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RALEIGH, N.C.—The system that automatically awards disability benefits to some veterans because of concerns about Agent Orange seems contrary to efforts to control federal spending, the Republican co-chairman of President Barack Obama's deficit commission said Tuesday.
Former Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson's comments came a day after The Associated Press reported that diabetes has become the most frequently compensated ailment among Vietnam veterans, even though decades of research has failed to find more than a possible link between the defoliant Agent Orange and diabetes.
"The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess," said Simpson, an Army veteran who was once chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee....
"It's the kind of thing that's just driving us to this $1 trillion, $400 billion deficit this year," Simpson said. "It's not that I'm an uncaring person, but common sense is the most uncommon thing in Washington."
Just like the irony of millions of Americans paying into Social Security on the promise that they would receive benefits back, while the rich get off the hook for repaying the fund they "borrowed" from for their tax cuts and wars. Disabled vets are just like seniors--those "lesser people" of Simpson's, the ones who fought our wars. Those disabled vets that our own military poisoned while they were serving, can just shove it.
This comes right on the heels of an announcement from Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric K. Shinseki that the VA, with the "unwavering support of President Obama," is finally doing the right thing by those veterans exposed to Agent Orange. In announcing this, Shinseki said "the President and I are proud to finally provide this group of Veterans the care and benefits they have long deserved."
Maybe this attack from Simpson will be enough for President Obama to give Simpson the boot.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 31, 2010 at 03:00 PM PDT.