Congressman Seeks to Protect VA From Sequestration

February 13, 2012 | Terry Howell

In a recent Op-Ed on Military.com, Representative Jeff Miller (R-FL),the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, warned that sequestration of government programs is imminent. “Sequestration” is a congressionally mandated set of cuts that will go into effect later this year because the Joint Select Committee failed to find $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit reductions as required by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

The sequestration should not shock our readers, but Congressman Miller fears that the sequestration could force a 2 percent cut in the Dept. of Veterans Affairs budget may come as a bit of a surprise since we were told last year that the VA would not be touched. In addition, Miller is concerned that the budget cuts will adversely affect VA’s ability to pay medical staff and purchase medical supplies needed to treat veterans – essentially blocking veteran’s access to VA Healthcare services.

Miller wrote, “While I agree that federal spending must be curbed and Congress must fulfill its obligation to the American people to get this country’s fiscal house in order, I do not support the sequestration of veterans programs.”

In an effort to protect the VA healthcare budget, Rep. Miller introduced the Protect VA Healthcare Act of 2012 (H.R. 3895). If passed, the bill will exempt VA from the effects of the sequestration.

Read Chairman Miller’s full article on the Military.com ‘Passdown’ Op-Ed page.

Be Heard: Let your elected officials know how you feel about the impact “sequestration” will have on veterans’ services.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. SSG Hofmann Retired says:

    Verbal contracts are easily forgotten for veterans. let the veterans defend there country’s overspending in WA. And also pay the price in the end. Hurry up and wait, no do your duty,sacrifice and pay for giving up what we raised are hand to protect.

  2. VA benefit should not be cut. “Social” programs should be cut. However, if it goes to sequestration, then our VA benefits should not be exempted … because everyone thinks the programs that affect them should be exempted. Lets face it, the USA is in a death spiral of growing deficit spending. If the Dems and Repubs cannot step up to the mission, we are ALL going down the tubes and a VA exception won’t matter.

    • SSG Hofmann Retired says:

      Social programs, veterans programs all programs who help or support Americans should be paid for by wall street thieves and big banks end of story **** Fund America Remember Tarp….

  3. I read that although the DoD accounts for 20% of the US budget, there are 50% worth of cuts being proposed….
    How and why there are ANY veteran's benefits on the budget cuts table at any point whatsoever is totally baffling!
    I never thought military retirement would mean fighting my own gov't for benefits they promised in exchange for taking an oath to defend the very same gov't….

    • they aren't taking our retirement… just sucking it all from us in fee's. Too smart to try and take the retirement, but they think we are too stupid to notice the increase in prescriptions, tricare fee's etc.

      Nice of them to 'cap' tricare annual fee increases to the COLA. Translation? they get back every COLA increase they give for the COL… the same one they are impacting.

      • No, the cap is on the percentage. So if COLA goes up by 2.9%, TriCare goes up a max of 2.9%.

        Example: You make $520/month retirement, pay $520/year for TriCare. 3% COLA. Your increase in pay is $36.40/month. Your TriCare increase is $36.40/year. You still end up with $440.40 increase in benefits for the year.

      • @Mark the new law if it passes will incease our fees even higher, last year I was cool with a little increase in fees and then based on cola, now the year the POTUS wants to change it to the increase in medical care!!!

    • I love that they want to use a hatchet on vet benefits but just keep
      committing our military to more and more.
      Next time they want a war, or but wait, they are called conflicts aren't they??
      let THEM go and they can take their overstuffed staff with them.

  4. BadtotheboneBob says:

    While I consider tha VA health care I receive to be top-notch, I do believe that the VAMC's I go to (Aleda E. Lutz VAMC, Saginaw, MI and Ann Arbor, MI VAMC) to be extremely top-heavy with 'Admin-types'. Certainly the 2% cut (if mandated) could come from those positions rather than direct patient care staff in the short term.

    • as correct as you are, keep in mind it is a government organization, so there is the paperwork, computer entries, admin needs.

  5. of course…… Vets, the Military and Retired are the first ones to be cut of their benefits. I don't see the fat cats, Senate and Congress taking any pay cuts.How wrong is this????????

    • NO and you never will

    • http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?nid=520&sid=

      Cuts in federal (including Congressional) retirement. Also, their pay has been frozen since 2009.

      • LordRussell says:

        It’s not just congressional members earning $193K a year, but also members of their staff pulling down the same salary as well. Then there is healthcare plan. I can’t confirm/deny a housing allowance, but other ‘freebies’ like mailing get abused to the tune of well over a 1 million annually. This is bipartisan, so arguing is mute.

        And don’t know about you folks, but given what I have had to live on? Not only could I make it in D.C. on $193K, but I can most assuredly forgo a raise for a 5 year plan. I believe we all did it to one degree or another while we served, did we not?

        • Base congressional pay is $174K. A few of their top staffers earn similar. Most earn in the GS 12-14 range, maxing in the DC area at $137K/year.

          And yes, all of Congress needs to maintain two residences – they are required by the Constitution to be resident of the state/district they are from, and they need a place to stay in DC while working.

          Their healthcare, as has been posted many times, is the same as the Federal Civil Service – FEHBP. Their retirement is FERS (with a few exceptions who are still under CSRS). They all pay into Social Security.

          And frankly, a $1 million cost may be high, but even cutting it 50% saves a whopping $500K towards the $1.3 TRILLION deficit.

          DoD is #3 in the budget, right after Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. It takes large cuts because that's where the money is.

    • TIRED OF THE BS says:

      This is bordering on treason since they are betraying the people that have sacrificed the most for this country while they bask in their glory.

    • Are there others wondering why there is never cuts to food stamps, welfare, child development, 3-lunch programs for schools, aid to children of the 'poor', tax refunds on individuals not paying taxes, child nutrition, on, and on, and on, and on. I am not against the safety net but do you not think this net has gotten a little big? No, the ones that chose to serve their country, leave their family, live in the mud and blood are the ONLY ones that ever get any cuts. When is the last time you read of Congress getting a 'cut'. We are in a world of hurt. Please, you grandparents, please talk your grandchildren out of a military career!

  6. Crooks, Beware says:

    All of our politians are crooked. Our only hope (at least this time around) is to elect a Republican President and make sure we send him a Republican Congress. And, no, George Bush was not the greatest, but h e would never have thought of doing this. It's time to think about 2016 and replace the whole bunch of crooks in Washington. Complacentcy has no place in our country for solving problems.

    • Robert Foote says:

      Bush and his Republicans got us into the mess to start with.

      • Marv Mooney says:

        What are you talking about? Bush at least understood how to generate revenue, and for all of his spending he was a penny pincher compared to Obama. If you think things are tough for military/vets right now, wait until Obamacare takes effect next August. Wake up!

      • How soon we forget! Someone has been drinking the kool-aid and is not paying attention to who did what and what is really going on.

    • Bush was not a military man. The republicans make money on war but refuse to pay for it .Bush pushed througha tax cut for the welthy at a time when then country despetry needed the money. The republicans have vigorlisy protected the tax break probaly leaving a private in the army pay a higher tax rate than the wealths people in the country pay.

      What this country is new leaders. Normal people wrote our constition and bill of rights. theywere able to put greed aside and wrote documants that protested the family and indivusials right to live as free men. For 200Years the republican and demicratic partys hav made no improvement to these documents but have persued limiting our rights.

      Its congressmens job to protect our military, its our militarys job to protect the rest of us that make up America' To often Probally because of greed congress dosen't do their job and our military has what they were trained to do protedt us

      What we need is some normal anericans in congress not jusy lawers. After all it was mormal men that write the constution and bill of rights in a manner that that all of us can understand but some of us may not agree with. And they have the right.to disagree.

      • Retired SCPO says:

        What ignorance. The Bush tax cuts went across teh board with the largest in the 15% to 10% bracket. The wealthiest went from a 39.6% under Clinton to 35% under Bush. Lets not forget until Pelosi and Reid took over Congress in 2007 that the debt was a mere $8.3 trillion, up from the $5.2 trillion that Clinton left. Since Obama took over, it has increased from $10.2 to over $15 trillion. That is hyperbole to blame Bush. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have done more harm to our economy than Bush ever thought of. Oh, the top 10% of wage earners pay over 70% off all collected income tax revenues. 50% of Americans pay no taxes with 40 million getting more back than they pay in. That sure doesn't sound fair to me.

  7. Robert Peeler says:

    BadtotheboneBob That would work for every Government department in question. How much would we save if congress and the Pres got 60k a year but only for there term’s of office. When they leave they stop getting paid. Just like the rest of the People with real jobs. I did my time in the Navy. Got the blown knees and messed up ankle to prove it. Now I am paying $8 a month for meds though the VA and I can get the same meds from local safeway for $4. Nice to see the government looking for the vets like they promised.

  8. Dan USN(ret) says:

    With the mentality of our mostly never military, totally out of touch elected "representatives" (this word is used loosely), anything and everything to do with military spending is on the chopping block. Our veteran's benefits, retired benefits, and active duty benefits such as housing, re-enlistment bonuses, special duty pays and I would be willing to bet even dependent health care is at stake here. I might even be so cynical as to suggest those out of touch people on the hill would cut our current retired pay and benefits, disability pay as well , for good measure, without making any adjustments to their own if they thought they could pull it off.

    • Dan, you aren't being cynical, in my eyes. Wait, just wait, for them (and I am speaking about the majority of them) to realize "hey, they raised their hand, and the agreement is WE can change anything WE want, but they are obligated, period". And even more so – "why are we providing a TSP and a retirement plan? " I still, almost 2 decades later, thank our MILITARY leaders of then for having the foresight, or was it distrust of our politicians, to bring about the TSP where it was not a 1 for 1 match. Had that been implemented, in short time it would have been a "pick on or the other" retirement plan, and down the line been whichever was cheaper for the politicians who want to pinch every penny they can, so they can flagrantly waste it elsewhere… or on themselves.

      Like that time they wanted a 50%, yes five-oh, payraise "because they had to maintain two households". Uh, they chose to – we joined and had to. The public roared, they shot it down, then brought it up – and voted to approve it, without public knowledge until after the fact.

      Maybe when politicians go to jail for the crimes they are committing things will change. Til then, our proud military personnel will continue to defend the constitution they use as toilet….

      They forget the promises made to us, let alone what we do for them.

    • With the mentality of our mostly never military, totally out of touch elected "representatives" (this word is used loosely), anything and everything to do with military spending is on the chopping block

      Thank you for defining it so eloquently. THAT is the main problem.
      I remember calling one time when I was working for a vet board in California.
      The staff member was so rude…………He kept asking me who I represented. I finally told him THREE MILLION vets.
      The 7 member board which I worked for represented 3 million plus vets in California and they had asked me to call the committee members in Washington about an item that was up for vote.
      I found the consultant for that committee so rude, and have had other run ins since too.
      They are so entitled. Why should anyone bother them?
      I mean aren't they above it all??

    • they've already cut us retiree's pay and health benefits. No COLA increases to our pay in 4 years and now we have to make co-pays on both perscriptions and medical services used at the VA. I retired 22 years ago and this new Obamacare is using my HOUSEHOLD income, not just my income as reported BY the IRS to determine how much I must pay for simple services such as annual physicals.

    • Here here my good man!

  9. Janet Clough says:

    We have to get together and impeach Obama.

  10. Well, I guess I can't post my comment. Freedom of speech is gone now.

  11. Ed Nyden Reyired says:

    Vets have given there Blood, for what. So Corrupt DC can spend it on themselves.

  12. Solution: Cut Big Government, they're not wounded, so treat them as the non-combatants they are. Leave us wounded (both physically and mentally) veteran's alone; we've already been cut too many times!!!!!!

    • I see another 'feel good' false compromise in the future…
      They always ask for more then they know they can get, then tell us that the cuts won't be as bad when they take only half of what they were asking.
      Thus, they still get their fat little raises, we lose a few more benefits, and somehow we feel grateful it wasn't as bad as we first thought.
      Never fails.

    • Congress & nobbamma need to cut all foreign aid & the $500 BILLION to goes for illegals in the USA & STOP bailing out foreign banks before they even to think about cutting us Veterans benefits or our social security !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • amen!

      • ????
        What $500 billion for illegals? You realize that $500 billion is only slightly less than the DoD budget, which is #3 in the Federal Budget.

        Illegal aliens are already not allowed SS, Welfare, Health Care (except in emergency rooms, which legally cannot turn anyone away), or any other federal benefits.

        If we are going to fight these cuts, we need to base it on facts, not rumor or falsehoods. Please acquaint yourself with the proposals, to include total federal spending.

        • Retiree THAT is free healthcare, and for the record WE pay for those visits. Think an illegal can pay a bill for 1,000-4,000 dollar visit? Guess who sucks it up?

          • 1. Guess what – if you go to an emergency room, you too will be treated, regardless of ability to pay. It's the law.

            2. Contrary to popular belief, most illegal aliens are here to work. You would be amazed the number that can actually pay for their health care.

            3. There is NO WAY that emergency room care equals $500 billion in costs, the same as DoD. Total healthcare spending 2010 (that's everything, from that emergency room care to the elective surgery, government and private) was $2.6 trillion. You're seriously arguing taht 1/5 of that was to treat illegal aliens in emergency rooms?
            http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-

            BTW – the best way to fix the DoD healthcare issue is to fix the overall US healthcare cost issue.

          • Forgot to add – that cost of the indigent in emergency rooms, it doesn't all come out of taxes. Anyone with private insurance pays for part of that as well, as does anyone who pays cash.

            Hyperbole does NOT fix the problems. Claiming "solutions" to the problem that are false may score you points with certain political parties, but even they will recognize when the budget numbers come out what is real and what isn't. Solutions have to be grounded in facts, NOT fantasies.

          • Here's is your hyperbole. Illegal immigration costs U.S. $113 Billion a year Study finds. http://www.foxnews/us/2010/07/02/immigration-costs-fair-amnesty-education.

          • So you agree, the Federal Government does NOT spend $500 billion a year to support illegal aliens?

          • Never said they did.

          • Then you didn't read the chain. The post I responded to stated to solve the problem "Congress & nobbamma need to cut all foreign aid & the $500 BILLION to goes for illegals in the USA"

            My response was that the Federal Government doesn't spend $500 billion on illegal aliens, therefore this is NOT a solution.

            You just want to argue. Keep diverting from the key point (solving the budget deficit with minimal impact on retirees and current military) and Congress wins.

          • A mexican imigrated illegally from Mexico to Stockton Cal., in 1997 to work as fruit picker. Brought his wife and three children, 19, 12 and 8 – all illegals. When his wife gave birth to child #4 it was considered as an "achor baby". Provided the rest of the family with a ticket to remain in the U.S. permanently. The child was premature and spent 3 months in hospital with a bill of over $300,000. Meanwhile oldest daughter married an illegal alian and gave birth to a daughter also. The mother then had another child for #5. The two babies generate $1,000 per month in public welfare funding for the family. One child gets $600 month for asthma. The other child gets $400 for being healthy. The family makes $18,000 a year picking fruit, they picked up another $12,000 for their two "anchor babies".

          • 1. any proof this story is true?

            2. Note the care is for American Citizens – those children were born here in the US.

            3. The Federal Government does NOT provide the payments you're talking about. The State of California may. Which is a State issue, and has nothing to do with the federal budget, which is the topic of conversation here.

          • Facts are facts right?

          • http://www.wnd.com/2005/03/29329/
            Article written in 2005. Illegal aliens threaten U.S. Medical system. "While politicians often mention there are 43 million without medical health insurance in this country, the report estimates that at least 25% of those are illegal immigrants. The figure could be as high as 50%. Not being insured does not mean they don't get medical care.

          • Wingnut Daily? Sorry, but the reliability of that source is right there with the National Inquirer.

            Current reasonable estimates of illegal aliens in the US is around 11.2 million. And note that not having insurance doesn't mean they can't pay, or that they don't get medical care from free clinics (non-taxpayer supported ones even).
            http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/us/02immig.html

            (a year ago, if anything the number is smaller due to the economy and President Obama's increased rate of deportation of illegal aliens).

        • think of all the federal funds in the public schools that are spent on illegals. FACT.

          • Care to provide proof that federal funds are spent SPECIFICALLY on illegal aliens in public schools? If so, why have California and Texas tried to get the US to fund said aliens, if the Federal Government is already doing it?
            http://migration.ucdavis.edu/mn/more.php?id=298_0

            And again, what does this have to do with the mandated cuts to the DoD budget?

          • Has to do with THE budget. Remember taxpayer dollars? THAT is the federal budget. Those kids do eat right? I'm not against immigration or even illegals. You want to know how to cut the deficit without cutting retiree benefits? Mmmmm well it's a dam good start.

          • Current deficit $1.3 trillion. Figure maybe $1-2 billion support to illegal aliens. I'll even give $5 billion. But note there is NO line item that reads "support for illegal aliens." As someone who has worked in the field, I can tell you, when hospitals provide care to indigent, they do NOT ask if they are illegal. So no way to track that.

            Current spending for Military personnel is about $143 billion. Which do you think would be more likely to be able to help the deficit through cuts? There's a reason DoD is taking such large cuts (actually there's a few) – it's the #3 item in the Federal Budget, after Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security. It's the #1 discretionary item. Adding SS, Medicare/medicaid, DoD, and Interest on the national debt, what's left over isn't even as large as the Deficit. We could literally cut everything else (to include VA, the court system, homeland security, etc), and not solve the deficit problem.
            http://comptroller.defense.gov/budget.html
            http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

            You can keep arguing about changes on the margin – but DoD is going to take large cuts – or we don't balance the budget.

          • State spending on Illegal immigrants has something to do with the Federal budget?

          • So the federal has no cost? Are you kidding me? Why do you think the states are fighting to control the illegal immigration problem? Because THEY have no control. IT is a federal issue by law!

        • People seem to forget what the states pay for illegals to use the education systems through out the country, this is payed by the state education departments

  13. running hot says:

    thanks congress. guess those serving, vetrans, and retirees will learn to stand in lines with other americans who were promised medical, dental, and other benefits when taking a job or enlisting. guess we also need to find a place to get buried to, looks like that benefit might also be taken away. this is what we get for loving our country and going to defend her? kinda funny but have you ever seen a person in congress poor, out of money, having medical/dental or educations benefits taken away? how about their pay or retirement checks?

  14. Lets see they just wnat us to keep giving so they can get their pay each year.
    I thinke it about time for all of them to be replace with no retirement for them when they live office that where they need to cut it at first. Just think fo who much we could save if they did not get anything when they leave office any all of them need s to have a term of 8years and that all,

    • Our congress should not be paid when they are not in session. It seems all they do is campaign from one term to the next and want us to contribute to their campaign fund. I w3ill not contribute one dime to them,

  15. Bill Tumbleson says:

    I gave 31 years of my life to the military and was told I would have medical benefits. Of course they didn't say that that may be $10.00 a month to help with benefits. So sad, that when you give and give and give that you are slapped in the face and treated as a third class American citizen. I don't see any senator or congressman saying they are willing to take a cut. They just want more and more for themselves. Sad, very sad times we live in today and we have an administration that is as crooked as they come!!

  16. Disgusted Vet says:

    Cut your own damn pay and benifit beford you cut those that faught and died for your ability to sit there and receive your ludicrous pay and binnies. Are you guys trying to produce the riots that are taking place in Europe?.

  17. A.Williams CWO(Ret) says:

    I think all of us veterans needs to walk onto
    Washington, DC carpet as a mass force and visit congress!!!!

  18. Take all those that want to cut VET benefits, put them a uniform and send them to Afghanistan so they can feel like a VET!!!!!!!

  19. Dan (USN DAV) says:

    VETRENS!!!!!
    WE NEED TO SAY ENOUGH IS A ENOUGH!!!!! WE NEED GET EVERY ONE OF THOSE SELFSERVING CROOKED A_ _ HOLES!!! OUT OF OFFICE STARTING FROM THE TOP DOWN TO THE BOTTOM!!! WE ARE ONES THAT CAN FIRE THEM!!! OR WE ARE THE ONES THAT CAN BITCH ABOUT AND BO NOTHING!!! ABOUT IT!!! THE BALL IS IN OUR COURT!!!

    • Wife of a Vet says:

      You made a good point. What do you suggest would be a logical solution to the problem? We can't continue to Grip if we can't come up with a solution!!

  20. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was spot on when he said that our government could not finance the legacy costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Never have such a high PERCENTAGE of service members survived battle field injuries because of of advances in medicine…ptsd however is another issue. Oh..let’s not forget the co

  21. Waiting patiently for Charles or Retiree to post on this! Everyone check out both views by these vets and follow them in regards to their opinions. VERY enlightening.

  22. Given recent history, our only hope is actually NOT to elect a Republican president and a Republican Congress. The country was doing far better before the last one ran up one of the worst deficits in history; the reason behind this sequestration (and all other extreme cost cutting measure) debate.

    • This is this countrys whole problem today==the last president== he created this whole mess we are in and the truth is he should be the one paying for all the losses.AND congress is making matters any better. you are right about the republican versus a democratic president=== people live better and we are most likely to stay at peace when we have a democratic administration.It seems every time we have a republican admin.==we end up in a war of some kind and generally without good reason====thats where the money is wasted

      • Retired SCPO says:

        What ignorance. The Bush tax cuts went across teh board with the largest in the 15% to 10% bracket. The wealthiest went from a 39.6% under Clinton to 35% under Bush. Lets not forget until Pelosi and Reid took over Congress in 2007 that the debt was a mere $8.3 trillion, up from the $5.2 trillion that Clinton left. Since Obama took over, it has increased from $10.2 to over $15 trillion. That is hyperbole to blame Bush. Obama, Reid and Pelosi have done more harm to our economy than Bush ever thought of. Oh, the top 10% of wage earners pay over 70% off all collected income tax revenues. 50% of Americans pay no taxes with 40 million getting more back than they pay in. That sure doesn't sound fair to me. On the war: The Congress overwhelmingly voted for the war in a resolution, if the Dems wanted to end the war, they had a super majority for 2 years and did nothing but ram through a health care law that many corporations, especially unionized ones, have waivers for. It's sad that Unions have better health care than the men and women who have fought our nations wars while they sit back here compalining about benefits.

    • Vernon McGee says:

      That is the a big lie ! I have been around 78 years , voted the first half of my life for nothing but democrats, then I get a job and started to vote Republican. I my life time, George W. Bush did a great job! All this crap about what this President was greated with is pure crap. All Presidents came into office and had to deal with problems. I do not remember any Republican complaining about the last office holder left behind.

      • No. That is the truth! The country does not do well under republican rule. And that is a fact.

        • Oh! In addition the republicans don’t complain because they have walked in to office with balanced budgets and surplus! Who would complain about that?

          • Retired SCPO says:

            This pure hyperbole. Clinton with Newt Gingrich had a balnced bugdet for one year. It was under the Contract with America that we had a balanced budget. Clinton is somebody i would vote for right now if he could run but to give him credit is sorely misplaced. He showed an ability to work across the siale which Obama has not. He says he has but he hasn't at all. When Clinton left office, the national debt was $5.2 Trillion. When Bush left office it was $10.1 trillion but lets not forget that the Dems were in charge of Congress the last two years of his presidency raising spending limits to new levels. Obama has shattered all deficit spending records and increased the debt to over $15 trillion in three years, spending 3 years, what it took Bush to do in 8 years.

    • Do you actually believe that the deficit has gone down since the latest bunch of idiots occupied the White House?
      I am still waiting to see what benefit cuts are scheduled for the biggest bunch of government freeloaders in history, our elected officials.

    • TIRED OF THE BS says:

      How long are we to blame the previous administration before the current one takes responsibility for their actions????

    • Sadly, a Republican elect will do nothing at all to stop this attack on our benefits. Have written to all my elect officials, Republicans, and usually receive no reply and sometimes 1 will reply with 'well we are having trouble financially and need to tighten our belts.' Notice 'tighten our belts' never refers to them!!

  23. Few quotes from letter sent to Sen McCain by Lt General, USMC, Ret. Jack Klimp. President of NAUS Nov, 2011. "Caring for our casualties, the moral responsibility, most certainly helped drive up costs. However, after hearing from the senior leadership at the Department of Defense for more than a year that TRICARE was breaking the department, our members are angered to learn that $330 million of unused TRICARE funding was shifted by congress to medical research, much of which was a duplication of on-going military projects or had nothing to do with military medicine." " Approximately 1/2 of 1% of our nation's population serves the military. Only about 16% of them go on to serve to retirement. It is unfair to place the burden of balancing our nations budget on this .008%. They have already served. They have already sacrificed. They have already done more than their share."

  24. "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their Nation" – George Washington

  25. So i think its not good to join the military now a days ? Can somebody help me with this? coz im joining the Marines this coming March. Im just waiting for something, but with all the BS going on, i think its not good to join. all the pay-cuts, benefits cuts or watever.. suggestions ? thanks

    • Omar, No NO and NO. Not only should you not join, I would suggest that you tell your friends NOT to join. The benefits for serving your country are no longer there. If you are going to possibly give your life for this country then I would think long and hard about what you see on these posts. The best thing for you to do is get into college, regardless of what the military offers you and get a degree. Forget the polished image of war and patriotism. War sucks!! Politicians have used the soldier to do their bidding for far too long on unworthy causes with a few exceptions. Talk to your family and decide if it truly is worth your life.

  26. Of course the liberal mindset is to automatically blame a Republican, all the while ignoring the fact that this incompetent administration has done everything in its power to destroy this nation. The Obama administration has borrowed and spent more money than any previous two presidents. It's time liberals looked in a mirror when pointing that finger and realize that they are a big part of the problem. Elect a Republcan president and give him a Republican Congress.

  27. We need to face the fact that our Government has too much money and the more we give them the more wasteful programs they can spend it on. It’s time we hold them to making cuts and not on Veterans and Active Duty but on money to other countries, money to grants to study shrimp on treadmills, cell phones for poor people, protection of some stupid bug in the middle on no ware. They want to tax the rich ( I guess this means Veterans) Congress keeps spending money on a border fence and for what the people just go to the end of the fence and cross over. How about putting all of these out of work Veterans along the border with the weapon they trained on and maybe we would actually find a solution for stopping illegals and drug traffic.

  28. Does it matter that the economy and its ups and downs are to blame for the lack of funds! Does Fort Hood and Fort Bliss really have to build all those new muliti-million dollar buildings for injured soldiers that are not there? The WTC is a farce that helps very few true injured soldiers. The generals at Hood build multi-million dollar centers for the WTC and make sure the Army history dept. knows their names. The numbers of active and reserve soldiers will be reduced and in 2-3 they will be rehired/replaced. Explain why Carl R Darnall medical center is being replaced????? The bean counters are worried about the funds used away from post to provide healthcare. IT IS ALL THE SAME POT OF MONEY! Just the line item budgeting gets everybody in a twitter/

  29. Armor - Recon says:

    To Each every Vet, I say that we should remember the re-election date of all of
    senators and congress MEMBERS . At this time we should vote them of office. NOTE I did say to vote to replace him/her , but Maybe some of us Vets should run for office. If thiis would happen then we could CHANGE thing to more benefit the people of our country. The first thing would be to pass a bill that would reduce the retirement beefits to pass sentors and congree member and Presidents. They would pay social security and fed taxes like the rest of Americans. Also the would be tax 10% to help reduce the DEFICET that they cause. BUT ALL OF CAN HAPPEN UNLESS WE STAD TOGETHER AS one

  30. Prismatic, Are you Kidding me? The current Administration (Democratic) has spent more money (in the Trillions) that the last 43 presidents prior to them, combined. I agree with the concept of firing all the politicians and remove all the useless government entities. (Example: Department of Energy, for one) and start over with politicians that listen to the people. If you sit on your butt and complain without getting involved in the election process, you have no room to bitch.

  31. Bill Voelker says:

    It is time we get rid of the Democrats who have controlled Congress the last 6 years and have made things worse than ever! They have increased our deficit by six trillion dollars since they took control, failed to act on their own Deficit Commissions recommendations and have not had a Budget in over 1000 days. With inept and corrupt managers of various department and no leadership at the top the American people are and will continue to suffer. The military always suffers most under a Democratic Administration!

  32. Congress as a whole needs to be revamped going through their pay,their taxes,their terms,and their benefits.The whole situation needs to be gone over.THEY SHOULD ALSO HAVE IN PLACE [NO WORK NO PAY]if they don't show up for meetings or don't attend to bussiness then no pay.They need to have a qualification of at least 2-4 years active service in any U.S. Military.As it has been stated before by several VETS get out there and VOTE to replace the BUMS.

    • Well said, Tom but if we remain silent and stay home on election day,
      I am afraid nothing will be accomplished Congress needs some accountability for their actions, and a committee to oversee their duties and make sure they are present for the peoples business. If not,then like you say : No work No Pay. Why we just sit back and let these uninformed ,never have served in the military reelected each year is beyond me! The Vets are due what they were promised.

    • NOT ONLY THIS, SEND THEM IN AS PART TIMERS SO THAT THEY DONT HAVE ANY BENEFITS AND SEE HOW THEY WOULD CHANGE THERE TUNE.

  33. First, I am a Republican, considering a move to the Independents. It amazes me how misinformed/unimformed many of you bloggers are when it comes to blaming the Dems for many of the cuts to VA. It has historically been the Republicans that have let the VA slide. The Republicans have been so inept in controlling the out of control social spending of the Dems, that they are as much (if not more) to blame when it comes to their inability to provide an alternate solution to avoid VA funding cuts BEFORE it becomes an issue. Nope; the Republicans and tea baggers, as well as the idiots on the left have never learned how to compromise. Too bad we can't put the tea party and the left wing-nuts on their own island.

  34. I remember a qoute by George Orwell ” People sleep peaceably in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”. We volunteered to serve and defend our country and all we want is to be taken care of for our sacrifices. There are people on entitlement programs that feel that they are owed something for nothing which sickens me when we answered the call to fight,bleed, and some even died to preserve their so called right to a check. As a friend of mine once said, The best way to get off your *** is to get on your feet. Send the deadbeats and parasites to the frontlines and let them fight the next battle while we sit back and watch. After all we have earned it and it really is owed to us as veterans

  35. William Rodis says:

    The simple fact is that despite all the hollow rhetoric and symbolic rhetoric, this Administration really does not support our troops. We are nothing but cheap photo ops to be used on the 4th of July and Veterans' Day. And the sadder reality is that America itself doesn't really give a damn either. The public is horrified about proposed budget cuts to social security and medicare, but when it comes to targeting the veterans for huge increases in t he cost of our TRICARE health care premiums and insurance co-pays, there is only a deafening silence. When America dishonors its promises to its veterans, it dishonors itself. Shame.

  36. if we would have the goverment to be taxed and they pay taxes and the rep. pay back all they have borrowed from social security and left iou's we all would be better off! Get off your butts and pay it back! please. You rich guys have it now put it back and pay in to social security!

    • IS CALLED PRODUC I THINK YOU NEED TO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT, PRESIDENT JONSON DEMOCRAT, IS THE ONE WHO STARTED TO TAKE MONEY OUT FROM OUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND NOT THE REPUBLICANS. YES I AGREE IF THEY LEFT SOCIAL SECURITY ALONE AND LEFT IT FOR WHAT IT WHAS INTEDED, WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE SHAPE WE ARE IN. AND OBAMA IS TAKING THE REST SO HE CAN BLOW IT, BECAUSE HE HAS NOT DONE ANY THING PRODUCTIVE, OR MAYBE RUNNING OUR COUNTRY SO DEEP IN DEBT IS CALLED PRODUCTIVE, AND HE ALSO IS A DEMORAT OH I MENT DEMOCRAT.

  37. I am a retiree withover 20 years of service. I also held a civilian job that I retired from. Their medical plan covers my medical expence along with medicare. Having this coverage, I don't need V.A. care, accept if my insurance doesn't cover it. If all those who have civilian insurance, would stop using the V.A. They might not have to cut it's services

    • WRONG, BECAUSE OBAMA WANTS TO TAKE 500 BILLION AWAY FROM MEDICARE. IF HE DOES THIS MEDICARE WILL NOT SURVIVE, SO WHAT ARE THE RETIRED PEOPLE ARE SUPOSED TO DO.?

    • So give up your VA, easy enough.

      • Basicaly, I have. I was allowed 1 visit each year. Now it's every 2 years, not by my doing. Don't get me wrong, I am totaly for the V.A. and taking care of our soldiers. Knowing that I am in the category 8 or 9 or what ever it is, I don't see much benefit any more.

  38. There is so much wasteful spending in Washington, D.C. They continue to line their pockets at the expense of us tax payers. Something has got to give soon, or we will only have two classes, poor and wealthy, as they keep feeding off the veterans and middle class Americans. They spend billions of dollars on wasteful programs and pet projects all the while accumulating personal gain. It's just sickening! When are we going to have folks representing us, I mean really doing what is best for the American people. Veterans risk life and limb for their country and they are always at the mercy of Congress to keep their word on benefits. They continue to make very poor decisions that push Americans closer to the brink, and we sit idly by and watch. Come on Congress, we want smart decisions made with our hard earned tax dollars. Start doing things right!! Deliver what you promise..

  39. SURE OBAMA NEEDS IT FOR THE ILLEGALS SO HE CAN GET VOTED BACK IN TO OFFICE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND ESPECIALY THE VETERANS THAT CAME BACK SICK AND LOST LIMBS DO NOT COUNT WITH THIS GOVERNMENT.

  40. Antoinette M. Kerr says:

    It could be a reality in unified command, but with seperate base command they would rise up in anticipation of an embezzlement charge that would go to the treasury for not explaining protocol policy and procedure to congress, the supreme court and the page's office. Because to sequester the military would be akin to disbanding certain portions of it and since it is coming from congress the president and the supreme court that means they are not reporting anything but an agreement when at any time the standing army has to take care of all fifty states in an even manner as well as onshore, offshore and anything inbetween, which is why there should be no such thing. Thank you. Antoinette M. Kerr.

  41. they say they can't find the money to fund this ($1.2 trillion dollars in deficit reductions) , doesn't surprise me but I can give them an idea were to look …..FIND THE TRILLIONS (THATS TRILLON WITH AN S) that disapeared when the ghost plane hit the Pentagon

  42. On my street there are 5 (were 6, one passed) retired USAF ANG's. When there is a holiday honoring vets or memorial services, the flag is proudly displayed. I vote at every election, but not one of the candidates I voted for has ever won. Needless to say none were incumbants. We need changes, get rid of the assholes who don't give a shit about those who serve, and have served.

    • Harry Stevens says:

      Thanks Russ H. your statement is right on, and we hope Nov. will start the ball moving,at least it will on my part.Thanks to my Comrades,God Bless each of You.CPO. USN. Ret.

  43. Jerry Vann says:

    I would like to ask some advise maybe i can get some help in here I was in the Army National guard and was activated during desert storm while i was on active duty i had a leeft hand injury and was placed in a med hold unit while in the med hold unit I had a several seizures and was discharged with honors with medical conditions stated on the discharge form i received on it it stated that all responsiblity was to be transferred to my home station to set up medical for me, i recieved 3 months incap pay then this stopped and was told that the military wasnt responsible for the problem them i recieved my discharge papers i have a P3 med code unable to drive military vehicles be on heights greater than 10 feet or fire live ammo i was a tank mechanic and an ammo specialist wasnt forwarded to chance to change M.O.s can some one help me with this it has been since 93 and cant find any thanks and god bless

    • Mike Jarrett says:

      Hey Jerry, it sounds like to me that you need to contact a veterans service officer(VET REP for VA BENEFITS) to assist you in attempting to obtain VA benefits if you were injured while on active military duty. Contact your State department of veterans affairs office and they can give you contact information or you can find contact info on thier web site as well. You absolutely need to obtain copies of every medical records,deployment orders, personnel files, dental and any other records you can get your hands on because if you do end up filing a claim for VA disability compensation you are going to need everything you can get to support your claim !!! Also make sure you get all civilian doctor,hospital records you can get as well. Make absolutely sure to keep a copy for your own records when you go to submit records to VA claims !! Good luck with your issues Jerry,
      Mike

  44. If you want to find the money, look at the thousends of companies that are using the Tax loop hole to pay no Taxes(yes no Taxes) and in some instance getting refunds. While the American people are paying their fair share.

    The companies are takling our Jobs overseas and using loop holes to pay no taxes. So even if you don't agree with Our president, you must listen when he talks about Taxing these companies.

    • redbloodedamerican says:

      FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! FAIR SHARE! When is Red Blooded, Patriot Americans going to get tired and get enough of this president's socialist (possibly communist) rhetoric. (Excuse me, after writing the phrase FAIR SHARE, I've got to go pewk)

  45. retiredairforce says:

    Look at the hundreds of billions of dollars annually spent on welfare, wic, food stamps, housing, energy, unemployment and other benefits for illegal aliens, most using stolen and fraudulent identities and documents to illegally obtain payments with many using multiple identities (there is no e-verify at public offices) to obtain multiple benefit payments even while illegally employed. Also look at the EITC where many illegal aliens are claiming thousands of dollars for children that don't exist or live in other rcountries including nieces, nephews and other extended family members as one who claimed 20 children.
    But I forget this administration's primary allegiance is to millions illegally here and the thousands illegally entering the country every week for their votes and new union members to shore up sagging numbers so he will cut VA services and benefits before he does something about this massive fraud, waste and abuse.
    I am retired Air Force but spent most of my 24 years on Combat Army posts (close air support – TACPs) including frontline combat and am disabled. I guess that means nothing to this administration and congress who care more about those who violated our laws, borders and sovereignty for which we fought and sacrificed our health, blood, limbs and lives protecting, defending and preserving.

  46. joe thomas says:

    its really sad that vets. have to fight for benefits that they earned. there is always the big show when a vet is killed.,but the vets that need help are set aside. or the cat.8,which basily said that the vets must pay. we are vets and tax payers.so why do we still have to pay. ALL GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS ARE PAID BY TAX PAYERS.SAD-SAD SITUATION. and the sorry ass people that make the laws are getting free everything. maybe if they paid there share, than vets that need help can get it