Guns and Gear

Guns & Politics: The Betrayal Of Those Who Served

Susan Smith Columnist
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Well, hooray and halleluiah, Barack Obama finally found something he could agree to cut in our federal budget.  With our current federal deficit at the highest amount it’s ever been, near $20 trillion, that is welcome news.

Well, maybe not.

That is because this budget cutting comes at the expense of the men and women, and their families, of the United States military.  These are the people , alone among Americans, who offer to give their lives to protect and defend us.

Much of this appalling and often petty behavior on the part of Obama and his Administration came to light as a result of the recent action by officials of the state of California, who had demanded that members of that state’s National Guard return the amounts of money they had been provided for enlisting for active duty, in effect, an enlistment bonus.

The American public was horrified, as well they should have been.  At this point it looks like the Barack Obama DOD henchmen who are attempting to implement this heinous policy might be backing down in their demands.  What has simultaneously come to light, however, is that there are officials from other states who have taken steps to get similar recruitment bonus money back from members of the military who received it; this despite that many of these members of the military were deployed numerous times  to Iraq, Afghanistan and other dangerous military assignments around the world.

Other equally nasty maneuvers by Obama and his minions in their continued attempts to act out their contempt for the U.S. military include:

*Using a loophole in the U.S. Code, Obama deferred a pay raise to the military for the third year in a row, while “simultaneously seeking to increase the federal minimum wage for illegal aliens to $10.10 an hour;” this edict on the part of Obama, for example, translates in the military that an Army pay grade E-4 with less than 3 years service will be worth about the same as the lowest paid American worker;

*Military families and retirees to pay sharply more for healthcare while leaving “unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched;”

*Cutting $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in fiscal 2013, and then another $12.9 billion by 2017;

*Calls for increases between 30 and 78% in Tricare for annual premiums for the first year of this proposed cut, and after than the plan would impose 5-year increases ranging from 94% to 345%, more than 3 times current levels;

*A retired Army Colonel provided an example of this Obama proposal: he currently, with his family, pays $460 per year for health care, and under the new plan would pay $2,048;

*Another new Obama cutting proposal would hit active duty personnel by astronomically increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs;

*Proposed new annual fee for Tricare for life, on top of monthly premiums members of the military already pay, while some benefits will become ‘means tested,’  i.e., in the manner of a social program treating them like welfare (recipients) instead of benefits for military service;

*Goal of Obama military budget cutters’ increased fees is to reduce military members’ involvement in Tricare and have them eventually opt out of the program “in favor of alternatives established by Obamacare;”

*Obama recently requested cuts for the Defense Commissaries Agency by more than $4 billion;

*Proposed commissary cuts designed to put an end to these necessary military stores were referred to by the American Federal Government Employees’ organization as “a death spiral” for commissaries: “They would no longer be a convenient bargain for military families,” and this would be a “false saving,” as cuts would include those employees who are in large part military spouses.  The cuts would not only decimate the employees’ pay and hours, it would also make some employees ineligible for insurance benefits and job protections.  It was determined “that this amount was almost invisible in the DOD budget,” but it means the world to military members and their families, especially when they are abroad.  Nonetheless, Obama wants this expenditure cut;

*”At a naval base that’s home to many sailors in the special warfare community, a large tarp is pulled over the base’s only outdoor lap pool;” this edict came in time to cancel any Fourth of July celebrations for the members of the military and their families at that base.  Similar such appalling orders were issued and implemented in military bases around the nation, all for the Fourth of July.  Demonstrations of patriotism are clearly not valued in the Obama Administration.

“False savings,” indeed.

But while Obama finds cost cutting measures everywhere designed to have a significant impact on members of the U.S. military and their families, useless and ridiculous diversity and transgender programs, at great cost to the American taxpayer; abound; millions upon millions are being spent to fund myriad luxury vacations for Obama, his wife, family, in-laws and entourage, again, funded exclusively by the American taxpayer; billions were spent in ransom payments to the Iranian government with the authorization and/or knowledge of no one in the American government, much less with the permission of the American populace; and there are many other such egregious misexpenditures of public funds.  Perhaps the worst, however, is that billions upon billions of American taxpayer funds, unauthorized by the same American taxpayers, are being spent on funding the innumerable illegal aliens that are flooding this country and taking American jobs, resources and safety.  This is all orchestrated by Obama and his minions, in plain view, as it has been made clear that no one who opposes such lawlessness either can or is willing to take the necessary steps to stop it.

And in the meantime, our country, and our military, are being destroyed.  It is difficult to have to admit this, but the government of the United States of America, led by uber leftist Barack Obama and his anointed, Hillary Clinton, take much better care of the illegal aliens they are importing to the U.S. than they do of the brave men and women who volunteer to protect and defend our nation, and its people.

Susan Smith brings an international perspective to her writing by having lived primarily in western Europe, mainly in Paris, France, and the U.S., primarily in Washington, D.C. She authored a weekly column for Human Events on politics with historical aspects.. She also served as the Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs and Alcoholism, and Special Assistant to the first Ambassador of Afghanistan following the initial fall of the Taliban. Ms. Smith is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University and Georgetown University, as well as the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris, France, where she obtained her French language certification. Ms. Smith now makes her home in McLean, Va.