There is something uniquely despicable about a Democratic strategy in Congress that would turn the urgent need to cut waste in President Joe Biden's proposed $6 trillion dollar budget into a political weapon by accusing the Republicans of seeking to cut veterans' benefits.
Let us start with the premise that the federal budget has considerable pork -- billions, in fact. Let us also assume that the creeping inflation currently harming the hard-working middle class of America lies at the feet of those massive federal programs that printed billions of dollars in an ill-advised strategy to prop up the economy. As more dollars are printed, their buying power goes down – so you will need to keep paying out more dollars to buy the same item – as with food or to gas up the car.
Accordingly, House Republicans are rightly insisting that before we address the debt ceiling by its June 1st deadline, it is urgent to tackle the hard issue of where and how to contain out-of-control federal spending. The GOP leadership recognizes that, as at home, massive spending, unsupported by a balanced budget, can literally put a nation's future at risk. Other nations have failed when they mismanaged their books -- and America is not immune from economic collapse due to an unsupportable national debt with an unsustainable mushrooming service on the debt.
However, in a shameless display of partisan baiting, Democrats say that the Republicans' "Limit, Save, Grow Act to Rein in Wasteful Spending and Grow the Economy," which passed the House last week, will harm key programs and services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a department that barely serves our veterans even now.
The Republicans have called it what it is: Lies. There is no mention of cuts to the Department of Veterans Affairs in the bill. It is the responsibility of those who draft the federal budget to decide what gets cut. Republicans have appropriately labeled the smear strategy as one that cynically uses our veterans as "pawns" as the Democrats seek to keep the pork in the budget. It is the same ploy the Democrats have used to suggest that the Republicans want to cut Social Security when actually what they do is prevent America from teetering over a financial cliff.
"They're shamelessly lying about veterans benefits and politicizing the VA to do so," House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) recently told the media.
Her insight was echoed by Dan Caldwell of the Center for Renewing America. He reminded the public that the Democrats are, "using veterans to distract away from the fact that they don't want to put our country on a better financial course."
It is beyond unconscionable that our veterans, who put their lives on the line defending our democracy, should now be betrayed by any political party. How low can the current occupant of the Oval Office go when he participates in such a falsehood?
Nations that have gone broke did so because they lacked the political integrity to protect and strengthen their future. Their self-destructive policies ensured they became strangers to a simple truth: that massive national debt crushes the lifeblood out of their citizens. This debt is addressed in one of two ways: One is that the government prints more money to pay off the debt, creating massive inflation. This has led nations literally to require wheelbarrows of cash just to pay for bread. The alternative is to saddle the current taxpayer, and generations to follow, with the need to pay down the debt. In the case of the current Democratic budget scheme in Washington, the spin is also taking down the truth.
Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.