It seems that VA Secretary Robert McDonald, instead of holding others accountable, is undermining what little credibility the VA still has.
An editorial in the Chicago Tribune argues:
“Lopping off heads indiscriminately is rarely a good way to correct errors. But the first problem here is not whether McDonald punished the right people. It's the huge discrepancy between his words and his deeds. (And that's leaving aside the instance when he said he served in an elite special forces unit — a bogus claim he had to quickly retract.) … The conclusion to be drawn from what's known right now is that it is very hard to get fired for poor or even dishonest performance in this department, which has some of the most important functions in the federal government.”
President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.
The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.