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June 23, 2005

Letting Down Veterans
Posted by Suzanne Nossel

Apropos of our discussion earlier this week on the importance of supporting our troops and veterans . . .

See full details here.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA) announces a severe budget shortfall. Today, the VA informed members of Congress that its mid-year budget review revealed a $1 billion shortfall in meeting critical health care needs during the current fiscal year. As a result, VA officials say that they are forced to take $600 million away from funds to improve VA hospitals and other infrastructure and to borrow $400 million from funds already committed to provide health care during the next fiscal year. The end result is that the quality of veterans' health care will suffer and essential services and programs are now at risk.

When President Bush issued his Fiscal Year 2005 budget request, veterans' leaders called it "deplorable" and "inexcusable." (Veterans of Foreign Wars, 2/2/04) Earlier this year, Senators Murray and Akaka revealed that regional VA health care networks were experiencing a shortfall of over $800 million. Today's revelation by the VA validates these claims and demonstrates the inadequacy of President Bush's Fiscal Year 2005 budget.

So not only are we putting people's lives at risk for a war that we don't have a plan to win, we're also shortchanging them when they need help most.   Regardless of what we think ought to be the plan for Iraq, we should all agree that this is unacceptable.


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unacceptable is not nearly stong enough.

...try unconsciousable.

...and the accounting schema is something out of a marx brothers movie: they're $1 billion short, yet plan on increasing service next year by $1.6 billion.

or were, unitl it was pointed out that 1 billion of the porposed 1.6 bil increase would come by way of cutting nearly $525 million from amedical administration account, almost $420 million from medical facilities and $9 million from medical and prosthetics research.

well, hell, no needs better prosthetics? certainly not any of the (so far) 15000 to 38000 troops our government estimates have been wounded so far, right?

and you know what? you can probably tie the unavailable monies directly to 2 things - bush and cos tax largese toward wealthy folk and the unholy amount of our treasury being squandered in iraq.

what a chuckle? really, what a laugh riot? head over to the link below and see, as of may this year, how much your own city has contributed to bush and cos' lil shootin' match...

...sorry for the typos above; got irate again.

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