Though he actually made a sane choice to head the VA, at least for now, the following is probably much more indicative of the administration’s plans.
Donald Trump signed an order (Jan. 23) that freezes pay for hundreds of thousands of veterans, potentially shuts tens of thousands more out of a job, and seems to starve the Department of Veterans Affairs of workers it desperately needs.
“That didn’t take long. In just his third day in office, Donald Trump screwed hundreds of thousands of veterans out of better pay, and thousands more out of potential jobs,” said Peter Kauffmann, Senior Adviser to VoteVets. “Veterans who have families to feed, who may be saving up for a home, all of them have been let down by Donald Trump. This shouldn’t be shocking. Donald Trump lobbied New York to kick disabled veterans, working as vendors, out from in front of Trump Tower. He has always been hostile to working veterans.”
…The Executive Order, signed by Trump, freezes pay and hiring for all Federal agencies with few exemptions. The Federal workforce is 31% veteran, meaning roughly 623,000 veterans depend on Federal jobs and pay.
As far as how much worse things could get:
– Trump is moving forward with plans to privatize veterans’ care (MSNBC)
– A mixed message to vets: Veterans groups weren’t invited to Trump’s first VA “listening session” (Salon)
According to exit polls, which are not reliable for close, detailed analysis but have meaning when they’re really one-sided, veterans voted 2-1 for Trump. Getting the word out about matters like this may help reverse that. The old military guys I know may be stubborn, but for the most part they’re no fools.