Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

25 September 2009

Abandoned Veterans Await Their G.I. Bill Payments

The federal government never tires of giving us illustrations that its reach into all aspects of our lives has left it with insufficient managerial focus to perform any of the tasks it has abrogated to itself with competence. It insists on using force to take charge of task after task, usually after it declares the task too important to leave to the private sector with its insidious profit motive. Then it does the job without adequate motivation and with complete apathy and inattention. This leaves those who are wise or at least with heads a few feet above the sand, rather than in it, wishing the function could be returned to the private sector or was one of such a few government functions that the government actually would pay suitable attention to doing the task.

Many of our excellent volunteer military citizens take on the arduous and risky military life in part in order to later attend college and get a degree. We promise them this benefit. This academic semester, 277,000 veterans applied for college tuition benefits. More than 200,000 of the applications have been approved to date. However, even though college classes have been in session for weeks, only about 11% of those approved to date have received their tuition payment checks, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The Veterans Administration says it has issued 61,000 payments totaling $50 million to students. Perhaps many of those checks are in the mail or have been processed, but not yet mailed!

Back in March, the VA testified before the House Appropriations subcommittee on military construction, veterans affairs, and related agencies, that the agency did not have enough manpower to launch the new GI Bill that went into affect on 1 August. Apparently Congress was so busy giving money to ACORN, auto company-wrecking labor unions, passing a giant energy-use tax, and plotting the final take-over of medical care, that it could not be bothered to address this function so closely tied to recruiting a volunteer, intelligent, and professional military. Never mind the fact that defending the country is at least an actual Constitutional power given to the federal government.

This is only one failure of the VA which has come to light recently. In 2008, it was found that the VA had not followed procedures properly to tell veterans about the tests and medical experiments they were involved in. Earlier this year, it was discovered that 3 VA hospitals had improperly sterilized endoscopes, which exposed about 10,000 patients to infections, including the HIV virus. Just last month, the VA sent 600 veterans letters telling them that they had Lou Gehrig's disease, though they did not.

The federal government should be forced to downsize drastically. The reasons are:
  • Its function is to preserve, protect, and defend the sovereign rights of the individual, while most of its actions are actually restricting those rights and even predicated on the submersion of the individual within classes defined by income, race, gender, and a few other characteristics which are grossly inadequate to deal with the individuality of Americans.
  • Two-thirds to three-quarters of current federal government spending is to perform tasks beyond the government's enumerated constitutional powers.
  • No organization can hope to have adequate managerial focus on all of the functions the government has abrogated onto itself, especially given that so many of them are radically unrelated.
  • Few of our politicians are sufficiently intelligent, reality-oriented, and excellent problem-solvers to do even the constitutional tasks of the federal government. Almost none of them are wise enough to understand the need to live by the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

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