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November 24, 2014

A Bigger Veterans Scandal

In a New York Times opinion piece, Michael F. Cannon and Christopher Preble of the Cato Institute argue that there’s another, bigger Veteran’s scandal.

“Here’s how. Veterans’ health and disability benefits are some of the largest costs involved in any military conflict, but they are delayed costs, typically reaching their peak 40 or 50 years after the conflict ends. Congress funds these commitments — through the Department of Veterans Affairs — only once they come due.”

“As a result, when Congress debates whether to authorize and fund military action, it can act as if those costs don’t exist. But concealing those costs makes military conflicts appear less burdensome and therefore increases their likelihood. It’s as if Congress deliberately structured veterans’ benefits to make it easier to start wars.”

“The Department of Veterans Affairs is supposed to help wounded veterans, but its current design makes soldiers more likely to get killed or injured in the first place. The scandal isn’t at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The scandal is the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

  • Lorehead

    Congress certainly knows that it will create wounded veterans when it declares war, so I don’t see the point. Depositing a bunch of bonds into a trust fund wouldn’t change anything.

    • Carroll Barber

      Yeah! You saw how well it worked out for Social Security. Remember the I.O.U’s? I understand they are selling those on e-Bay now. Collect a piece of history…… :)

      • Lorehead

        I don’t get where this fear that Social Security is in trouble comes from. The CBO projects that its cost will grow by only 1% of GDP over the long term. The bonds in the trust fund are loans from the federal government to itself, so you can just ignore them; the obligations are completely affordable.

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