In fairness to Obama, he did not propose cuts to veteran's benefits in his willingness to cut $500 billion from the defense budget. He cannot be accused of shortchanging veterans. He can only be accused of incompetence in fulfilling his campaign promises and, as has been the case in so many unconscionable Washington scandals, of negligence of oversight. The very fact that he says he had no idea things were so bad is a testimony to that. Heads should be rolling on the fact that he didn't know unless he makes his people afraid to tell him bad news - or orders them not to tell him so he can claim he didn't know. Whatever the situation, it cannot be justified.
Politifact rated the follow as true and it has been substantiated by numerous other sources:
"The president’s budget request for FY2013 veterans spending is $140 billion -- more than double the amount in constant dollars appropriated in 1980, when the veterans population was larger by a third," Webb, D-Va., said in a May 14 interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch. . .
. . . Schuda said that in 1980, there were 30.1 million veterans. The most recent VA numbers show there were 22.2 million veterans in September 2011. . .
. . . Tim Tetz, legislative director for the American legion, said a key reason VA funding has increased is that Congress in 1996 expanded the number veterans eligible to receive health care from the agency.
The VA budget has significantly expanded over the last 10 years under Obama as well as former President George W. Bush.
There are 5.5 million patients in the VA health care system today. In 1980, there was only a fraction of the amount, Tetz said.
Sen. Jim Webb says spending on veterans has grown dramatically since 1980 | PolitiFact Virginia
The following shows VA funding as recorded by the Congressional Research Office. The first number - in billions - reflects the dollar amount at that time - the second number shows the adjustment to 2011 dollars.
1999 - 43,137.8 - 57,962.3
2000 -44,818.9 -58,531.5
2001 -48,665.2 -61,449.3
2002 -53,495.0 - 66,372.7
2003 -59,673.1 -72,445.7
2004 -63,824.8 -75,827.4
2005 -69,436.4 -80,084.3
2006 -73,736.8 -81,924.4
2007 -82,013.8 -88,823.3
2008 -90,525.5 -94,538.6
2009 -99,447.3 -102,425.9
2010 -112,694.6 -114,957.6
2011 -124,383.5 -124,383.5
2012 -125,304.3 -125,304.3
So the question remains, what are they doing with all that money if the situation has so severely deteriorated under Obama's watch? I am NOT saying that Obama himself is responsible for any negligence or malfeasance at the VA. I AM saying that his typical expressed outrage and declaration that he didn't know flies in the face of credibility when candidate Obama campaigned on fixing the problems in the VA. And the fact that he says he didn't know of problems the past six years makes him a terrible leader and administrator.