Huffpost Homepage
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Jon Soltz Headshot

Bush Opposes More Money for Troops and Survivors - Explain That!

Posted: Updated:

In the veto threat against the National Defense Authorization Act, the White House says they're opposed to two things: Increased survivor benefits of $40 a month to spouses of those who lost someone in military service, and a pay increase to all personnel, across the board, just half a percent higher than what the president endorsed.

Excuse me?

The president just vetoed legislation so he would be able to send more troops into the middle of the Iraqi religious civil war - without end, mind you - but is against increasing benefits to the spouses of those lost, or a pay increase to those who are serving? If there's a more fitting definition of 'outrage,' I'd love to see it.

I doubt I even need to go into this further to get the point across about how shameless this is, but for the hell of it, I will.

Forty dollars a month might seem like chump change to millionaires like the president and vice president, but for a mom of a young kid who just lost her husband in Iraq, that $480 a year means some school clothes and supplies, a few trips to the grocery store, and some health insurance copays. Believe me, even with the current benefits that get paid out by the Department of Defense and insurance that many troops buy into, those who lose spouses in Iraq aren't sleeping in mounds of cash. The increase proposed by Democrats will mean a hell of a lot. At VoteVets.org, we've heard absolute horror stories on the type of cutbacks that widows and widowers have had to make because the government doesn't provide enough to those who lose a loved one in war.

With the military dreadfully unable to meet recruiting goals, or retain our best men and women, you think the president would see the wisdom of paying troops as much as we possibly can. That's just the practical side of the equation. On the moral side, how could the president possibly oppose a half a percent increase in pay over what he asked for, when he has offered absolutely no hope that troops will ever be able to get out of the Iraqi civil war, and back home?

Mr. President, please, address the nation and tell all of America why you oppose increased benefits for spouses who lose their loved ones in war, or greater pay for those who are sacrificing for your endless war.

This week, the president appointed a 'war czar.' Seems to me what he really needs is a White House Common Sense and Decency Czar, because in that area, this White House is sorely lacking.