What Veterans Think of the Debt Ceiling Cut To Their Benefits

What Veterans Think of the Debt Ceiling Cut To Their Benefits

Please Note: The following content is Not Safe For Work (NSFW) because it contains profanity.

Keeping our finger on the pulse of what Veterans think about current issues, like the Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins Act, or PACT Act, which Republicans held over the heads of our Veterans and their families not even a year ago. Now they’re showing how much they really care about Veterans with this latest cut. This is how Military Times reported it.

Yesterday, Speaker McCarthy and Congressional Republicans doubled down on threatening default in order to extract a wish list of extreme, unrelated policies that will hurt hard-working families.

The GOP’s history of raising the debt ceiling is as follows:

Under Trump it was raised 3 times, under W. Bush it was raised 7 times, under Reagan it was raised 18 times. Using Veterans as a pawn is not new, but this GOP Congress has found a new low once again. 

The legislation Congressional Republicans have drafted is designed to avoid leveling with the American people about how these cuts would impact their lives. So I want to be very clear about exactly what this plan would mean for families and communities across the country. The legislation Congressional Republicans introduced sets overall appropriations for Fiscal Year 2024 at the same level as FY 2022. At this level, all appropriated funding—including both defense and domestic programs—would be cut deeply. However, Congressional Republicans have indicated that they are not willing to cut defense funding at all, which means that everything else in annual appropriations—from cancer research, to education, to veterans’ health care—would be cut by much more.

What would that mean for the American people just in the first year of their plan? Consider one example that impacts Veterans:

Undermine Medical Care for Veterans: Cutting funding by 22 percent would mean 30 million fewer veteran outpatient visits, and 81,000 jobs lost across the Veterans Health Administration—leaving veterans unable to get appointments for care including wellness visits, cancer screenings, mental health services, and substance use disorder treatment.

Here is a recent chat room summary of what Veterans think about the

Here is a link to the article about the cuts: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/briefing-room/2023/04/20/congressional-republicans-legislation-22-cuts-that-would-harm-american-families-seniors-and-veterans/

Here is the link to the rest of the comment thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/WhitePeopleTwitter/comments/12ucp5n/republicans_want_to_cut_veteran_benefits_by_22/

Here are the unfiltered comments. Each line a different Veteran thought:

Fucking assholes.

I used to be a veteran that voted Republican. I thought because they made sure I was well taken care of in service that they would as a veteran. I went 100% disabled two years ago. And it was shortly after that when Trump called combat-wounded losers and suckers that I bailed on the party — and have not looked back with regret. The MAGA GOP is not the Republicans that I thought it was.

“Suckers and losers” is the phrase used by their lord and savior not so long ago.

The absolute disrespect he showed McCain was appalling. John McCain was an American hero and someone deserving of respect. I didn’t agree with his politics, but damn if he wasn’t a good man. Private bonespurs never showed any respect for our armed forces, good reason why nothing will ever be named after him.

I just had to google McCain’s military history because I had no idea about it, but goddamn that man was a badass. Someone who deserved respect from everyone on both sides of the aisle.

They just hate the ones that come back.

I work on a military installation and most of the civilian employees other than me are veterans. They all have Trump and MAGA stuff plastered all over their offices and use the word “woke” like Redditors use the word “actually”. Every single one of them is an anti-vaxxer, climate change denying, election fraud conspiracy theorist. But I am convinced it’s because they have never had to feel the pinch of the piss-poor treatment their fellow vets get because they have super cushy GS jobs and all the accompanied benefits.

Yeah, I am sure this will help make people join the military since we do not have a shortage of people signing up right/s.

Now let’s ask the real question. Are there any cuts proposed to the wealthy? For one specific, how about cuts to fossil fuel subsidies? Any cuts at all for the wealthy / corporations?

If Republicans want to screw over the military, middle-class, families, and women at least put on the big boy pants and do it during the budget cycle instead of hiding behind the economy like a bunch of domestic terrorists.

Oh god. The horror show that will ensue if Republicans take control of all aspects of government. Hope this adds to the growing list of things that will keep driving younger people to go out and vote.

People don’t seem to understand…the more power you give them the more they are going to take away. Not just from people you don’t like, but eventually from you as well.

As a military veteran, I say fuck the Republicans. They can eat a trillion dicks.

Traitors. All of them. They work for China and Russia and get paid with taxpayer money and economic oppression (inflation).

But they’re happy to steal all that valor!

They cry that they support our military and turn around and fuck over veterans.

They only hate the ones who come back that need help with all the issues they have after the fact. They love to rally around dead soldiers and low recruitment numbers, but they can not stand when our soldiers come home and need help with medical bills and PTSD.

Let’s start with the BLOATED DOD BUDGET FIRST.

They just can’t do it but they can do THIS?

As someone who worked as a contractor to various 3 letter agencies, there is SO much room to trim bloat out of those budgets. Start by preventing congress critters from earmarking specific budgets to things the DOD doesn’t want and opposes. So much waste to lawmakers sending pork back to their districts for stuff no one needs.

Usually, I’m in favor of more government oversight, but Congress fucks every DoD project up. Everything they can get their grubby little paws on suddenly goes to shit. The entire DoD acquisition process needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, specifically in a way that Congress can’t get near it.

“What you need to do, veterans is to think of active duty like a uterus. It’s all nice and warm in there and we love you. But once you’re out of that uterus you’re on your own.”

Pro-birth but not pro-life.

Pro in the service but not pro retired from the service.

If Dems would push to increase veteran benefits and fix the retirement and disability system they would win far more elections.

Enlisted pay needs to go up.

Retirement needs to shift from 20 years to earning 5% of that per year to incentivize recruitment and staying in.

Retirement needs to be added to disability instead of the current system of one or the other.

Disability needs to be reworked because there are people who would technically be over 300% due to their injuries and issues and a lot of issues from military work knocked that person out of the civilian workforce.

Tricare needs to be fixed and expanded to let civilians pay into it and support it. It’s understaffed and constantly dealing with pay cuts by Republicans to try and privatize it and it’s stupidly frustrating.



How To Register For Your Burn Pit VA Benefits

How To Register For Your Burn Pit VA Benefits

Follow These Three Steps To Get Your Burn Pit Benefits

If you’re a Veteran or survivor, you can file claims now to apply for PACT Act-related benefits through the burn pit registration process. Having called the VA on this, their operators are still waiting on more details on how to process your claim, but you should start the burn pit registration process now. Before you file a burn pit claim, you have to register on the Burn Pit registry, then file a claim, and you then have the option to register with the VA. Veterans that receive a 50% or higher disability rating are automatically registered with the VA.

You can access the Burn Pit application here.

File a claim here.

You can register with the VA here. NOTE: This is not required and you do not have to have been exposed to specific airborne hazards or have related health concerns to participate in the registry.

You can learn more about the PACT Act at VA.gov/PACT or by calling 1-800-MyVA411

Note: you do not have to register with the VA to open a Burn Pit PACT Act claim. Nor do you have to have the previously required 60% disability rating. The PACT Act now classifies Burn Pit claims as presumptive meaning you no longer need to get medical approval to prove it was service related.

You are eligible to participate in the registry if you were deployed to the Southwest Asia theater of operations or Egypt any time after August 2, 1990 or Afghanistan, Djibouti, Syria, or Uzbekistan on or after September 11, 2001.

Regions and countries include Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, waters of the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Syria, Uzbekistan, and Egypt.

Operations and campaigns include Desert Shield and Desert Storm (ODS/S), Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Enduring Freedom (OEF), and New Dawn (OND).

You do not have to have been exposed to specific airborne hazards or related health concerns to participate in the registry.

The PACT Act Defined: What It All Means

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefits expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act will bring these changes:

  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
  • Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures

What Is a Burn Pit?

A burn pit is an area devoted to the open-air combustion of trash. The use of burn pits was a common waste disposal practice at military sites outside the United States, such as in Iraq and Afghanistan. Smoke from these pits contained substances that may have short- and long-term health effects, especially for those who were exposed for long periods or those more
prone to illness such as individuals with pre-existing asthma or other lung or heart conditions.

Waste products in burn pits include, but are not limited to: chemicals, paint, medical and human waste, metal/aluminum cans, munitions, and other unexploded ordnance, petroleum and lubricant products, plastics and Styrofoam, rubber, wood, and discarded food. Burning waste in pits can create more hazards compared to controlled high-temperature burning—like in a commercial incinerator.

The VA fact sheet on burn pits says veteran burn pit exposures to high levels of specific, individual chemicals that may be present in burn pit smoke have been shown to cause long-term effects, in some cases, on: skin, respiratory system, eyes, liver, kidneys, central nervous system, reproductive system, cardiovascular system, peripheral nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract.

The IOM study  – supplied by this group – found these health effects associated with five or more chemicals it detected at Joint Base Balad in Iraq:

  • Neurologic effects and reduced central nervous system function
  • Liver toxicity and reduced liver function
  • Cancer (stomach, respiratory, and skin cancer; leukemia; and others)
  • Respiratory toxicity and morbidity
  • Kidney toxicity and reduced kidney function
  • Blood effects (anemia and changes in various cell types)
  • Cardiovascular toxicity and morbidity, and
  • Reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Here’s the roll call vote from yesterday. The one Democrat NO vote was cast by House Leader Chuck Schumer. The reason for that was so that he could recall the vote for a later day if something exactly like this happened.

About Once A Soldier: Starting in 2017, our mission is to limit the scars of Veteran suicide. We offer prevention services and postvention services. We reach a national audience and our goal is to become the preferred channel for those who want to help Veteran families who need our services. With 17 Veteran suicides a day in 2021, we believe our two niche services will make a difference to each family and to our nation.