Standing for Freedom and American Strength
The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, has argued that debt is the biggest threat to U.S. national security. Ever-expanding debt and deficit spending is stifling our economy and will constrain our nation’s ability to meet our responsibilities for security and defense at home and abroad.
Our military personnel and veterans have struggled and sacrificed, and they do not want to see all they defended imperiled by an irresponsible government’s addiction to debt and spending. Instead they should rightly expect policymakers to show the same courage and selflessness that they and their fellow service members displayed.
Getting Washington’s Priorities Straight
Runaway government spending continues at an alarming rate, with taxpayer funds squandered on waste, sweetheart loan deals, corporate welfare and special interest subsidies—and yet programs that support veterans and their families are among the first targeted for budget cuts.
Policymakers on both sides of the aisle should face up to the challenge of restraining government spending to ensure sound budgeting for future generations. Washington needs responsible leadership; service in our nation’s capital demands the same dedication and selflessness that those who defended this country in uniform have shown.
Defending the American Dream
Today’s veterans not only return home to a struggling economy, but also fewer job opportunities. Unemployment rates for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are significantly higher than that of the general population. Efforts to encourage businesses to hire veterans through temporary tax breaks, though a product of good intentions, will not deliver adequate opportunities.
Veterans know this country needs a comprehensive agenda of fiscal restraint and pro-growth policies that allow businesses to expand and create jobs—creating an environment that provides opportunities for all.
Fighting for the Future
We demand and expect courage and accountability from our leaders. To maintain our strength as a country we need a powerful, consistent force, advocating for policies that lead to free markets, fiscal discipline, and a government that respects the freedoms America’s veterans, and their families, sacrificed so much to defend. Veterans have shown their capacity for leadership, unwavering commitment to action, and focused advocacy time and time again – in policy debates, in veterans service organizations, and even in elected office. These men and women know how to make their voices heard, and they understand what it means to be a part of something larger than themselves.
Veterans understand that they must bring that knowledge and that perspective to bear in a much wider fight, one that will require a commitment, focus, and sustained effort unlike any seen previously. They must serve once again on the same mission they accepted while in uniform – defending freedom.