MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

April 8, 2013

Don’t use veterans to fix budget


— A plan that could threaten veterans’ disability payments should be stopped in its tracks.

President Barack Obama has endorsed a new measure of inflation to calculate Social Security benefits.

The plan is an attempt to address the federal government’s long-term debt problem.

Social Security benefits are adjusted according to inflation.

The plan Obama endorsed would allow Social Security benefits to grow, but at a slower rate.

Advocates for the nation’s 22 million veterans fear that the new inflation calculation would apply to disability payments to nearly 4 million veterans. The advocates also are concerned the plan would apply to the pension payments for an additional 500,000 low-income veterans and surviving families.

“I think veterans have already paid their fair share to support this nation,” a spokesperson with the American Legion told the Associated Press.

“They’ve paid it in lower wages while serving, they’ve paid it through their wounds and sacrifices on the battlefield and they’re paying it now as they try to recover from those wounds,” said the Legion’s Louis Celli.

We agree.

The nation is in serious trouble with mounting debt. The federal government must find ways to balance the budget and cut the nation’s debt.

But, they should re-think any plan that uses our wounded veterans to pay for Congress’ mismanagement of our nation’s budget.