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The Big Lie: VA Budget cuts
Posted by: McQ on Monday, March 12, 2007

Well you knew it had to eventually become a talking point.

Face the Nation.

Sen. Claire McCaskill:
SCHIEFFER: Now, one of the things we've found out over the past couple of weeks, that these problems go beyond Walter Reed. They go to some of the other military hospitals, and they also extend into the Veterans Administration, where we've seen the secretary of the Veterans Administration in at least two television appearances that I—I have seen him where he seemed unfamiliar with the services that were being offered by his own agency. How serious is the problem there?

Sen. McCASKILL: Well, the Walter Reed syndrome spreads to other military hospitals around our country and also into the VA. And frankly, the VA is really a problem. The president has cut the budget in Veterans Administration for the past five years. In the budget that he just submitted to Congress, he went in the veterans' pockets for another $5 billion for the health care they were promised for free. ...
Face the Facts.

FactCheck.org:
Funding for Veterans up 27%, But Democrats Call It A Cut

Money for Veterans goes up faster under Bush than under Clinton, yet Kerry accuses Bush of an unpatriotic breach of faith.
If you're up for a review of the last 5 years and like to see your info in graphic form, this nice little chart should do it for you.

So obviously the problem hasn't been money has it?

Ack ... you don't actually think that it could be government ineptness and inefficiency do you?

[long pause]

Nah!
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Ack ... you don’t actually think that it could be government ineptness and inefficiency do you?
YEP
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
I was saying this in the previous VA thread comments. Thanks for finding some hard data to back me up Bruce. I believe Factcheck is where I first heard about this too.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Standard spin - failure to fund at the requested amount is a ’cut’ regardless of whether the final approved amount equates to a net increase in spending or not.

Absolutely standard - and the media (no bias!) buys into this method of reporting rather than pointing out the lie for what it is.

Our watchdogs at work protecting us.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Watchdogs?

No, lapdogs for the Democrats.
 
Written By: David R. Block
URL: http://
No, lapdogs for the Democrats
I have to say I can’t say that for sure. I do know that in the past when I’ve heard of the media buying some spokes person’s story about ’cuts’ it has usually been in reference to some bill the Dem’s wanted, where the amount they wanted wasn’t allocated (though an overall increase was) and so they called it a cut. Usually where something for the children had been ’cut’ and the kiddies would now have to work in steel mills to earn money, or where a budgeted spending item for seniors was ’cut’ and now they’d have to eat kibble twice a day and go hungry and cold for one meal.

I don’t know how often in the past the media has bought and presented exactly the same story when a Republican spokesperson has played this game.

Knowing our political masters in DC I find it extremely hard to accept that it’s only been done by Democrats.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Boy! This really fries my cookies.
"...the media has bought and presented exactly the same story when a Republican spokesperson has played this game.

Knowing our political masters in DC I find it extremely hard to accept that it’s only been done by Democrats.
Yeah, typical Erb-like liberal reframing of the issue, looker, "ONLY the Democrats do it". And any fool can see that it is not only Democrats. The problem (before your artful reframing) is, of course, the extent to which the Democrats do it!

Liberal idiots find one Republican (and yes, there are more, but one is plenty for this purpose) who has done the same thing, cite that case, declare the issue to be of no particular importance and begin intoning "nothing to see here folks, move along..." Lazy liberals do not even bother to cite the Republican, they simply say:
"...the media has bought and presented exactly the same story when a Republican spokesperson has played this game. Knowing our political masters in DC I find it extremely hard to accept that it’s only been done by Democrats."
You don’t have to accept that at all. You have to accept that the charge, as set out in the post, is that Democrats are LYING. Instead of being incensed that one of your Senators not only lies, but does so brazenly (or carelessly) and counts on supporters like you to begin intoning, you sheepishly begin the intonations.
"The president has cut the budget in Veterans Administration
for the past five years. In the budget that he just submitted to Congress, he went in the veterans’ pockets for another $5 billion for the health care they were promised for free."
True or false? If false, why are you reframing and intoning?
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
True or false? If false, why are you reframing and intoning?
False.

In this case I’m just pointing out my own feeling that it is probably a game played by Congresscritters from either party, but my main gripe was the media here (IOW, wow, a Democrat did this, quelle surprise!)

I know McQ has pointed out it was Democratic Congresscritter McCaskill that made this claim and the media won’t refute it.
Then I called the media by their self asserted title of ’watchdogs’ and mocked them for it.

Having done that, I was obligated to admit I don’t know how many times in the past the media might have let a Republican get away with this ploy (how many was too many? 1 if you ask me).

I am most familiar with Democrats doing this (long years of watching my favorite a**hole Teddy Kennedy), but that may reflect a personal bias on my part against Democrats and noticing when they did it.
I’m trying to be honest in reflecting I do not know who has racked up more points lying this way.

So, take your cookies off the burner dude, Mona/Francis/glasnost/Erb I’m not.
I understand, I have implied ’so what, everyone does it’, and that’s not my feeling at all.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Harumph. Well..OK, then.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Harumph. Well..OK, then.
Ah, always a problem, I’m trying to be fair, when I ought to know some people are going to do as you outlined -
"nothing to see here folks, move along..." Lazy liberals do not even bother to cite the Republican, they simply say:
"...the media has bought and presented exactly the same story when a Republican spokesperson has played this game. Knowing our political masters in DC I find it extremely hard to accept that it’s only been done by Democrats."
and find the one in a hundred (or whatever number my dear Liberal Narrative framers) case and try to maintain everyone does it equally and it means we’re all the same, etc.

In most thingslike these in the real world, parity generally doesn’t really exist.

As an example - How to get people to realisitically discuss the Middle East when you cite Nick Berg and multiple bombings of pizza parlours, etc, to add up to hundreds of acts of terror, and they promptly trot out the (n) (but smaller) number of American acts and they’ll try to say there is parity between them when it comes time to judge who is worse?

No intellectual honesty, you know? But I can’t sink to their level, even if it weakens my own argument.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
A (kindly demeanor) turneth away wrath. You make me think of getting that darned knee fixed.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
you don’t actually think that it could be government ineptness and inefficiency do you?
Yes, it has to do with the ineptitude and inefficiency of a particular administration, in a self-fulfilling-prophecy sort of way. Of course, generalizing that to all possible administrations would be a mistake, but it’s a mistake that some people insist on making rather than admit that the administration they have supported in many important particulars despite their own avowed principles is a singularly bad one.

BTW, that little graph you linked to shows a 77% increase in funds - really only 51% when the utterly-made-up future projections aren’t counted. Against that, what has been the increase in need? How many more wounded veterans are there now than when Bush took office, and how much has the cost of care increased during that time? We’re talking a few hundred percent here, I’d guess, so even if the total dollar amount went up the ability to deliver needed care went down. Repeating the GOP’s talking point to counter the Dems’ (actually one Dem’s) is all very nice, but mostly (and I’m sure this was intentional) it just obscures the salient fact that our veterans are not being looked after. Even that is a distraction from the fact that the worst stories aren’t from the VA at all but from facilities run by DoD.

Selective outrage about a single misstatement, while blithely accepting the much grimmer reality of which it is a part, only proves partisanship. It doesn’t prove what you obviously wanted it to prove about government in general.
 
Written By: Platypus
URL: http://pl.atyp.us
I’m with Platy-puss there and decalre BusHitler CUT funding of the VA, no matter what the papers do say! Even if all them wounded weren’t a’goin’ to use the VA’s services at this stage of their lives, they ought to have been included in the VA’s budget an’ the fact they weren’t shows Chimpy McShrub is more interested in the bottom-line of the 1% that run his cabal than the poor dupes, fools an’ wage slaves that battle for him and Mr Haliburton’s My Middle name and their own stock portfolios!

And you two f@ggots Bob and Looker, I say boyz if you want to coo and bill like that get a hotel room! This here’s the Intarweb-thingie and we takes NO priz’ners here!

So lets all "man up", join the boardin’ party and take the Ship of State off to the Bay of Impeachment!
 
Written By: Jope
URL: http://
"It doesn’t prove what you obviously wanted it to prove about government in general."
Oh, Platypus, you have so disabused us. We thought that a blog post could prove our case. We totally ignored the "need" of veterans, which totally makes the OUTRIGHT LYING of a Senator irrelevant.

"Selective outrage about a single misstatement..."
Translation: "Move along folks, nothing to see here. Just a small misstatement. Nothing, really at all. The REAL issue is the need of our beloved veterans (which, in another context, we are willing to hang out to dry in Iraq in order to get votes).

sarcasm/humor alert

 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
LOL
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
D@MN I have not been able to type all day...I even mis-typed my name!
 
Written By: Jope
URL: http://
D@MN I have not been able to type all day...I even mis-typed my name!
That’s what you get for washing your hands.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The premise:
"Selective outrage about a single misstatement..."
The so-called "misstatement":
The president has cut the budget in Veterans Administration for the past five years.
Gimme a break. At least, if you’re going to try to pull that ploy, make sure you have something to work with.

Misstatement.

Geez.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Knowing our political masters in DC I find it extremely hard to accept that it’s only been done by Democrats.


The “Increases in funding are really cuts” card is almost exclusively played by Democrats. They are the party that want’s more funding than is authorized, so they call anything less than they wish for a cut. Republican’s try to cut funding so they don’t play this game. They have other games to play when their ox is gored.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Sorry. I knew it was you. I actually saw the original Bill and Coo movie in theatre live. I cannot be more complimentary or I will run afoul of the complimentary police.

Woman enters empty bar. Asks for coffee. Bartender goes in rear to prepare. Woman hears: "Nice hair." No one there. She hears: "Nice legs." Same. Bartender returns with coffee. She relates what has transpired. Bartender thinks for a moment, then says: "Oh, that must be the peanuts at the end of the bar; they’re complimentary."
(laughter)
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
And Platypus the larger, less humourous point, assuming it WAS humourous, was that there are more wounded, but not all wounded are the property of the VA. The VA is for discharged military personnel, VETERANS. Active personnel are the property and responsibility of DoD and their services. So the fact that I am an amputee from Iraq, does not make me automatically a charge of the VA. Until my service makes a final dispostion of my case I am the responsibility of that service and as such my fiscal burden is borne by that service, not the VA. Only after my service and I have parted ways would I be the fiscal responsibility of the VA.

So yes, the fact that VA funding has, in actuality, INCREASED is a real discrepancy in fact and fiction.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
’Bet that is the first time you saw a laugh-track on a blog comment.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
Oh, that must be the peanuts at the end of the bar; they’re complimentary."
(laughter)
No there could be NO laughter that was simply awful.....*ROTFLMAO*
’Bet that is the first time you saw a laugh-track on a blog comment.
With material like that you NEED a laugh track....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
So a Priest, a Minister, a Rabbi, a Scotsman, an Irishmen, and an Englishman all walk into a pub. And the barman looks up and syas, "Here what’s this, a joke?"
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
’Bet that is the first time you saw a laugh-track on a blog comment.
I hope it is the last time. That joke is older than I am and I am older than dirt.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Republican’s try to cut funding so they don’t play this game.
Now that’s funny
 
Written By: darohu
URL: http://
Republican’s try to cut funding so they don’t play this game.


I am talking about real Republicans, not the bunch of pseudo-Republican clowns now in congress. They spend like drunken sailors, just not as mutch as the Democrats.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Yes, it has to do with the ineptitude and inefficiency of a particular administration,
Then. What. Are. These. F*ck*rs. Purpose. In. Life?

The United States Civil Service isn’t a vehicle for political patronage any more.

If you are claiming otherwise and have some scintilla of proof, then prehaps we should eliminate the United States Civil Service.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I am talking about real Republicans
If you can find one, give a whoop and a holler ;)


 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
The Bush administration’s budget assumes cuts to funding for veterans’ health care two years from now - even as badly wounded troops returning from Iraq could overwhelm the system.

Bush is using the cuts, critics say, to help fulfill his pledge to balance the budget by 2012. But even administration allies say the numbers are not real and are being used to make the overall budget picture look better.

After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head. Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing rapidly - by more than 10 percent in many years - White House budget documents assume consecutive cutbacks in 2009 and 2010 and a freeze thereafter.

The proposed cuts are unrealistic in light of recent VA budget trends - its medical care budget has risen every year for two decades and 83 percent in the six years since Bush took office - sowing suspicion that the White House is simply making them up to make its long-term deficit figures look better.

"Either the administration is willingly proposing massive cuts in VA health care," said Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, chairman of the panel overseeing the VA’s budget. "Or its promise of a balanced budget by 2012 is based on completely unrealistic assumptions."

A spokesman for Larry Craig, R-Idaho, the top Republican on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, called the White House moves another step in a longtime "budgeting game."

"No one who is knowledgeable about VA budgeting issues anticipates any cuts to VA funding. None. Zero. Zip," said Craig spokesman Jeff Schrade.

Edwards said that a more realistic estimate of veterans costs is $16 billion higher than the Bush estimate for 2012.

In fact, even the White House doesn’t seem serious about the numbers. It says the long-term budget numbers don’t represent actual administration policies. Similar cuts assumed in earlier budgets have been reversed.

The veterans cuts, said White House budget office spokesman Sean Kevelighan, "don’t reflect any policy decisions. We’ll revisit them when we do the (future) budgets."

The number of veterans coming into the VA health care system has been rising by about 5 percent a year as the number of people returning from Iraq with illnesses or injuries keep rising. Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans represent almost 5 percent of the VA’s patient caseload, and many are returning from battle with grievous injuries requiring costly care, such as traumatic brain injuries.

All told, the VA expects to treat about 5.8 million patients next year, including 263,000 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The White House budget office, however, assumes that the veterans’ medical services budget - up 83 percent since Bush took office and winning a big increase in Bush’s proposed 2008 budget - can absorb a 2 percent cut the following year and remain essentially frozen for three years in a row after that.

"It’s implausible," Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said of the budget projections.

The White House made virtually identical assumptions last year - a big increase in the first year of the budget and cuts for every year thereafter to veterans medical care. Now, the White House estimate for 2008 is more than $4 billion higher than Bush figured last year.

And the VA has been known to get short-term estimates wrong as well. Two years ago, Congress had to pass an emergency $1.5 billion infusion for veterans health programs for 2005 and added $2.7 billion to Bush’s request for 2006. The VA underestimated the number of veterans, including those from Iraq and Afghanistan, who were seeking care, as well as the cost of treatment and long-term care.

The budget for hospital and medical care for veterans is funded for the current year at $35.6 billion, and would rise to $39.6 billion in 2008 under Bush’s budget. That’s about 9 percent. But the budget faces a cut to $38.8 billion in 2009 and would hover around that level through 2012.

The cuts come even as the number of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is expected to increase 26 percent next year.

In Bush’s proposal to balance the budget by 2012, he’s assuming that spending on domestic agency operating budgets will increase by about 1 percent each year.
The Republican majority of the House Budget Committee is reducing President Bush’s proposed budget by about $844 million in health care and an additional $463 million in benefit programs including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education survivor’s benefits, and pension programs from next year’s budget. In addition to these cuts, the GOP is planning to cut $15 billion from the veteran programs over the next 10 years. The soldiers and sailors that are currently in harms way in the the Middle East, are about to have their future veterans’ benefits and health care slashed. If, that is, the Republicans get their way.
Bush has increased the va budget by 27% why is walter reed hospital falling apart and so many vets complaining about their medical care?




 
Written By: facts check
URL: http://
Bush has increased the va budget by 27% why is walter reed hospital falling apart and so many vets complaining about their medical care?
Because govt run healthcare/anything sucks. Are you new here or something?
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
If you can find one, give a whoop and a holler ;)
Like the Platypus, they are an extinct species, killed off, not by global warming, but by Lord Acton’s axiom, “Power corrupts and absolute corrupts absolutely” victims of their success during the 1992 revolution.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
After an increase sought for next year, the Bush budget would turn current trends on their head.
Well you know, next year is 2008. And there is no "Bush budget" for 2009.

Perhaps you haven’t heard, but Bush isn’t running for president next time. And whoever succeeds in landing the job will have his or her budget being considered, not any proposed Bush budget.

So essentially, what you’re arguing are vapor budgets which have no bearing on reality. And what you admit is the real budgets that have been passed have included increases for the VA each and every year.

So I guess my question is: what’s your point?

Or do you even have one?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Well you know, next year is 2008."
Wait a minute. We are in the liberal bubble here. REAL dates, numbers, statistics, don’t count. "Bush’s" ****** is bad. Even if it is 2009, "Bush’s" anything is bad. You are asking a liberal to have a concept of where we are in time. People like "factscheck" can barely keep track of events until the next NYT comes out. Think cindyb on speed. Hell, it could be cindyb on speed. Incoherence.
"Or do you even have one?"
Obviously not.
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
We are talking about Washington here. That is an alternative Universe. Facts, dates, logic, efficiency, truth don’t exist here. Only the pursuit of power and perks. To understand this universe, you have to be on Single malt Scotch or heavy doses of LSD-25
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
McQ, if I am not mistaken, the FY2009 budget will be done under the current administration. The fiscal year starts in September or October of the previous year (ie FY2007 started in Sept 2006).
 
Written By: ABC
URL: http://
McQ, if I am not mistaken, the FY2009 budget will be done under the current administration. The fiscal year starts in September or October of the previous year (ie FY2007 started
in Sept 2006).

Proves my Alternative Universe theory above.

 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Bush has increased the va budget by 27% why is walter reed hospital falling apart and so many vets complaining about their medical care?
Maybe because Walter Reed is an Army hospital and not a VA hospital...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
I am so glad you did this. My head has been about ready to explode over this, but I just haven’t had time to swat all the moonbattery.
 
Written By: Cassandra
URL: http://www.villainouscompany.com/vcblog/
Lord Acton’s axiom, “Power corrupts and absolute corrupts absolutely”
Or my favorite translation: "Power corrupts. Absolute power is kinda neat."

 
Written By: Bill W.
URL: http://
"Lord Acton’s axiom, “Power corrupts and absolute corrupts absolutely” "

Absolut also corrupts absolutely.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Particularly when consumed neat.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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