To The Daily Sun,
President Obama gets the blame for the failures and deaths at the VA because President Obama is the head of the Executive Branch of our federal government. (Bush got the blame before, Obama gets it now.) The Executive Branch is the only branch with the constitutional authority to execute our laws, i.e., to manage our government. President Obama's blame is increased because he complained about the VA when he ran for office and promised to fix it. And, the widespread use of unofficial waiting lists so that employees could claim undeserved bonuses for responsiveness seems, but may not be, new with President Obama.
But no one should be surprised by President Obama's failure to fix the VA. He has demonstrated no management skills. In fact he doesn't appear to be managing anything except fund-raising. He rarely meets with his cabinet, he only met a few times with Secretary Sebelius, who was in charge of his most important program, Obamacare. He often skips his presidential daily briefings and he seems to only know what happens in his own administration when he reads about it in the newspapers.
Nevertheless, as Bruce Van Derven of Bristol points out in his June 7 letter, Congress certainly failed its responsibility to see that the programs it creates and funds are run appropriately. Of course, our senators and congressmen are very busy renaming post offices, investigating drug use in professional sports, worrying about the names of sport teams, dispensing favors to buy campaign, fund-raising, and trying to protect incumbent office holders from criticism or challengers by restricting people's speech and assembly rights.
One would have thought that our senators and congressmen would hear about VA problems at town hall or other constituent meetings. Oh, that's right, our senators and congressmen mostly skip those pesky events. Apparently, they don't care what most Americans want anyway. For example, they forced Obamacare on us against the clearly expressed wishes of a vast majority of the American people, they refuse to defund and repeal it despite their promises, its harm to people, and its continued unpopularity. They still force ethanol on us, raising prices for no purpose other than to pay off supporters. And, Congress seems determined to pass a fraudulently described and disastrous immigration reform bill despite the clear opposition of the American people to the amnesty that this bill gives to illegal aliens.
There are two lessons that the American people should learn from the VA problems. First, the VA is the "single payer medical care" that progressives, like President Obama, want for every American. Once Obamacare completely fails, they will say the free market (which Obamacare isn't) failed and try to replace it with a VA-like, single-payer medical care system. Then the rest of can enjoy waiting a year and a half for a physical, like Bruce Van Derven, and/or go on secret waiting lists so employees can claim bonuses for responsiveness.
Second, the VA problems are not unique, big government doesn't work. What government department or agency actually works? The Department of Justice illegally runs guns to drug gangs in Mexico, selectively enforces laws based on race, and in a time of so much claimed concern about guns, prosecution of Federal gun crimes are way down. The IRS targets people for their political beliefs, even demanding to know what people read and the prayers they make. The EPA makes arbitrary decisions that really hurt people, e.g., the order to remove fill from depressions that create puddles during rain storms or be fined $75,000 per day. The administration refuses to protect our borders allowing, more accurately enticing, millions of illegal aliens to flood our country taking jobs, lowering wages, increasing welfare costs, and harming our citizens by criminal and accidental actions.
As if we are idiots, government limits almost every choice we make. It controls our toilets, light bulbs, cars, travel, energy, food, etc. Obamacare is a debacle that hurts more people than it helps. Government-run schools repeatedly fail and aren't fixed. Welfare and job training programs don't get people off welfare. Government departments are obstacles to job creation and impose unnecessarily costly regulations that increase our living costs. Government admits to losing over 5 percent of our spending of people's tax dollars to waste and fraud and no one in Washington cares.
Congress won't balance the budget in good times or bad. They spend the money of future generations to buy votes today. Even programs that many people like, e.g., Social Security, are badly managed. They are running out of money and face big cuts in benefits to citizens. Congress expects to be exempted from the laws they make. Courts make decisions based on politics rather than the clear intent of the framers of the Constitution which is the agreement with the people about the constraints on government.
The biggest divide in Washington is not over which party will provide more freedom and prosperity for the American people, it is whether Democrats or Republicans will control our excessively large, corrupt, and oppressive government and be able to direct big governments' favors (money, favorable legislation, power, prestige, etc.) to the special interest groups that keep it in power. Not only doesn't big government work, it is a threat to our liberties and prosperity.
This growth of government, its widespread corruption and restrictions on our liberties and opportunities, has accelerated in the last 50 years. If we want future generations to have any chance for freedom and prosperity, then we must cut the size, power, and spending authority of our federal government way back to its constitutional limits.
The biggest political gap is between those in Washington and the rest of us, no matter what political party we support. They want their power, riches and glory and they get it by taking away our freedoms, prosperity, and opportunities. It is time to fire our senator and representatives and replace them with true representatives of the people.