This post was written by Orion Calvin
Today, a shocking new story has been released claiming that Ted Cruz told Veterans at the VA to sell girl scout cookies at a fundraiser to raise money.
Cruz is an outspoken critic of the V.A., and of government spending, and the report seems plausible, so we’ve decided to take a further look:
Ted Cruz’s longshot campaign for the presidency continues to drive itself further off the rails in a desperate pursuit of relevancy. His latest attention grab came at a town hall meeting, where he has some special words for veterans in need- that he plans to slash veteran benefits and that our brave vets should make up the difference selling cookies like Girl Scouts.
Somehow Cruz had the gall to say this to the face of a man who lost his leg fighting for his country. For all the tearful celebrations of our veterans in his speeches and talking points, Cruz is quick to take an axe to their benefits and healthcare. He told the wounded man that “we need to be innovative if we want to help veterans. We need to be practical and pragmatic. But we also need to remain vigilant with our government’s out-of-control spending, and find ways of mitigating expenses wherever possible…So we need a president whose willing to tackle the hard issues, and come up with innovative solutions to these problems, head-on.”
Unsatisfied with the trite and empty words from Cruz, the audience pressed him for details, which is where he decided to leave the realm of tact and sanity entirely:
“We need to make spending cuts that not everyone will be happy with, but we need to come up with solutions that make up for those cuts, too. For instance — and I’m just thinking out loud here — but the Girl Scouts make a lot of money selling cookies each year, and it brings attention to their cause. We’re talking billions and billions of dollars here. That’s an innovative idea right there, and I just came up with it on the spot. That’s what I want to bring to the White House. Something like that, selling cookies, would generate billions of dollars for veterans while also connecting them with their friends and neighbors in a new and innovative way…Think about the opportunities these veterans would be exposed to. Think about the potential of meeting a new employer, for instance. This idea would raise billions of dollars for vets each year, gives veterans the sort of public attention they deserve, and could open new doors for our nation’s bravest fighting men and women. This would be a golden opportunity for veterans, and for America.”
A golden opportunity indeed. Cruz isn’t half as clever as he thinks it is. It’s obviously code for privatizing the Veterans Affairs Administration. A golden opportunity for veterans indeed, to raise the money for their own benefits and care for their own selves in a for-profit organization, subjected to the humiliation of hawking cookies door-to-door, hoping to meet a new employer to lift them out of the purgatory that their service to our country has earned them. It’s an abhorrently offensive idea that flies in the face of the covenant that America makes with her soldiers: they risk their lives and limbs for America’s safety and interests, and in return we care for them when they return.
Republicans believe in an America where the “free market” has its strangulating tentacles in every aspect of life, devoid of compassion or humanity, only seeing Americans as exploitable demographics. How else can you explain unfeeling and insulting proposals like this? What about the way Republicans blocked legislation protecting our underpaid veterans from being targeted by the predatory loans with sky-high interest rates, from the swindlers and extortionists that feed the biggest Wall Street banks off the blood and sweat of our soldiers? Or all the other times Republicans have slashed and blocked benefits to retired and active veterans?
It is a shameless hypocrisy that shows just what kind of man Mr. Cruz is. In his own words, “That’s what I want to bring to the White House.” This is the kind of America he wants to build- one where a one-legged veteran has to earn his benefits by selling cookies door to door. We owe our veterans a debt we can never really repay, and Cruz makes a mockery of it to please his corporate masters.
Edit: it appears this instance may not be true.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee, met with VA Secretary Bob McDonald to remove more than $1.4 billion in veteran services from President Obama’s proposed 2016 budget. Included in those cuts was more than $690 million earmarked for direct VA medical care and $582 million in VA construction projects. As a result of the cuts, it was estimated that 70,000 fewer veterans would be able to receive needed care.