In America, we tend to assume that most large entities, whether civilian or government, are going to be pro-veteran, or at the very least, veteran-friendly. However, it appears that this is not the case with the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Recently, I was referred to a disturbing publication by the CBO, a so-called “non-partisan” Congressional group that offers analysis and proposes changes to the Federal Budget. Now, before I go any further, it is important to note that the CBO is NOT representative of Congress and is not Congress. That being said, the CBO was created by Congress and is a Federal Government entity, ergo, it is still something to take notice of. Officially, their role is to analyze the budget and propose changes to better streamline said budget. You can learn more about what the CBO is here: https://www.cbo.gov/about/overview.

So what is it that I’m all bent out of shape over? In the CBO publication, OPTIONS FOR REDUCING THE DEFICIT, 2023 TO 2032–VOLUME I: LARGER REDUCTIONS, the CBO proposed adding a “means” test to eligibility for military service-connected compensation. Simply put, if you were wounded in combat or otherwise injured during military service, the VA would still issue a disability rating, but wouldn’t provide compensation unless you were below the Federal Poverty Line or something similar generated for this specific purpose. Simply put, you could get a disability rating for being wounded in combat, but the VA could not pay compensation for your sacrifice and ongoing impediment unless you were poor. Yes, you heard that right. Given their way, the CBO would slap a Purple Heart on your chest with one hand while pushing you out the door with the other. Not exactly a just reward for risking your life in the Nation’s defense.

My analysis of this is simple; either the staff at the CBO are unsympathetic towards our Nation’s heroes, or unforgivably ignorant of the true purpose of VA disability ratings. Regardless of your opinion of the CBO’s proposal or their exact position within the Federal hierarchy, what is important is that we pay attention. Whether a disabled Veteran yourself, or a supporter of Veterans, we must be vigilant that these sort unconscionable proposals remain just that; proposals. So what can you do? Firstly, pay attention to anything relating to the VA being proposed to Congress, second, be sure that other voters are aware of such possible legislations, and lastly, make sure that your Congressional Representatives are aware of the issue, and where you stand on it.

Read the CBO’s proposal to reduce VA compensation here.

 

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