Supporting the Troops

Veterans Face Consecutive Budget Cuts
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration plans to cut funding for veterans' health care two years from now — even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly — by more than 10 percent in many years — White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends — its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office — sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.
In case you're wondering, Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy are still going strong.

Meanwhile, we're shorting the troops on armor and protection, yet again. Call me nuts, but that's not exactly a good way to cut down on the amount of badly wounded soldiers returning to this country. This must be more of that compassionate behavior, huh? But hey, a sloppy choice of wording is much more important than this.

The Right Wing Noise Machine must be so proud of themselves.

Update: Hand in hand. This is just heartbreaking. (Tip of the Energy Dome to John Cole and Hilzoy.)

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