No Joke: U.S. Still Paying Civil War Benefits


abraham-lincolnIf you’re worried about how much the U.S. is spending on the wars we’re currently fighting, bad news: we’re still paying for the ones that are over.

A child of a Civil War veteran in Tennessee and another in North Carolina are still receiving $876 a year in benefits. Ten people in the U.S. are receiving an average of $5,000 a year connected to the Spanish-American War, which took place in 1898. The payouts are among the $40 billion that are annually awarded by the U.S. government to soldiers and survivors of wars and their families.

There’s another $20 billion paid out to survivors of WWI and their families, $5 billion connected to WWII, and $22 billion a year connected to the Vietnam War.

The conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq combined are already costing about $12 billion a year in benefits. Read more at Los Angeles Times.

{Andy Newscenter}


  1. If regular, average Americans need to go through their finances with a fine tooth comb when they do their taxes, why is there NO accountablity for Uncle Sam?

  2. What does paying war benefits to survivors of military personnel have to do with financial accountability for US and OUR government. In both the Spanish American War and WWI the wealthy could buy their way out of military service to the country, which left the rest of us to give our sons, brothers and husbands to fight, bleed and die for the United States. Today we have an all volunteer military that allows most of the population free to pretend there are neither costs nor realities of life and limb and mental health in service to the country. The families of military personnel serve emotionally and financially too. Military personnel work 60 to 90 hours a week when they are NOT deployed, which constitutes a major separation from family, and reduces their real wages and benefits to only slightly higher than minimum wage for the non-officer corps and the majority of our forces. Every time a combat soldier or marine is deployed in a war zone he ages physically 3 years for each year served. This mean my 26 years old son, now in his 4th deployment, (his second lasted 22 months in Iraq), is physically 40 years old in his bones, spine, hearing, corneas and nervous system. He has contracted malaria, cholerah and twice, dysentry. He has survived, with hearing lost, 3 IEDs. He has lost 22 friends and seen 16 of them die. He has recently lost his tuition assistance and individuals like “mom” like to call his “benefits” entitlements. Really? Well, he and all who have served this country and do now serve this country deserve everything the citizens of the United States of America can give them even if it means they have to “sacrifice” some consumer options by paying higher taxes. Our military personnel have earn the right and are entitled to every benefit. This country has been at war for 11 years. There have been no War Bonds, no Rations, no civilian sacrifices to aid the country in peril. This is definitely NOT the “greatest generation” of civilian citizens. Bumper stickers and flag waving are not patriotic acts of any moral or ethical value. War has become a spectator sport, filled with little media moments that are constantly interrupted with the more important commercial messages for this nation of self absorbed consumers made more comfortable with a volunteer military force. If I could influence the laws, the families of military personnel would all pay lower taxes for the true human costs of real worries and separations
    from loved ones who serve this nation. And for those who suffer injury or, G-d forbid, death, their families– parents, siblings, spouses and children– would, for their life times, be exempted from ever paying federal, state and local income taxes. For all the families of this nation who have NO members who have or who are offering their lives for this country, deserve nothing less than the Honor of Paying Tribute, in the form of higher taxes, for the sacrifices others and their families have paid in service to this nation.


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