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30 May 2014


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John Minnerath

I think Romney would be good, he'd get the ducks lined up and quickly cull those that didn't float.
I liked Shinseki, but he seemed to have reached his level of incompetence at VA.


Romney would be challenged in that position as all before him. His business acumen is a Buy It Distressed, Gut It and sell it for a Proft. Now this could be what we should be doing with the VA. All disabled vets & others entitled should be provided 100% care in the general community healthcare system paid for by the government through one of their existing programs and the VA should maintain their specialized systems such as PTS/TBI/etc care programs. The military healthcare system should remain in place for those entitled.
I think Romney would do well under these guidelines.



This is standard neo-liberal operating procedure. Underfund public programs. Push a scandal. Privatize them. General Shinseki got railroaded, again.

After privatization, at best, services stay the same, but service providers are paid less and the difference goes to the few and connected CEOs. The costs of treating most everyone who has fought in the 21st century never ending wars will rise. The wealthy won’t take a cut in their percentage of the take and fight any new taxes. The middle class is shrinking. Cost cutting will inevitably have to come from the treatment of veterans.


Mitt Romney's business model, if applied to the VA, would require that service levels be reduced to the bare minimum sufficient to prevent outright rebellion among the customers (patients). Costs would be cut to the bone by whatever means - in this case I imagine that would involve wholesale staff reductions and selling as many VA facilities as possible. Any service that can be done remotely would be outsourced to India - radiology, lab tests, certainly everything administrative.

The VA would then be groomed so as to (transiently) appear to be a success, and flipped to the highest bidder. I don't think that approach is one that is likely to appeal in the larger sense.


How would Romney solve the VA's problems? As a former vulture capitalist, he has a track record: he would leverage it to the max, raid the pensions, strip out all "unessential" services, pay his cronies billions, then do an IPO. As a privatize business, veterans would have little recourse to lousy service.



I think you misunderstand Romney. People like him are quite capable of differentiating between a for profit business and a not for profit government department. In the VA one spends money, one does not make money. The VA is a cost center altogether. Its income derives from appropriated funds. Romney would understand that his reputation as a successful business manager would depend on an accelerated delivery of services to the veterans that the media and politicians now claim to love so much. To summarize, the more he gives to the vets nd the VHA and the more SES scumbags he fires the more he will be loved. pl


I don't see how the VA is anything like a business.

Frankly, a not-for-profit church is more like a business than a long standing government department with an entrenched bureaucracy.

I suspect Mr. Romney's skill sets are completely inadequate for the job.



The VA is very much like a not for profit company with external funding. Reform and administration of the VA requires the same skills as a president/CEO of such an entity. It is clear that a lot of senior executives in this department are completely useless and self-serving. They should be eliminated as any similar deadwood would be in commerce. A sense of urgency with regard to veterans benefits should be instilled in the employees of the department. Fear of dismissal would be motivating there as it is in business. pl



I don't think it is that people misunderstand Romney. The problem is the VA is underfunded and with adequate funding anyone can do what you say Romney could do. We've spent the last 6 years with Republicans saying 'no' to everything and seriously underfunding the government as a whole (during a recession no less) and if Romney comes along they are now going to open their pocketbooks and raise taxes to fund the VA just because it is Romney?

If adequate funding for the VA is the proper thing to do then why not do that no matter who is the head of the agency?



The VA is not underfunded. It returned money to the Treasury in recent years. It is also mot true that anyone can do what someone like Romney could do. The idea that any dogooder hack favored by the veterans' groups could turn the VA mess around is just delusional. The only thing worse would be to have another staff reliant general. pl


The colonel wrote: ' It is clear that a lot of senior executives in this department are completely useless and self-serving.'

With all due respect that is not what Romney and the rest of the vulture capitalists do. They don't rid themselves of senior execs. Those are the ones they use as their lackeys to rid themselves of labor costs further down the line. If Romney were to take over the VA the vets would have to go to Indonesia to get an appointment where the docs and other labor will work for much less than those here in the states.

People like Romney ruined this country and its middle class. They should be ostracized and sent packing to Indonesia themselves. Not given public positions in the government.



It is underfunded in what it needs to bring itself up to date.


It may be best rather than trying to upgrade VA facilities to simply purchase private insurance for these vets but the idea that the VA has the necessary resources to take care of all these people coming in in the same manner or with the same efficiency that they could be taken care of elsewhere is simply incorrect from what I understand of the situation.


More on the VA and how it is treated by the Republicans.


The Twisted Genius

My first thought about Romney as head of the VA was skepticism as many others here. However, he did run Massachussetts and he instituted Romneycare. He also ran a successful Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. My guess would be that he would be absolutely driven to succeed with the VA and would not shocked or stymied by anything he faced.



Your anti-capitalist, anti-Republican bias is showing. All that bull about the evil capitalists using other bad, bad executives to grind the faces of the poor is just bilge. Every really rich business exec I have known, and I have known a lot, would sell their mother for the bottom line. As TTG says success at this job would be a psychological imperative for Romney. Romney would kill some of his many children to succeed at the VA job and success there would equate to efficient delivery of services. pl


I agree that this is a good idea. From Mr. Obama's perspective, it is a win-win situation, regardless of Mr. Romney's success or failure. I suspect that Mr. Romney would be very motivated to succeed and the congressional GOP would throw all the money to him to do so.



I've shown nothing of the sort although I do admit to being anti-Republican. I own a business. It's fairly successful. It's provided my family a very good, cushy living. To say that I am anti-capitalist is ridiculous. However, what Romney and the vulurists do is not capitalism. It's closer to fascism than anything else. It hurts me, it hurts those who work for me, it hurts the middle class in this country and it hurts this country.

I thought you were a Catholic. What did Jesus say about the rich? I doubt either of us will reach the gates of heaven by selling our mothers for profit.


TTG wrote: 'He also ran a successful Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.'

How much money did he get from the government to bail him and Utah out? Tyler could have done that.



Just how much funding is needed to fire SES employees who obviously broke the law? The President and Attorney General had time to way in on Sterling's comments, it didn't take six years to do that, but Obama hasn't told Holder to charge anyone nor has the later show any initiative to do so himself.



"... the more SES scumbags he fires the more he will be loved" Romney would have no problem cutting the dead wood. The fact Obama hasn't fired anyone nor Holder charged anyone is disgraceful.



My revulsion against rich people is aesthetic rather than moralistic. Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.. Sister Mary Margaret taught me that. Would you say that you are rich? The only rich people that I know who I like are the Guggenheim's. It is said of them that the only thing they are better at than making money is giving it away. They are not Catholic. This does not change my opinion that Romney would do a good job at the VA. pl


GCP - U mad, bro?


I'm just going to leave this here to pop GCP's bubble before he gets even more hysterical.


William R. Cumming

Personally I believe out of all the wounded veterans that VA has processed and are still fit for administration of a huge organization one might be found that would make a great VA Administrator.

Disclosure: My father ran the Area Office for VA at Ft. Snelling in the late forties, and then spent most of the rest of his career in the Central Office of the Department of Medicine & Surgery or whatever now called.

Old Gun Pilot

The VA needs a kick ass goal oriented leader who cares about the veterans, understand their problems and will go to the mat for them. General James Mattis

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