This was posted as an OpEd on Fighting Dems.com and we are trying to build up support for this concept. With all the talk but little action on support for the troops and vets, this is a solid proposal that could net enough money to seriously address the needs of vets. They have served their country courageously and they deserve more than window dressing to give them the care they deserve.
Please read the article by Brent Budowsky and help spread the word throughout the netroots. And take the unabashedly tilted poll.
Noel Schutz, Publisher Fighting Dems.com
Randy Risener, Editor, Fighting Dems News Service
Lets Create A Soldier Bond As The Authentic Support For Troops, Vets and Military Families
Fighting Dems News Service
I have already begun urging Democrats from the high levels to the grassroots to initiate a Soldier Bond that would raise $500 billion dollars, over 20 years, to meet the needs of our troops, vets and military families.
The Soldier Bond would be structured similar to the U.S. Savings Bond, modelled after the War Bond of the 1940's, and the money would be used for the human, health, educational, financial, vocational and psychological needs of all troops, vets and their families.
The original legislation I propose is this: that Congress can pass by the 4th of July a plan to require two things:
First that the President consult with Wall Street leaders and present to Congress by September 1 specific options for an actionable Soldier Bond.
Second, that the executive and legislative branches immediately begin consultations with the full range of veteran's advocates and support groups to fully delineate the program needs, and honestly account for the costs of addressing them..
Every major group should have public input and veterans who served in World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War I, Bosnia, and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars should all be part of the policy process and should all benefit from the Soldier's Bond.
I have discussed this concept with many veterans over the last month and I will promise that any program similiar to this would receive overwhelming, enthusiastic and deserved support from many tens of millions of Americans.
I will promise that if a Soldier's Bond is offered Americans everywhere would line up to buy it.
And I guaratee that if something such as this is not done, our young people will either be forced to assume this burden through a massive tax increase, or continue the neglect of our leadership generation today.
The Soldier Bond is about rising above politics and is structured to appeal to the universe of Americans in Washington and around the Nation, but I will make two political points.
First, I have concluded that the Democratic Congress is incapable of a coherent and principled, and effective position on the Iraq war so long as the President can claim, falsely, that Democrats do not support the troops, and Democrats, sadly, succomb to this false argument.
Second, Democrats and Republicans need to have heartfelt and honest conversations with themselves about why nearly 70% of America disapproves of all of them.
On the war policy itself, and the treatment of troops and vets, both parties share major responsibility. The issue is not who can claim bragging rights to the status quo, but who will set the standard for the future.
What Democrats and Republicans do not get, is that for voters who feel passionately pro or con the Iraq war, and for voters who feel passionately that we must do far more for our troops and vets, these are the most educated and informed voters in the history of America.
These voters cannot be fooled and should not be insulted by talking point flim flam, written by party consultants, repeated by elected officials.
Patriotic and concerned voters, who care passionately about these matters see through this instantly. When Americans disapprove of policies, parties or institutions and receive this self-congratulatory propaganda and even worse, solicitatons for money based on this propaganda, they become even more angry, alienated and disillusoned.
That is why 50% disapproval became 60%, and now in some polls 70% or more. And this skyrocketing disapproval has reached the Democratic Congress as well as the Republican President. Yet propaganda continues to flow while public discontent rises to levels dangerousto a democracy, and destructive to any party or candidate who talks down to our people.
Here is an alternative: show leadership, tell the truth, and the public will join us. Aspire to the Gold Standard for supporting troops, vets and military families and a hundred milllion Americans and more, will applaud it, and support it.
It is derelict and sick that the Marine Corps urgently seeks assistance that they regard as life saving in 2005 and even this is insulted and ignored by those who claim to support the troops.
It is derelict and sick that troops continue to die preventable deaths because of lack of support from Washington. It is derelict and sick that hundreds of thousands of our vets are homeless, that wounded troops continue to suffer indignity and pain because of lack of attention and support when they return home.
It is derelict and sick that disabled heroes suffer further indignities tolerated by those who claim to support them; that veteran centers are overloaded and underfunded; that mental health treatment is so far behind the long term need; and that this happens while our political markets dish out talking points that nobody believes, while our Dow Jones market reaches record highs, and our politicians enact tax cuts while these derelictions continue.
These are not matters of philosophical or partisan disagreements. These are matters of fundamental national honor that we send our young to war, subject them to this lack of support, dump talking points on American families, and wonder wonder why 70% of them disapprove of virtually every institution, including both parties, in Washington.
The Soldier Bond will be a major part of the moral, military, patriotic and political solution because it represents an honorable, powerful, gold standard, red, white and blue support for our troops, vets and military families.
The $500 billion dollar, 20 year package is based on conservative projections of long term needs that have come from diverse sources. These needs are currently unmet, unplanned and unbudgeted. Whether one supports or opposes the war policy they rise every hour the policy continues, and every day these problems are not addressed.
One great benefit of bringing, empowering and publicizing the involvement of all groups representing veterans, troops and military families is that we will refine the exact program needs and cost while we create a national consensus to act.
The Soldier Bond would finance those needs that are human, health, financial and other matters that could receive near universal support from the political community and the broad base of the American people.
This would be voluntary; no person is forced to buy the bond. Mark my words, if this is not done, many will be forced to ultimately pay far higher taxes if we shamelessly dump these obligations on our children.
It is time politicians recognize that America is a great and noble country, with a great and noble people, who yearn to be asked what they can do for our country, and would line up in droves, to do it.
Long term, we have at least a $500 to $750 billion problem and the gold standard for true integrity and patriotism is a $500 to 750 billion solution.
The Soldier Bond will not need talking points; just tell the truth, call the Nation to action, and the Nation will respond.
We Americans live in a blessed land we love. The Soldier Bond will give every American the opportunity to share the patriotic bond with those who give us the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Lets honor the American people by giving everyone a chance to serve. To prove our pride in those who wear the uniform. To prove our patriotism by doing our duty, To prove our Americanism by reminding each other that we are a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people and that on this matter, we the people are in this together.