Vanden Heuvel on Face the Nation: ‘Congress Has Cut Funding, Has Slashed Funding, for Veterans' Benefits Over These Last Years’

Katrina vanden Huevel, editor and publisher of The Nation, participated in today’s Face the Nation panel. The first topic of discussion was the scandal at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:

KATRINA VANDEN HUEVEL: It's an outrage. Those who are involved in these longer wait times must be held accountable, prosecuted to the full extent of the law. But I think we need to step back. Bob, Congress has cut funding, has slashed funding, for veterans' benefits over these last years.

Of course, liberals must always find a way to blame President George W. Bush for every problem confronting the incumbent president, so she later commented: “Because I do think the V.A. has been the most effective, efficient health care system in this country over these last decades. And it was nickel and dimed under the Bush administration.”

Not according to data compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. In the Fiscal Year Bush became president, VA’s budget authority was $48.7 billion dollars. The year he left office, it stood at $99.4 billion.

Nickel and dimed? Slashed? No, it more than doubled. Yet no one on the panel, including host Bob Schieffer, questioned vanden Huevel’s assertion. This makes me wonder how mainstream media people prepare for these discussions. Do they simply review Jay Carney’s recent talking points?