The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take: VA Mismanagement Evidence of Big Government’s Failures

Democratic outrage over the fatal mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs is the “precisely the paradox” of the failures of an expansive government that they advocate for, Charles Krauthammer noted on Wednesday’s Special Report. The allegations that the widespread malpractice led to several deaths in facilities nationwide is proof of the perils and limitations of a large bureaucratic, centralized system.

“It can’t even run a decades-old, normal, absolutely mundane health-care system that are run everywhere in the world between here and Togo,” he said. “The idea that this is government that’s going to do great new things — universal pre-school, and all of these wonderful promises — is totally dissolved and it redounds against the party of government.”

Unlike past scandals that Democrats have dismissed as manufactured Republican hysteria, Krauthammer said Democrats cannot simply ignore this problem. Additionally, the administration must take full responsibility for the failures, and called attempts to pin part of the blame on Capitol Hill as disingenuous since Congress does not run the VA.

As a result, he argued that Secretary Eric Shinseki’s failure to address the issue despite being tasked to fix the problem years ago by President Obama was cause for dismissal. “If it’s systemic, the president speaks about it, and nothing happens, then the man who is supposed to make things happen has to resign,” he said.

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