…but we haven’t figured out how to give them less-than-nothing yet.
From USA Today:
Center for war-related brain injuries faces budget cut
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
Congress appears ready to slash funding for the research and treatment of brain injuries caused by bomb blasts, an injury that military scientists describe as a signature wound of the Iraq war.
House and Senate versions of the 2007 Defense appropriation bill contain $7 million for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center — half of what the center received last fiscal year.
Proponents of increased funding say they are shocked to see cuts in the treatment of bomb blast injuries in the midst of a war.
“I find it basically unpardonable that Congress is not going to provide funds to take care of our soldiers and sailors who put their lives on the line for their country,” says Martin Foil, a member of the center’s board of directors. “It blows my imagination.”
The Brain Injury Center, devoted to treating and understanding war-related brain injuries, has received more money each year of the war — from $6.5 million in fiscal 2001 to $14 million last year. Spokespersons for the appropriations committees in both chambers say cuts were due to a tight budget this year.
Hey, gotta pay for Paris Hilton’s tax cuts somehow.
Zitnay asked for $19 million, and 34 Democratic and six Republican members of Congress signed a letter endorsing the budget request.
Remember, kids, the Republicans support our troops!
Preliminary research by the center shows that about 10% of all troops in Iraq, and up to 20% of front line infantry troops, suffer concussions during combat tours. Many experience headaches, disturbed sleep, memory loss and behavior issues after coming home, the research shows.
The center urged the Pentagon to screen all troops returning from Iraq in order to treat symptoms and create a database of brain injury victims. Scientists say multiple concussions can cause permanent brain damage.
The Pentagon so far has declined to do the screening and argues that more research is needed.
“The Pentagon” here means the civilians at the top — Donnie Rumsfeld and his gang. And what better way to make sure that needed research is done than by cutting the budget of the people doing the research?