Will voters ever really see with their eyes open?
The Bush administration, already accused by veterans groups of seeking inadequate funds for health care next year, acknowledged yesterday that it is short $1 billion for covering current needs at the Department of Veterans Affairs this year.The Pentagon knows it's not to ask for more troops; the VA knows it's not to ask for more money. It doesn't really matter what the actual needs are. Once they're off the field of battle, Bush and Rumsfeld just see budget numbers beaten down by a unaffordable tax cut, not the sacrifices of real Americans, mangled and traumatized by war.
The disclosure of the shortfall angered Senate Republicans who have been voting down Democratic proposals to boost VA programs at significant political cost. Their votes have brought the wrath of the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and other organizations down on the GOP.