Since the VA Scandal rocked the Obama Administration, providing healthcare to our nation’s veterans has been a hot button issue with all candidates who were seeking election for President in 2020. President Donald Trump’s solid record on the issue has made it an imperative for Democrat Candidates to offer their own vision. Much of their platforms involve expanding already failed policies of government overreach & Big Federal Bureaucracy, others are virtual rip-offs of what Donald Trump is already doing.
Arguably the most immediate crisis facing Veterans of Combat is the endemic rate of Veteran Suicide which has been plaguing our Veterans for years. According to a 2019 National Veteran Suicide Awareness report, between the years of 2008-2017, more than 6,000 Vets committed suicide each year, at rate of 1.5 times greater than their non-Vet counterparts.
Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren for instance, advocates expanding mental health resources. She also links the issue to gun control: “My plan to prevent gun violence includes a waiting period before purchase and a federal extreme risk protection law, both of which have been shown to reduce suicides by gun.”
However, the appeals to safety and decreased violence which are often used to advocate gun control, are typically Trojan Horses for increased restrictions on law abiding citizens. Playing to people’s emotions on suicide or criminal activity is a deceptive strategy to bring citizens down a Constitutional “slippery slope” which usually results in the local destruction of the 2nd Amendment, and typically, the victimization of unarmed citizens at the hands of violent criminals.
According to The Daily Wire, local laws restricting gun ownership on citizens in Washington, D.C., led to increased homicide rates. “According to prosecutor Jeffrey Shapiro, the results were not good. Annual homicides rose from 188 in 1976 to 364 in 1988, and then increased even further to 454 in 1993.” The Supreme Court ultimately struck the ban down in District of Columbia v. Heller, and homicide rates began to drop subsequently. To be fair, none of this is of much concern to the likes of Elizabeth Warren, who often have armed protection escorting them around on their Gun Crusades.
Another avenue that the Democrat Candidates have offered differing strategies on is the education of Veterans and skills needed to re-enter civilian life. From the NYTimes article: “Ms. Klobuchar has proposed extending G.I. Bill education benefits members of the National Guard and Reserve and implements a grant program that would invest in veteran education centers.” Many candidates held a similar view, that creating tax-incentives to hire Veterans for businesses would be effective, as well as directing government agencies to invest in Vet owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Candidate Andrew Yang had the most novel approach, something he called “Reverse Boot Camp.” This would be aimed at creating programs to teach Veterans everyday life skills, set personal budgets, increase financial literacy, and set appropriate expectations on Private Sector salaries & targeting work search based on skills learned while in service.
Another major area targeted in many candidate’s platforms is the general overhaul of the VA infrastructure. According to the NYTimes, “Mr. Buttigieg, Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren are among those who have called for the agency to fill its more than 49,000 staffing vacancies.” Benefits backlogs are another major issue which are directly related to staffing issues. According to Legion.Org, “The VA considers backlogged claims for benefits to be those that take longer than 125 days to approve or deny.” Candidates Joe Biden & Bernie Sander also called to invest in modernizing the infrastructure of the VA, including hospitals and clinics.
Despite the lip service offered by these candidates to positively change the experience of our Veterans, the stark reality is that many of the inadequacies and dysfunction of the VA system happened under their watch, with their policies. While Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Sanders may have been calling to fill vacant positions, what they didn’t mention is that many of the vacancies are due to President Trump removing thousands of incompetent employees that they left behind. This was achieved through the Trump Administration’s landmark V.A. Accountability First Act, which targeted poor employees who were shielded by the laws of prior administrations from being removed.
According to ReBootCamp.com, The Trump Administration has already tackled substantial issues facing Veterans regarding the G.I. Bill. This was done through the Forever GI Bill, which according to the site, achieved positive results for Veterans and their families in the following ways:
“There’s no longer an expiration date, Purple Heart recipients will get more benefits, More people are eligible for Yellow Ribbon, There’s some extra money — and time — for STEM degrees, Vets hurt by school shutdowns will get benefits back, Reservists can count more of their service toward eligibility, & Benefits can get transferred after death.”
The bill also increases benefits for those who served at least 90 days but less than 6 months active duty service. Where they would have previously received 40 percent of their GI benefits, they will now receive 50 percent.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine, or STEM jobs, are some of the best paying jobs of today and certainly of the future. Under the Trump Administration, exposing our Vets to those fields and landing jobs in them has become a priority. According to Military.com, signing the Supporting Veterans In STEM Careers Act, means President Trump has made our Veterans eligible for scholarships and grants typically given to Scientists and Students through the National Science Foundation, (NSF). The bill also requires the foundation to report on Veteran participation in its programs to Congress on a yearly basis.
President Donald Trump’s record on his handling of the VA and Veterans issues will be tough to overcome for Joe Biden this election season. In large part because of Biden’s own horrendous failures, highlighted by the VA Scandal of 2014. The Trump Administration has brought real change to a long list of Veteran concerns, from health care, to education, to jobs. Joe Biden and the Democrats have nothing to offer that they haven’t already tried and screwed up.
The Donald Trump Era has exposed the festering decay within our Legislative Branch like no other time in history. The interests of American Citizens have routinely been subverted by radical social agendas, rampant and unsustainable spending, and a blatant disregard for the founding principles on which our great nation was founded. Read more here.