The Center for American Progress’ War on Veterans


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The shameful treatment of Vietnam veterans is one of the ugliest chapters in our history and it is a chapter that the Obama Administration appears eager to revisit under the guiding inspiration of the Center for American Progress.

While spending under Obama has dramatically increased, the only part of the budget that the radical administration appears to be willing to cut is military spending. But cuts to military spending don’t just involve hardware, but also target human beings. The most shameful cuts involve dramatic increases to health care costs for veterans.

Tricare provides medical benefits to active duty personnel and their families, as well as veterans. With military salaries that are below average for Federal workers, those who serve and have served their country depend on it. After ten years of war and fifteen thousand wounded men and women, Tricare is a small payment on the debt that can never be repaid.

Unfortunately the Party of Treason, not satisfied with stabbing soldiers in the back while they were fighting, has refused to cease its campaign against them even after they have come home. The Center for American Progress, the leftist think-tank that has been described as the brains of the Democratic Party, has made Tricare into a target.

Time Magazine has described the Center for American Progress as “Obama’s Idea Factory” and it is clearly the source of the idea that responsible spending involves cutting health care benefits for veterans while pumping another 1.3 billion dollars into a Muslim Brotherhood run Egypt. The Tricare cuts are supposed to save 1.8 billion dollars, which we could just as easily save by eliminating aid to Egypt and Pakistan.

In 2011 the Center for American Progress issued a special paper deceptively titled, “Restoring Tricare” calling for higher premiums to “encourage responsible use” of Tricare benefits by veterans. CAP’s war on veterans was spearheaded by Lawrence Korb. Korb is a senior fellow at CAP and a senior adviser at the Center for Defense Information. Both are Soros linked organizations.

Korb has boasted that he has been pushing the kinds of drastic defense cuts since 2003 and indeed many of his proposals are part of the massive budget cuts. But while he had called for scrapping systems, he had not originally been an advocate of Tricare cuts. Instead in 2006, his defense review paper actually called for increasing Tricare costs by 1.8 billion by allowing reservists to join. This is identical to the savings from the current proposed Tricare premium hikes.

Only in the age of Obama did Korb shift from calling for Tricare increases in 2006 and 2007 to warning that rising Tricare costs were a serious problem and suggested that as a consequence of low fees, veterans “tend to use the program more heavily than civilians utilize typical HMOs.” The possibility that veterans had higher health costs because of their service was not mentioned.

But if Tricare was such a drain, then why hadn’t Korb proposed those same cuts earlier, why indeed had he called for bulking up Tricare costs only a year earlier? The shift came with Obama’s victory and it was only then that CAP began beating the drum for Tricare cuts and now it is close to getting its way.

As part of the ax, enrollees will see a 400 percent health care premium increase over the next five years leading to hundreds or thousands more in expenses for veterans who are already facing a bad economy. Veterans on a fixed income with medical problems will face the worst of it at the hands of a government that has made it clear that it doesn’t care what happens to them.

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  • Ken

    This is deplorable!! Another stab in the back for all who have sacrificed something!! Although, I am not totally surprised this is being considered. The military and veterans have always been punching bags for Progressives and the rest of the uber-Left, unless the can use it or oneof its members for its agenda (i.e. Manning)!! Being a veteran, this infuriates me to no end!! I am in good health and do not make use of my health benefits on a regular basis. The galling part is the degradation in care and the skyrocketing costs that will impede care to those who really need it!! This MUST not come to pass!!

  • Rifleman

    Anything the American left proposes for the troops is designed to degrade the US military in some way large or small, or set up a bigger degradation later. Those left wing strategic studies groups have always had a miserable track record, and lost any credibility they had with the collapse of the soviet union.

    • Ken

      Spot on, as usual!

  • @rushetteny

    I knew John Podesta in another life… that is before the Democrat Party left me so I obliged in kind. I am Jewish and have been a proud conservative for ten years. Never in a million years would I have guessed that so much hate lurked beneath the surface of my Ex-Friend. Never in a million years would I have guessed that I was sitting across the dinner table from a rabid Anti-Semite. To my chagrin, a part of me still wants to believe that I am somehow mistaken. But liberalism is the new Religion of Hate and make no mistake the only thing the Religious Left can bring itself to worship is power.

  • joy52

    Veterans have historically been cast aside after their usefulness is over. One thing might change that–a voter organization for veterans. Most likely that would pull in spouses and other family members as well. The organization cannot come through channels which provide government benefits for vets. If veterans start voting as a block after they become private citizens again, they could have a real effect on policy

  • Steve Chavez

    REPUBLICANS NEED TO EXPLOIT THE SPITTING ON OUR SOLDIERS BY THE DEMOCRATS.

    Since Vietnam, the real enemy was the "enemy within." Fonda, Kerry, and our CPUSA aided the Vietcong. In the 80's, CPUSA front groups, FUNDED BY THE SOVIET KGB, aided in the takeover of Central America. One of those SOVIET KGB DUPES WAS BARACK OBAMA. His 1983 Columbia Sundial article on CPUSA fronts were apologists for the Soviet Union and KGB propaganda.

    Then the Gulf War and these cockroaches came out from under their rocks to protest the Iraq War and sided with Saddam. They were out in force saying "the children don't have milk to drink" because funds were cut off from Saddam's oil but the "Oil for Food Program" funds were used to build more palaces.

    After we invaded, the Democrats from the "Out of Iraq Caucus" led by Maxine Waters were meeting with CPUSA "peace" operatives to organize strategy. Many Dems said the "WAR IS LOST" WHILE THE SOLDIERS WERE STILL ON THE BATTLEFIELD! THAT'S THE MAIN ISSUE THAT SHOULD BE USED BY THE REPUBLICANS!!! How could they say "WE SUPPORT THE TROOPS" and then blame them for actions they know nothing about?

    OUR NEW MEXICO DEMOCRAT DELEGATION support our military bases "for the JOBS WE SAVED AND CREATED" BUT THEY DON'T EVER SUPPORT THE MILITARY MISSION THAT BASE IS SENT ON SO WHAT GOOD DOES IT DO TO SUPPORT THE BASE IN THE FIRST PLACE???

    How any military person could vote for these type of Democrats is beyond me!!!

  • http://twitter.com/ProfJonathan Jonathan I. Ezor (@ProfJonathan)

    What Mr. Greenfield fails to mention is that the proposed changes to Tricare *exclude* active-duty servicepeople, survivors of military members who died on active duty and medically retired

    members, and are indexed to income so that those who cannot afford significant increases will not be asked to pay for them. The changes are also designed to provide market-driven incentives to encourage the most cost-effective use of available services, hardly a radical, left-wing idea. Ultimately, the goal is to continue to be able to provide healthcare to those of our servicepeople (active-duty and retired) who most need it and can least afford it. This, rather than some conspiracy to harm the military, is what this proposal (which, after all, comes from the Department of Defense itself) is about.

    It’s also noteworthy that while the author alleges broken promises to those who served in the military, his ideological colleagues continue to demand that public employers break the same kinds of promises to employees who worked for years, often in hazardous situations or for lower pay than their private sector counterparts, in exchange for contractual obligations to provide pensions (earned and deferred compensation) and health benefits upon retirement. {Jonathan}

    • geoffreybritain

      About those hard working, efficient public employees:

      12,199 retired California government workers receive pensions in excess of $100,000 from CalPERS.

      To return the average pension fund to full funding, stock markets would have to produce 14 percent compounded returns the rest of this decade, with NO intervening recession.

      Public pension deficits today are about $750 to $800 billion using mainstream assumptions and would exceed $1 trillion nationwide using the more conservative approach of credible commentators or the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's proposed methodology.

      What everybody engaged in this argument keeps ignoring are the $1.5 to $2 trillion unfunded liabilities of state and local government OPEB (retiree medical benefits) plans, which are at least double the size of the pension problem and rarely mentioned in the popular press. Add in these almost completely unfunded plans that already use a nearly risk-free discount rate because of current GASB rules for unfunded plans, and we definitely have a $2.5 to 3 Trillion $$$ problem.

      The average pension for their recent 30-year service retirees is $68,000… which of course doesn't count Social Security, and Medicare payments.

      A $100,000 lifetime pension with a COLA benefit makes these folks millionaires: Using a 3 percent real rate of return for secure personal investments in the golden years, it's worth $1.4 million in present value at age 65 and $1.8 million at age 55 when many police and firefighters retire — far more than any private sector or nonprofit association worker can ever possibly accumulate over a 30 year career by saving for themselves the federal maximum in their 401(k) or 403(b) account.

      But hey, those folks at the DMV earned it, right?

    • geoffreybritain

      "As has been the case in past years, the agency with employees who owe the most in unpaid taxes is the U.S. Postal Service, where 25,640 employees owe nearly $270 million."

  • Wee Willie

    Come on! The money for veterans care is needed for the treatment for victims of AIDS.

  • John C. Davidson

    I finally gave up using VA medical facillities. It became too difficult to even get to one. The only choice I now have is to wait for an emergency health program & go to the emergency room at a local hospital. They still pay the bill. Strange, though, I thought Obamacare was initiated to stop people from using hospitals to get health care. What hypicrits the Dems are!

  • mrbean

    Stop the foof stamps, welfare payments and the free medicade to the blacks, the free school lunches for all their fatherless b*astard children and parole for any black convicted a felony. Put all the lazy black youth on manual labor work gangs cleaning up the cities at minimum wages.

    • Paul T.

      You're right. The money would be much better spent sterilizing people like you.

  • Linda Rivera

    Our vets risked their lives for America. They are HEROES and yet are treated like garbage by the administration. What a crime!

    Americans' hard earned tax dollars are gifted to top Muslim FAVORITES, the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated goal is the DESTRUCTION of civilization and global Islamic CONQUEST.

    “Washington, April 5, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)—The White House defended the decision to release USD 1.5 billion in foreign aid to Egypt, on Thursday, following meetings between U.S. officials and lawmakers and representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood in Washington.”

  • Appalled

    I’m generally in agreement with the articles that are posted of Front Page. I’m a life-long Conservative and a veteran. However, this article is an exception. It’s a bunch of….well….to put it in soldier terms…..CRAP! I am a letter carrier and I am also a veteran of Iraq with combat-related disabilities. I’ve got to say that I find Mr. Greenfield’s slamming of letter carriers to be perfectly appalling and, quite frankly, thoroughly misleading. Mr. Greenfield, YOU ARE A SNAKE! YOU ARE CLEARLY NOT A FRIEND TO VETERANS! What’s the matter with you? Were you frightened by a mailman when you were a child?

    To start with, many letter carriers (and postal workers in general) are veterans. Many of those veterans have service-connected disabilities. While Mr. Greenfield whines about my civilian pay, I’m forced to wonder why he now wants to rip the roof from over my head. Why does he wish to punish me further for my military service by reducing my wages on the civilian side? Isn’t it enough that I already take a cut in pay each time I put on a green uniform? If it were not for my postal pay, I simply could not afford to be a member of the military! Isn’t it enough for him that I am deprived of some of the military benefits I have earned simply because I am also a postal employee? Did you know that until recently, it was against the law to sell a short-term disability insurance policy to a postal employee?

    Mr. Greenfield makes fun of the hazards that letter carriers face. I suppose that’s what happens when someone’s only knowledge of postal workers is probably gleaned from re-runs of the tv series “Cheers’. Let’s talk about the hazards of dogs (since he brought it up)…..the most recent statistic I’ve read is that on average, 9 USPS letter carriers are mauled by dogs EVERY SINGLE DELIVERY DAY. That is 2,808 letter carriers injured by dogs per year! Some of those injuries are minor. Some are career ending. Some may require the victim to go through painful rabies shots.

    Let’s talk about other injuries. The postal service fought tooth & nail against falling under OSHA supervision. Why? Because the job is so dangerous that they felt compliance with basic workplace safety (the same rules that govern private employers) would cost too much! A lot of letter carriers require one or more operations to repair workplace injuries during their careers. I don’t know any that make it to retirement without chronic pain from work-related injuries. By the way…..did you realize that when a letter carrier is injured on-the-job, WE MUST GO THE FIRST 3 DAYS OUT OF WORK WITHOUT PAY? We can take sick leave or vacation time, but the USPS will not pay us for those first 3 lost work days. Try doing that to your own employees and see what happens!

    On a daily basis, letter carriers across the nation are injured, robbed, beaten, molested, stalked, abused, extorted, threatened, shot, stabbed, and raped. On occasion, we are murdered or die in other ways. Yet Mr. Greenfield sits comfortably in his office at his keyboard and spews venom at us. Please, Mr. Greenfield…..tell us how many internet columnists die or become disabled falling out of their office chairs!

    I wonder if Mr. Greenfield could tolerate working in summer with no air-conditioning, in a vehicle that is probably 20 degrees hotter than the outside air? I wonder if he could tolerate working in winter with no heat all day? (And don’t you dare take an extra few minutes to cool off or get your fingers re-warmed!) I wonder if Mr. Greenfield could tolerate walking alone and unarmed through the most dangerous areas of our most dangerous cities every day, with no protection other than a smile and a joke to keep criminals at bay? I doubt it. I doubt he has the “required anatomy”.

    Has it ever occurred to Mr. Greenfield that maybe military veterans are the only group that reliably possesses the courage and stamina to run the gauntlet on a daily basis for years on end? The same group of humble people that walked the jungles of Vietnam every day, stood eyeball to eyeball against the Soviet Union, and have just completed ardurous, dangerous tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and other hell-holes?

    But Mr. Greenfield would rather mock and defame us. He would rather take our decent-paying jobs from us.

    We are the ones who check on people’s elderly parents because the mail is piling up and their relatives are apparently too lazy or disinterested to keep track of their own old folks. We are the ones who ask the ghetto kids what they learned in school today because their parents are too drunk or stoned or hopeless to care about them. We are the ones who get up from our meager lunch break to clear someone’s airway when they are choking and the other diners are looking like panicked sheep. We are the ones who hold open the airway of an epileptic while they vomit on us because the cops are too scared or squeamish to do it. We are the ones who pick up your old folks off the ground and help them to the house when they’ve fallen in the yard. We are the ones who watch your neighborhood while you are at work. After all, it’s our neighborhood, too. We spend more of our waking hours there than we do in our own neighborhoods and we want it to be safe for all of us. We are the ones who set lost travelers back on track. None of this is covered by a postal work description, so it comes out of our break times. And then sometimes we go back into those neighborhoods after we clock off so we can check on a customer we are concerned about.

    You get a helluva lot for a 45 cent stamp. You just choose to ignore it because you have a private agenda that you are pushing on a public forum. Tell us all, Mr. Greenfield….what labor union do YOU belong to? Journalists and reporters who bash unions are often members of labor unions themselves.

    Mr. Greenfield, when you and your ilk succeed in dismantling the USPS as it exists today, drop me a line and let me know how it’s working out for you having some minimum-wage crackhead deliver your mail (whatever he feels isn’t worth stealing). Or let me know how you like paying around $20 to mail a letter through FedEx or UPS instead of 45 cents with us even though you know my competitors are not subject to federal prosecution if they intentionally or negligently mishandle it. Let me know how you like it when large parts of America are left with no mail service simply because there isn’t enough money in it for private companies. Let me know how your small-town readers feel when they lose their only post office and their town literally disappears from the map and their jobs move to other places because tourists and truck drivers don’t know they exist anymore. Yes…..please DO let me know these things, Mr. Greenfield. Just be prepared to pay a lot of money to a private delivery service when you get around to doing it.

    I looked at your linked bio, Mr. Greenfield. I don’t see soldier or veteran listed. I don’t see where you’ve ever delivered mail, either. It seems to me that you are WAY out of your league in trying to address either veterans’ or postal issues. I strongly suggest that you confine yourself to your stated specialty of reporting on radical islam, though your bio doesn’t specify which side of that issue you support. If you exercise the same degree of journalistic care on that topic that you’ve demonstrated here, I think I might just lump you in with the terrorists that run Al-Jazeera.

    • geoffreybritain

      Actually, I don't think Mr Greenfield singled out letter carriers out of personal animosity. But the sheer length of your rebuttal makes clear that your reaction is emotional, rather than rational.

      The author's personal resume is irrelevant to the validity of his point, which is that singling out military personnel and vets for cuts to their health care is unconscionable. That a starting letter carrier makes twice what an E1 private does, especially given the demands placed upon soldiers, perfectly illustrates how screwed up things have gotten. That is the case in any comparable public position, where an unskilled, high school graduate is just starting out in the public sector.

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