A year after the scandal and Veterans Affairs corruption is still costing veterans and the public.
Our veterans obviously need support and care. It is the obligation of the government that used these soldiers and, in many cases, put them in harm’s way, to provide for their medical needs.
But just because government should do these things doesn’t mean that it is competent to do so. Just like the beneficiaries of our massive welfare state are not the poor who we are supposedly trying to help, but instead are a horde of social workers and other professionals who get job security from those poor, so the mission to help veterans easily gets sucked into dumping money into other pockets.
Here is a phrase I suggest you memorize for future political analysis: “The purpose of NASA is not to explore Mars but the purpose of Mars is to fund NASA.” Whenever you wonder why something like public education or welfare doesn’t work, just repeat that slogan to yourself. It will allow you to understand two things:
- You are reading the “plan” backwards.
- Everything works exactly like the real decision-makers want it to work.
So now we see this happening in the case of a Veterans Affairs hospital. From Fox News: “Vital VA hospital project in limbo as price tag soars, lawmakers vow no ‘bail-out.’”
“The VA ignored my warnings for two years that the Aurora hospital was out-of-control and their refusal to heed my warnings has made a bad situation much worse,” [Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)] said in a statement on Thursday.
The hospital is meant to replace the city’s aging, overcrowded facility, and could help relieve a system whose long wait times were at the center of last year’s scandal over veterans’ care. But the stand-off over construction was just the latest problem for the over-budget, behind-schedule project beset by allegations of waste and mismanagement.
Original designs for the hospital, which is supposed to include a series of nearly a dozen outbuildings for specialty care, estimated a total cost of $328 million. Further changes led Congress to authorize $568 million for the project, and last year, the VA was still saying the facility would cost $630 million, and be complete in 2015. When it was clear the campus could not be finished for under $1 billion, the general contractor, Kiewit-Turner, walked off the job and sued the VA. A panel of judges sided with the contractor in December 2014. The project is now under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers.
As the project was turned over to the Army, VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson apologized for the mess. “I apologize to veterans and to American taxpayers for the delays and the added costs,” he said at an April 2 news conference, blaming a lack of communication with planners and incomplete designs at the outset, among other things.
Both sides in the VA-Congress dispute have been pointing the finger.
“Right now, VA is essentially asking taxpayers to bail it out of a massive problem of the department’s own creation,” [Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee,] said in a lengthy letter to VA Secretary Bob McDonald on May 20.
So where is the audit?
Where did the money go?
What is funny (in a completely non-humorous way) is that this is exactly the kind of thing that is extolled as “economic stimulus” by politicians.
And notice how the corruptocrats in the Federal workforce and Liberals in office win no matter what happens. Either Republicans in Congress will refuse the money and give the Democrats campaign fodder for abandoning the veterans, or Congress will give the money and feed the corruption, with some small bit going to the veterans.
Basically the veterans are human shields that prevent us from dealing with the bureaucracy.