Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Veterans Issues and Democrats

A look this morning into the belly of the beast that is the runaway entitlement of Veterans Benefits. Yes, yes, we all know that while these folks were on active duty they were baby killers and war criminals....but when they LEAVE active duty, they are wonderful examples of service and sacrifice, deserving of the continuous largess of the federal government as long as they shall live.

Dems LOVE veterans issues; the military is a constantly renewable source of entitlement freaks. Yes indeed ladies and gents. As many of you know, I have have always found it ironic that there was a streak of conservatism running through the military, what with our socialized medicine, free housing, subsidized education and tax free/subsidized malls. When we leave the military, we are thrust upon a cold and unloving world. You mean I have to pay tax on that gasoline? You mean I actually have to pay RENT? Excuse me, what is a deductible?

Into the arms of the Democratic Party fly many veterans, especially those less suited to face the cold, dreary world of managed care and monthly rent. And by embracing Vets, Dems get to show how TOUGH and STRONG they are! What a wonderful, symbiotic relationship this is! Never mind buying the stuff our Army needs to prosecute its wars....we'll double the education benefit we pay! That'll show those crafty Iranians and Chinese who is the toughest kid on the block!

And for those of you who cry "Hypocrite" as I suckle at the teet of the VA here in my dotage, I respond that I am guilty, and I attempt to expiate my sin by ensuring that most if not all of what I receive from the VA goes out to other people in the form of targeted, private assistance and donation.


Anonymous said...

"I attempt to expiate my sin by ensuring that most if not all of what I receive from the VA goes out to other people in the form of targeted, private assistance and donation."

Give me a call.

tom de plume
aka thankinthemonkey
aks semicolin powell
aka festool
aka fess parker
aka opie
aka anonymous (16 occasions)
aka lhkcgs (or 6 other word verification combinations)

Mudge said...

You typically paint more detailed pictures but I believe you may have accidently picked up a broader brush than usual for this image. I know there are some, and I believe there are many, who although eligible (and encouraged by VA reps to take advantage of the "disability" benefits for which their old age ailments might make them eligible) couldn't bring themselves to take from what they understood to be a limited pot of funds that would necessarily be under great demand for the most needy of our veterans (war wounded). I believe another significant draw for more VA funds is from the VA themselves. It is, after all, their jobs that are at stake, and like any government infrastructure, or business, growth is the only way of survival (or so many believe). I have heard of plenty of cases where VA health care providers have almost interrogated veterans as to whether they needed any medication. No was usually not the last answer and frequently began a littany of questions finally resulting in an, okay, i guess i could use them. That smacks of an organization justifying its existence by showing demand. Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate the VA and the people who choose to take their professional credentials there to practice at considerably less income than private practice, but I also see the same government infrastructural mechanisms at work and those mechanisms are the monetary equivalent of gas guzzlers. And this is what really worries me about nationalized health care. Just what we need, another federal agency with a super-charged, four-barrel, over-bored engine in the hands of officials who think dad's credit card has no limit. And though a republican myself, I've seen few on either side with the courage to tell the VA to buy a hybrid.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Mudge---perhaps my brush was poorly chosen, but my emphasis here was not on the VA so much as it is on the full menu of benefits that are larded upon our Veterans (many of which are indeed dispensed by the VA, which does exhibit the behavior of bureaucracies in attempting to justify its existence). Our hero in the story cited is portrayed as somehow being disadvantaged in receiveing $1600 a month through his GI bill benefit. Darn, had he only waited a few years to go to school, he would have been eligible for DOUBLE that total. We are to feel somehow aggrieved for this gentleman, brave Sailor that he was. Perhaps his entire bill should be footed?

Mudge said...

CW - Concur. My closing comments were largely directed at the following:

"At a congressional hearing...the VA's principal deputy assistant secretary for information and technology, said hiring a contractor was "the only way we could see getting there. Using our staff and our existing system tools and skill sets would not get us there....'My people cannot do it.' "

But after criticism from some veterans organizations...[many of whom also have jobs in the VA??]...who said such a vaunted program should not be placed in the hands of a private company, the VA changed course, saying it could not find a suitable contractor and would administer the bill "in-house." The American Federation of Government Employees, the largest federal employee union [and one of the biggest reasons we have such waste in federal government], also applied pressure by filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office.

In a statement, Veterans Affairs Secretary James B. Peake vowed that although it was "unfortunate that we will not have the technical expertise from the private sector," the department "can and will deliver the benefits program on time. [Remarkable turn around by a federal agency!!!]"

It's all about getting more money into the infrastructure...it's the only way that an organization where waste flushing-profit motive is missing can sustain itself.

Mudge said...

one last note. i wonder if i could appeal to the va for compensation due to losing my visual acuity. these damned word verifications are kicking my aged ass. it's why i was about 4 minutes time late in all my comments during the debate.

Anonymous said...

You had me at "expiate".

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