Thursday, January 16, 2014

Quickies: Clarity Dept.

Apologies, Gentle Reader. I'm forced by circumstances to make do with another quickie today.

There's a great deal of Sturm und Drang in the air over cuts to the pension payments to military veterans. That does sound cruel, inasmuch as so many less worthy federal expenditures increase irresistibly from year to year. But in Washington-speak, a "cut" isn't always a cut.

I've been unable to find out whether the abovementioned cuts are:

  • Absolute reductions in the number of dollars per month veterans will receive in their pension checks; i.e., cuts of a sort every family in America would understand them; or:
  • Reductions to previously planned increases in those pension payments; i.e., "cuts" the way the Democrats usually use the word.

If the cuts are of the former sort, they're deplorable, even contemptible. Those who engineered them into the proposed budget deserve all the opprobrium they're getting and more. But it they're of the latter sort, they're a bit like an employee not getting a raise he was hoping for and had come to expect. It would have been nice had he received the raise. Perhaps he deserved it on the merits. But did he have a defensible claim to it as a matter of right?

I sincerely mean it: I don't know which of the above possibilities is a correct description of these cuts. If there's anyone out there who's reliably, verifiably better informed on this subject than I, please chime in.

As I said at the top of this piece, I have to toddle off rather quickly this morning, so I can't go on too much further. But reflect on this, if you please: My uncertainty here stems from our political elite's habitual use of words to mean something other than We the People understand them to mean. The objective facts on this subject have proved elusive to me. That justifies my skepticism about this particular contretemps, at least in my eyes -- and this is an issue on which the Right just might be committing the besetting linguistic sin of the Left.

We need our clarity back. Without it, we'll never win our country back.


lrsd05 said...

From what I've been told and have read (although rather quickly) it's a cut in the yearly increase of the COLA adjustment of around 1% for some veterans. Some receive 0 cuts in the increase.

Anonymous said...

Understand that the veterans have a contractual agreement with the federal government. They contracted to do specific life threatening duties in exchange for specific guarantees of benefits. They have completed their part of that contract. I can understand that the government needs to get the budget into balance and if that was accomplished with some sort of shared cuts across the board and perhaps even more importantly cutting useless and unconstitutional programs I would be much more willing to accept that these cuts were reasonable. But instead what we see is non-farmers in DC getting farm subsidies, massive transfers of tax dollars to countries who hate us, massive waste for the sole purpose of allowing congressmen to bring the bacon and the list goes on and on. So in this environment the cuts to military are simply not reasonable or fair.