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Bachmann's proposed budget cuts would affect veterans

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's list of $400 billion in potential federal budget cuts — designed to trim the deficit — includes a freeze of Veterans Affairs Department health care spending and cuts in veterans’ disability benefits, notes the Navy Times.

About $4.5 billion of the potential savings she outlines would come from proposed VA budget cuts, the publication said.

Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, told the Navy Times that cuts in veterans’ health care spending are ill-advised, while soldiers continue to return from Iraq and Afghanistan. He can't see how the government can freeze those health care costs without hurting veterans.

 “It is really astonishing to see this,” Sullivan said.

Bachmann supports the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but said federal spending is out of hand.

"I’m against another increase of the government’s debt ceiling," she said in a statement on her website. "Instead of making it easier for Washington to spend more of your tax dollars, I’m calling for Congress to do the hard work of making real and necessary cuts in federal spending."

Said the Navy Times:

Bachmann’s idea of cutting costs by reducing veterans’ disability compensation by the amount received in Social Security Disability Income is not new. The proposal, which would affect more than 150,000 veterans, has long been on a list of possible budget options prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, which describes the option as a way to “eliminate duplicate payment of public compensation for a single disability.”

The average SSDI benefit is $12,800 a year, according to CBO

In their annual budget options report, CBO analysts predicted strong opposition from veterans if the two benefits were offset. The report suggests the cost-cutting option would draw less opposition if veterans already receiving both payments were exempt from the change. Having it apply only to future benefits awards would mean about 3,000 veterans a year would be affected.

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Comments (2)

The Congresswoman's own official web site says "We have an obligation to future generations of Americans to ensure our country keeps terrorism off U.S. soil. I will continue to support efforts to strengthen our national defense and support our uniformed men and women who are committed to protecting America."

But that obligation appears not to include disability care or adequate health care for the men and women who do the real work of fighting terrorism (as opposed to the men and women of Congress who get Cadillac health care for life). Shame.

Typical of Bachmann, she's all for military spending but doesn't want to pay the long-term costs for health care for the people who make up the military. Disgusting.