Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


State of the Nation

Pork-barrel spending, budget deficits, tax cuts, and benefit cuts for the troops coming back from Iraq.

Salon has an alarming article today about a decision by the Department of Veterans Affairs to go back over some 72,000 cases of vets who currently receive benefits as a result of being diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"Veterans groups say the Bush administration's sticker shock from the Iraq war is behind the review. To them, the review of 72,000 PTSD cases is part of the administration's larger strategy to manage a budget that is already making it harder for veterans to get benefits or healthcare.

Last month, the V.A. admitted that veterans healthcare will be $1 billion more this year and $2.6 billion more next year than the agency previously claimed. The department says it underestimated the number of troops coming back from war, but critics say the agency was trying to lowball the V.A. budget. After beating back Democrats' efforts to give the agency more money, embarrassed Republicans quickly began moving $1.5 billion in emergency funds to the department. (Former House Veterans Affairs Committee chairman and New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher H. Smith long sought more funds for the department. Veterans groups and Democrats think that the GOP removed him from that post in favor of Indiana Republican Rep. Steve Buyer because he might be more amenable to cost cuts.)"

If you're not a Salon member, view the ad to get a site pass and the full article. More people need to be reading about this.


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