Who supports the Troops

Vets for Freedom has released an analysis of key, war-related Senate votes – the Report Card  is here (PDF) – grading every Senator on thirty votes critical to the missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the overall War on Terror.  The methodology is available in the full document, but it is straightforward. 
 
• They judged candidates based on their voting records alone – up or down on bills and amendments, with a small penalty for those times when a Senator did not vote. 
 
• They calculated a straight percentage based on those factors, with no “extra credit” or shady tinkering to elevate one vote in order to help reach a predetermined result.
 
• They supported or opposed legislation based on three criteria:
 
1.       Funding for the troops
2.       Timelines for withdrawal
3.       How the legislation impacted the ability of the troops to carry out their mission
 
Sadly, support for the mission and the new counterinsurgency strategy in Iraq has, for much of the 110th Congress, broken down largely on partisan lines — but not entirely.

Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both receive A+ ratings from Vets for Freedom.

You can see the whole report here.

29 comments

  1. Game Fan says:

    How do the “Vets for freedom” feel about open borders, being a slave to debt, Unconstitutional legislation, and a possible military draft?

  2. This is no suprise since Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson vote YES on just about every spending bill.

    If there was a group called “Bailout for Freedom”, they would get an A+ rating from them too.

  3. jkga says:

    Another organization, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, gives Chambliss a B, same grade as Obama and Biden on veterans’ issues. McCain gets the lowest grade awarded, a D. (Looks as though it’s mostly because he was absent for a whole mess of votes.)

    pdf file

  4. odinseye2k says:

    Four votes? The ranking is based on four votes?

    Piffle. Of course, we could grade Saxby and Johnny on their actual provision for troops, like the IAVA report cards. GI Bill 2008, provisions for mental health support, and so on.

    Saxby does wave a hand-sized American flag very nicely, though.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    These ratings are worthless. They are equally as worthless as the “World’s smallest political quiz” that the Libertarians think is so spectacular.

    Political thought is more complex than simple yes or no on one issue or the next. What if a bill “to fund the troops” had a big pork project attached to it? What if a timeline bill also had a rider for funding some critical need for the military?

    In position quizzes, I am often asked if I oppose “Roe v. Wade” and I always say yes, because it is awful case law, but it automatically puts my “Social Conservatism” rating higher than it should be. No one is as simple as these types of ratings suggest unless they are monolithic partisan extremists on the right or the left. We should elect neither.

  6. bowersville says:

    What’s even more worthless is that Phillip Carter, leader/founder of the “Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America” is also an Obama campaign staffer.

    Kind of a conflict of interests don’t you know?

  7. Bill_k says:

    I think Doug D summed it up nicely. Congressional voting is a tricky process. Unless I saw the details of every bill and an explanation of the vote, I would not take much stock in that vote.

    As far as support from the troops, both sides have managed to round up a lot of supporters. This says a lot, since the military has been overwhelmingly Republican for almost 30 years. The Republicans have screwed up royally to cause so many soldiers to defect.

  8. John Konop says:

    As many of you know I am a fiscal conservative before any PARTY. And I know very little about Udall or his views. But as fiscally conservative as I am it is horrible how many VETS have been treated by war HAWKS like Bush/Cheney and doves on the DEM side that did not support Vets.. We all know the stories and much of it inexcusable!

    This is why when I read about support or lack of the troops tied to manipulative talking points I always think about the real issues the troops/Vets think about. As I said this ad I am showing is not about me supporting or promoting Udall, because I know very little about the election. The point of the video is to put a face to the issue VETS face!

  9. John Konop says:

    Three Jack

    Troops and Vets may disagree on the war, but my point is strictly about sending troops in with no body armor, no armor for vehicles, horrible medical conditions and treatment for Vets….

  10. Progressive Dem says:

    It would be nice if Erick was interested in the truth and not the spin of an organization that fronts for Bush and the Neo-Cons. Fortunately many of the Peach Pundit posters are not easily manipulated.

  11. Doug Deal says:

    Progressive,

    And I am sure that you are first in line to challenge front organizations for Obama. You have little standing to complain about Erick.

  12. Doug Deal says:

    DNA,

    Yeah, we know how government bureaucracies are LOADED with Republicans and directly under their control, since it is soooooo easy to fire government employees, government employees who NEVER do something like vote 75% or more of the time for the Democrats. Good catch there fare minded impartial bastion of common sense.

    I can’t wait until we have fully socialized medicine so these same government bureaucrats can shred medical records.

  13. John Konop says:

    Doug

    I have kids and dealing with insurance companies is not much better. My wife and sadly joke we pay and they do not! I think the real issue is the incentive private or public is to deny the service.

    I am all for deregulation as long as it meets three checks.

    Full Disclosure

    No Fraud

    And private takes full risk

    The current insurance model is I pay and fight to get my service. And the rules and system is set up to cost me more to fight the problem than it is worth. I have changed insurance companies numerous times and it is all the same.

    Outsource our Vets to this type of service would only case more problems until we fix it!

  14. Doug Deal says:

    John,

    The main problem with insurance is that it is called insurance.

    Insurance is supposed to be for things that are unexpected and costly rather than a mechanism for paying for routine care.

    How many people have oil changes, tune-ups, A/C service and paint jobs in their auto insurance policy? Insurance should be covering broken arms, hospitalization, cancer and the like. Covering office visits for checkups, OTC medication, consultations and visits for the sniffles should be handled out of pocket. The reasons for this are many.

    First, when you pay $20 an office visit, no matter what the doctor would be willing to charge for care, what incentive is there for any doctor to charge anything but the very maximum the insurance company will pay? Patients aren’t going to choose doctors based on issues like efficiency and cost, which is what drives improvements in every other segment of our economy.

    Second, some people overuse the system. A doctor can do pretty much nothing about a cold. If you pay a $20 co-pay, many people do not think twice about the expense. If you had to pay $120, you might not be so eager to use his services for him to tell you to go home and get bed rest and drink fluids.

    Third, covering everything is what makes the system too expensive to cover the absolute necessities. If day to day care is 50% of the insurance bill, life threatening events could be cared for at half the premium. If you are paying $500 a month in insurance premiums, and can get catastrophic care for $250 a month, that’ $3,000 you can keep in your pocket to cover day to day care. Plus, with the decrease in cost for doctor visits due to people paying out of pocket, that $3,000 will go a lot further.

    There are a number of other ways that service could be improved, coverage made more universal and cost brought back into line, but it will never happen unless we bring consumer choice back into the mix.

  15. odinseye2k says:

    Doug,

    Another problem with the insurance model is that regular maintenance has a huge impact on how likely catastrophic problems are to occur. Things such as heart problems, diabetes, some cancers, and the like are known to be preventable. Some of them aren’t obvious … for example, you can be thin and still have horrible cholesterol or proteins that correlate to future heart troubles. The better you screen for that (and push preventative treatment), the better off you are going to be.

    “Second, some people overuse the system. A doctor can do pretty much nothing about a cold.”

    Yes, but how many people can totally self-diagnose? The doctor may not be able to cure a cold, but he can distinguish between it, the flu, and SARS. Perhaps an extreme case at the end, but not all symptoms always lead to the same disease.

    There’s also an encapsulation aspect. Do you as a customer choose to buy an upgrade to the local power generating facility or order maintenance based on price? No, it is too complex for a very large majority of the public to totally manage every aspect of that. People just pay for service.

    So, we could just change the idea of “insurance” into “service,” where in this case service is defined as a healthy body.

    Also, there are auto insurance companies that provide you lower rates if you perform regular auto maintenance, don’t get traffic tickets, and so on, so there is some input on the actuarial tables that way.

  16. Doug Deal says:

    odinseye2k,

    So you are basically saying is that people will make bad choices, so we have to make the system so that no one can make a mistake.

    Even if all health care was provided for free and ever waking hour of every non doctor was spent in earning enough money to pay the taxes to fund such a system, people will still not go to the doctor and lead an unhealthy lifestyle.

    If the average household income is $45,000 a year, 10% of that is $4,500. $4,500 is enough to pay for 45 family practice visits on the low cost end and 20 on the high cost end. How many people see the doctor that many times a year for routine care?

    The average cable bill is about $90, or $1,000 a year. The average car payment is $370 a month, which is just about $4,500. It is not unreasonable for people who are normal and healthy to pay for their health care. Plus, if every dollar of it was deductible, that would reduce the out of pocket expense by about 25% on average.

    If we stop treating every healthy person like they need intensive care, we can treat those that do more efficiently and effectively and not bankrupt the nation paying for it.

  17. Rick Day says:

    I agree with everyone else. It is a ‘bit’ self-serving.

    It should have had a #4: the retard factor

    Which legislator was retarded enough to believe we could ever ‘win a war’ anywhere in that sand dune of a country (pick one)

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