Huffpost Politics
The Blog

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

Richard Allen Smith Headshot

Toomey Calls Troop Bonuses "Wasteful"

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

In what might be one of, if not the most underreported comments by a candidate in the 2010 races, Pennsylvania Senate candidate and former Congressman Pat Toomey in June let the truth slip out. During a press conference where he was challenged for his vote against a $1,500 combat bonus for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Toomey said he voted that way because paying troops who risk their lives for America is "wasteful" and undermined "fiscal irresponsibility."

Yeah, he actually said that.

"Now there are times when some of these measures are [used] as an excuse to undermine the fiscal stability of our country," Toomey said, according to PA2010.com, the only outlet to report the quote. "That's very bad policy. And we shouldn't hold military and veteran needs hostage to wasteful spending."

Excuse me? This from the same guy who stood against taxing any of the bonuses that Wall Street bankers took after ripping off Americans, and says he wants absolutely no taxes at all on big corporations?

I found this quote, while gathering articles on two literature pieces that veterans and military families are leaving at over 100,000 doors across the state. The pieces, sponsored by VoteVets.org, pull no punches. One, citing the vote against a combat troop bonus, clearly states, "Pat Toomey Supports Bonuses For Wall Street... But Not Our Troops. Wall Street Bankers Can Always Count On Pat Toomey. Sadly, Our Troops and Veterans Cannot."

Toomey's position can only be described as "cut and run economics." His stances on spending are so radical that he votes to cut money for our troops, and then runs to his corporate backers to hand out the money he's stolen for them.

Veterans clearly don't like that position. Hal Donahue, a Vietnam veteran, was quoted in the Associated Press yesterday saying that he makes the most headway with veterans when he exposes it. Hal "said he tries to win over GOP vets for Sestak by telling them: "Do you know (Toomey) voted against the $1,500 combat bonus for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?" wrote the AP.

The big mistake, politically, is that Toomey actually admitted why he voted that way. It is simply astounding. But, even more jarring is the policy position itself.

At the core, that's the real issue with the positions of Toomey and his Tea Party ilk. Their cut costs at all costs policy exempts no one. If that means denying a young Soldier or Marine or Airman or Sailor a little bit more for putting their lives on the line for America, then that's just fine with them. If it means voting against better medical care for veterans, that's A-OK. And where's that money go? To extending tax cuts for the richest Americans, or handouts to corporations and Big Oil (which Toomey voted for).

Toomey, Sarah Palin, and the Tea Party like to talk a lot about values. Thanks to Pat Toomey's candor, we know what those skewed values really are. Now, the question is, will the media report on it?