If You ‘Can’t Afford’ to Take Care of Veterans, DON’T Go to War


“How is it that we can afford to allow 1 in 4 major corporations not to pay federal income taxes, but we can’t afford to help our veterans?” – Senator Bernie Sanders 

I hope someone gives Senator Sanders the answer to that question because I would also like to know why our government continues to send our men and women into harm’s way and then refuses to hold up to their end of the bargain.

Bernie Sanders is the Independent Senator of Vermont who tried to pass S. 1982 this week — a bill for improved care for veterans. This bill would have given much needed care for veterans: education, job training and improved health care.

Yesterday afternoon, Sanders motioned to advance the bill (which means move it from the Senate to Congress and then to the President’s desk) and he won by a vote of 56-41, but then Republicans invoked a rule that requires 60 votes to proceed. The bill never made it out of the Senate.

So who should you be mad at? My good friend Angus King, the Independent from Maine, voted in favor of the bill. Every Democrat voted in favor of the bill. Only two Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Sadly, the bill only needed three more Republicans to vote yes for it to go to Congress.

This legislation was backed by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and virtually every other veterans’ and military service organization in the country.

Senator Sanders is also the chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, so believe me when I say this Independent had the veterans’ best interests in mind.

When the American Legion heard about the decision, their spokesperson commented: “I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote.”

What this decision tells me is that our country is still run by ChickenHawks. They were chicken when it was their time to go to war, but they’re hawks now – sending everyone but their children to fight, die, or come back mentally or physically wounded.


If I were president, I would try drafting all those ChickenHawk legislators who dodged the draft the first time. When the shoe is on the other foot, you bet they’d vote differently. I wrote about this in my book “Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me!” in homage to “War Is A Racket” by Major General Smedley Butler:

Every elected federal official must pre-designate an individual in their immediate family who has to begin Military Service — the moment that official casts an affirmative vote toward going to war.  This could be a grandchild, a niece or nephew, but someone.  It doesn’t mean they necessarily go the to the war zone.  What it does mean is that they and their family experience some personal discomfort because of this decision. Going to war “should” bring difficulty, especially to those who are the orchestrators or the authorizers.  Right now, it’s far too easy for them to go on TV with their bleeding hearts and give standing ovations to our service personnel.  War should not be laissez-faire.  If you’re not willing to send someone from your family, how can you be so willing to send someone else’s?

Remember people, this is an election year. Want to hold the politicians’ feet to the fire? Then call up your Republican Senators and tell them how you feel. Or call up those who voted in favor of the vote to express your support and gratitude.

And you know why you should call? Because Bernie Sanders isn’t giving up. He is going to push until he gets three additional Republican votes. Do you want to help him secure those three extra votes? Then do what we do best — call and annoy the hell out of them:


This bill (S. 1982) would have improved health and dental care services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also would have allowed the VA to open 27 new clinics and medical facilities. Educational opportunities would have been expanded for post-9/11 veterans. There would have been improved access to care and benefits for veterans who experienced sexual trauma while serving in the military. Also full cost-of-living adjustments would be restored for future military retirees. So all the things our military men and women need most– as well as help for the survivors of our fallen heroes — would have been addressed.

I’ll leave you with some words from Senator Sanders:

“The cost of war does not end once the last shots are fired and the last battles are fought. When members of the military lose arms, legs and eyesight fighting in wars that Congress authorized, we have a moral obligation to make sure that those Americans receive all of the benefits that they have earned and deserve.  When American soldiers die in combat, we have a moral obligation to make sure that the spouses and children they leave behind are taken care of and do not live in abject poverty.”

We should be outraged! So be vigilant with me. Call these bums and complain! Here’s who voted against S. 1982:

Alexander (R-TN), Nay

Ayotte (R-NH), Nay

Barrasso (R-WY), Nay

Blunt (R-MO), Nay

Boozman (R-AR), Nay

Burr (R-NC), Nay

Chambliss (R-GA), Nay

Coats (R-IN), Nay

Coburn (R-OK), Nay

Cochran (R-MS), Nay

Collins (R-ME), Nay

Coons (D-DE), Yea

Corker (R-TN), Nay

Cornyn (R-TX), Nay

Crapo (R-ID), Nay

Cruz (R-TX), Nay

Enzi (R-WY), Nay

Fischer (R-NE), Nay

Flake (R-AZ), Nay

Graham (R-SC), Nay

Grassley (R-IA), Nay

Hatch (R-UT), Nay

Hoeven (R-ND), Nay

Inhofe (R-OK), Nay

Isakson (R-GA), Nay

Johanns (R-NE), Nay

Johnson (R-WI), Nay

Kirk (R-IL), Nay

Lee (R-UT), Nay

McCain (R-AZ), Nay

McConnell (R-KY), Nay

Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting

Nelson (D-FL), Not Voting

Paul (R-KY), Nay

Portman (R-OH), Nay

Risch (R-ID), Nay

Roberts (R-KS), Nay

Rubio (R-FL), Nay

Scott (R-SC), Nay

Sessions (R-AL), Nay

Shelby (R-AL), Nay

Thune (R-SD), Nay

Toomey (R-PA), Nay

Vitter (R-LA), Nay

Wicker (R-MS), Not Voting

You can find out more information about the bill and who voted here: http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00046



Gov. Jesse Ventura

10 thoughts on “If You ‘Can’t Afford’ to Take Care of Veterans, DON’T Go to War

  1. My husband went to Iraq twice. He came home the second time with severe PTSD and a back injury keeping him from passing his PT tests so they have just kicked him out at 19 and a half years, mere months before he would have gotten his 20 year retirement. He has been on a waiting list since last March at the VA. No one seems to want to help him…a man with 3 children who has fought and risked his life twice for this country. Shame on our government for sending these men and women away and then tossing them away when they return like used Kleenex. Shame.

    • I am sorry for your Husband and your family. That is utterly disgusting what they did to him, and you. I hope he finds peace, and hopefully those who made those decisions get theirs.

    • This is TERRIBLE! There is NO reason or excuse for the shameful treatment of your husband, Jena. This makes my blood boil! I called one of my Congressman, and only got some lackey who answered. I told him how angry and upset I was about the Veterans bill not being passed, all I got was “thank you for calling.” And he hung up. That made me even more angry! I totally support Bernie Sanders and and I know he is doing everything he can to get the bill passed. I think it’s about time for some good ole LBJ method in Congress. LBJ smiled while doing some arm twisting. I’d sure like to use his method because it worked! I’m going to keep calling and emailing and bugging these yahoos until I get some answers!!!!!

  2. Thank you for posting this its nice to know how the republicans really feel about military and vets. I am a vet of 22 yrs Army SSG RET. I used to watch your show people have no idea what we are in for and whats coming. I am so afraid of our country.

  3. Strange when you think that it was the Republican party under Geo. Bush Senior who took America and her allies into the first Gulf War in 1990 and Republican President George W. Bush (of course not forgetting Dick Cheney) who sent US troops into Iraq and Afghanistan with Democrat Presidents Clinton and Obama continuing the inherited policy of war in Iraq, and both Iraq and Afghanistan. If Democrats can vote in favour of support for Veterans why can’t the Republicans? After all companies, allegedly, with Republican ties, like The Carlyle Group & Halliburton have made a fortune out of these wars at immense cost to the American taxpayer and straight off the backs of military personnel and their families. Voters and military families should remember this when it comes time to vote. Support Jesse Ventura in a run for President in 2016 American needs a breath of fresh air in the White House!!

  4. Well thankfully I already hate both of my senators which would be Bob Corker and Lamar Alexandar. I write to them and all i get is BS scripted responses and I always disagree with their decisions. I do however love the congressman of my district. John Duncan Jr. But yea I’d be happy to vote these two jokers out this year I CAN’T WAIT. I’m glad more people are getting politically involved. I am 20 years old and politics have become a big part of my life and they should be a big part of everyone’s because rather they like it or not it affects them and their family.

  5. Disgusting political behavior. They aren’t representing the people they are elected to help. Lets do away with these incumbent fools!

  6. Reblogged this on taylor13martin's Blog and commented:
    I called Sen. Coats of IN asking why he voted Nay on the Veteran’s bill. I’m currently waiting for his response. I’ll keep the blog posted on his answer. I urge every concerned US citizen to make a phone call to your state representative who voted Nay. I was amazed a human being answered the phone on the 1st few rings instead of an automated answering machine.

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