Did you know that a majority of Americans want to see military retirees’ pensions cut and their medical benefits curtailed? And not just by a margin of 51-49, either. It’s a landslide. So many Americans don’t think the service and sacrifices made by our veterans are worth retaining their benefits at current levels, it’s not funny. And not just the Social Democrats, either. Why, even wild-eyed, rabid, ultra- conservatives in redder-than-red states want to yank the rug out from under our career military people. They are specific about it, say the journalistas.
So says Marine Corps Times , ( and the other service publications, and US News, and Gannett/USA and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post and all the other military-loathing outlets. Yes, it’s going viral), based on a “survey of 665 adults” conducted by the below- listed totally non-descript, no-skin-in-the-game, independent oganizations motivated only by truth, justice and doing the right thing. Or something. The findings as reported:
A new survey shows a large majority of Americans support cutting defense spending, including military personnel costs.
While they don’t support cutting military pay raises, they do want to raise Tricare and pharmacy fees, slow down growth in tax-exempt allowances, and cut military retirement benefits, according to a survey of 665 adults conducted by the Program for Public Consultation, the Center for Public Integrity and the Stimson Center.
Sounds about right, doesn’t it? Republicans in Red States by a 2-1 margin, patriots all, want to slash military pensions and make retirees pay through the nose for their health care insurance? Really?? And these bitter clingers are such policy wonks that they know exactly what you’re talking about when you dissemble on Tricare and ‘the growth of tax-exempt allowances’? Actually, friends, if something is, ah, counterintuitive, there is the distinct possibility that somebody just made it up.
Besides it being counterintuitive, one’s smell detector should perk up when you read that this is not a poll, but a ‘survey’ and that Gallup, Rasmussen or any other reputable polling outfits are not on the case. But the three entities cited as purveyors of this ‘survey’ can be disqualified as neutral reporters by a quick perusal of their websites and scanning their programs, mission statements and biographies of their staffs, advisors and boards of directors.
In a nutshell –
Center for Public Integrity: Whole, whole lot of NPR and Mother Jones. People on staff who got awards for writing about ‘toxic military waste’, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and the “dark inner workings of the insurance industry.” Oh, yeah; all of that.
Stimson Center: Peace, peace, peace, the environment, peace and, uh, the United Nations rules!
Program for Public Consultation: Probably need say no more than the University of Maryland, but the connection to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (graced with the participation of WhiteHousewife Michelle Obama) and to the Public Agenda Foundation (sired by the late Cyrus “Negotiations at any cost” Vance) and fortunate to have the input of Patricia “Public TV and Mrs. Bill” Moyers, are icing on the proverbial cake.
Why is this important? It’s important because, as we said, all the usual suspects are picking it up and running with it at a time when Congress is debating what, and how much, cuts to make to the defense budget. It’s a timed and themed and calculated “survey”, of course. Who knows what these people’s protocols were, but when you and I look at each other and shake our heads “Not me! Not us! Not anybody we know”, it’s a pretty safe bet that the 665 “adults” that were selected were carefully cultivated.
The background information we found on those ‘centers’, ‘foundations’, etc. took all of about 45 minutes, and was accomplished without a staff or a budget. What will be interesting now is how many congressional inhabitants of the “R” variety pick up this garbage put out by the ‘Center for Public Integrity’and use it to salve their conscience as they vote to put the hurt on our servicemembers and retirees. 60-some percent of the Republican electorate might think the services do not need a high-priced new fleet of aircraft, or to return the Navy to it’s former glory of 600-plus vessels, or to have a standing army of 2million soldiers, but they do NOT want to cut military retirement and health benefits. That’s an obvious lie, and is belied by the fact that the articles reporting it are almost gleeful in their assertions of it, so you know it is neither truth nor science.
But the effects of what will come when this is ballyhooed far and wide go beyond a vote in Congress, or any short-term shortfall in the nation’s defense capability. It cannot help but have a dramatic effect on both enlistment and re-enlistment. Coming on top of some of the other abominations perpetrated on our military in the last three years, and you all know what they are , it’s like the straw that’s going to finally weigh the services down and bring them into what can only be termed as mere servants of The State, instead of Protectors of The Nation.
But the worst of all, the absolute worst, is that a percentage of our military, and however small a percentage doesn’t matter, it’s too many, will take this report at face value. Some of the once, and current, and future soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will look sideways at us as they deploy, or return, or serve in place, or gather at their Veterans’ clubs and wonder if we really value their service after all. And do not think for one moment that the bearers of bad tidings in all the Peace and Love In Perfect Harmony institutes underestimate the power of demoralization. Can you say…..Viet Nam?
We hate that. There is not a damned thing we can do about it except reiterate our unmitigated support for our military members and their institutions and those who spent their careers in dedicated service. That and to expose the lying liars who fabricate, manipulate and distort the truth in the neverending quest to reduce America and her military services to a lesser status and subject them to the vagaries of the world-at-large. And who don’t, and never will, understand how they are able to eat their buttered bread in peace.