Happy Thanksgiving America!
Here we are a week before Thanksgiving and less than 8 weeks from 2019 and how are we as Americans celebrating…
Over 82,000 veterans are awaiting housing payments, 1,000 veterans have gone more than 60 days without their checks and 10,000 have been waiting between 30 and 60 days.
What am I talking about? The absolute inefficiency at which our government runs. There is so much talk about elections, socialist agendas and aggressive moves from the left to grow the government so they can provide more for us, the poor incapable citizens. A push to have the government control our healthcare, our guns, protect our children, provide free school and on and on.
But what you don’t see in the media is the real world.
For those that say elected government officials can provide free education look at what they are doing with the VA.
The GI Bill is a program that is guaranteed to our sons and daughters when they are recruited. Some pay money out of their own pocket and for some it’s part of their salary package. A way for the government to entice young, smart and strong adults to serve and fight instead of going to college. They are told: if you serve your country and survive, when you are done you will have a program available to you that provides a college education.
These men and women agree, they train, they do their part and some finish with brain and bodies that are not the same as when they joined.
Once they separate and complete their terms they are told they can go to college. While attending they will get stipends for living expenses. This is supposed to allow them to be able to care for their families and have a place to live while earning their degree. This is what they earned. This was part of the deal. Many struggle to find jobs or they take part-time jobs so they can focus on their degrees. They believe this is the only way to be successful because that is what our culture tells them.
Now, let’s discuss the VA situation. I have spent over 2 years fighting with the VA to get modern IT certifications included. I have built programs for Fortune 50 companies, the largest IT vendors in the market have used my training to add skills to their most elite engineers. But the VA says these programs are not covered, only formal college. I fought with congressmen, the White House and worked through a Department of Labor program that allows this through apprenticeships. But it’s a fight at every step. There is so much corruption, so many companies allowed to use workarounds and over charge the vets. There is everything but common sense.
Within 2 weeks of Trump taking office he signed 2 executive orders, both of which are full laws now. One was to provide IT specific apprenticeships and to grow that program to give an alternative to American workers outside of college degrees. He pushed and allotted $150 Million in grants for companies to start programs like the one I created. I was excited and ready to apply, but of course there is a long road between what Trump signed into effect and what the low-level people made happen. To qualify for the grant, you MUST be a college. WTH? The purpose of the program is to give an alternative to college and in order to get the grant you must be a college. This is the subtle corruption that we are so used to dealing with.
The second law was to bring common sense into the veteran’s education benefits. Prior to this law a veteran could lose their benefit after a certain amount of time. The law was meant to clean up the system and make it easier for veterans to use their money. One of the subtle changes is how a veteran is awarded money. Let me explain.
Let’s take Bob, he joined the service and never left the US for four years. He worked in a gym at a local base. Now let’s take Joe, he joined and did 4 tours in combat, coming home with a Traumatic Brain Injury and missing an arm.
Bob moved to California when he separated and Joe went home to Alabama. They both apply for the same benefit but Bob is going to get far more money. His living stipend is almost $3000 a month but Joe’s is less than a thousand. How is this fair? To make it more confusing, if Joe enrolls into a school whose HQ is in California he will earn the $3000 while he is living in Alabama. If Bob enrolls in a school HQ in Alabama he will get less than $1000, even though he is paying rent in San Francisco.
The cronies that took the executive order and turned it into law didn’t say, hey let’s use common sense and just give a flat rate to all Veterans. They simply said we are going to change the system so the rate you get is based on the zip code of where you live. Keep in mind this has been known since November 2016. Why are there 82,000 Veterans that are getting evicted, being expelled from colleges and going without food a week before Thanksgiving? Well it’s because they cannot figure out how to change the zip code parameter in their IT system. Yes, in 2019 this is a problem even though millions of dollars are spent from our taxes to pay contractors to solve these problems.
We are going into 2019, where the stocks traded in our stock market are traded in Nano seconds, for those non-IT types that is millionths of a second. Google, Amazon and Walmart conduct trillions of transactions per hour and ship products to every conceivable zip code in the world. We have technology that lets us shoot a missile into a window thousands of miles away. We have celebrities going to space for the fun of it.
We just spent billions on an election, billions investigating Trump and Russians and Hillary and emails. Do we hear about this VA issue on the news, did we hear how they are fixing it after the elections? NO, all we hear about is who is going to be the House Majority Leader.
If you want the government to take care of you, consider this issue. If you want the government to give you free college, consider the fact that they cannot even get the program they have a responsibility to run to work. But this is everywhere. The US Post Office is in the news, not the main news, because it’s almost bankrupt. Why is the government involved in mail in 2019? Why are they competing with private companies now that they exist? What about the IRS? I once met an auditor that arrived in a new BMW. What about the Forestry Department? I think it’s ironic the latest wildfire is called the Camp Fire, seeing that it is destroying people’s lives partially because they left kindling everywhere that makes it catch fire so easily. And don’t get me started on elections, we can elect the next American Idol in seconds on our cell phones but we actually have states that are still using pencil and paper to circle names!
Here’s what I find interesting. If you don’t pay your taxes they can take money out of your bank account in hours. If you go fishing in a National Park they can fine you in minutes for not having a license. And if a vet moves back home in the middle of a semester and the VA has paid for that semester, they will receive a bill to pay it back within days.
The government is absolutely incapable of efficiency. Maybe you don’t care because you don’t go fishing, you use FedEx, you overpay your taxes and get a refund each year and your parents paid for your college. But these are our national heroes and many are stressing about surviving the week before Thanksgiving.
Mark my words, you will never read about it, but there will be suicides this week just because of this. When you use up a person for something like combat and then throw them to the side in a situation where they see no hope, they have no reason or purpose to live.
What can you do? All you have to do is wake up. Get on that phone and call the way you would if your employer suddenly told you your salary is coming and hopefully your retirement will be restored in the future if they can just get their database updated. We’re sorry for you not being able to pay your bills or having to tell your children they are leaving school and there will be no Christmas this year. Be relentless and fight for our heroes the same way you would fight for yourself. Demand an answer and action from the people we elect.
They work for us, it’s our money that pays them. Demand they do their job or we will fire them.
At least spread this story, look up articles and share them, use social media to get the attention of people so they will become afraid and do something.
Written by Terry Jenkins, Whiskey Patriot Board of Advisors