My Blood Boils

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An example of how fouled up our priorities are:



The Pentagon is seeking to recover decade-old reenlistment bonuses paid to thousands of California Army National Guard soldiers to go fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The paper reported that nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom risked their lives during multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay the cash bonuses after audits revealed widespread overpayments by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets at the height of the wars 10 years ago.

But soldiers say the military is reneging on old agreements and imposing severe financial hardship on those whose only mistake was to accept the bonuses, which amounted to $15,000 or more.

The Army asked wounded Iraq veteran and former Army captain Christopher Van Meter, 42, to repay a $25,000 reenlistment bonus it said he was ineligible to receive. He was also asked to repay $21,000 in student loan repayments.

Van Meter told the paper that rather than fight the Army he paid back the money after refinancing his home.

“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” Van Meter said. “People like me just got screwed.”

Go here to read the rest.  Let’s see, these soldiers reenlisted, put their lives on the line in wartime, and after their honorable service these war veterans are asked to refund money they earned with blood and sweat because the California National Guard screwed up?  Congress needs to put a stop to this, pronto.

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  1. Similar demands have been made in the past of disaster victims who accepted FEMA aid for rebuilding their homes in good faith, having filled out all the necessary forms and provided all needed information and been told they qualified — only to be told years later that their applications were erroneously approved and now they have to pay all the money back. It’s one thing to demand repayment when there is clear evidence the INDIVIDUAL committed deliberate fraud in order to obtain the benefit; it’s another thing entirely to make them pay for some bureaucrat’s mistake. Demanding this kind of repayment from service personnel who risked life and limb to get it is disgusting but sadly not surprising.

  2. According to Investor’s Business Daily, the Obamas have, on average,
    spent $10.1 million taxpayer dollars each year on their vacations. Each time
    they take Air Force One to vacation in Hawaii, the cost of the flight is $3.7
    million dollars. According to receipts uncovered by Judicial Watch, when
    Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of the House, she spent on average $1,000/week
    in taxpayer dollars for food and alcohol service alone on her taxpayer-funded
    Air Force flights.
    Pelosi’s bar tab for one year’s worth of Air Force flights would exceed the amount
    that Captain Van Meter is being forced to repay the government. It’s a strange
    set of priorities at work, when it’s the Army Captain who’s being forced to pay
    back the treasury, and Pelosi’s annual in-air bar tab is considered a legitimate use
    of taxpayer dollars.

  3. Refi his home because of the mistake of the government. To hell with paying back monies that were promised for reenlistment.

    This administration and it’s behavior is ludicrous.

    God bless these veterans and may the bureaucrats revisit this asinine decision.
    Obama should repay the US every single dollar he spent on taxpayer funded vacations.
    There’s your solution to this dilemma.

  4. Welfare and bankruptcy laws allow the person to keep one house and one car. Now, the government is demanding the one house and will probably make the veteran sign his house over. Is there not a statute of limitations on this matter? Is this the government confiscating payment to which they are not entitled? After all, this is their mistake, if it is a mistake. When a bank makes a mistake in your favor it stays. A budget for the Pentagon is made yearly. How can this matter be relevant now, except as swindle?

  5. So California veterans have to pay back bonuses that were received during wartime….This is a disgrace. In a televised press conference the Governor Jerry Brown should apologize to the vets; then announce that he’s rescinded the order to repay bonuses, and that he will fire the state employees that made the mistake. For those veterans like Capt Van Meter who have paid in full or partially repaid, announce that the money will come back to them. Not sure if bonuses are taxable, if so add paid taxes to the refund.
    The state comptroller can find the money from funds that are given illegals as a start or tax pot and the growers or whatever.
    This will be cheaper in the long run for the state than when Archie Bunker’s seven hungry Jewish lawyers launch a massive class action suit. Legal fees will cost the state plenty.

    Again, this is a disgrace. Good luck recruiting when the next surge comes and the CA Nat Guard needs to fill their quotas.

  6. According to Investor’s Business Daily, the Obamas have, on average,
    spent $10.1 million taxpayer dollars each year on their vacations. Each time
    they take Air Force One to vacation in Hawaii, the cost of the flight is $3.7
    million dollars.

    Off topic, but this problem can be ameliorated. (1) the next President remembers that Harry Truman traveled abroad 3x in 8 years, once for a courtesy visit to Mexico, once for a courtesy visit to Canada, and once for the Potsdam Conference. Both the Mexican and Canadian government in our time are irritants who merit little courtesy. Pray we’re not living in times Chinese-interesting enough to need a Potsdam conference. As for the President’s domestic travels, he’s too encased in a security bubble to actually meet ordinary people (something Truman could do when he walked across the street to the bank, as he often did), so there’s no point to that unless you cut the detail drastically. Which you can do if you quit broadcasting the president’s movements in advance. He’s likely never improved a single candidate’s chances by campaigning for them and it’s difficult to believe that speaking tours benefit the chances of any pending legislation he wants.

    Of course, the point of most of the travel is to appear at fundraisers whose frequency has been unseemly.

  7. Yes, reenlistment bonuses are taxable unless, I think, they are issued in combat zones. When I reenlisted in the Navy in 1988, I took about a 20% tax hit on the first half upfront installment.

  8. If the statute of limitations for charging the people who made those erroneous payments for misappropriation of funds has run out, then in justice the time for the Obammunist federal government to claw back the erroneous payments has also run out.

  9. Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution: “No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” Changing the agreement with veterans ex post facto is unconstitutional. FEMA, another government agency went about after the hurricane Sandy demanding repayment from victims who were considered” ineligible” after the fact, ex post facto and other victims who were told that they were “over paid”. HUH? (My brother lost his house as did my granddaughter. Fema paid hardly half.)
    It really sounds like a scam designed by Saul Alinsky for filling the government’s pocket with tax payers money.

  10. Just noticed something that didn’t jump out at me the last time– the guy had to repay student loans? This sounds like there might be something else involved. Getting the military education whatzit to pay at all can be a pain, but once it’s done, the only way I know for you to get charged is if you fail the class or if they find out there was fraud. (ie, you didn’t take the class)

    I just realize that this is about the time that I got out– and they were making the standards stricter so people wouldn’t stay in so much. The only folks I know who were getting bonuses were those who had really obscure, high-demand certifications.
    The only two guys they mention are unlikely to be “those who answered the nation’s call after 9/11.” They’re the guys who were already in; heck, even my husband and I didn’t answer the call after 9/11– I was in boot camp, and he had already signed up. My husband’s only 35.
    I really, really don’t trust a story that gets that manipulative that quickly, especially when if there’s a tiny hint of truth, it doesn’t NEED to manipulate to outrage people.

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