Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Three Cheers for President Bush

They say that even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

In any event, we'd like to come out firmly in support of President Bush's recent proposal to increase military death pay. Soldiers and their families are, for me, already the "least of these" in many ways. Enlistees are often drawn from impoverished young people who lack other opportunities. They are disproportionately racial minorities. Their families suffer long intervals without them. And most importantly, in these days, the soldiers themselves - whether or not they survive - suffer the horrors of war.

When a soldier dies as a result of a war that our country has decided (rightly or wrongly) that it must fight, we should do what little we can to help the family cope with their loss. Under the President's plan: "A tax-free 'death gratuity,' now $12,420, would grow to $100,000." Nothing can make up for the death of a family member. But we should do what we can.

Now if we can just raise normal military pay such that enlisted people's families can enjoy material security while their loved ones are still alive.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger ats54 said...

I can't imagine that the "death pay" is only $12,420. That might have helped a family during WWI for a while until they could find other support, but that's just ridiculous now.

I wonder if they could extend on-base purchasing privileges to the widows/widowers of the fallen soldiers - since things are typically a lot cheaper on base. That might help out a bit as well.

- 54

At 1:20 PM, Blogger DLW said...

They could be doing this just to keep the troops and their families from complaining too publicly.

It could all be a matter of realpolitik.


At 4:33 PM, Blogger ats54 said...

Assuming it passes:
Who cares if it's just a political maneuver? Help is still reaching people that need it.

If we begin to look past good being done and focus on the possible selfish reasons behind it we'll never get anything done as individuals or as a society.

If Bush decided he wanted his legacy to be one of helping the poor and educating our children instead of as a "wartime" President because it looks better in text books - would you oppose moves to achieve these goals simply because it's a political move?

- 54

At 10:31 PM, Blogger DLW said...

When it comes to politics, we shouldn't hold our breath to expect many instances of altruism.

My point is that I'm not going to congradulate Bush for doing something that likely stems from them having to compensate for their general misuse and over-commitment of US troops.


At 10:38 PM, Blogger jj said...

My commending of Bush was a shorthand and colloquial way of commending the policy. I don't think the motives of politicians should be too much of a concern for us.


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