Last week, Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a speech that he was forming a plan to meet budget cuts at the direction of President Donald Trump.

At the National Press Club, Wilkie acknowledged the President’s request to his Cabinet members in October to “get rid of the fat” as much as 5 percent from each department.

“I have been asked to offer ideas,” Wilkie said during a lunch-time speech at the National Press Club. “I can’t tell you because I haven’t presented it to the president.”

“In the last presidential campaign, the president committed with everything he had to making sure the Department of Veterans Affairs was the most robust it’s ever been,” Wilkie said. “I am convinced that the budget that gets through both chambers will replace this last budget as the largest in our history.”

In September, VA was blessed with a record appropriation of $209 billion, a record. No doubt this amount of money will largely end up in the coffers of government contractors instead of direct services to veterans.

We will all need to focus on where the “fat” in the system will come from. Last year, former secretary David Shulkin focused on cuts to Total Disability Individual Unemployability benefits for elderly veterans with severe disabilities.

It was a no-go then. But now, who knows?

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20 COMMENTS

  1. 11/10/2018

    Dear Benjamin Krause,

    There is nothing wrong with getting rid of the fat—loosing a few pounds.

    Maybe a garage sale too!

    Sincerely,

    Don Karg

    • Ha, Ha, Ha. I’m sorry man, but are you fucking drunk? You DO know that we’re the fat that your talking about, right? Would you like to rephrase or clarify that stupid ass comment before someone comes knocking on your door? If you ain’t drunk, then your a gawdam moron.

    • Exactly, time to cut out VA personnel. Think of it as removing a parasite.

      Next, make the VSOs pay for their own expenses (i.e. rent, parking).

      Lastly, put management on a pay-for-performance (no more bonuses). And their “performance” is based on public and online reviews/surveys made by the people they serve (veterans, dependents, etc.)

      But let’s start small….how ’bout no more endless coffee breaks and snoozing at the desks. That’ll save us from paying VA employees to sit around all day and not getting anything done – like the IG. Actually, get rid of the IG. They have no job.

      Next, transparency. Make public the details of every contract proposal for veterans to review.

      There, that’s my proposal to cut the budget by 30 – 80 percent….you’re welcome.

  2. if memory serves me, Secretary Shulkin´s mandate in depleting the TDIU for elderly veterans was based on the premise they would qualify for social security, as an offset. The depletion plan was to fund the Access program, which has always raised a question for me, in that, the Access program works for veterans who are forced to travel significant distance to a VA Medical Facility, but it would never meet the demand in replacing VA health care because there are not enough private medical doctors to provide the services veterans require.

    The VA health care budget, in comparison to private care, is enormous, and as it falls under the Executive branch of government, i.e., the President, so it will always be a target for reduction. Mitt Romney campaigned against President Obama with a pledge to privatize VA health care, presenting the concept it will reduce cost, and other federal agencies, read DoD, can easily absorb the money, or it can provide an offset to fund federal contracts.
    My two cents . . .

  3. “Refused specifics.” What is considered “fat?” Then HE was asked for ideas? SNAFU. Another wasted “press conference” with the BS rolling down-hill for all to swallow… still. Death rate this week? Oh can’t report that meaningless info. That’s like town hall meetings and such calling for ideas and exchange of info then informing the public/attendees that they can’t release some info for “public consumption” cause it’s compartmentalized or some secretive crap until unleashed on us. And that questions or those wanting to speak are not allowed to, refrain from truth or facts, or will be taken off the record only (when minutes of meetings are shut off). Or something ceased due to use from “Robert’s Rules of Order” clowns use for control. Ha. What games they all play.

    All while the wolves in sheep’s clothing and MSM is handing out crap like how free we are, how great VA care is, everything is puuurrrfect, and “Happy Veterans Day?” Happy happy happy? Like the agents of doom, the DC suits, and evils don’t read this blog or know for a fact what is happening out here in “happy’ land? Cuts but will be largest budget passed in history? While countless vets/peeps in reality are being vilified, ignored, but a rush on to push aid for invaders unhindered?

    Here’s an idea. Cut the fat from betwixt their ears at ‘the top’ and in DC down. Use this blog and other direct avenues for ideas from abused, suffering vets. The ones online or using social media ready to “end it all.” Being censored or people fearing to share such cries for help, VSOs included. And from vets being retaliated against or chased off from the VA herds… state supported. Only to have such crap being supported by the civilian collaborators and supporters/cheerleaders.

    Guess DC and all think we are all potato heads out here, or guppies eager to swallow their crap feedings.

  4. Get rid of contracts that do not have performance provisions that are enforced. Do the work in house. Clearly the idea that contracts like copying, scanning etc. just open a door for fraud.

    The copy I received by CD was 4,529 pages of mostly duplicate documents. The hard copy was more than triple that.

  5. If any Veteran does not think the cuts will affect the VA Budget, to offset the $!.5 Trillion in Tax cuts to Corporations, many Foreign Corporations, and the wealthiest 10%, the Veteran seems to have a TBI. What is more insulting when cutting the VA Budget, is the Fact so many of the 10% have never served and neither have their brats. They do get “No-Bid Contracts” to make War profiteering seem not to be Illegal. One former VP made $33 Million just from one of his Companies, and that Company has since fled to a Middle Eastern country to avoid any Investigations into the 15 Military men and women who died in showers due to incompetent work by Halliburton. The “burn pits” have killed one of my nieces due to multiple cancers, leaving her husband and 4 sons to live without her. She met her husband, my nephew, while in Iraq back in 2004, almost 15 years ago. Our Nation’s “Wounded Warriors” are still begging for help from Americans on TV since there was never any plan to deal with all of them, and they’ve paid far too much to make Billionaires more Wealthy. Those same Billionaires could easily set up real, actual, helpful Programs to give our “Wounded Warriors” and Families whatever they need, (and write it off) on their new $1.5 Trillion given and paid by the same “Wounded Warriors” Tax breaks. I do not expect that to happen, though, since they are flying on Private Jets which they can now Write Off with the new $1.5 Trillion subsidy to the Wealthy. Good luck, Sisters and Brothers, yet know we are in it together!

  6. at the Wyoming, MI clinic alone during the construction of it they could have saved thousands in fluff. 2 TV’s in most rooms only one workin at a time. sign in machines that not sync with the counter peoples computers and so on. But when ask, none will note a problem with anything if they like their jobs

  7. Rise and Shine how in God’s name Veterans how improve Veterans Health Care and fix the Budget if don’t have Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie telephone number remember this without God and Veterans we would not called United States.

  8. Asking the VA to get rid of the fat? It’s the fat in the VA that looks for the “fat” to get rid of. I can’t wait till some appointment down the line when I hear that I can’t see, do, am allowed to, or protocol changed so I can’t see. get, or do this or that, “Because Trump cut our budget!.” I’ve already heard Dr.s say “That treatment is very expensive, lets try this treatment first, and after that we have one more we can try.” A lot of Dr.s follow what I think is a silent VA directive, use the least effective, least expensive treatments first, maybe one of them will work before we have to use the “expensive” treatment that actually works. And they always are the type that are “It usually takes six months to work.” Another story in the making when someone leaks what the “fat” that was trimmed, it’ll be Vets (insert any veteran program) had it’s budget reduced….

  9. First let start by saying I have had 28 years of care at the VA Hospital. I have had a 95.5% mostly positive experience. I have had the benefit of having the same Dr. for 27 years. I have seen nurses come and go. The nurse throughout are some of the most caring people. The therapist(I have some great ones), the secretary, the food server, the policeman, the pharmacist and the parking valet are also all great and caring people. Yes they are grumpy sometimes, but so are we. There will always be a few bad apples in the basket. They deal with a bunch of grumpy hurting men and women. Everyday over and over they see hurting veterans. They see our pain. They too get agitated at a system that they have no control.
    Cut the FAT? How about ensuring that the Veterans that “RATE” are getting what they “RATE” veterans that are not service connected should not be getting services or equipment or supplies that are not entitled to them. There needs to be better accountability for the rating system. Too much and many are receiving what is not entitled. Simply by the stroke of a pen or the input of liberal Dr. notes or simply by not paying attention. What happened to the rating system where Veterans were issued cards according to their “Rating” Service Connection? The VA says they did away with because some veterans felt discriminated. So where and when does those that are service connected get their “CARE” appointments or “SERVICES” and “GOODS” without stepping on those without service connected disabilities. Why does a veteran with no service connection get an appointment for a xray or cat scan just because he walked in the door first. Should the Veteran with a SERVICE CONNECTION DISABILITY get an appointment first? Better yet , how about a veteran with 100% SERVICE CONNECTION? One would consider that a veteran with the disability that was caused by his service to be sufficient to rate an appointment at the hospital that was built to service veterans. ALL veterans should be seen at a Veterans Hospital but I assure you that a SERVICE CONNECTED VETERAN should never have to wait in line behind another unless it is LIFE THREATENING. Life Threatening “Trumps” all. Life comes first. A DISABLED SERVICE CONNECTED VETERAN should never have to be told we don’t have a bed or you can have an appointment in 2 months because possibly joe schmuckatelli(non service connected veteran walked in the door ahead of you. Fix the veteran ratings and check the service that veterans are receiving per ratings and I am sure you will find some fat. Past administrations were seeing that ALL Veterans were receiving all that they could with or without ratings.As a young 22 year old veteran I have walked and now as a 51 year old I wheel the halls of the VA Hospital and have seen the many veterans and the changes that have happened in the many years. The system needs to be be REVIEWED. Each veteran needs to be reviewed and ensured that he or she is getting what they are entitled to. If they are not receiving, the correct actions are made to ensure that they are. Retrain Drs. and staff to correctly ensure that each veteran is given the care and services that are entitled to per correct and legal documentation. What is the benefit of being Non Service Connected, Service Connected Veteran or even a 100% Service Connected P&T if it is all being treated the same? I am just asking.

  10. Triple or Quadruple OIG VA staff to track down those who defraud on multiple levels. A quick read of OIG website is overwhelming as to criminals defrauding VA for millions. Read early 2018 post OIG results on audit of nine month period 2015/2016 VA contract with OU Medical School, over 50 million total paid to Medical School for school year term, if memory serves me correct, OIG recovered 6 or 7 million or more because no invoices/time/records to confirm residents or part time physicians were even working! There are over 140 of such VA contracts with Medical Schools across the country, to the tune of over 1 1/2 billion dollars. Audit them all.

  11. Orlando VA way over budget, millions for “art” planting palm tree’s in the cafeteria, that die and have to be planted again, what a bunch of shit, there is a Museum, in DC that is full of Veterans art, why are we paying for crap a director “likes” how about All the veterans art that we vet., would like better

  12. If the VA wants to cut then cut DIC to all those golddiggers that marry Veterans for the $1270 a month. Also chapter 35 for dependents. I served this country and have been married several time when I passway the debt is paided. VA refuses to grant my wished not to process an application for DIC gor my wife. She will just shack up with someone new and live off taxpayers money being enriched from my service.

  13. All of this comes from us not sticking together, if we continue to let them do what they do then they’ll keep on phukin’ truckin’ baby! We have to cut them off at the pass and demand they get rid of some of those unnecessary programs that benefit careers that shouldn’t have been created. Go to every floor and do some spy work like i did and start asking everybody what do they do for a career at the VA! Most of it won’t even make any sense when they finish telingl you.

  14. Friday’s Wilky broadcast from Federal News Network.

    “Wilkie said he thinks members of Congress will remember VA’s mission and will decide to increase the agency’s budget, not cut it.” Big laugh inserted here. Company man or union’s?

    I am not responsible for FNN’s blog length.

    (Notice the five minute reader timer estimation)
    “https://federalnewsnetwork.com/federal-newscast/2018/11/wilkie-says-congress-wont-go-along-with-va-budget-cuts/”

    Broadcast at first followed by a short paragraph following.

  15. I see the term “Wounded Warrior”, i know that for me it means that there are brothers and sisters who are hurting and need help. The Wounded Warrior Program the one sees on tv advertising claiming to help veterans… only that it helps those veterans that joined the military AFTER 9/11 2001. I am a veteran and I was looking for help for myself and my wife after exhausting resources at the VA. I was told by the person on the phone at the Wounded Warriors that I was not eligible because I was beyond the cutoff point. I asked why is there a cutoff point? She said they had to have one. You have to be a veteran that joined the military after the 9/11 attack. That just does not make sense to me. Is anyone else aware of this?

    • The VSO “Wounded Warriors” pays 5 executives more than SecVA earns annually. Appears to me that is their business and not really helping vets from any erra. You just received one of the many excuses used for why the executive salaries are eating up all the contributions.

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