VA program is sleight of hand

Published 10:17 am Thursday, March 26, 2009

Magicians have always been a popular entertainment, dazzling audiences with sleight of hand and amazing feats.

The key to almost any successful trick is keeping the audience focused on one thing, while the real action is going on elsewhere.

This is an admirable feat when a magician does it but a reprehensible one when it is the federal government trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people.

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The Veterans Administration announced earlier this week that it would be instituting a new program that will provide a one-time $250 payment to some veterans and their families as part of the federal stimulus program.

Officials claim this shows a commitment to our veterans and hopes this will help them during these economic times, while also stimulating the economy.

Are they joking? Comedians are popular too but that is yet another form of entertainment we don’t want our government impersonating.

This program is nothing more than a ridiculous public relations ploy that is attempting to fool the American people. Essentially, it is putting a band-aid on a broken arm.

The problem is that this completely ignores the big picture problems with the VA and how it spends its money on veterans.

From inadequate health facilities to far too many hoops to jump through for benefits, the VA needs to spend this money on a comprehensive overhaul of how it operates.

We hope this $250 truly does help these families but we feel that this money would be better used to invest in fixing a flawed government system.

Our nation’s veterans may appreciate the help now but would certainly be more appreciative if the VA could make long-term problems disappear.