Wurzelbacher: Veterans deserve more respect from KapturWritten by Samuel Wurzelbacher | | email@example.com
Not long ago, my opponent in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District race, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, used her Congressional website to take Republicans to task for not being “sensitive” about “the plight of unemployed returning veterans.” She was angry that the House of Representatives had rejected her proposed amendment to the 2013 budget.
The amendment would have established a Veterans Job Corps, which she claims “would employ at least 20,000 veterans over five years in projects to preserve and restore America’s national parks, state parks, and other public lands.”
This idea may sound good on paper. But it ignores several important questions that involve sensitivity, common sense and responsible government.
No. 1: Who was being more sensitive, thoughtful and responsible here? House Republicans who want to reduce out-of-control federal spending, borrowing and deficits — and reduce the size and intrusiveness of a federal bureaucracy that has become a massive legal and regulatory drag on our economy and job creation?
Or an out of touch Democrat politician who is determined to keep borrowing, spending and growing our government — and who rejects our veterans’ military backgrounds and wants to turn them into federally employed landscapers and groundskeepers?
Is Kaptur suggesting that the military training and hands-on experience our veterans acquired during their time in service isn’t good enough? Or that these jobs are the best they should expect? Or does she just not respect their service and training?
Kaptur and her campaign staff certainly don’t respect my own military training. That’s obvious from the way they call me a “faux” plumber. Are all our other veterans “fake” in their jobs too? Kaptur’s campaign has denied my military experience several times before, each time proving that she and her staff don’t respect veterans and our military experience.
This lack of respect goes a long way toward explaining why Kaptur is so willing to turn this nation’s soldiers into landscapers and groundskeepers, when instead they could be transitioning to productive civilian lives in trades for which they have already received training. Heck, a few might even make pretty good plumbers.
No. 2: What this nation needs — and what our veterans need, so that they can find good jobs — is an economy that is growing. Last year, growth didn’t even reach a lousy 2 percent. Our economic growth needs to get back to 4 or 5 percent a year, every year.
For that to happen, government needs to stop borrowing and spending the money the private sector needs — the money private businesses would invest in new equipment, new hires and new ideas far better than government ever can. Government also needs to stop taxing and regulating everything in sight, dragging our economy down, far too often for no health or environmental benefit.
Congress and the federal bureaucracy also need to stop wasting taxpayer money on worthless fake-energy wind, solar and algae schemes — and start letting companies drill again for oil and gas that power our economy and create real jobs and revenues.
Just over the past few years, oil and natural gas “fracking” on state and federal lands created 600,000 jobs! It generated real energy that we can use, and billions of dollars in revenue! And here Kaptur is upset that the House rejected her proposal to borrow more money to create a lousy 20,000 menial jobs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “young male veterans” between the ages of 18 and 24 had an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent last year. Non-veteran males in the same age group had “only” a 17.6 percent unemployment rate — which is also intolerable, insensitive and unnecessary.
It’s clear that America is in a crisis — which almost everyone outside of Washington, D.C., realizes. Kaptur, along with most other Washington politicians and bureaucrats, however, is isolated and insulated from this crisis. Both they and we should all be asking: Why are veterans, with all their training and experience, so much worse off than non-veterans, after having served and sacrificed so much for their country? And how much longer can we tolerate this destructive situation?
Yes, Congress has tried repeatedly (and failed repeatedly), to “fix” the unemployment problem. But little has been accomplished beyond partisan bickering and political grandstanding. While our political “heroes” keep talking about unemployment, America’s real heroes continue returning home to live it.
We need to focus on getting excessive government out of the way, so that the private sector can create jobs for our veterans and the millions of other Americans who so desperately want to work again.
A soldier understands one thing above all others: results. Congress, as history continues to prove, doesn’t understand this concept. Worse, too many politicians keep coming up with crazy ideas that they think will get them votes — when what they will really do is make sure the problems remain unsolved. They obviously have no clue what they’re doing.
Veterans deserve better than a 29 percent unemployment rate. Veterans deserve better than politicians who don’t respect what they went through and what they learned from military life.
Veterans deserve respect, and an appreciation for what they’ve done for their country.
Most of all, veterans deserve to be represented in Washington by people who understand and respect what they did, what they do, what they know and what they have to offer their country when their military service is over.
Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher is a Republican candidate for Congress in Ohio’s 9th Congressional District. Wurzelbacher rose to national fame as “Joe the Plumber” when he challenged then-candidate Barack Obama on his plans to increase taxes for the middle class. Since 2008, Wurzelbacher has spoken nationally in support of bluecollar workers, encouraging voters to get engaged in the political process. Learn more at www.JoeForCongress2012.com.
Editor’s Note: Rep. Marcy Kaptur has also been invited to submit guest columns to Toledo Free Press.