Conservatives defending John McCain against this LA Times article about his disability pension are missing the boat. OF COURSE McCain merits a disability payment for the injuries he suffered in captivity. But that doesn’t mean he should accept it. The man is wealthy beyond the imaginings of most of us mere mortals. And he clearly is in good enough shape to work, and work very hard, at his profession. There is no reason whatsoever that he NEEDS the pension — just as, he rightly points out, there is no reason for wealthy Americans to receive full premium support for the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, and just as, he rightly points out, all sorts of entities receive federal largesse (grants, earmarks) that they don’t really need. McCain should voluntarily do as he says others ought to be forced to do: Relinquish his claim on money that he might technically be more than qualified for, but that he just doesn’t need and that, in times of obscene federal deficits, the federal government can’t afford.
Not only that, but McCain should set an example make a public issue of relinquishing his claim on the pension, and challenge all other people and entities that receive unnecessary federal largesse to do the same. Multi-millionaires who get farm subsidies? Relinquish their claim. Liberal politicians who want to raise everybody’s taxes? Voluntarily pay their own taxes at their proposed higher rates. Wealthy folks who still accept monthly Social Security checks? Forfeit their checks to Uncle Sam. And so on.
Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s wise or right.
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