave serviceman will volunteer 20 plus years of their life and get half of their pay for retirement and a congressman or senator serves one term and get full pay and benefits for life. Most of them are Doctors and Lawyers and don't need the money anyway. Two terms and out.

    • I would like the citations of where Bush did anything unless forced. Quite the opposite. How can you support an administration that when asked what about the useless equipment soldiers had Cheney said, "so?"

  16. How dumb do they think we are? active, resurve, retired and disabled vets are all ONE. We all served and respect each other, Are they,Congress and the House, and the President attempting to seperate us? Lets show them how real americans stand united. VOTE, I dont care how you vote just VOTE.
    A retired disabled veteran of TWO wars and Proud of it.

  17. You should not be able to be president or a member of congress unless your a vet, this way your less likely to send people to die for politics.

  18. ThoseWhoServe says:

    Too many politicians who ride around with "Support our Troops" stickers on their bumpers and American flag lapel pins in their lapels imported from China are perfectly willing to stab our homecoming veterans of the Armed Forces in the back when they think no one is watching.

    • This time around they no longer mind being watched they are proud of what they are doing for the Koch Bros, wall street, the stock market investors, and the uber wealthy. They boast of their so called austerity measures while drinking champagne and eating cavier.

  19. proud veteran says:

    I still wonder why we are gitting all these illegals in the military,and all these from the middel east. Looks like if the wanted to be in the military they would have joined in their country.Are they might have a different reasion.

  20. cris hamilton says:

    MacDaddyDC doesn't follow history very well. WWI, WWII, Korea, & Vietnam were all begun during Democratic Administrations. Iraq & Afghanistan were APPROVED by Congress. Obtaining health care & retirement savings are PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY not the responsibility of your employer. Funds from union pension plans were historically raided by the UNION ADMINISTRATORS not the Government or Republicans. The markets that fuel your 401K's has dropped nearly 25% during Mr. Obama's economic fascism policies. There are nearly 2.5 million jobs less in America since Obama took office. The Democrats were in charge of Congress from 2007 -2010 when the House went to a Republican majority (1 part of the 3 parts of government – Senate & Executive being the other 2). The 2 Democratic parts of government want to continue to tax & spend.

    • Check out the last 22 years of history. Maybe you'll see the truth. That is unless you are stanchly Republican. If that's the case, you'll still remain blind to the facts. And continue your journey of denial.

  21. I am tired of hearing they have to cut this benifit or that one, but yet they are still giving billions of dollars to country, of which most is stolen by there leader and put in banks to fund there lifes and we do nothing about it. Why are we still in Korea. I think its time to let them defend there own border with the north. Now as for our governement, the more money they tax us the more they will over spend and ask for more. they have lost control of there spending habits, because its not there money they have to pay back. they will never impose term limits for themselves so what I say is we do it for them by not re-electing them after one term. Now for the way they abuse the constitution, we need to make it so we are the only one who can change it and not allow government this ability. And last social security would be fine if it was left in its own fund and not used for there piggy bank to raid as they please. we need to sue the government into returning it as it was and make them put all the money they stole from us back with interest

  22. Mr. Ferguson is correct. And Mikewv has the right idea.
    What we need is a Class Action to get the money back into the Social Security Fund. That was "our" savings deducted from our paychecks every week.
    If the politicians want "cuts" let them start with their own salaries and their free medical. And park Air Force One for a while.

  23. The Repugs are the ones who've gotten into shooting wars over nothing and lied to do it then veto'd or sabotag'd all bills aimed at paying for it. Don't kid yourself Dems arn't much better but way better than lying repugs.

  24. @McDaddy – oust the republicans for starting wars? Woodrow Wilson, a “Progressive” (sound like a term the Dem’s use?) – WWI, FDR, Democrat – WWII, Harry Truman, Democrat – Korea, JFK and LBJ, Democrats – Vietnam, G Bush Sr, Repubican – Desert Storm Camping Trip, Bill Clinton, Democrat – Balkans, Croatia, Somalia, et al, GW Bush, Republican – Iraq/Afghanistan (after attack on US Soil) – , Barrack “Barry” Hussein Obama (or pick any one of the names he uses for convenience, Democrat – continuation of OIF/OEF and interference in civil war in Lybia…seriously McDaddy.

  25. So Chris Hamilton you're just going to gloss over the fact that bush w lied to everyone to get that war started in Iraq? Don't kid yourself junior Bush wash a criminal and a liar who still refuses to take responsibility for what he did. Now your taking up for him and refusing to take responsiblilty for being short sighted.

  26. Congress needs to have it clearly explained to them that if they are going to start wars, somebody besides the wounded, and the dead, will have to pay for them.

    While it is true that war is hell, they are a gift that goes on taking for many years.

  27. John Roane says:

    Since 1776 less then 2% of us protected the other 98% and today that number is less than 1%. Remember this also, our enemy is not other countries or terrorist our enemy is killing us from within. Think twice before you vote for anyone and ask yourself are there any willing to defend us with their life, left in this country?

  28. America will not be able to vote for any bill's to be pass by senate and congress,the debt will be high the low income people will pay,war will continue,troops will die.How about from the Cmdr. in Chief and all senator's,congresss,and all U.S. Seceretary's cut the benifit's,no retirement,unless they do 4 term's if they get to stay in office,work longer hours;No time off or free time!They pay their trip to there home state no free trips!

  29. great blogs!!!! Limit politicians to two terms only!!! No lawyers need apply!!! All politicians must pay for their own health insurance and retirements benefits, and their own social security benefits just like we do!! Wow, look at all the extra money we would have to pay for our men and women who fight to protect this country day in and day out!!! Maybe the budget would finally make sense in this country and be balanced too for once!!!!! Let's start anew and vote all the Do Nothings" in Washinton OUT of office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They are not doing their jobs NOW!!!! Look at the shape of our country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!What a mess!!

  30. LET'S TAKE A SURVEY AND SEE HOW MANY OF OUR POLITICIANS HAVE DAUGHTERS AND SONS SERVING THIS COUNTRY THAT ARE IN HARMS WAY!!!!

  31. I believe it is time to use the GOLD in Fort Knox,KY. to pay of our'e dept to China, we would all be better of and will not cut the benefits to our Vets and so many other departments. Amerika wake up, also in God We Trust.

  32. Less not forget 9/11 The President, President George Bush did what was necessary. Fight Terrorism. Yes it takes long to fight wars but we retaliated against Iraq and Afghanistan. All the Americans was proud and eager if you remember the Flags were flown high all around the nation USA!… USA! proud to be an American I am how bout you? Taxes needs to be lowered don't be greedy. take power of the money don't let the money rule you CONGRESS.

  33. Mike Castle says:

    Brothers and Sisters,

    The VA Budget is sucked up by UNION Employees who get far better health care then us and a much better retirement. Keep in mind the UNIONS are President Obama's army. He won't take anyhting from them. It is my wish we get UNIONS out of our VA Hospitals and Federal Government. Semper Fi

  34. WOW… How many Morons can state such stupidity on one page of comments. We OWE our Freedoms and Safety to every Veteran, disabled and retired. These comments are made by non-military individuals. They have never served ONE DAY in COMBAT. They are WORTHLESS Citizens of this Country!!!! Less than 1% of the 370 Million people in the United States EVER serve in the Military. Out of the 1% less than .02 % is wounded or retires. These CUTS for Veterans are so preposterous and outrageous it not worth time or effort. The individuals in the Republican Party that want to CUT VA Benefits for the Military disabled and retired should all be given a weapon and sent to Afghanistan with a glow in the dark uniform so the Taliban can take accurate shots at each of these non-serving losers called Americans. These non-serving worthless losers are not worth a lump of whale shit at the bottom of the ocean.

  35. Grace Lodge says:

    All these comments about McCain and his recent moves on the military leas me to believe and question, , just think what he would have done had he been elected President .Please remember at election time, especially this one , whoshould not be re-elected again. The writing is on the wall..GOD help this country.

  36. Is there anyone out there who is a100 percent disabled veteran who has a spouse with Champ VA insurance coverage? My husband is and is worried they are going to start cutting off pensions. Any news on this?