It was a ghastly image. Republicans celebrating the defeat of a veteran's support bill that would have finally recognized burn pits as a legitimate service connected injury and provide relief to so many suffering veterans. It was enough to get this veteran riled up enough to start shaking some phone lines and making waves. What did I find out?
Well, a picture only tells half a story.
As I have said multiple times before, I am no longer a Republican, and at first I was outraged enough to call and tell my Congressmen and Senators that this kind of nonsense is expressly why.
So imagine my surprise when one of my party insiders called me to tell me to hold the phone and do some research. He is a guy that I really trust, A LOT, so on his recommendation, I slowed down and did a little digging. What I found caused me to wretch. It was an example of partisan politics at its worst.
Here is a video from Ted Cruz explaining his reasoning, and then I will expand on it below:
So, to understand what Senator Cruz is saying, let us first attempt to explain what he is referencing.
The government budget operates out of two buckets. One is called "Mandatory" spending. It has things like Medicare, Social Security, Welfare, VA Benefits, Government Retirements, Interest on Foreign Debt, Education, Baseline Defense Spending, and some others. These are things that the government is required to fund. Most of this spending only ever increases as it is supposedly adjusted for inflation.
The other bucket is called "Discretionary" spending. This is the thing that is supposed to be set by an annual budget, but since there is such fighting, we often end up with a patchwork quilt of continuing resolutions and other political nonsense. This is the bucket that covers everything else like running the government workforce, the bulk of military spending, healthcare incentives, tax breaks and expanded returns for lower income persons, our state department consulates, lizards running on treadmills (seriously, look it up), and so many other bizarre things that I cannot begin to name them all.
This is what he is talking about when he explains the game that the Democrats are playing.
They want to pass a bunch of new "Green Energy" subsidies and other cost inducing policies, but there is no more room in the discretionary budget for them to do so. So, IN ORDER FOR THEM TO PASS IT, they will require the Republicans to raise the discretionary budget, and that is not going to happen. That is where the games come in to play.
What they attempted to do was to put in a last minute amendment which moved $400 BILLION dollars of discretionary spending into the mandatory bucket. Since the mandatory bucket must be funded, that would have put the government on the hook for those things permanently.
The ensuing "hole" in the discretionary budget could then be used for their "Green Energy" initiatives and they could have told the American people that they were not spending any more money, but rather that this was budget neutral. They would be right only on a technicality, and only to those who do not understand government spending.
The truth is that it would have increased spending by $400 BILLION dollars and made the parts that they shifted into mandatory spending permanent because it would take a large majority to pull it back out of mandatory spending at a later date. Really, that almost never happens once the parasitic bureaucrats get their hands on the money that they do not want to give back.
Add to that the fact that the amendment was placed into the bill so late that the senate website did not even have time to add the amendment to the bill posted for public viewing and you have a perfectly played political hatchet job. When the photo above went viral, the bill on the senate's website looked like a clean bill dedicated to veteran's healthcare. No sign of the toxic amendments to be found.
Now, do you think the media is going to go back and correct the story?
Do you believe that they will make a big deal about the Democrats doing a perfect frame job on the Republicans? Do you think they will let the facts come out so that people like Jon Stewart would know who is really to blame? If you do, you had better think again.
The TRUTH is that if they put it forward today, RIGHT NOW as a clean bill, it would pass, and it would pass overwhelmingly
The fact that they have been told that and they refuse to do it should tell you everything you need to know.
So the people to be mad at are the ones holding veteran's benefits hostage for non-veteran's related issues. Who scuttled the bill? Not the ones fist bumping, but rather the ones who decided to play politics and to put their agenda ahead of the vets.
Too bad their accomplices in the media will just roll with it.
But hey, that should not surprise you.