Six Sigma Collins on the Military

Chris Collins, who is casually running to represent the newly-constructed 27th Congressional District in Congress, hasn’t learned his lesson. He is still trying clumsily to foist his technocratic Six Sigma nonsense onto anything and everything. 

Astonishingly, on Saturday morning Collins told the monthly Erie County Republican Roundtable that he would close the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the Batavia VA Medical Center if they were not “efficient”. This calls into question what Collins considers to be efficient – the quality of care at the VA, or the military services provided by the air base versus their cost. 

Of course, things like the VA and the air base are examples of Keynesian economic stimuli, and their closure would affect the economy-at-large. But Republicans seldom acknowledge their inconsistencies on this point. 

But the measure of whether we need a VA center in Batavia shouldn’t be cold, bean-counting “efficiency”, but whether it serves a public need. Government services don’t exist to make money, and we should hardly take away critical health services from GLOW-area veterans. Likewise, the fate of the air base should be dependent not on economics, but on military need. 

In a press release, Bellavia said, 

“While efficiency is quite important, effectiveness is by far the paramount goal of our national defense,” Bellavia said. “Mr. Collins clearly does not understand this and cannot possibly represent a Congressional district which includes one of the most important United States Air Force bases in the world.”

“Likewise, the quality of service Veterans Administration hospitals provide for our wounded warriors and retired military is the most important metric in the system,” Bellavia said. “Thousands of retired military and many wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines reside in the 27th Congressional District. How would they get the medical care our nation pledged to them if Mr. Collins closes the Batavia VA hospital?”

“What will Mr. Collins do – wrap the air base and hospital in his vaunted Six Sigma values and close them if they don’t pass muster?” Bellavia asked. “Will he shutter Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station if the C-130’s don’t burn bio-fuel? Will the VA hospital have to meet the infamous standard of care of private HMO’s? While I agree we must always strive for cost efficient government operations, Mr. Collins’ slavish devotion to efficiency-above-all will surely destroy our military and veterans services.”

Chris Collins thinks that government serves the taxpayer – it was his mantra throughout his single term as County Executive. But that’s only partly true – while government owes a fiduciary duty to the taxpayer to not be wasteful, its real service is to those who are in need of services. We get worked up over a guy who allegedly defrauded $4,000 – but that’s less than a drop in a massive bucket of regional economic failure. Chris Collins’ IDA doled out millions in tax breaks, loans, and incentives to the connected – that we don’t examine or criticize, because we don’t understand it or bother to wrap our heads around the dollar figures or long-term success or failure of the process. 

9 comments

  • Over $47 Obama’s praetorian guards wage war on woman protitutes

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/ho_lombia_twist_4oMCMx8CRfOyJhODIuCcfM

    • Phenomenal sentence structure, that. Also off-topic. Last time.

    •  Several questions:

      (1) What does any of that have to do with Chris Collins or his proposed military cuts?
      (2) Do you really believe that Obama personally hires Secret Service agents?  Are you sure that each of these agents weren’t holdovers from previous, Republican presidencies?
      (3) Who on earth cites the NY Post?
      (4) How will you identify yourself on this board when Mitt Romney loses?

    • Maybe they should have called the just and moral Sen.R. David Vitter

  • CarrieMChristman

    My name is Carrie M. Christman. I am a veteran of the United States Air Force and a Republican Committeeman from Brighton in Monroe County. On Saturday, April 14, I attended the Erie County Republican Roundtable where former Erie County Executive Chris Collins was a featured speaker. After his speech, I asked him a question about keeping the Batavia Veterans Administration Medical Center open and a follow up question about keeping the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station open as well. He told me “you may not like my answer” and went on to say that these facilities must be examined for efficiency and forced to operate in a more cost effective manner. It was definitely my impression from his answers that if the Batavia VA and the Niagara Falls air base did not meet his efficiency standards that he may not consider keeping them open.

    My take is, if there are inefficiencies – and I believe we all know that is a major problem with our government – we need to find out what are the causes for these inefficiencies. The solution is correcting the problem at the source. Let’s find that out, then we are on the right path to solving our nation’s problems.

  • Well, it’s good to see that Chris Collins intends to treat reservists and veterans with the same contempt and scorn as low-income Buffalonians who needed health care. Closting those county clinics and moving people to Sheehan worked out quite well, didn’t it?

    Once again, Chris proposes a course of action without giving any thought to the consequences. Does he even realize that many of the vets served by the Batavia center cannot afford to come to Buffalo for treatment? That they’ve developed long-term relationships with their providers? That he would be putting many people out of work?  Of course, giving thought to any of these things would require compassion and empathy, two qualities that Chris is sorely lacking. 

    Chris Collins is the Mitt Romney of Erie County – driven purely by ego and hopelessly out of touch. Please don’t give him the opportunity to do to the 27th district what he did to Erie County.

  • CarrieMChristman:

    I asked him a question about keeping the Batavia Veterans Administration Medical Center open and a follow up question about keeping the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station open as well. He told me “you may not like my answer” and went on to say that these facilities must be examined for efficiency and forced to operate in a more cost effective manner. It was definitely my impression from his answers that if the Batavia VA and the Niagara Falls air base did not meet his efficiency standards that he may not consider keeping them open.

    Artvoice citizen journalist:

    Astonishingly, on Saturday morning Collins told the monthly Erie County Republican Roundtable that he would close the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and the Batavia VA Medical Center if they were not “efficient”

    .
    Am I missing something, or does this now mean
    examine for efficiency and forced to operate in a more cost effective manner
    equals
    will be closed if they are not “efficient”?

    Or that
    what Carrie said is her impression equals something Collins said?

    • The better question is – when you’re dealing with providing medical services to veterans, or the duties carried out by the NY Air National Guard – only a cold, sick technocrat who has no experience with military matters would jump on the Six Sigma efficiency bus before wondering whether the institutions are adequately funded and staffed to carry out their duties. 

  • I was for Bellavia…until he backed Jack Davis, the socialist/democrat/working families/ACORN candidate. Maybe he was mislead about Davis but I emailed and called Bellavia dozens of times and was ignored. Think he’s listen to you if he’s elected?

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