Hit & Run

Correction: The Right Numbers On the Growth of the VA Budget


In a discusssion of the Veterans Administration (VA) budget on tonight's episode of The Independents, I argued that the VA wasn't lacking for significant budget increases in recent years, and said that the budget for the program had grown from $131 million to $285 million since 2001. The overall argument still stands, but the budget numbers I stated on the show were totally, wildly wrong. In fact, the VA budget has grown from $45 billion in the 2001 fiscal year to  to $150.7 billion in the 2014 fiscal year. I got confused while glancing at my notes during the conversation and provided wrong information. (What can I say? Sometimes I get a little bit excited while on television.) I regret the error. Apologies for blowing it.

NEXT: Nationalize the Ivy League—What Could Go Wrong? (Hint: Lots)

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. At least you know there are 57 states.

    1. But did you know Paul Revere warned the British?

  2. In percentage terms, that's even worse.

    1. Yeah, that's like 8%

  3. Well, what's a decimal among friends?
    Seriously, I'm amazed the budget was $45Bn rather than more than double that, but tripling it in 13 years is no great surprise.
    I think the point stands.

    1. But it's also a good move to correct the data.

    2. And it doesn't really matter because the proggie argument is always going to be: "we need more money to make the program work."

      Bonus points: the Teathuglicans hurt the VA when they caused the government shut down.

      1. Raven Nation|7.23.14 @ 11:42PM|#
        "And it doesn't really matter because the proggie argument is always going to be: "we need more money to make the program work.""

        See Tony two posts down; couldn't have blown that dog-whistle better.

        1. Yeah I saw that: sixty seconds.

          1. And of course he wants to spend EVERY PENNY we have on this, along with spending EVERY PENNY on the last crisis, plus EVERY PENNY on the next one.
            While he lives in his gated enclave, bragging about his concerns.


  5. Peetey, you need to pee in a bottle, man, and send it over to the clinic.

  6. Of course the question isn't whether it's had budget increases, but whether enough is being spent for the purpose. Having the two longest wars in the country's history simultaneously, combined with modern medical technology that keeps more people alive, might imply a need for a significant budget increase to deal with the causalities. Do we even care what that figure might be?

    1. combined with modern medical technology that keeps more people alive

      The US pays way more then then any other country for Medical Care yet does no have exceptional outcomes.

      The price is mostly due to our socialized medicine which hides costs from the consumer.

      Do we even care what that figure might be?

      When it would cost far less and improve outcomes if it was privatized? Yes we do care very much.

      Do you even care that the VA is exactly what single payer would look like and fail in the exact same ways?

      1. Considering we have the most private healthcare system in the civilized world, this argument makes absolutely no sense.

    2. Tony|7.23.14 @ 11:43PM|#
      ..."Do we even care what that figure might be?"

      Oh, no, dipshit, we should spend every penny we have for that, just like every other program stupid shits like you claim should be funded regardless of costs.
      I presume, you slimy shit, that you are donating 100% of your income to care for vets, right? Or might you be a hypocrite on top of a slimy shit?

    3. Do we even care what that figure might be?

      "We can't spend all of Earth's money every day!"

      ~R. M. Nixonhead

      1. It's futile, but go into a VA. The issue isn't monetary. It's inefficient bureaucracy. There are objective stats that demonstrate this fact (that it is wildly inefficient compared to the private sector).

        But Tony not only hasn't ever been to a VA, he probably doesn't even know someone who has.

    4. Of course, most of the problems were with elderly vets from WW II, especially with heart problems. Note that those are not combat wounds and that there is not some huge number of WW II vets entering the age of heart problems.

      Now, the Phoenix hospital which had the problems turns out to see about 1/4 of the patients that a single private sector cardiologist on average sees in a week. They had 4 doctors instead of just 1 though.

      So, its probably not budget.

      But instead of solving the problem, they hid it away.

      Via a hidden waiting list.

      Which is funny, because every critique of single payer starts off with a discussion of waiting lists, which I'm sure causes progs to roll their eyes in mockery.

  7. So the Obama administration brought in a former business guy to run the VA and he said at his presser that he would bring 'corporate discipline' to the VA.

    Cue thousands of shrieks from Raw Story and Salon where people scream about golden parachutes and bailouts utterly unaware of how that's exactly the way government operates with bureaucrats.

    1. Hell, the private sector wishes they could get the kind of severance that our fearless beauraucrats get.

  8. And Peter, your 'problems' are nothing like this:
    "Senator says he had PTSD when he wrote thesis"
    "Sen. John Walsh of Montana said Wednesday his failure to attribute conclusions and verbatim passages lifted from other scholars' work in his thesis to earn a master's degree from the U.S. Army War College was an unintentional mistake caused in part by post-traumatic stress disorder."

    And I'm sure he'll want to enter rehab and spend more time with HIS FUCKING FAMILY, RIGHT?!
    Man, that's tiresome!

  9. Over the hill and through the woods man.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.