If Social Security is “a cow with 310 million tits” then what’s the proper metaphor for veteran’s benefits? We don’t know. But Alan Simpson seems to think they’re too expensive. Or too overused. Or something. Anyway, it’s bad.
“The irony (is) that the veterans who saved this country are now, in a way, not helping us to save the country in this fiscal mess,” said Alan Simpson, co-chair of the White House’s fiscal commission, according to the Associated Press.
Simpson was referring specifically to the disability benefits the Department of Veterans Affairs dispenses to Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
According to AP, Simpson declined to comment on whether this issue would be examined by the commission. But as TPM has reported, some members of the commission have sought to prioritize cuts to service members and veteran benefits over other defense spending cuts.
The AP has also reported that Vietnam veterans are more frequently compensated for diabetes than for every other ailment, besides no sure link between the disease and Agent Orange. In 1991 Congress created a system of automatic benefits for Vietnam veterans who were or may have been exposed to Agent Orange.
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.