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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day and Paul Ryan's Republican Budget

America's Memorial Day is important and fundamentally means tax payers get what we pay for when we fund our US military with tax money.  

Today's Washington Post story indicates there may be hope for Republicans who might finally "get" his connection.

Yet, budget austerity, supported by right wing extremists like Congressman Paul Ryan and Tea Party colleagues, risks funding the quality of health, welfare and retirement programs for the brave military people who secure his own pay check. 

Worthwhile expenses to protect our nation's freedom and safety aren't isolated to the cost of funding an excellent military. There's associated financial and ethical responsibilities to care for the quality of lives for veterans who have contributed their youth to ensuring our National Security. 

Military men and women enter service at a young age and thereby contribute their youth to protecting our National Security. They deserve more than tributes, flag waving and medals. They also deserve well earned benefits.

Our nation's young men and women volunteer to serve in foreign conflicts, they respond to national emergencies like the "war on terrorism" and provide humanitarian assistance during natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the cluster tornado outbreaks in Joplin, Missouri.

But, if Congressman Ryan and his budget hacking colleagues have their way, the veterans benefits assured to today's military will be cut.  If Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge survives, the GOP will continue to cut tax funded programs like health services veterans receive through the Veteran's Administration and Medicare.

Budget hackers in Congress should cut their own salaries and staff expenses before reducing any veterans benefits.

Except, there's a win-win solution called "income" from tax revenues. This seems like a "no-brainer" solution to funding the federal budget. (In my opinion, those who don't support raising the income part of the budget may, indeed, need to find a brain.) 

Increasing income is especially doable when raising the percentage of taxes paid by the rich and super wealthy only takes one majority vote by the US Congress.

Congressman Paul Ryan and the selfish tax hawk Grover Norquist should volunteer to serve for 3 months in the US military - they can even have junior officer status.  Ryan deserves to be a Navy Ensign for three months.  Norquist should be a Marine Second Lieutenant.

After Ryan and Norquist serve in the military, they can evaluate how their austerity measures impact the quality of life for Veterans. After the 3 months voluntary service, these two prominent individuals can assume they have the credibility to ask Americans to cut services to Veterans, without first looking to raise sensible revenues by asking the rich, like both of them, to pay more of their fair share.

Ryan and Norquist likely respond, like most Americans, with pride, when we stand for the tribute to Veterans and the performance of the Star Spangled Banner national anthem.  Both of them might need a historical reminder that the anthem was written during the War of 1812, when we defended our freedom, a second time, against Great Britain.  

Surely, Ryan and Norquist know and believe that "Freedom is not Free".

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