Monday, February 28, 2005

Supporting Our Troops

There's a very good article by Sean Gonsalves over at Working For Change on the lessons of the Bonus Army and how they apply to our troops today. For those who don't know, Veterans after World War I were promised a bonus for having fought. Congress later decided to not, in fact, give out this bonus. So they marched on Washington (in a peaceful way) as a Bonus Army. They set up camp and lived off of local donations, until Douglas MacArthur, claiming Communist infiltration, went in and drove the Veterans out. They would have to wait until FDR came in to get a hearing of their grievances.

Are there are any applications of this story to our current day? Mr. Gonsalves certainly thinks so.
As you read these words, there are veterans in VA hospitals paying for their meals while the president's budget, among other things, would more than double co-payment charged to many veterans for prescription drugs, and would require some to pay new fee of $250 a year to use government health care.

Why? To pay war bills while giving disproportionate tax cuts to those who least need it.
Anyway it's a good article, and worth thinking about.

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