Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Thoughts on Security and Well-Being

Let me tell you, for an old Navy Chief life doesn't get much better than finding out that coffee reduces cancer risk. At least one of my (former) longstanding habits won't hasten my departure from this life.
This morning on my way into work I was reflecting on the nature of military service and the commitment we all shared. People, even in the '60s, came into the service for any number of reasons, but they all showed up... ready and willing to serve. This is one of the reasons I refuse to discuss the nature of military service with people who've never served... because they either never got the call or they chose not to answer it or whatever, but they've never felt that bond between people whose lives depended on the person next to them. We didn't necessarily like one another, but we knew we were all in the same boat.
Who cared about the respective service records of the candidates for President? Well, both Republican and Democratic senators are saying that the 2006 VA budget won't be adequate to maintain current services. The nominal increase of 1% over 2005 dollars won't even compensate for inflation. The proposal eliminates funds for long-term care and cuts about 5,000 nursing home beds. VA medical staff will be reduced by 3700 positions. Quite frankly, I think this is what happens when you elect people you wouldn't trust to cover your back.
Most people don't really care a lot about military people though... I know that and it's okay... but the rest of you can't breathe easy either. David Kuo, the former Deputy Director of the (Bush)White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives wrote regarding the failure of the Administration to fund the initiatives that, "No administration since [Lyndon B. Johnson's] has had a more successful legislative record than this one. From tax cuts to Medicare, the White House gets what the White House really wants. It never really wanted the 'poor people stuff.' "
Do you really want to let this man invest your Social Security funds for you? Never mind whether or not he could actually name five... or three... people he's met who actually need to live on their social security benefits. Do you believe that you can depend on him to be there for you? I knew then and now what a President means when he talks about Defense... Wall Street never made a dime investing in manpower. Why would anyone with sense rely on Bush to manage their social security funds? If your last name isn't Bush then you have to know that it's all about money to be made by someone!
Have you glanced at this article or one like it about the budget projections from 2010 onward?
Honestly... I keep thinking that I must be missing something... a whole bunch of you people are ready to buy (another) used car from this guy, and for the life of me I have no idea why.

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Anonymous Ronni Bennett said...

There is so much to be concerned about, as you point out, in the kind of cuts in the new Bush budget, but the VA is one that is reprehensible.

When I was young and my male friends had to choose whether to go to college or join the military first (there was a draft in those days), I remember how relieved I was to be a girl (only men served then). In no way could I imagine putting myself in a position that someone might shoot at me and couldn't imagine how the guys were willing to do that.

But they did, through several "wars" since then (some weren't called wars) and whether or not it can be said they protected me personally back home in the U.S., the point is they would have done it here, had it been necessary, as in those other countries.

Favoritism kept the current president from being shot at and like you say, it's unlikely he knows anyone who depends on Social Security benefits. If memory serves, not a single person in his cabinet or among his upper-level advisors ever served in the military.

I don't know who, but next time, we've got to elect a president who knows what it's like to have scrabbled to find the rent money at some time in his life. Since the military is voluntary now, I'm not sure I'd make that service a requirement for my vote, but can't we find an electable "real" person to fun the country?

12:19 PM  

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