Of Patriots and Parasites

Apparently the Navy SEAL who killed bin Laden decided to leave the military after 17 years of service. The government rewarded his valor by giving him no pension and no benefits of any kind. You see, even if you were a member of the most elite force in the world and even if you took out the most infamous man of the millennium, you don’t get a dime unless you put in a full two decades.

Now, here’s the thing, I understand that we’ve got this huge debt and we are essentially bankrupt by any sane standard. I also understand that money doesn’t grow on trees — it grows in computers at the Federal Reserve. But, from where I’m sitting, I think there is another way to save a buck that doesn’t involve kicking a war hero — a war hero whose accomplishment has been cashed in on by politicians and Hollywood — out into the cold.

Here’s my idea. Give this man his benefits. A congressman only has to work part time in his cushy job for five years before he’s eligible for a partial pension. A military man has to work twenty. The politician accomplishes nothing, risks nothing, does nothing, possesses no skills or abilities, and is rewarded handsomely for being such a profound zero. The service member risks everything, achieves what nobody else could, has talents nobody else has and is rewarded meagerly for being such a profound asset. Moreover, the average Senator is wealthy before he ever takes office. The average Marine is a broke teenager when he joins the military. Take away the politician’s undeserved and unearned loot and give it to the people who deserve it and earn it.

But I’ll go a step further. The guy buying a bag of Chex Mix with his EBT card, and the guy withdrawing his government cheese from a liquor store ATM, and the guy in the tax funded housing unit didn’t earn it either. Nor does he deserve it. Nor does it make sense to reward non-contributing adults more than we reward men in uniform. End the welfare state. That’ll free up a little more for the SEAL and his brothers in arms. And the rest can go back to the paychecks it came from.

It’s far more profitable to be a parasite than a patriot. That’s a dynamic we may want to change if we ever want to save this country.

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