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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Just Think of How It Could Be….

Just think: if a Republican from the current gaggle of GOP presidential candidates is actually elected President of the United States, and Republicans keep the House and re-take the Senate, we can look forward to seeing some things we haven’t seen in a long time, and which we will regret! 

--The Destruction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as many other programs that assist the broad middle class, as well as the poor and those with special needs;
--Global warming exacerbated and air pollution near industrial areas unregulated enough to cause increased lung diseases, especially in children
--Health insurance returned to levels that exclude significant numbers; that restores high premiums, poor coverage, penalties for pre-existing conditions, and drug prices that spiral completely out-of-control
--A national government that is dependent on state development of safety-net programs that because of state economic troubles, will be entirely inadequate;
--A return to the time when individuals, churches and other religious communities and non-profit organizations had to take care of the poor, the homeless, the sick, the orphan, those with physical and mental handicaps, the widow and the elderly because government-sponsored programs were entirely inadequate or non-existent;
--A return to segregated “neighborhood” schools and the further diminishment of a national public school system;
--A federal government so denuded of funding and power that robber-barons in industry take over virtual control of all aspects of people’s lives;
--A time when women who chose to abort a pregnancy were either harmed in the attempt by amateur abortionists or faced arrest along with sympathetic doctors
--A return to the militancy of the last century that sees America’s military might as the key to its hegemony throughout the world.  As was true of the Cold War era, American militarists exhibit: a belief in a contest between good and evil; a tendency not to use reason, but to spread alarm; to freely concoct dangers when real ones are unavailable; to exaggerate others’ power, and an impulse to create monsters where none exist. They disparage not only the agencies of diplomacy but disparage diplomacy itself. 
--The Department of Defense budget will be swollen to obese proportions; the funding of overblown and unnecessary weapons systems will be perpetuated and enhanced in order to give lucrative contracts to certain corporations (and thus to individuals) who have been “supportive” of Republican (and Democratic) career politicians who generally represent conservative (militarist) viewpoints.  President Eisenhower’s warning about the “military-industrial complex” is all too relevant!

While over-spending on defense, Republicans will do as they have so often done: ignore or diminish the amount of help and aid given to veterans, and those returning immediately from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Why?  Because their ideology which is ever-so-strong on national defense is ever-so-weak on supporting government programs which assist those who need a helping hand.  Their mantra is simple: let those with problems find their own means of solving them; we can’t have the government giving hand-outs to everyone in need. 

“Remember Michele Bachmann’s attempted $4 billion cut from disabled veterans compensation? Well, ‘they’re ba-ack…’ Except this time they are looking to cut away at our VA healthcare.
Republican Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives are looking to end VA healthcare for over 1.3 million veterans who are Priority 7 & 8. These veterans are the least disabled veterans using the system, usually with disability ratings of 0 percent or no service-connected disability. According to the Congressional Budget Office “Option 35,” the cuts would leave 130,000 veterans with no healthcare alternative. This means veterans with conditions not recognized by the VA, like certain diseases from Agent Orange exposure, would have to pay for healthcare out of pocket if they had no other service connected disability.
“Currently, the VA spends over $4 billion yearly to treat these vets, despite co-pays intended to offset the expense. Ryan’s cuts are intended to save $6 billion off the VA’s tab and $62 billion over the next 10 years. Instead of merely increasing the co-pay or taxing Wall Street, Congress wants to just cut your benefits out, all together.”
(From by Ben Krause)

And so, let us count the ways that the Republican contrarians will fail to support our long-time and short-term veterans of foreign wars:

--they will neglect the VA hospital and treatment system, as they have done many times before, most recently under George W. Bush, when Walter Reed Army Hospital came under much scrutiny for its terrible conditions and treatment of our injured men and women in uniform;
--they will minimize, and cut funding for, the treatment for mental disorders that plague so many of our returning warriors; they will scoff at diagnoses of TSD and TBI and “battle fatigue” because they believe in their heart-of-hearts that many of these cases are just “faking” it, or are just not strong enough to overcome their problems, or are trying to avoid being sent on another tour of duty;
--they will never produce a G.I. bill that helps young vets with college or technical training; that helps with finding a job; that supports their families in times of need; that supports low-income housing and housing maintenance;
--moreover, they will continue to cut or diminish programs like food stamps, unemployment compensation, college loans and grants, housing loans, home heating, affordable health insurance, that could be of help to some of these young families;
-- they will use the machinery of government to engage in wars that are futile and costly, not only in terms of human life but in terms of resources and treasure, while sacrificing bright young lives to their bellicose attempts to preserve the honor and position of our nation when neither are at stake;
--they will make use of government bureaucrats and appointees to discourage veterans from completing training or rehabilitation that is costly.  Here’s Ben Krause again:

“The following is a list of a few of most common fish stories given by Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to deny veterans access to Chapter 31 benefits:
1. Veterans with high disability ratings usually fail to complete their training.
2. You cannot use Voc Rehab if you are Individually Unemployable (IU).
3. Veterans with families have a harder time completing their programs.
4. Voc Rehab will not pay for graduate school.
5. If you have a job, you do not qualify for Voc Rehab.
Lies – all lies. In a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Training Module Study Plan…the majority of truths to the lies can be found. “
--they will in all likelihood, given their stand that states are closer to the people and that states can do a “better job“, consider the devolvement of responsibility (as they want to do with Medicaid) for the care of veterans to the states, in order to minimize the debt of the federal government; which will, of course, exacerbate the problem of providing adequate care for our veterans, which is a national problem and responsibility!

Is this what YOU want?  If it is, be sure to vote Republican because it’s becoming clearer from bills passed in the House, including Ryan’s Budget, that this is exactly what you will get!  On the other hand, if you believe that America stands for something better than this, you have no choice but to vote against right-wing Republicans!