CBO Switches Story On Anti-Veteran Proposals

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CBO Report

Benjamin KrauseLiterally. CBO literally switched out version 1 of the report with version 2 (no real difference between the two other than the new version using a more “pro-veteran” cover page photo posted above – perhaps in an effort to cover up its anti-veteran focus) and broke all the back links to that report on all websites citing the idiocy of their position.

[Download the original full CBO report that CBO deleted.]

[Download the revised full CBO report that CBO reposted.]

So not only does the CBO evade further critique because the links are broken, but they erode credibility of reporters citing it by using hyperlinks. It may be only a slight rub, but it’s a rub none the less.

Why would the CBO not simply repost the new PDF with the same URL?

That seems like a simple enough fix. That is, unless the outraged veteran population sent enough stinging barbs to their elected officials so as to inspire CBO to disrupt the flow of information that led to its feet getting held to the fire.

Great job vets, hammering those ivory tower halfwits at CBO!

I wanted to highlight this slight issue only to take one more swipe at the CBO for its continued shameful position against disabled veterans.

It is too bad the Congressional Budget Office is no longer the intellectual race car Congress could rely on to tackle tough budgetary questions. But was it ever such a thing, or did it serve the political whims of the political elite at all times?

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was recently criticized for pushing anti-veteran positions in response to requests from Rep. Mike Michaud. Thousands of websites linked to its outrageous report outlining how government can make budget cuts on the backs of disabled veterans already receiving benefits.

After getting a ton of heat, the CBO deleted the full report (both versions) and reposted two new versions without warning or notice at different URL’s that broke all the links to it from all the other websites.

The new versions are different in at least the literal sense of a different cover page, which in and of itself is no biggie. There may be more under the hood that I did not notice. But the bigger issue with this move is that numerous websites already linked up to the original reports will have broken links.

Generally, once a story is posted the reporter will not revisit it unless some reader alerts them that the link is broken. So the linking issue inevitably kills the story, even if the versions are essentially the same. Luckily, one of my readers sent me a note last night about the broken link issue, and I took a few minutes to dig up the cached version of the initial reports from Google.

To recapture the essence of the CBO critique of veterans benefits, here is the full list of suggestions for cuts from the initial report:

  1. Create time limit for initial application for disability compensation.
  2. Require VA to spend more money reexamining veterans to reduce payouts.
  3. Revoke positive association with presumptive conditions.
  4. Restrict Individual Unemployability benefits to those under retirement.
  5. Supplement payments to veterans with mental disorders.
  6. Change the cost of living adjustment.
  7. Eliminate concurrent receipt of benefits.
  8. Tax VA disability payments.

Again, not only are these CBO anti-veteran reports hateful at their root in light of the inhuman focus against elderly veterans, but their premises are poorly developed and foolishly analyzed. They ignore the causes for the increases in disability benefits payouts and they ignore the legal issues behind these enormous problems. Instead, they sold a make shift Yugo of a story to those who easily are swayed by anti-veteran and anti-social safety net type programs.

CBOIt reminds me of seeing a sports car after an accident that gets sold on the market from a chop shop. The car looks okay to those who do not take a closer look. But in the end, the care is really nothing more than a half assed job at creating an original work that at least had some form of structural integrity before it came to the chop shop.

Today, the Congressional Budget Office lacks integrity and everyone in Congress knows the organization is little more than another political entity with no real engine under the hood.

HOW TO FIND DELETED GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

Here are the basic steps I took to find the original version 1 of the PDF via Google cache and how you can use this technique to find many government documents they try to pull off the web. First, take a good look at this URL for the original PDF document that is now not on the CBO website: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45615-VADisability_1.pdf.

Once we realized the page link was deleted (click here to see a screen shot of the deleted CBO report URL page), I searched for the file name on the web. Here the deleted filename was “45615-VADisability_1.pdf“. If you run a search yourself, you will come up with the below image. Click the blue hyperlink and you will go back to the deleted page on CBO’s website (assuming they do not change it back). Go back to Google and then click on the green down pointing arrowhead next to the end of the filename and select “cached”. You will find a link to the original version Google saved that is not deleted.

The new report linked from the CBO website now has a URL that ends with a new report’s filename: 45615-VADisability_2.pdf.

CBO deleted veteran disability report

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14 Comments

  1. What? I don’t see any difference between the initial reports and the revised reports. They’re both the same. Where’s the difference at in them?

    • I think the only significant difference is that the new version has a “pro-veteran” cover page with a new linking system that breaks all the links to the initial version that caused all the ruckus.

  2. FOR ALL OUR EFFORTS THIS IS THE CARE WE GET FROM THE “FOLKS” WE GAVE OUR VERY “LIVELIHOOD” FOR. WHO KNEW THE PROBLEMS WE WOULD FACE WHEN WE WERE “DRAFTED or ENLISTED” TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY.
    MAYBE WE ALL SHOULD RAN OFF TO CANADA, THOSE “VETS ” DO NOT SEEM TO BE STRUGGLING WITH GETTING BACK TO “NORMAL” LIVING.

  3. why is it so hard to find a lawyer to fight against the v.a., when a veteran has proof that the v.a. is attacking the veteran with lies that they have been disruptive when the v.a. has no evidence. and how can they not pay a veteran when they finely get their disability from when they first apply. they tell the veterans when they first apply that the v.a. needs more information or evidence, when the v.a. has all the evidence and lies that the veterans records have been distroyed and the veteran does not know where to the needed evidence and they give up and then they apply again and they get the same response, we need more evidence, when they know the veterans hands are tied and unable to get more evidence and they let it lapse again out of frustration and then they hire a lawyer just to find out the v.a. had all the information or evidence needed for that veteran to legaly obtain that disability and they only pay you from that time on and not give retroactive payments from when they first applied and denighed benefits because the v.a. lied in the 1st place, many veterans I have spoken to have told me that the v.a. had told them the same story that their records were distroyed in the st louis fire, when in fact the had all the needed information needed to approve that veterans claims in the first place. I applied in 1973 and 1978 and after the lawyer won the case they paid me back to 2001. I know they would say well you gave up, so we only pay if you would not have let you claim lapse, veterans need to know that the veterans need to keep disagreeing with the v.a. findings and never stop the paper trail, in other words keep sending the v.a. letters that the veteran intends to keep their file active, so in the event that they do receive disability they can get their entitle benefits. The v.a. banks heavely that the veteran will get so tired of fighting against the v.a. and just stop fileing appeals and I am positive that thousands of veterans have fallen in their trap and they get away with it and in the end the veterans have to pay for their misdeeds, 20 veterans committ sucide everyday, many are suffering from the trauma and I believe in many of the cases could have been afoided if the v.a., would have not lied to them on a range of matters, treatment, disability comp and just hideing the veterans records or evidence. I just a couple of years ago was told I have a tbi, and had to live all this time not knowing I had a t.b.i. plus my p.t.s.d., How can a veteran get their back pay they qualify for from when first applied and it was no fault of the veteran, because the v.a. told them they let their claim laps and their fore the v.a. blames the veteran for not keeping their claim active. The veteran seems to be a burden to the v.a. and it must be commond practice for the v.a. to turn down claims over and over until the veteran gives up in frustration. when I asked for a copy of my v.a. file or records and for the first time see in writing that the v.a. had in their possion where and when I was shot in the face and taken to a germany hospital and then to an american hospital, where it showed infact that I had to suffer for over 35 years with p.t.s.d. and a traumatic brian injury, once I obtained my disablity my local v.a. attacked me, punished me, threatened me with arrest and banishment from v.a. care at any time of their choosing, where is the justice. the veteran must live in fear for the rest of their life, wondering when that dreadful reality will become true and the v.a. will lie again and to keep the veteran under their thumb and can have the veteran arrested with out any due process.

  4. I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea CBO changed the cover. I have the PDF from the release date on August 7 and it’s identical to the one available now, including the same front cover picture.

    • Good question Jeff, and I’ll explain. The original link to the full report was: http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/45615-VADisability_1.pdf. When you follow the link now, you find a “Page Not Found” error – CBO broke the link after we published the story on it. When you then search for “45615-VADisability_1.pdf” focusing on the file name to find the PDF on the web, it is gone as well. However, you can pull up Google cache of the original linked PDF and the cover page is different than the current report cover. The current report URL ends with “45615-VADisability_2.pdf” meaning it is a different file. The PDF that Google cached is linked above, and it is certainly different from version 2 regarding the cover, at least.

  5. Is there a comment period on these new proposals and can we put together our own proposals to submit to CBO?

  6. I believe that this new VA Secretary can get the KY increase for the multiple of U.S. Veterans they screw. The congressmen in my area are just as big a fool’s and deadbeats as the very political system they are involved with. Notice I didn’t write work for, that would be a stretch and I wouldn’t want to start a rumor on the internet.

  7. I suggest that the most obvious reason to have changed the link is to discredit journalists who had already published it in an article. Anything (except truith and honor) to stifle criticism is the VA motto.

  8. What’s really sad and most probably true is that the CBO probably paid some “PR Firm” millions of dollars to do their “electronic back-pedaling”.
    This just means that it SHOWS we Veteran’s are strong in numbers if we work together to chip away at their ivory towers they abide in.
    Seems this whole new Iraqi resurgence has knocked the Veteran Issues out of pretty much most of the top news items as far as politics go. Wonder if this was by some sick design in some war room?! They (our President) started their effort to overtake and remove it from top news items when they went behind Congress’ back and rescued a KNOWN WAR DISSERTER.
    I really believe that it should be a requirement that anyone seeking Congressional/Presidential aspirations, should have military service background. Only war zone Pres. Obama knows is his city of Chicago and he favors the “disenfranchised youth” over the Veteran…any day!

  9. Thought this crap was slowed for a while-the latest bill adds three years to wait time for VA housebound, A&A and nursing home care SOON-check on your eligibility now. CBO proposed similar but different nefarious VA cutbacks as this article discussed not to long ago-will repost the link if I can find it.

    My vision has deteriorated: Would someone point me to the link where and how I can use the FOIA to finally get all service treatment records from WW2 to -1995 for myself, and my impaired uncle. A recent brain MRI shows he has a hole in his skull. WTF! How and when did that happen?The records we have received over the past 20 years are either lacking [chunks, one-sided (missing every other page), partials, too light-to-read and/or sanitized.] We need our full STR records before we are dead, or as Ben points out here, the VA tries to stop our claims.

    • I agree with “Exhausted” and every other veteran that knows the VA Medical suck’s! I have 46 year’s experience with the failed VA Medical System and this last go around they denied me of having a head wound. Head wound caused me to be retired from the military and I only had 2 year’s and two months in. I was a Combat Medic and was wounded in an ambush while attending to Pat Phillips. He was KIA and that means to the VA Medical just one more combat veteran we can’t kill! FTVA!

  10. Federal Government Lost 115,000 Experienced Employees: Last year the federal government lost 115,000 employees, mostly through retirement and resignation. Among those who left, 75,200 of them were the most knowledgeable and experienced, having served between 10 and 40 years, according to new data. Among the occupations that lost most talents were operations, medical and public health, investigations and inspections, accounting and budgets, engineering and architecture and business and commerce. The Army, with its wrong-headed push to get rid of workers through buyouts, early outs, and layoffs, unsurprisingly posted the highest attrition rate of 8%. About one third of the employees the government lost since 2008 are veterans – not a surprise since one in four federal employees are veterans and nearly one in two Defense Department employees are veterans. While the number of people who leave the government has gone up most years since 2009, the number of new hires has gone down every year since 2009.
    “What does that mean to the American people?” asks AFGE National PresidentJ. David Cox Sr. “It means a much longer wait at a government office or a 1-800 number. It means fewer food inspectors, doctors, researchers, engineers, claims processors, psychologists. It means lower public safety and standard of living for every American.”
    Recent pay cuts, unpaid furloughs, a government shutdown, and a penalty for new hires have only made things worse, Cox said. “The American people need to stand up to Congress and demand that they stop giving away billions every year to corporations at the expense of public safety and services.”

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