RANGER AGAINST WAR: Friends <

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Friends

When you're down and troubled
And you need some loving care
And nothing, nothing is going right
Close your eyes and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night

--You've Got a Friend, Carole King


She's not talking about you, Mr. VFW Veterans Service Deputy Director Manar.

VFW Magazine this month addresses the "$763 Billion Price Tag to Care for War Wounded" (Tim Dyhouse, April 2007). It is worth a read, as MSM fails to focus on the long-term health costs of the Phoney War on Terror, and this administration constantly short sells these very real costs.


As an example, everybody discusses the retirement of the Baby Boomers and SSA financial concerns, but nobody addressses the budgetary shortfalls that will occur when the Boomers retire
and veterans health care costs soar. The writing is on the wall, and the veterans care will take a big hit, and our National leadership is ignoring this inevitability.

The article parses a Harvard study, which upfront admits, "In all cases, this study has been done conservatively." It is possible "that a much higher number--perhaps two-thirds of returning vets--would seek disability benefits and/or health care and the stimates in this paper prove too low." (The report is available online at
http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~lbilmes/papers.htm.)

Study leader Linda Bilmes suggests several ways to fast-track assistance to needy returning vets, one of them being approval of "all veterans claims as they are filed--at least to a certain minimum level," followed by audits to "weed out and deter fraudulent claims." Bilmes said this would at least "ensure that the U.S. no longer leaves disabled veterans to fend for themselves."


But deputy director of VFW's National Veterans Service Jerry Manar frets that it "would have a huge, negative impact on the U.S. Treasury...it would open the door to massive amounts of fraud." Thanks for being a friend, Mr. Manar. It is funny, but
that caveat is not sounded when the tax benefits are being cut for a certain economic echelon, to which most footsoldiers don't belong.

The article concludes, "the government's obligation to veterans doesn't end when the war does." But it seems our leadership prefers tax cuts to the wealthy over providing benefits to our veterans. We sound the cheers when they're off at war, but when they come home damaged, they are morphed into pernicious dregs who wish to feed off the system. As I see it, the future looks dim for veterans.

4 Comments:

Blogger Missouri Mule said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see legislation that would offered boomers government incentives to kill themselves by age 75, thereby relieving the financial burden on the next generation. You know they'd do it it a heartbeat if they thought they could sell it.
"Free medical. Drugs---all the drugs you want!"
Boomers would just love that kink of pork. Call it voluntary transitioning.
The big sell would of course be no estate tax. "Why leave to Uncle Sam when you can leave it to the kids?." That will get all the narcissistic kids on board. Hell, if only twenty percent of the 76 million Boomers go for it, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid will be solvent. End of crisis.

Monday, April 2, 2007 at 2:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Missouri Mule,

We got a kick out of your reply.

If I read you correctly, you're offering a suicide bonus that would get estate tax exemption. You are correct in your logic. I esp. like your nod to the grasping offspring that this Boomer generation has spawned. They learned from the best.

Free drugs--if only they'd offered them 40 years ago, concurrent with Jim Morrison's latest vinyl.

Monday, April 2, 2007 at 2:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Missouri Mule said...

That's a big ten-four on the suicide bonus, rangeragainstwar.
If you thought selling tobacco was challenging, try selling suicide! Well, they'll need to buy a senator or two, but hey, that's never been a problem.
I'm sure they could recruit a PR wiz that never quit recovered from a vivid acid trip who could deftly spin "transitioning " into a positively perky-sounding campaign platform. Sure it's absurdity, but that's what now surround us. Naturally there be some over the top opposition group, say the ABBA (Association of Baby Boomer Advocates) But you don't see these slacker raising eighteen kinds of holy hell over the 12 billion in cash that somehow when astray en route to Iraq, now do you? Yeah, how about that....363 tons of money! Where did it go? Well, I guess that's George Clooney's next movie, Oceans 15 or Four Kings. There' is a sense of , didn't we use to be able to do this stuff? What's going on here? Do I sound bitter? What happen to the idea of leaving the world better off for the next generation? You know there's lots of the little fuckers that are incensed cuz daddy won't pay they're way to Yale that would be willing to incite America's youth to riot on ritzy golf courses to protest the mounting Social Security debt. You can bet the farm on that!
Don't get me wrong. I love boomers and our culture for all its amazing preposterous-nesses. I don't mean to be mean. But boomer's self preoccupation is what got us into the mess. And at 54, I'm just bewildered as the next boomer to find ads on the evening news suddenly aimed at me. I don't even know what restless leg syndrome is, and yet I'm being urged to see my doctor about it. And of course these Cialis ads:"In the event of an erection that lasts more than four days, immediately consult a doctor." Consult a doctor?!? Long Suffering (my husband) said he'd haul his happy azz to the nearest bordello to which I add, "over my dead body!" Then I'd turn up Morrison's "Come on baby light my fire....Come on baby...try to sit the night on FIRE!"

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 9:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

M. Mule,

As Big Daddy said, the smell of mendacity is in the air. I am horrified and amazed at the venality of this administration.

And the boomers, and everyone else, just keep rolling along, because they are working hard to get by, and like the obedient pack mules take what's put there. I keep thinking that there will come a straw that will break the camel's back, to mix metaphors.

The loss of the 363 tons of money is a little hard to scoff off, isn't it?

The medicalization of our society is a whole other can of worms. I am amazed by it, too.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 11:05:00 AM GMT-5  

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