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As a disabled vet, I have never had much disposable income; nevertheless, I used to be able to hire someone to help me around the house. That was before my cost of living got too high.

I became disabled in stages. Being a Marine is the only thing I can ever remember wanting to do as a kid. After bootcamp at MCRD San Diego, I went to NAS Memphis for my 'A' schools. There, 20 miles north of Memphis Tennessee, I learned the basics of electricity and electronics, the basics of aerodynamics, and how to repair aviation electronics and electrical systems on A-4 Skyhawks. While at Memphis, I injured my right knee. After completing my enlistment, I was given 20% service connection for my knee. When I developed arthritis in it 20 years later, I was bumped up to 40% service connected disabled. Some bad things happened while I was in the Marines and although I didn't think about those things, they were consuming me from inside.

In 1995, I applied for individual unemployability with the VA and I was denied. Upon appeal, I was given 50%, then a few years later 70%. After turning 50, I re-applied fo unemployability and many years later won. But not before I was diagnosed with PTSD. I am not service connected for PTSD, I have a host of other issues that put me over the top.

Congress used to give raises called a COLA or Cost Of Living Adjustment. They fiddled with the way the CPI is calculated, removing several items such as gasoline from it because they were deemed too volitile. We still need to pay for our gas, just on less money. Since then, everything has gone up and my pay is stuck.

I had a housekeeper coming every few weeks until I was faced with a decision of whether to pay her or skip a few meals. I had to let her go. Now, she has less money in her pocket, and she'll make cuts that hurt others' income and they will need to do the same.

I remember my college economics 101 class spent some time on opportunity cost and the multiplier effect of spending one dollar. Seems there is an equal and opposite action in economics that doesn't get much traction. I remember we talked about the multiplier effect of money. For every dollar I spent in the local economy, 6 more dollars were generated.(for details, look here)

Being a logical extension of the government by proxy (my income is from my disability and my social security check), I was helping to create a few jobs, even though I don't make millions of dollars a year, or ever for that matter. So, next time when you hear somebody talk about job creators, let them know we are all job creators if you can. Every dolla you spend, gets spent another 5 or 6 times.

Originally posted to zamrzla on Sun Nov 06, 2011 at 11:38 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans and Community Spotlight.

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