Acting Veterans Affairs secretary Sloan Gibson insists that the agency he now heads will have to earn the trust of Americans back. He also insists that it will do that.
But it won’t do that by pulling anyone’s bonuses or by firing workers. Those, he says, are “crap.”
“This idea that ‘Let’s fire everybody, let’s pull everybody’s bonus away’ — that’s a bunch of crap,” Gibson told workers and the media at the Fayetville, NC VA facility that has become embroiled in the scandal. He added that it’s also “crap” that the bonus money should be pulled and spent elsewhere.
That isn’t really the issue. The bonuses have become part of the scandal because VA workers were allegedly paid huge bonuses not only while veterans were being kept on secret waiting lists, but the VA allegedly paid workers bonuses because they were skillful at making it appear as if veterans were getting the care they deserved.
The bonuses were paid, then, to further the corruption. Pulling them would show evidence that the VA really does intend to root out the rot. So would firing everyone involved in the scandal.
The acting VA secretary evidently isn’t interested in either one.
Update: The VA cracked down hard on whistle-blowers before the waiting list scandal broke.