NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Stephanie M. Carnes wrote in an Other Voices, Kerry is best choice, August 14, 2004
"Many are claiming Kerry is a flip-flopper and not supporting our troops. They should know the facts. He opposed the $87 billion that was supposedly for the troops because it would be unmonitored and there would be no guarantee that it would go to the troops. This is exactly what happened. When voted through, only $400,000 of it actually went to the troops."
In a search of the Internet, I could not find any mention by Kerry that he did not vote for the $87 Billion because it would be "unmonitored." I did find these reason in his own words complied from National Review Online.

1. Kerry Had Characterized A Vote Against The Funding As "Irresponsible." Doyle McManus (LA Times): "If that amendment does not pass, will you then vote against the $87 billion?" Kerry: "I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to -- to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible." (CBS, "Face the Nation," 9/14/03)

2. Kerry Voted Against $87 Billion War Supplemental. (S. 1689, CQ Vote #400: Passed 87-12: R 50-0; D 37-11; I 0-1, 10/17/03, Kerry Voted Nay)

3. Kerry Offered A Tortured Explanation Of His Vote Against The $87 Billion To Support Troops In Iraq. "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it." (Richard W. Stevenson and Adam Nagourney, "Bush's Campaign Emphasizes Role Of Leader In War," The New York Times, 3/17/04)

4. Kerry Said He's "Proud" That He And Edwards Voted Against $87 Billion In Funding For U.S. Soldiers. "Here is the value that John Edwards and I will put in place. I'm proud to say that John joined me in voting against that $87 billion when we knew the policy had to be changed." (John Kerry, Remarks at "Women's Voices: A Luncheon with John Kerry," Boston, MA, 7/12/04)

5. Kerry Says His Vote Against Body Armor And Supplies For Troops Was "Complicated." Don Imus: "That's probably a longer answer than I would be able to give to, say, Senator Miller or Senator Hatch, but ..." Sen. Kerry: "Well, you know, that's a problem. Some of these things are a little complicated. They like to simplify them and pretend to America. The pretending time is over." (MSNBC's "Imus in the Morning," 7/15/04

The Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental Funding bill provided approximately $65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance and $1.3 billion for veterans' medical care. The bill provided $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq, including $5.1 billion for security and $5.2 billion for reconstruction costs. The bill also provided extra money for body armor for soldiers.

Now tell me again who short changed our vets? Ms Carnes stated the troops only received $400,000. Perhaps she can tell us where she gets her information?

Ms Carnes also wrote:
"Bush's administration is in charge of that money - the same Bush who slashed veterans benefits and the soldiers' pay. Which candidate is not supporting our troops?"
According to

In Bush's first three years funding for the Veterans Administration increased 27%. And if Bush's 2005 budget is approved, funding for his full four-year term will amount to an increase of 37.6%.

In the eight years of the Clinton administration the increase was 31.7%

Those figures include mandatory spending for such things as payments to veterans for service-connected disabilities, over which Congress and presidents have little control. But Bush has increased the discretionary portion of veterans funding even more than the mandatory portion has increased. Discretionary funding under Bush is up 30.2%.

By any measure, veterans funding is going up faster under Bush than under Clinton.

To read the full analysis with charts and graphs

I am a vet and served from 1960 to 1980. My veteran benefits have not been cut.

I apologize for the length of this post, but it is clear that Ms Carnes needs to spend more time doing some fact checking.

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