Friday, November 11, 2011

Senator Jim DeMint on Veterans and Unemployment

I was born in 1955 when Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower was President of the United States. Then America was becoming increasingly involved in the Vietnam War. But America's involvement didn't officially began until 1961 when President F. John Kennedy sent 400 United States Army Special Forces personnel to South Vietnam to train South Vietnamese soldiers.

Before the war had ended, Senator Jim DeMint had been attending the Christ Church Episcopal School and the Wade Hampton High School in Greenville, South Carolina. His parents, Betty W. DeMint (née Rawlings) and Thomas Eugene DeMint (U.S. Air Force), had divorced when Jim was only five years old (His father had left his mother with four children.) Jim DeMint's mother later opened a dance studio out of the family's home called the DeMint Academy of Dance and Decorum.

Jim DeMint graduated from high school in 1969 when the Vietnam War had reached its peak. American forces had risen from 16,000 in 1964 to more than 553,000 by 1969 under President Lyndon Johnson.

In 1973, the year that the U.S. military had ended the draft, I had graduated from high school. Before that time it was mandatory by law that I must register for the draft. My Selective Service Number was 013. I still have my draft card. While although I was opposed to the Vietnam War, I didn't burn it.

By that time Jim DeMint was 22 years old when he had graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in communications and had married his high school sweetheart. In an interview he said, "My father-in-law would not give me a job until I earned an MBA, so I enrolled in graduate school at Georgia State.

Two years later the Vietnam War had ended on April 30, 1975 when the last U.S. Marines had evacuated the U.S. embassy in Saigon by helicopter. At this time Jim DeMint's bio implies he had been attending the Clemson University.

After graduating from Clemson with a MBA (12 years after graduating from high school), he returned to his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina in 1981.

According to the Veteran's Administration, nearly 3.5 million men served in the Vietnam theater of operations. The draft raised 2.3 million men for military service during the Vietnam era. It has also been credited with "encouraging" many of the 8.7 million "volunteers" to join rather than risk being drafted, and of those 153,452 were wounded, 1,711 remain missing (MIA), and 58,212 were killed in action (KIA).

How did Jim DeMint avoid the draft? Was his father a general in the Air Force and pulled strings to get him exempted? Or was Jim an outstanding college student with high marks in school and received a deferment? Or was he disqualified for physical or mental deficiencies - - - or for a criminal record? Or was he just real lucky for those four years after he graduated from high school until the U.S. government ended the draft?

Even though in 1969 under President Nixon the U.S. pull out from Vietnam had already commenced, REPLACEMENT personnel were still ROTATING "in country" up until 1975, when the embassy was evacuated by U.S. servicemen. (See the Draft Lottery of 1969). The last man who was actually drafted was Dwight Elliott Stone on June 30, 1973 (who was then a 24-year-old apprentice plumber from Sacramento, California and reluctantly became America's "last draftee.")

While in school, did Jim DeMint attend any of the anti-war war protests or rallies on the college campuses, or did he think they were all a bunch of dirty long-haired dope-smoking hippies?

Today the radical Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint is known as a "Chicken Hawk", people who are enthused about their country engaging in war (which is why they're called "hawks"), but who makes sure that their own asses are nowhere near the fighting – which makes them "chicken" - so therefore Chicken Hawk (DeMint voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq.)

In touting his support for the war in Iraq, he told an audience in May 2007, “Al-Qaida knows that we’ve got a lot of wimps in Congress. I believe a lot of the casualties can be laid at the feet of all the talk in Congress about how we’ve got to get out, we’ve got to cut and run.” Very brave words spoken from the elegant halls of Congress.

"HELL NO! YOU CAN GO!" - Here is the web's most thorough chicken hawk database of current senators, prominent Republican politicians and other famous pro-war conservatives. All have advocated for war, while none have seen active service.

- - - - Gulf War-era II - - - -

As of 2010, about 2.2 million of the nation's veterans had served during the Gulf War-era II. To date: 6,274 U.S. service members have died in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

President Obama recently announced that the majority of the troops now serving in Iraq (46,000) are scheduled to return home by the end of 2011.

Jim DeMint says he's "fiscally conservative". The most recent major report from Brown University in the form of the Costs of War Project said that the total cost for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan will cost the U.S. taxpayers at least $3 trillion*.

* Many of the wars’ costs are invisible to Americans, buried in a variety of budgets, and so have not been counted or assessed. For example, while most people think the Pentagon war appropriations are equivalent to the wars’ budgetary costs, the true numbers are twice that, and the full economic cost of the wars much larger yet. Conservatively estimated, the war bills already paid and obligated to be paid are $3.2 trillion in constant dollars. (A more reasonable estimate puts the number at nearly $4 trillion.)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young male veterans (those ages 18 to 24) who served during Gulf War-era II (from 2003 to the present) had an unemployment rate of 21.9 percent last year. All Gulf War-era II veterans, off all ages combined, who were current or past members of the Reserve or National Guard, had an unemployment rate of 14.0 percent in July 2010. About 25% of Gulf War-era II veterans who served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan returned with a service-related disability.

Gulf War-era II veterans were twice as likely to work in the public sector as were non-veterans (30 percent and 15 percent respectively). In July 2010, approximately one-third of Gulf War-era II veterans reported that they had served in Iraq, Afghanistan, or both. These veterans had an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent.

Yesterday the Senate voted 95-0 in favor of legislation that would provide employers with tax credits for hiring long-term unemployed and wounded veterans. These benefits were approved as an amendment (S.927) to the 3% Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act (H.R. 674) that the House of Representatives had cleared in October.

Introduced by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 amendment would provide employers with a “Returning Heroes” tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been unemployed for at least six months, a $2,400 credit for hiring veterans who have been unemployed for more than four weeks, but less than six months, and a credit of up to $9,600 that would increase the existing Wounded Warriors Tax Credit for employers that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been unemployed for at least six months.

These credits were initially included in President Obama’s more comprehensive job stimulus bill, the American Jobs Act (S. 1660), which stalled in the Senate last month. The Senate agreed to include the VOW to Hire Heroes amendment to H.R. 674 by a vote of 94-1 before passing the entire measure.

South Carolina's Jim DeMint had initially been the only senator who opposed passing a portion of President Obama's job's plan that gives businesses tax credits for hiring veterans. He said," I know what I am about to discuss won’t be very popular -- I'll probably be accused of not supporting veterans by the politicians pandering for their votes."

DeMint initially called the legislation a "trick" by the Obama administration and Democrats.

AS AN ASIDE: Why was the VOW to Hire Heroes amendment not a separate bill, but instead added as an amendment to the Withholding Repeal and Job Creation Act (H.R. 674), which repeals a three percent withholding tax that was supposed to help the federal government crack down of contractor fraud?

Yesterday Jim DeMint had a change of heart and this "repeal bill" with passed unanimously. (It almost reminds me of when last year the Republicans would only vote to extend unemployment benefits for one more year, but only if the Bush tax cuts were extended 2 more years for the wealthy. Why weren't these 2 bills also separate?)

Senator Jim DeMint has said we should not extend unemployment benefits because "people are gaming the system and refusing to take jobs because they get unemployment benefits and food stamps."

Unemployment Compensation for Ex-service members (UCX)

In most cases military veterans must have been separated under honorable conditions to be eligible for unemployment benefits (usually after serving in active duty for at least 24 months.) Each state may have unique rules or provisions. Check with your state employment office for specific information. Be sure to have the following documents: job history or resume, Social Security Card and a DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty). If you receive other compensation (such as separation pay or retirement pay) the amount of compensation for which you may be eligible will be reduced. For a list of this and other services for military veterans, go here:

- - - - - Jim DeMint's Obsession with Taxes - - - - -

The United States already has some of the lowest tax rates in its history, but Senator Jim DeMint can't stop whining about raising taxes (I get this same crap in newsletters from the Tea Party all the time. They're outright lies) Jim DeMint is just fear-mongering when he claims that raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires will hurt small businesses and the middle-class, which is not true at all (how much have the budgets suffered with the Bush tax cuts already? The Republicans just want more of the same!)

Check out some of Jim DeMint's latest Tweets below (total B.S.)

Jim DeMint called for replacing the graduated income tax with a national sales tax, or a flat tax, and called for individual retirement accounts in Social Security. In 2003, he sponsored unsuccessful legislation to allow people under the age 55 to set aside 3% to 8% of their Social Security withholding income (that's invested in U.S. Treasury Bonds) and put their money into "personal investment accounts" (the free-wheeling and volatile stock market). He tried to substitute President Barack Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus bill with one that contained only tax cuts. Jim DeMint and his radical Tea Party "patriots" want cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TANF, food stamps, and unemployment benefits...government services that millions of U.S. military veterans rely on to survive.

Draft dodgers like Jim DeMint, who refused to risk their own life in the service to their country, but allowing others to die in their shoes while sending others in harm's way, wants to collect his own generous government-subsidized salary while allowing others to starve. "Patriot" or cowardly hypocrite?

My father volunteered to serve in the Korean War and he also did two tours of duty in Vietnam, coming home in 1969. And he was drawing Social Security after he retired before he passed away several years ago. Happy Veteran's Day dad!

Kill everyone who relies Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, TANF, and food stamps.

DeMint backed by the Club for Growth to let poor people die!

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