Senator Tammy Duckworth attacked by Fox News for using veterans benefits

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Fox News recently targeted Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) In an apparent attempt at an “embarrassment” story about the way Duckworth – who lost both legs when the Army Black Hawk helicopter quitted ‘she was piloting was gunned down over Iraq in 2004 – doesn’t pay property taxes on her Illinois home.

The story, published on Sunday, claimed that Duckworth was “criticized” for “taking advantage of a tax break” which has exempted it from Cook County, Illinois property taxes since 2015.

It is only at the bottom of the story that it is revealed that there is nothing outrageous about it. Duckworth does not get a tax break that only the rich and powerful get. On the contrary, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation in 2015 which made veterans with a service-related disability rating of at least 70% exempt from property taxes.

A July 28, 2016 photo shows Tammy Duckworth at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia (Photo by Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call)

In addition to the benefits of the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as the VA home loan, some veterans may qualify for exemptions when purchasing their home. Although like the Veterans United mortgage lender notes, the exact type of exemption – from property tax exemption to one-time fee waiver – varies from state to state and even county to county.

In other words, Duckworth is using a benefit that she and other veterans are entitled to.

“It is disheartening that anyone who defames disabled veterans for using the benefits they have earned from their service in this nation, but it really says more about the people who attack these brave veterans than it does about Senator Duckworth,” said Ben Garmisa, spokesperson for the senator. .

Alex Plitsas, a former Army Reserve sergeant, tweeted Monday that some states are offering property tax cuts to wounded warriors and other states are rightfully allowing veterans with a disability rating of 100% avoid paying property taxes.

It was Fox’s framing of the story that drew immediate criticism on social media, as it portrayed Duckworth, a combat-injured veteran, as a tax fraudster, prompting some to suggest Fox was calling for a reassessment. veterans disability benefits.

“They should be ashamed of themselves, but that would require empathy, and it’s clear FOX News cares more about bending to its right-wing base than it is about accuracy,” the Liberal Veterans Group VoteVets. written in a tweet, adding that the senator “has MORE than earned her veteran benefits.”

It seems Fox News has realized what he’s gotten into because he changed his original title from “Democrat Tammy Duckworth hasn’t paid property tax on her Illinois home since 2015, report saysTo something a little more benign: “Democrat Tammy Duckworth has been criticized for getting tax relief on her Illinois home.” “

US Senator Who Loses Her Legs In Battle Is Attacked For Using Veterans Tax Benefit
A screenshot showing the original title of the Fox News article from Oct. 3 on Senator Tammy Duckworth’s taxes.

The Fox News article followed up on a story first published in the Chicago Sun-Times on how Duckworth is one of more than 27,000 Cook County residents who pay no property taxes due to exemptions passed by Illinois state lawmakers.

The gist of the Chicago Sun-Times story is that the exemption for disabled veterans that allowed Duckworth to avoid paying more than $ 42,000 in property taxes applies to wealthy people.

Duckworth’s annual salary as a senator is $ 174,000 and she has earned more than $ 300,000 in royalties on her book “Every Day is a Gift,” the newspaper reported. In 2017, she and her husband bought a six-bedroom home for $ 1.3 million in Virginia, where they paid more than $ 16,000 in property taxes that year.

Neither Fox News nor the Chicago Sun-Times commented on this story.

US Senator Who Loses Her Legs In Battle Is Attacked For Using Veterans Tax Benefit
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 28: Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) speaks during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan and plans for future counterterrorism operations at the Dirksen Senate headquarters on Capitol Hill on September 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool / Getty Images)

Former army sergeant. David Weissman told Task & Purpose he felt the Fox News story was a “burning mess” and that he believed the cable news network owed Duckworth a public apology.

“It all shows how much they actually support veterans, which they don’t actually do,” said Weissman, who served as an assistant chaplain from 2007 to 2012, during which time he was deployed twice. in Afghanistan. “Veterans are only used as props when it comes to experts or conservative politicians. I thought it was very unprofessional.

Since President Joe Biden took office in January, Fox News has offered its viewers sensational military coverage like red meat. Fox News personality Tucker Carlson accused Biden of trying to feminize the military in March after the Air Force unveiled a new maternity uniform.

Even though U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil ruled that no one could take Carlson seriously, he claims that the army would be becoming “awake” have become talking points for Republican lawmakers, such as Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who ran Russian propaganda on an army recruiting ad featuring a soldier raised by two mothers.

Much of the network’s coverage has focused on the claim that progressive values ​​are making their way into the military where they are supposed to wreak havoc. (The fastest search for the words “Fox News woke up the army” turns up Half a dozen securities above last month of the news release alleging so much.)

There is also network coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic as it relates to the military. Fox News personality Sean Hannity recently had Army Lt. Col. Paul Douglas Hague on his show to discuss Hague’s decision to publicly refuse to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Fox News account has been that the mandatory vaccines for troops are actually part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to purge the army of conservative soldiers.

“The purpose of the compulsory vaccination is to identify sincere Christians in the ranks, free thinkers, men with high testosterone levels and anyone else who dislikes Joe Biden, and to get them out immediately.” Carlson said on September 21. “It’s a takeover of the US military.”

With midterm elections set to take place next year and the next presidential election cycle set to begin shortly, Fox News viewers should expect more of the same.

Update: This article has been updated with additional information on recent Fox News coverage of the Army.

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