Interesting controversy today (click) about Rep. Scott Jenkins (R-Plain City) saying that troops get enough support and why should everyone else pay their property taxes?
He makes an interesting argument — they volunteered, they knew the cost, what’s their beef? And they do get that huge salary, overseas pay, free uniforms, free medical care and lifetime guaranteed PTSD counseling. What more could they want?
On the other side, supporting the troops — in light of the Vietnam experience — has become a semi-religion in this country — you must do it, and darn near any proposal to do it must be supported, lest you not support the troops and thus harm the nation.
There are exceptions, of course. A troop with combat experience in Afghanistan was booed at a GOP presidential debate because he said he is gay. Proposals to give citizenship or at least legal status to troops who serve this nation in combat have also gotten a cold shoulder.
Being gay or illegal seems to trump being worthy of support by being a troop, at least to the Republicans. Those weenie Democrats will support anyone.
Jenkins is a Republican, so it is perfectly logical that he subscribes to this sort of thinking. Republicans think that giving medical care to the poor is stealing money from their pockets to take care of folks who just didn’t live right or were too lazy to buy their own insurance. In that light, asking the rest of us to pay the property taxes of those who serve (because someone has to pay for government) is a logical extension. One could even argue that, in this lousy job market, they joined up so they’d have enough money to pay their taxes, so a refund is in order.
I do find it interesting that it is the state Legislature deciding to give the troops a property tax break, seeing as how it is not the state government that collects or spends that money. I presume the Legislature will be making an allocation from the general fund to local governments to make up what they lose in this new property tax exemption?
After all, it is to support the troops. Unless they’re gay. Or undocumented.