FACT CHECK: Romney Would Slash Veterans’ Benefits

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–August 31, 2012.

Mitt Romney appropriately praised veterans in his speechlast night, but has suggested the privatization of veterans’ health care, breaking the promise to our men and women in uniform. The Romney-Ryan budget – if cuts were made across the board – could cut the funding for Veterans’ Affairs by $11 billion.

ROMNEY-RYAN HAVE NO PLAN FOR VETERANS

Romney’s 160 Page, 59 Point “Plan For Jobs And Economic Growth” Did Not Include A Word About Veterans. Romney’s Plan For Jobs And Economic Growth, 9/6/11]

Romney’s 34 Page Education White Paper Did Not Include A Word About Veterans. [Romney For President, Education White Paper, 5/23/11]

Romney’s 44 Page Foreign Policy White Paper Did Not Include A Word About Veterans. [Romney For President, Foreign Policy White Paper, 10/7/11

Ryan’s 98-Page Summary Of His FY 2013 Budget Plan, “The Path To Prosperity,” Fails To Mention The Word “Veteran” Even Once. [House Budget FY2013, “The Path To Prosperity,” 3/20/12]

ROMNEY SUGGESTED PRIVATIZING VETERANS HEALTH CARE

Romney’s Suggestion Of Using A Voucher System For Veterans’ Health Care “Echoed” Portions Of His Medicare Plan. “He also briefly floated the idea of using a voucher system to help veterans get reliable and quality health care, an option that echoed portions of a Medicare plan he recently rolled out at the Americans for Prosperity Foundation’s annual summit.” [New York Times, 11/11/11]

Krugman: Romney’s “Voucherization” Of The VA Would Leave Veterans Who Don’t Make Enough Money To Cover Health Care Costs On Top Of What The Voucher Covers Unable “To Receive Essential Care.” “Mitt Romney wants to privatize the VA. This is awesome on multiple levels. First, you know what voucherization would mean in practice: the vouchers would be inadequate, and become more so over time, so that veterans who don’t make enough money to top them up would fail to receive essential care. Patriotism!” [Krugman, New York Times, 11/12/11]

Veterans Of Foreign Wars “Doesn’t Support Privatization Of Veterans Health Care.” “In South Carolina today, Mitt Romney suggesting opening up public veterans benefits to private competition by instituting a voucher system for soldiers to find their own coverage. Asked about the idea, Veterans Of Foreign Wars spokesman Jerry Newberry quickly shot it down as a non-starter for his group. ‘The VFW doesn’t support privatization of veterans health care,’ he told TPM. ‘This is an issue that seems to come around every election cycle.’” [Talking Points Memo, 11/11/11]

THE ROMNEY-RYAN BUDGET COULD CUT THE VA BY 19%  – A CUT OF $11 BILLION

The Ryan Budget Makes Steep Cuts To Veterans While Failing To Balance The Budget Before 2040. “Ryan’s controversial plan makes steep cuts even to popular spending categories, such as veterans benefits and transportation. Opponents have said it would disproportionately harm the elderly, the poor and the middle class and would turn Medicare into a voucher system. Even with the tough medicine, the Ryan plan doesn’t balance the budget until 2040.” [Mankato Free Press, 8/11/12]

The Ryan Budget Would Cut Domestic Discretionary Spending By 19 Percent, And “Since The House Has Refused To Specify What Would Be Cut, We Consider The Impacts If The Cuts Are Distributed Equally Across The Budget.” “Yesterday, House Republicans released their budget resolution for FY 2013… On top of the roughly $1 trillion in cuts in the Budget Control Act, it would be difficult to overstate the radicalism of the domestic cuts proposed by the House budget resolution.  In 2013, it would cut annual non-defense funding by 5 percent.  By 2014, the resolution would cut this funding by 19 percent in purely nominal terms. Over a decade, the resolution would cut over $1 trillion in non-defense spending on top of the reductions the President has already signed into law.  The cuts in non-defense discretionary funding are nearly three times as deep as the cuts under the so-called sequester — cuts that we and most objective analysts have always regarded as an unwise and unacceptable. What would it all mean? The Budget doesn’t say.  In fact, the Budget resolution includes a magic asterisk — or, in more technical parlance, an ‘allowance’— for $897 billion in unspecified cuts. But what could the resolution mean?  Since the House has refused to specify what would be cut, we consider the impacts if the cuts are distributed equally across the Budget. The result would be that.” [Jeff Zients, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, WH.gov, 3/21/12]

2012: The Enacted Veteran’s Affairs Budget Was $58.5 Billion. [Fiscal year 2013 Budget, Office of Management & Budget, p. 240]

ROMNEY CALLED FOR CUTTING 145,000 GOVERNMENT WORKERS LARGELY EMPLOYED IN DEFENSE, VETERANS AFFAIRS, AND HOMELAND SECURITY

Romney Called For Cuts To The Government Workforce Saying “We Have 145,000 More Government Workers Under This President. Let’s Send Them Home And Put You Back To Work.”  Romney: “That stimulus he [President Obama] put in place — it didn’t help private sector jobs, it helped preserve government jobs. And the one place we should have shut back — or cut back — was on government jobs. We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.” [Romney Rally, Craig CO, 5/29/12]

The 145,000 Jobs Romney Referred To Were Increases In Defense, Veterans Affairs And Homeland Security Personnel. “If we assume that Romney was actually referring to federal government jobs, not all government jobs, then the claim of a 145,000 increase since January 2009 is accurate. (The May data released on June 1 dropped the figure slightly, from 146,000 to 143,000.) But as we have written, much of that increase has come in areas that Romney says he wants to bolster as president, such as defense (80,000 additional jobs), veterans affairs (38,000) and homeland security (20,000). Presumably he would think such increases are a good thing — not jobs he would want to eliminate.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 6/4/12]

Source: http://www.barackobama.com