An Inconvenient Veteran: Big Government Failing the Troops

Back in 08, during his first inaugural address, President Obama stated that the question was not whether government was too big or too small but only concerned with whether government worked.

According to a new report from the Center for Investigative Journalism, we should ask our veterans that question.

The problem with Obama’s claim is that he was really using rhetoric to attempt to drown out the massive amount of historical and economic data that shows big government never works. But another problem is that it fails on its own terms. To see the failure, ask yourself this question: How does one learn whether or not big government is working? While it is possible for journalists and other kinds of scholars to dig up evidence, most of the real proof has to come from government documents. If a government agency or department isn’t “working” then they can cover over that fact.

Since Barack Obama has come into office, that seems to be exactly what his Administration has chosen to do for Veterans. According to AllGov.com:

“In 2009, the number of ex-soldiers waiting more than a year for their VA care totaled 11,000. By December 2012, the list had ballooned to 245,000 veterans, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting. After obtaining internal VA documents, the center also found that many veterans are waiting much longer than a year to receive their benefits. Those filing for the first time who live in major urban centers can wait more than 600 days before they receive help. In New York City, the delay can be 642 days, and in Los Angeles 619. The largest number of year-long waits are in Oakland (19,077), Waco (18,442), Houston (14,480) and Los Angeles (13,901). The Obama administration has attempted to fix the VA benefits system by hiring more staff and buying new computer systems. But these solutions have failed to produce positive results, such as reducing the backlog of claims, which currently stands at about 900,000 and is expected to eclipse one million by the end of this month.”

But the scandal here is not just the failure and the breaking of faith with our veterans. While the Obama Administration was incompetent with veterans’ benefits, they proved competent until this week of hiding the truth from anyone who could call them into account. According to the Center for Creative Journalism’s report,

“The Department of Veterans Affairs has failed to provide key information to Congress and the public that shows the agency’s ability to quickly provide service-related benefits has virtually collapsed under President Barack Obama. Internal VA documents, obtained by the Center for Investigative Reporting and authenticated by the agency, reveal that delays newly returning veterans face before receiving disability compensation and other benefits are far longer than the agency has publicly acknowledged.”

This news story is evil enough that it requires no explanation from me as to how hideous it is. But I do want to point out that “big government” and “transparency” are always at odds. To see this, all you have to do is go to the website for your representative in Congress or for your Senator and look at all the different things he is “doing.” Even if they never tried to hide information, you would have a tough time figuring out everything big government is doing. When bureaucrats try to hid things from politicians and other bureaucrats, it gets even worse.

Thus, Obama’s claim that the only thing that matters is whether or not “government works” already assumes and incredibly naïve and trusting view of big government. It assumes that politicians and bureaucrats never fail to admit when they fail. It is a recipe for disaster.

Speaking of disasters, if this is what happens to veterans, what can we expect of Obamacare?