As he can always be relied upon to do, Congressman Mike Coffman once again yesterday was a voice for the interests of millions of veterans – and, frankly, millions of taxpayers – in what has become a a series of embarrassing and expensive debacles at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In the latest chapter of mismanagement at VA, Glenn Haggstrom stepped down on Wednesday. Haggstrom, as the executive director in the Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction, was responsible for construction projects with more than $2 billion in cost overruns. A VA press release published on Wednesday stated that Haggstrom “retired…in the midst of an investigation initiated by VA.”
It should be noted that the term “retire” means that Haggstrom is leaving VA on his own terms and with a lifetime pension, according to Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), who chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee. That is on top of the more than $64,000 in bonuses that Haggstrom received while overseeing infamous VA construction
projects debacles in Colorado, Florida, and Louisiana.
Since the VA is giving bonuses to people who should have been fired a long time ago, Congressman Mike Coffman introduced a bill to strip the VA of funding for all of its bonuses this year – an astonishing $360 million. Coffman also wants that money put towards the completion of the VA hospitals that the agency has mismanaged, and for all future VA bonuses to be allocated for that purpose until the projects are completed.
While the VA is one of the most disastrously-run agencies in the Obama Administration, and no one there deserves a bonus until its leadership gets its house in order, it may be wise to take a look into bonuses paid out to other bureaucrats. Many taxpayers don’t believe that we should be paying bonuses to our public servants on top of their already outsized salaries, benefit packages, defined benefit retirement plans, and steel-trap job security.