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...just don't question our support for the troops!

Currently, the state of Massachusetts is in halfway decent shape, financially. They currently have about a billion dollars in their "rainy-day fund," and tax revenues are OK. But things like that aren't guaranteed to last forever, so some lawmakers are looking for ways to save money.

One way they found to save $8 million dollars was by cutting funding for one really silly, wasteful, useless program: college tuition waivers for returning war veterans.

The program has been around for a while, but the legislature just decided to not fund it this year.

That's the way the Massachusetts legislature handles matters they don't like: they just ignore them and hope they'll go away, and that the voters will forget about them come election day. They did that with a public referendum rolling back taxes, they did that with gay marriage, and now they're screwing over those who risked their lives and limbs in service to our country -- in the face of their own promises.

Normally, I am loath to make an issue explicitly partisan, but in this case I am going to make an exception. It must never -- never -- be forgotten that while Massachusetts' governor and Lieutenant Governor are Republicans, the legislature is monolithically Democrat. They hold over 86% of the House and 85% of the Senate. On any given day, one out of five Democratic legislators can play hooky, and they can STILL override the governor's vetoes on a strictly partisan vote.

I strongly suspect that this will not stand. Even in Massachusetts, the public outrage ought to be too much to let this one slide by.

Then again, no one ever went broke betting on Massachusetts doing the right thing.

Comments (17)

Between this and Moore's le... (Below threshold)

Between this and Moore's letter, Democrats must like the status quo as far as the House, Senate, and Presidency is concerned.

"Public outrage" ?</... (Below threshold)

"Public outrage" ?

In Massachusetts? The state where the largest newspaper prints photos from a porn site and pretends they're pictures of US soldiers raping Iraqi women?

Suuuuuurrre there'll be public outrage. Perhaps if one of the returning veterans is a photogenic gay man setting up house with his lover, or perhaps a young aspiring rap star who's "turning his life around" or, even better, a formerly gung-ho Bushbot who - after seeing the carnage, rapes, murders, incompetence and treachery in Iraq, has decided it was all a lie for oil. And Halliburton.

Other than that, this will drop right down the memory hole. Every one of the filthy pieces of sewage who voted for this will be returned to office by overwhelming numbers. As the exodus from this hellhole of a state continues. . .

They have money for unions ... (Below threshold)

They have money for unions but not for war veterans.
They have money for welfare parasites but not for war veterans.
The lists can go on and on and the bums will proudly stand in front of flag for their campaign photos.
They have no shame

I did see where several ins... (Below threshold)

I did see where several institutions of higher learning were waving the fee's so as to match what illegal aliens (who were granted the tuition wavier) were being charged.

The legislators will consistently pick the programs that will cause them the least ammount of political fallout so guess who takes the hit in a liberal climate.

"Then again, no one ever... (Below threshold)

"Then again, no one ever went broke betting on Massachusetts doing the right thing."

Didn't you mean "the wrong thing"?

So Jay,Let's estab... (Below threshold)

So Jay,

Let's establish a principle here, okay? That being, we hereby agree and acknowledge that cutting veterans benefits is the wrong thing to do, and that whoever cuts those benefits, whenever they cut them, for whatever reason, those people are scum and undeserving of your sympathy and support, okay?

I mean, you either believe this, or you're just blowing more political smoke. Correct?

P.S. I had a friend move to... (Below threshold)

P.S. I had a friend move to Massachusetts from New Orleans. He said the thing that he most hated about moving was that he would be leaving "bozo politics" behind.

But, he says, when he got to Massachusetts, he was "pleasantly surprised."

Oh, astigfa thinks he's bei... (Below threshold)
John Irving:

Oh, astigfa thinks he's being clever, and once again falls into the fantasyland trap of thinking that not increasing benefits by as much as previous years is the same as cutting them.

The Mass legislature just cut a benefit for veterans, stig. Don't bother trying to play this as a bipartisan card, it's the Democratic Party at work.

I saw that this morning, to... (Below threshold)

I saw that this morning, too. They adjourned without voting on the tuition benefit for returning veterans, but did find time to pass it for illegal aliens! Wonder if that will come back to haunt them?

Yeah, asti thinks he's bein... (Below threshold)

Yeah, asti thinks he's being cute.

I actually argued against tuition waivers for veterans the one time I was a alternate delegate to a party regional convention... I was 17. What I really wanted was for someone to explain *why* it was a good idea. Keeping government spending down was something that seemed straight forward enough, even at that age.

Many (many) years later I lean libertarian but understand better that there are reasons for passing legistlation that may not seem so obvious. "They deserve it," is a pretty darned weak reason, all told. Though if anyone *does* deserve it, it is veterans *because* they've spent time in service to the nation the nation giving back seems right and just. And then there are the sorts of benefits my present state votes to provide veterans (free vehicle licensing was on the ballot last election). Those sorts of things are intended to attract people to the state when they get out of the service. There's a cost but there is a financial benefit as well when prior service people come to the state to live.

Tuition assistance to illegals and not veterans seems... financially short-sighted. But maybe blue Mass wants to discourage veterans from making Mass their home? Or maybe the anti-recruiting people have made their wishes known... can't have any Mass citizens who can't afford college deciding that a stint in the Army will solve their educational difficulties.


Veterans benefits, as some sort of holy cow... Always condemn any "cut" no matter what, astigafa?

This is government? What it amounts to is forbidding any financial oversight at the same time that the VA and Congress and everyone else is prevented from making changes to better use available funds. It makes it impossible for funds to be moved to programs that help the veterans who need it the most because it will involve a "cut" (or a smaller increase) in some other program and the howling will begin.

John Irving:Oh,... (Below threshold)

John Irving:

Oh, astigfa thinks he's being clever, and once again falls into the fantasyland trap of thinking that not increasing benefits by as much as previous years is the same as cutting them.

First and foremost, astigafa doesn't just think he's being clever; he is clever. He should be on a roof somewhere or in somebody's dank, insufferable crawlspace untangling somebody else's idiotic goddamn Maineah wiring job, but he's here, talking to you. Yes, to you, John Irving, a kid with two first names! You should treasure this. And he's got that split personality thing working for him as well; cool.

Second and secondmost, he's just asking a question, old astigafa, so don't put words in his mouth: is cutting veterans benefit a bad thing or not? Jay Tea seems to think so.

and once again falls into the fantasyland trap of thinking that not increasing benefits by as much as previous years is the same as cutting them.

I'm sorry, but astigafa does not recall falling into that particular trap; please refresh his memory by posting a link to the last time he did that.

Yeah, astigafa, he is a certifiable weirdo: an unrepentant pugilist and a drunk and a lapsed academic, but he can be curious, just like other people; he just wants to ask that question because he's always running into neocon shitheads like Synova -- who, when considering the issue in the light of the possibility that this might not be a sin committed only by people he/she/it (to be referred to as "she-it" hereafter for the sake of accuracy) does not like, will come out with a laugher like "Veterans benefits, as some sort of holy cow... Always condemn any 'cut' no matter what, astigafa?"

If vets benefits are not a "holy cow," what is this thread about? Cutting benefits for vets is only bad if Massachusetts Democrats do it?


Support our troops? Bush an... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

Support our troops? Bush and the Republicans continue to cut support for V.A. hospitals. Here in Denver staff has been cut for three years stright while returning Iraq vets grow. Go to your local V.A. hospital..talk to someone who at 10:00 is waiting for an 8:00 appointment they waited 3 months to get.

Ask them what they think of Bush's commitment to those who served in Iraq once they come back and need medical/psychological help. Why does Bush hate Vets?

Why don't get outraged over that? Do any vets who utilize the V.A. even post here? If so..you agree or disagree?

before responding just goog... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

before responding just google a simple "V.A. cuts"
then flame me or make feeble excuses..remember it's the Republicans who control House/Senate/Oval office

sorry make that google V.A.... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

sorry make that google V.A. hospital cuts

Principi Decries Myth of... (Below threshold)

Principi Decries Myth of Budget "Slash"
April 24, 2003

This rumor may have been fueled by a parliamentary maneuver that escaped even the most die-hard C-Span viewers. At about the time the Iraq war began, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requesting House and Senate Appropriations Committee members to reduce most federal agencies’ funding, including VA’s, by 1 percent in fiscal year 2004, a reduction they believed could be made up by reducing waste, fraud and abuse at each department.

If that measure had passed, it would have lowered the amount of the record increase in funding President Bush proposed for veterans, but it would not have cut VA’s funding. Lawmakers, however, quickly recognized the impact upon veterans and exempted VA from the across-the-board reductions.

Wow, looks like the wizbang lefties are itching to take Jay on in the who cut more Veterans benefits debate. Republicans or Democrats?

Sorry lefties, as a veteran (and my wife) we know there was no cuts.

Read the whole thing HERE

And that's the problem with... (Below threshold)

And that's the problem with googling for "Cuts to VA benefits." It's going to return a whole heck of a lot of hits that are people claiming there were cuts.

I can make claims too. Doesn't make it so.

Third person doesn't suit you astigafa, not when one has the Manolo or Vera with which to compare.

And I suppose it comes as a surprise that I don't always agree with Jay Tea on every little thing. I suppose it comes as a surprise that conforming isn't required since the tired old refrain about the right having to, toe the line - practice message discipline - mindlessly accept what were're told, is such a necessity to explain "right-wing" behavior. Hmm? BUT Jay Tea said several things in his post to indicate that there isn't any reason to think that Mass has legitimate budget concerns. I was talking about legitimate budget concerns.

And increasing a budget is often called "cutting". If this isn't the sort of "cutting" that you're talking about you're going to have to get specific and explain as well as explaining that the "cut" was not a decision to better use funds elsewhere for our returning veterans who most *certainly* have immediate and rather specific needs.

Is cutting a veterans' bene... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Is cutting a veterans' benefit necessarily always bad? No, of course not. It depends on the benefit: how many use it, how important it is the priority of other funded benefits, how much it costs, and the fiscal condition of the state that is paying it.

In this case, as described, it seems rather callous - they cut tuition waivers for returning vets but kept them for illegal aliens.

Somebody needs a sense of perspective.

The baloney about VA Hospital cuts needs to be responded to, as well. Yes, the VA Hospital system is going to eventually be phased out, because it is very inefficient. BUT no vets' hospital benefits were cut; in fact they were increased beyond inflation. Now, instead of only being able to use the VA Hospital, a qualifying veteran can use any doctor or hospital.

So the moonbat meme about "VA hospital CUTS" is simply an attempt to deceive.






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