The Department of Veterans' Affairs is essentially a branch of the
Welfare State, subject to the same criticisms.
Ron Paul, Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate in 1988, says
Many politicians talk about honoring
our veterans and their sacrifices. Yet so often the rhetoric obscures
the reality that the federal government treats veterans badly. Congress
wastes billions of dollars on countless unconstitutional programs, but
fails to provide adequately for the men and women who carry out the most
important constitutional function: national defense.
Any nation willing to ask its men and
women to risk their lives serving overseas must also be willing to
fulfill the promises that were made to them when they enlisted in our
country’s service. We cannot provide adequate care with a VA that is
run like the IRS.
One of the most shameful ways our
veterans are mistreated is in the area of concurrent receipt benefits.
Existing federal rules force disabled veterans to give up their military
retirement pay in order to receive VA disability benefits. Every VA
disability dollar paid to a veteran is deducted from his retirement pay,
effectively creating a “disabled veterans tax”. No other group of
federal employees is subject to this unfair standard; in every other
case, disability pay is viewed as distinct from standard retirement pay.
Ultimately, we can best honor both our
veterans and our current armed forces by changing our foreign policy to
one that serves America’s interests. Today’s soldiers are our future
veterans, and they should never be sent to war without clear objectives
that serve definite American national security interests.
- Reforming the VA to make sure that
it efficiently provides affordable care and benefits to our
- Giving employers a tax credit for
- Narrowing the pay gap that exists
between military and private sector pay scales.
- Restoring health care coverage to
retired service members and reducing their out-of-pocket costs.
- Establishing a House Select
Committee on POW and MIA Affairs.
- Fully investigating the causes of
Gulf War illnesses and providing all necessary treatments to
veterans suffering from those illnesses.
- Immediately ending the requirement
that disabled veterans give up their military retirement pay in
order to receive VA disability benefits.