The Washington Post

Panetta vs. Obama on vets

On Monday, President Obama told the VFW:

Let’s keep taking care of our extraordinary military families. For the first time ever, we’ve made military families and veterans a top priority not just at DOD, not just at the VA, but across the government. As Richard mentioned, this has been a mission for my wife, Michelle, and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden. Today, more people across America in every segment of society are Joining Forces to give our military families the respect and the support that they deserve. . . .

This leads me to another promise I made four years ago — upholding America’s sacred trust with our veterans. I promised to strengthen the VA, and that promise has been kept. In my first year, we achieved the largest percentage increase in the VA budget in 30 years. And we’re going to keep making historic investments in our veterans. . . .

But wait. This morning, Obama’s Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified before the House Armed Services Committee of the impact from the upcoming sequestration cuts on veterans’ transition to civilian life:

It would have a huge impact. . . . It would obviously add another 100,000 that would have to be reduced, and the impact of that, on top of the reductions that are currently going to take place, would place a huge burden on the systems to be able to respond to that. I think it would be near impossible to try to do the kind of work that we are trying to do and make it work effectively.

Dumping 100,000 military man and women onto the streets isn’t consistent with what the president told the VFW. So naturally, he blames Congress: “And there are a number of Republicans in Congress who don’t want you to know that most of them voted for these cuts. Now they’re trying to wriggle out of what they agreed to.” Did he sign it? Yes. Did get involved in the debt commission at all to prevent the sequestration? No.

You’d never guess, unless he’s taking the victory lap for killing Osama bin Laden, that as commander in chief he is and will be responsible for the massive layoff and the ensuing unemployment and Veterans Affairs inundation.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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