Courtesy of Alternet:
Just before Memorial Day, Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi said, “Our active military respond better to Republicans” because of “the tremendous support that President Bush has provided for our military and our veterans.” The same day, the White House announced plans for massive cuts in veterans’ health care for 2006.
Last January, Bush praised veterans during a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The same day, 164,000 veterans were told the White House was “immediately cutting off their access to the VA health care system.”
My favorite in this category was the short-lived plan to charge soldiers wounded in Iraq for their meals when they got to American military hospitals. The plan mercifully died a-borning after it hit the newspapers.
In January 2003, just before the war, Bush said, “I want to make sure that our soldiers have the best possible pay.” A few months later, the White House announced it would roll back increases in “imminent danger” pay (from $225 to $150) and family separation allowance (from $250 to $100).
A month before the war started, the White House proposed cutting $1.5 billion from funding for military housing. The House Armed Services Committee had concluded that thousands of military families were living “in decrepit and dilapidated military housing.”
With the release of the 2006 budget, we’re constantly finding instances of programs that Bush, the candidate, proudly claims to support, while he prepares to cut them drastically in order to pay for making his tax cuts permanent.
Back to veterans. This year, the administration increased spending on veterans by $519 million. In 2006, it plans to cut veterans spending by $910 million.