VA resignation will solve nothing

Eric Shinseki has resigned as secretary of the Veterans Affairs Department in the wake of reports about horrible care for veterans in several VA hospitals, and that will solve …

Absolutely nothing.

Oh, sure, Shinseki, a well-respected former general, was the man in charge, the man with whom the buck stopped, but like every man or woman in charge, they can only know so much, they can only do so much.

Do we really believe that Shinseki knew what was going on in VA hospitals, about how long veterans had to wait for care? If he knew and did nothing, there must be something for which we can indict him.

But it’s unlikely that he knew because you just can’t know everything.

OK, the buck stopped with him and he has paid the price for not knowing every single detail. Fine.

Now what?

Some VA administrators and doctors are saying that the problem is caused by gross understaffing and we don’t doubt that that is, at least in part, true. That’s fixable. Hire more doctors and nurses.

Oh, what? We’d have to raise taxes to raise the money?

No, we’d never do that. Instead, we’ll cut something from the existing budget, something unimportant, like a school lunch program, because that’s what we do. Rather than inflict a bit of economic pain upon taxpayers, we’ll either continue to inflict real pain upon our veterans, or find others upon whom to inflict economic pain.

But at least now we have our scapegoat and once he’s gone, the people left in Washington can start to forget about our veterans.