While calls to a veterans suicide hotline were answered by voicemail, and over 1,000 veterans died while waiting in vain to see a doctor, the Veterans Affairs office was spending $20 MILLION on artwork and sculptures.
In a Forbes editorial, Adam Andrzejewski, founder and CEO of Open The Books, shared information on a VA spending report his watchdog organization did with COX Media. Horrific waste and abuse was uncovered in their investigation – paid by taxpayers – and at the expense of the veterans who waited in line for help that never came.
To add insult to injury, the report says the Veterans Administration added 39,454 new positions to the payroll between 2012-2015, but only 3,591 of these were doctors. Still today, almost 50,000 veterans must wait for an appointment due to lack of doctors… but the facilities are well decorated.
During Obama’s presidency, the VA has spent $16 MILLION on expensive art for veterans’ facilities, with a total of $20 MILLION over the past 10 years.
Here’s where some of the money went:
$670,000 in 2014 for two sculptures at a veterans’ Blind Rehab Center – sculptures which the blind veterans will never even see.
$ 21,000 in 2011 for a 27-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree.
$ 32,000 in 2014 for 62 “local image” pictures for a San Francisco facility.
$ 95,000 in 2009 for artwork at a VA outpatient center in Anchorage, Alaska
$100,000 in 2010 for a “Ribbons of Honor” glass sculpture at the same Alaska facility.
$610,000 spent between 2009-2014 for artwork at a new facility in San Juan, Puerto Rico
$242,933 for Minneapolis VA Medical Center
$168,467 for Biloxi, Mississippi
$148,482 for Salem, Virginia
$ 55,000 for a “Metal Art Tree of Life” with leaves and doves.
$ 16,000 for two upholstered cornice window treatments
At the VA Palo Alto Health Care facility, money was spent in 2014 for the following:
$330,775 – fabrication and installation of the “Gradient Arc”
$220,000 – “Harbor” glass and light art
$482,960 – for a rock sculpture during courtyard renovation
$115,600 – fee for “art consultants”
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