President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to end the backlog of disabled veterans waiting for benefits not only hasn’t come to fruition – it’s ballooned, and Jon Stewart isn’t happy about it.
Stewart detailed the problem on Wednesday’s “Daily Show.” The number of veterans waiting more than a year for benefits in 2009 was 11,000. Today it is 245,000 – a 2,000 percent increase.
“That is... criminal,” Stewart said, using a well-known expletive.
Ninety-seven percent of Department of Veterans Affairs claims are on paper,
And the VA and Department of Defense run two separate computer programs that can’t talk to each other.
Surely the problem, Stewart said sarcastically, is the Republicans cutting funding. He had just played a montage of Democratic members of Congress blaming the GOP for stopping every issue Democrats had tried to pass.
Turns out, the VA has actually seen funding increase 40 percent in four years while other departments have been cut.
“Republicans!” Stewart chided. “They made it impossible to even find their medical records under all the money they’ve dumped on the agency!”
Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., said the VA’s and DOD’s computer programs were like an Xbox and PlayStation; each can play the same games on the same TV, but they can’t communicate with each other.
Stewart called the analogy flawed, since the two gaming systems are competitors, and their intent is to destroy each other. The two government agencies actually should be trying to work together.
“I guess you could spend a billion dollars over four years trying to get one kid’s Xbox games to work with another kid’s PlayStation games, or as the family’s parent – or commander-in-chief – you could just command, ‘We’re gonna just use the Xbox.’”
Normally more favorable to the left than right, Stewart minced no words for the Democratic president. “When you’re not obstructed from doing what you want, you’d better f----ing bring it.”
Otherwise, he concluded, Republicans “won’t be obstructing government, they’ll be running it again.”
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