McCain is right. Treatment of veterans in Arizona is disgraceful. If only there were a prominent veteran in Arizona who could have helped
— Donald J. Drumpf (@RealDonalDrumpf) May 30, 2014
I’d like to believe this scandal — this nationwide collection of scandals — will finally be treated with the seriousness it deserves, and remedied to the extent possible. We’ve got a lot of veterans who need the care we promised them, now and going forward for the next several decades. But I suspect Mr. Charles P. Pierce has the truth of it:
… The problem with the VA system right now is that, for an entire decade, we sent people into the meat grinder of a war the architects of which conducted completely off the books. They kept it off the books used to keep the federal budget, and they did all they could to keep it off the books of the nation’s moral conscience as well. They lied and they cooked their estimates on everything far worse than did the likely criminals who fudged the documentation at the hospital in Phoenix. The whole country was awash in the moral equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, all glistening and shiny and bedecked in bunting. Meanwhile, the physical, financial, and moral cost of it all built up and built up until the scheme got bigger and more complicated and, ultimately, it became untenable. And now, the people who launched it in the first place are tut-tutting about what happened when the whole thing finally collapsed. The one thing to remember about a Ponzi scheme is that the people who get in first get paid off. They got their war. They profited from the double-entry bookkeeping they kept on the national conscience and, now, there’s a Democratic president, and a whole lot of injured veterans, who end up holding the bag.
… Now, there will be a lot of stuff and nonsense about reforming the whole system — privatizing it, so that it more closely resembles the wonderful health-care system we had before the Kenyan Usurper cast his socialist spells upon the republic — and there will be a great deal of posturing from both sides about the “debt” we owe to our “wounded warriors.” But, as we all know, you can’t solve any problem by “just throwing money at it.” The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, which has been completely mad since before Reagan closed all those counseling centers, pointed that out to us just today. But, ultimately, Bernie Sanders is completely correct about it all. If you don’t want to pay all the real costs of taking the nation to war, then don’t take it to war at all. It is, after all, criminal naivete to be shocked by the inevitable.