Grand Rapids Veterans Home

Originally, I was going to express my growing dismay at the inability of Michigan Republicans to pass an infrastructure bill. The GOP has a strong majority in the Michigan House and Senate, plus control the Governorship. This majority was able to author Right to Work legislation, pass it and have Governor Snyder sign it into law in roughly three weeks. While RTW affects 7% of workers in Michigan, it was so very important to Republicans that they rammed that law thru in record time. Funding for our roads and bridges affects 100% of all citizens of Michigan, but the GOP, thru its’ inaction, proved it isn’t motivated to find a solution. * Do not blame the Democrats – Republicans would arrange funding, within a month, to fix our roads if the Chamber of Commerce and certain Billionaires gave the marching orders.

Instead, my concern now is the situation in the Grand Rapids Veterans Home. You may recall that in 2012 the Republican controlled State Government cut $4.2 Million annually from the Veteran’s Home budget. That cut amounted to 30% of State funding. This cut in funding caused a budget crisis at the Veteran’s Home.

And what was the GOP’s solution to this manufactured crisis? Blame the hard working men and women who dared earn a living wage and belong to a Union. Privatization was the next step. J2S was “awarded” a contract to care for our Veterans. And what a bang up job J2S is doing: Trolling for employees on Craigslist; Chronically understaffed until caught, then forcing overtime upon the low paid, low benefit contract workers.

Everybody, and I mean everybody saw the troubles were guaranteed to occur. Everybody except the privatization obsessed Republican Party. Issues that have been reported at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home so far are the tip of the iceberg. It is worse than what has been reported to this point. It doesn’t take a Prophet to see that.

So far I’ve focused on laying out the facts. Now for my opinion. The Republican Party does not “Love the Troops” and it outright hates Veterans. GOP words mean nothing. “I cannot hear your words over the thunder of your actions” – author unknown. The GOP did achieve its’ goal: take taxpayer dollars away from Government (Union) Workers and redirect that money into the public sector. Improving services and reducing cost were never the point. The goal has always been getting tax dollars into the pockets of private business owners. It comes as little surprise that the owners of these businesses are friends and financial supporters of Republicans.

In most cases, that is simply American Citizens getting ripped off. I really despise the GOP for not upholding the Oath of Office to represent the people. At a fund raising dinner attended by Billionaires, former President G.W. Bush proclaimed: “We have a gathering of the Haves … and the Have More.” (laughter followed). “Some people call you America’s Elite. I call you my Base”.

As absolutely pathetic as President Bush’s remarks were, Michigan Republicans outdid him. The Michigan GOP stabbed Veterans in the back. I would tell Republicans that they should be deeply ashamed at what has transpired at the Grand Rapids Veterans Home. I would tell them, but at this point I doubt Republicans possess enough personal ethics to experience shame.

How can a Politician sleep at night, if he or she had any part in betraying America’s heroes?