Letter to the editor: Disabled veterans should be compensated fairly

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 30, 2022

Our disabled veterans are grossly undercompensated. The consequences for all of us could be dire.

Since June of 2009 our disabled veterans, their advocates and their family and friends have contacted Congress and/or various Administrations asking for fair and adequate compensation. So far there has not been significant action on this issue. The COLA that they receive every year is not sufficient. Our government does not seem to care. Danger!

I am warning anyone and everyone who reads this. Once our young people become fully aware that if they should enlist in the armed forces and subsequently receive serious injuries or illnesses that they will spend their rest of their lives in near poverty our armed forces will disintegrate. It will happen very quickly and we will not be able to stop it.

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At that point the United States will have a paper tiger armed forces for a full generation before corrective action has any impact on manning levels. Our enemies will not be fooled by our attempts to hide a hollow armed forces due to our constant refusal to compensate broken former troops fairly for well over a century. We will all be victims of Elitist greed and in fact the Republic could actually be left largely defenseless as a result of it.

Here is the raw data.

In 2022 a totally disabled veteran with no dependents is compensated at the ridiculous rate of $39,984.72 dollars annually. The National Average Wage Index (NAWI) for 2020 was $55,628.60 dollars per annum and the median income for 2020 was $67,521.00. The per capita GDP in 2020 was $63,416.00 dollars, among the highest in the world. This rate of compensation to disabled veterans is deliberate and cruel especially considering that we live in the wealthiest nation that ever was.

They have been asking various Administrations and Congresses for fair compensation since the end of WWI in 1918. That was 103 years ago. Where is it?

In my opinion the basic reason for their gross under compensation situation is because they are only compensated for projected loss of wages due to their disabilities. They are not compensated for their low quality of life. This is an antiquated approach to injury compensation straight out of the early part of the Twentieth Century. All courts in the USA now award ‘quality of life’ payments to the injured parties in all cases involving personal injury.

A secondary reason that their compensation is so low is because the Elites do not wish to be taxed in a manner sufficient enough to pay for this. This is especially demeaning to disabled veterans. That is because it is these very same

Elites who gained the most in protection of their assets and holdings over any other American citizen in military adventures in which the now disabled veterans participated as active duty armed forces members.

We need to tax the Investor Class at the same rate of taxation as we tax income from the Laboring Class (those that work for their income and do not invest in any large way). If we levy a penny tax on all shares traded in the stock market we would have the money needed to compensate disabled veterans fairly. The New York Stock Exchange alone traded about 1.46 billion shares a day in 2019. Today there are 13 separate stock exchanges operating in the USA.

I ask you to pass legislation this year to compensate our disabled veterans fairly, especially the totally and permanently disabled among them who should be compensated at least at the level of the NAWI.

This is now a national security problem and it needs to be seen that way for the good of all of us. This situation is becoming more fluid as the months pass. Be warned.

Patricia Secrest