Clinton, despite the vets who died waiting for the VA to help them aren’t very important to Hillary Clinton. She recently said the problem was not “widespread” and Republicans are exaggerating to score points.
Sorry, Hillary, but you’re wrong.
CBS News posted an article two days ago where the emphases was not on mismanagement but the Congress not giving the VA even more money they can mismanage.
Almost two-thirds of 1.6 million civilian full-time federal employees receive merit bonuses. Agency officials claim it’s to attract talent but it’s really just another union giveaway. They are being rewarded for merely showing up to work. They haven’t brought in new clients, sold more products, or improved productivity. They’ve appeared.
There is no way 60% of the government employees excel to the point of earning bonuses. It’s just not possible.
The VA paid out $143 million in performance bonuses to employees in 2014 — even though several of them were under investigation or accused of mismanagement, according to Jeff Miller, Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee where the information was collected.
Some senior executives falsified wait lists to meet targets that would garner bonuses and as a result some bonuses have been suspended – not eliminated.
Civil servants – union workers – get paid for longevity instead of competence.
In Phoenix, where so much corruption was exposed, only three were fired.
VA Secretary Bob McDonald, who is seen as an apologist for the VA and brought on to fix the wait list scandal, said the agency has made progress, but Congress is in the way.
Congress doesn’t want to give them another $1 billion when they won’t clean up the waste, like the bonuses for coming to work.
McDonald said, “My vision is being held hostage by politics and what I’m trying to do is work with the members of Congress to leave politics at the door and focus on veterans.”
His vision might unfold if he started by showing he’s serious about fixing the obvious problems first.
Officials called in for hearings last week for potential corruption took the Fifth Amendment and weren’t fired. Construction projects routinely come in hundreds of millions of dollars over budget and years late. Living vets had their policies canceled and were declared dead by the VA.
People are not fired at the VA. After hearings and arbitration, even the worst of the employees get to stay.
In January, Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., introduced the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act, which would prohibit agencies from giving any bonuses to employees delinquent on their taxes. Roberts said agencies that reward employees who fail to pay their debts to the government — especially those who work at the Internal Revenue Service — “call into question the integrity” of the bureaucracy.
According to an IRS report, 107,658 federal civilian employees owed more than $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes in 2011.
A report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found the IRS gave $1.1 million in bonuses to employees who did not pay or underreported their taxes.
The bill died in April.
There was a time we would have docked the pay of these people, or better yet, fired them.
Hilary said this on the Rachel Maddow during an interview on October 23rd:
CLINTON: Yeah, and I don’t understand that. You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans, and overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment. Now…
MADDOW: Much more so than people in the regular (inaudible).
CLINTON: That’s exactly right.
MADDOW: Yeah. Right.
CLINTON: Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the V.A. that comes from the Republicans, in – in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.
MADDOW: But in part because there has been real scandal (ph).
CLINTON: There has (ph) been. And – but it’s not been as widespread as it has been made out to be.
Even the liberal AP reporter thinks Hillary’s comments will “trail her.”
Joe Scarborough dealt with the issue on the Morning Joe show at the beginning of September.