One of the ironies of Veteran’s Day is that the people who are trying to take care of veterans are people like Bernie Sanders and Jon Stewart, instead of the conservative Republicans who you think would be front and center on that issue.
It is known about Bernie Sanders, for example, that the first bill that he filed as a freshman Congressman was a bill to make sure that reserve and National Guard soldiers who were deployed to serve in the Gulf War were entitled to any pay they may have missed as a result of going to war, to ensure that their deployment wages were equal to their civilian wages. Sanders has been very supportive of veteran’s benefits since then, a support which veterans have come to appreciate.
And Jon Stewart famously was out front in support of first responders in the aftermath of September 11. Stewart famously shamed the Congress into moving along a bill that would provide for the health benefits of first responders, many of whom had been suffering chronically from their exposure to asbestos and other toxic substances at the 9/11 site.
And where have conservative Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio been on the issue? Nowhere in sight. Republicans, in the name of “saving money,” don’t want to pay for necessary benefits to veterans. But they have no trouble sending them into war zones.
The primary cause of our current federal deficit is – for those of you who don’t remember – George W. Bush’ decision to invade Iraq without providing any funding to pay for it. Bush actually inherited a surplus from Bill Clinton, lest we forget.
The ironies abound. But we don’t make enough of a big deal of this kind of hypocrisy. I mean, people have tried. I’m trying now. But it all seems to fall on deaf ears, especially when there is a “big government” at whose excesses we can rail at.