The Washington Post: Opinion
by Peter H. Schuck May 29
Peter H. Schuck is a professor emeritus at Yale University and the author of “Why Government Fails So Often, and How It Can Do Better.”
Another day, another scandal at the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs. The real scandal, however, is not just the cynical manipulation of waiting lists but also the agency’s routine failure to deliver benefits and services to those who desperately need them. This more systemic failure will become even clearer once the inspector general submits a final report to an irate White House and the Republicans and many Democrats pile on.
Politically, this critique of the VA is a no-brainer. After all, denying, delaying or incompetently delivering benefits to veterans who are entitled to them and have sacrificed so much for us is grotesque: the moral equivalent of kicking dogs and stealing food from children. But this political consensus and opportunity for reform will all be for naught unless it targets the main cause of the VA’s problems: Congress. Attacks on the VA’s derelictions are easy and justified, but here, as in so many areas of policy, the seeds of failure are planted on Capitol Hill.