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Rush Limbaugh on Compensation of 9/11 Victims vs. Military Families

Short text attributed to Rush Limbaugh points out the unfairness of 9/11 victims' families receiving more benefits than family members of American military personnel killed in action.

Description: Email flier
Circulating since: April 2002
Status: Authentic (this version)

Email example contributed by Dwight M., Apr. 12, 2002:

The Truth Is

Rush Limbaugh

I think the vast differences in compensation between the victims of the September 11th casualty and those who die serving the country in uniform are profound. No one is really talking about it either because you just don't criticize anything having to do with September 11th. Well, I just can't let the numbers pass by because it says something really disturbing about the entitlement mentality of this country.

If you lost a family member in the September 11th attack, you're going to get an average of $1,185,000. The range is a minimum guarantee of $250,000, all the way up to $4.7 million. If you are a surviving family member of an American soldier killed in action, the first check you get is a $6,000, direct death benefit, half of which is taxable. Next, you get $1,750 for burial costs. If you are the surviving spouse, you get $833 a month until you remarry. And there's a payment of $211 per month for each child under 18. When the child hits 18, those payments come to a screeching halt.

Keep in mind that some of the people that are getting an average of $1.185, million up to $4.7 million, are complaining that it's not enough.

We also learned over the weekend that some of the victims from the Oklahoma City bombing have started an organization asking for the same deal that the September 11th families are getting.

In addition to that, some of the families of those bombed in the embassies are now asking for compensation as well. You see where this is going, don't you? Folks, this is part and parcel of over 50 years of entitlement politics in this country. It's just really sad.

Analysis: The above text, which went into email circulation in April 2002, has been confirmed by Rush Limbaugh as an accurate transcription of a monologue he delivered on his radio show March 11, 2002.

Another version includes inaccurate remarks concerning Congressional pensions and Social Security which were not written or spoken by Limbaugh. The apocryphal comments were lifted from an unrelated email flier circulating since 2000.

Limbaugh's figures above are roughly correct. As of June 2004, the compensation paid out to surviving family members of civilians who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack averaged $2 million per victim. By contrast, the families of American military personnel killed in combat typically receive a lump sum of $12,000 (as of November 2003; the amount was $6,000 when Limbaugh delivered his monologue in 2002), a burial allowance of up to $3,000, and ongoing monthly payments of $833 and $211 for surviving spouses and dependent children under 18 years of age, respectively.

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Sources and further reading:

9/11 Compensation: $500 to $8.6M
Associated Press, 15 June 2004

U.S. Military Death Benefits
About.com: U.S. Military

Last updated: 07/07/04

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The Urban Legends Top 25

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