Funny, that’s how I feel about folks on life-long welfare or hipsters on food stamps who didn’t serve that “meager 20” in fighting in war zones, on hardship tours, separated from family.
Funny, too, that the media would feed off the idea of those wicked conservatives starving the poor and elderly for eons, while the notion of forcing cuts on those currently serving musters a peep in the Army Times and Stars and Stripes. Funny, how that works, no? No big media brouhaha over soldiers who gave up 20 of their most creative or financially productive years to serve their country. Hey, Michelle and Jill, I can tell you care about military families now!
The only “big” media mention of worth, in fact, that discusses the Defense Business Board’s proposals takes larger aim: cut that bloated head count argues Loren Thompson, writing for Forbes. She notes the Center for American Progress advocates changes to the military benefit system:
The center also endorses reforms of the military healthcare and retirement systems aimed at bringing compensation levels into closer alignment with the pay and benefits of private-sector workers.
First, note that the Center for American Progress is a leftist think-tank. Second, regardless of what any liberal thinks, soldiers are not private-sector workers nor should they be treated as such. Read the rest if you can tolerate sneering at those pencil-pushers within the military who do things other than fire guns. To Loren Thompson, civilians could push those pencils much better, and far cheaper. She’s obviously never met most civilians who work for the military, the vast majority of whom have neither the work ethic nor the standards to get the mission done–let alone done well–because their unions protect them from such trite things. But I digress.
When will the entitlement discussion come? Welfare? Social Security? Medicaid? Victor Davis Hanson voices soon to be necessary questions:
Should those on welfare who have more than three children still qualify for increased assistance for each additional offspring? Should state-subsidized elective operations automatically be provided for the chronically obese or lifelong smokers? Does the affluent class deserve mortgage-interest deductions on second and third homes? Should U.S. troops subsidize the defense of an allied and rich Germany or Japan 66 years after World War II?
Social Security reform used to be the third rail that politicians dared not touch. But is that prohibition really still operative as big government approaches insolvency? Expect soon not just the retirement ageto jump, reflecting modern longevity, or automatic cost-of-living increases to cease, mirroring the reality found in the private sector, but also the entire notion of disability to change as well.
Quite simply, the dogma that a teenager with dyslexia or a mature man with a bum knee will receive years of Social Security disability benefits will be assessed as an historical aberration of the last twenty years. A decision by an insurance company or government agency that a 62-year old must settle for arthroscopic surgery on a chronically torn meniscus rather than a complete knee replacement will not be interpreted as social cruelty.
Almost everything that can be said has been said about illegal immigration — and about the sustainability and morality of millions of Mexican and Latin American nationals crossing the U.S. border unlawfully and plugging into the American entitlement system. But an insolvent state like California, despite the liberal protestations, cannot continue to house 50,000 Mexican nationals in its penal system at a per capita cost of nearly $35,000 a year, or to extend free tuition in its broke university system to those without legal residence, or to provide social services to illegal aliens that may well cost the state nearly $10 billion a year. Even to suggest such limits was once considered illiberal. Now, not to state the obvious — that those without education, English, and legality have been expecting far more than what they could contribute in return — will be considered derelict.
That’s perspective: the 20-year savings from
cutting gutting military retirements and shafting active-duty soldiers would pay for the social services for illegals in California for a month. Read the rest.