Budget increased

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In a May 30 letter, “Misdirected Blame,” Diane Rockwell stated: “Veterans Affairs has been under the budget-cutting knife since 2003. We have sent troops to Afghanistan and Iraq yet did not take care of them when they returned. Budgets for veterans have been cut from the Bush years to today.”

These claims are incorrect. According to the Congressional Research Service, the Veterans Affairs budgets in constant 2011 dollars (in millions) were: Fiscal Year 2004 — 75,827; 2005 — 80,084; 2006 — 81,924; 2007 — 88,823; 2008 — 94,538; 2009 — 102,425; 2010 — 114,957; 2011 — 124,383; 2012 — 125,304.

So compared to the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, we are spending $50 billion more per year on Veterans Affairs. You can argue whether it should have been even more, but this is not “budget cutting.”

LEWIS JACOBSON
Squirrel Hill

 


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