Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Eric Shinseki got Iraq right before it even happened.  He is a smart, capable general.

But the VA would tax even the finest administrator even without the added thousands of broken men and women that the Bush Administration created through the Iraq debacle.  If that is combined with the overall existing inefficiencies in the VA, you have a recipe for what happened in Phoenix and perhaps elsewhere.

Interestingly, the wait times at VA hospitals are not longer than those of private hospitals according to one metric I saw, but I can't find it now, so trust me.

The problems at the VA will not be solved by Shinseki's departure.  They will be solved when we quiet mangling the bodies and souls of young soldiers in misbegotten wars.  And more importantly, they will be solved when we face the fact that "thanking veterans for the service" means more than bumperstickers and "likes" on a Facebook page.

It means paying more in taxes to fund a system that can hire enough medical personnel to adequately staff our VA facilities.

The VA does a lot well.  It provides top quality care, free at the point of service, with waits not that different from some private hospitals.

But if it wants to be what we say we want it to be, then it needs more money for salaries.

What say you to that, Republicans?

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