You’re going to cut my benefits?

Shock and horror: my benefits are going to be cut? How dare you, Michelle Bachmann. The shocked reaction of the VFW (Veterans of Popular Foreign Wars) was classic: How dare you!

This is to be expected. Everyone, well, those of us who know we can’t keep spending money we don’t have, knows that deep and painful cuts are going to be necessary to right our fiscal balance.

There are many things our government spends our money on that can be cut outright without harm: most crop subsidies, all ethanol subsidies, bailouts for companies that should have gone tango uniform, corporate welfare, personal welfare, several federal departments in their entirety like energy, housing and urban development (a/k/a more welfare) and education. The list is long.

Representative Michelle Bachmann kind of stepped in it, however, when she had the temerity to suggest that veterans might have to share the pain. From Fox News:

Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann is taking heat from the nation’s largest combat veterans’ organization for proposing, as part of a broad list of spending cuts, a combination of reductions and caps in veterans’ benefits.
“No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress,” Richard Eubank, head of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said in a written statement released Friday.

The Minnesota Republican congresswoman, who is positioning herself as a leading critic of the Obama administration in the wake of the midterm elections, earlier this week outlined $400 billion worth of possible spending cuts. The plan projected huge savings from drastic measures like abolishing the Department of Education, overhauling farm subsidies and eliminating a host of Justice Department grants and programs.

Tucked into the outline was $4.5 billion in cuts targeting veterans. She proposed capping increases for health care spending at the Department of Veterans Affairs and cutting disability payments “to account for (Social Security) disability payments.”

Doesn’t sound all that draconian to me. The larger point is that all should share in the pain. I’d like to think that all who now receive military pensions and benefits will not be affected, that cuts would only affect those still on active duty.

The same, in fairness, for all those who received a pension from Uncle Sam, and for those who now receive Social Security. It’s called grandfathering, and it honors the deal made when these folks signed up. In any event, current pensioners’ costs are small beer in comparison with the billions of federal largess pumped out to welfare farmers and unemployables at redundant federal agencies.


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