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George W. Bush and the GI Bill
Old 05-26-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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George W. Bush and the GI Bill

I saw this last week and had a rant prepared but changed my mind. So, calmly, I should like to point out that the Decider has decided that it is not beneficial to improve the GI Bill. Thirty-five years ago, I got a college education using this bill. It was the best way I could do it. At the time I was raising 3 kids and working and attending classes at nite and sometimes even on Saturdays. I am certain there are good some reasons (cost) to oppose the bill. It's probably a windfall to the colleges. Furthermore, trying not to be naive, I know the Democrats will use this in an election year. But, troops are facing possible death and maiming. This is obscene. Over 95% of Americans will not serve in the military and certainly won't engage in combat. Too costly? Are we providing healthcare for illegal immigrants? How costly is that?

If the troops want to go to college, send them. Period.

There. I was calm.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/26/op...html?th&emc=th

Partial quote:
Their bill would pay full tuition and other expenses at a four-year public university for veterans who served in the military for at least three years since 9/11.
At that level, the new G.I. Bill would be as generous as the one enacted for the veterans of World War II, which soon became known as one of the most successful benefits programs — one of the soundest investments in human potential — in the nation’s history.
Mr. Bush — and, to his great discredit, Senator John McCain — have argued against a better G.I. Bill, for the worst reasons. They would prefer that college benefits for service members remain just mediocre enough that people in uniform are more likely to stay put.
They have seized on a prediction by the Congressional Budget Office that new, better benefits would decrease re-enlistments by 16 percent, which sounds ominous if you are trying — as Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain are — to defend a never-ending war at a time when extended tours of duty have sapped morale and strained recruiting to the breaking point.
Their reasoning is flawed since the C.B.O. has also predicted that the bill would offset the re-enlistment decline by increasing new recruits — by 16 percent. The chance of a real shot at a college education turns out to be as strong a lure as ever. This is good news for our punishingly overburdened volunteer army, which needs all the smart, ambitious strivers it can get.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
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I agree. Doesn't make sense.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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"On his campaign plane this afternoon, McCain said he and allies in the Senate are working on an alternative to the bill, but would only support something that included incentives to stay in the military.
"We are working on proposals of our own — I'm a consistent supporter of educational benefits for the men and women of the military," McCain said. "I want to make sure that we have incentives for people to remain in the military as well as for people to join the military. ... I've talked a lot about veterans' health care, so we'll continue to talk about those issues and how to care for vets. I know I can do that, having been one."

Sounds like McCain just wants fairness to those proud Americans who wish to continue to serve our country. What is wrong with that?
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:53 AM   #4
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"On his campaign plane this afternoon, McCain said he and allies in the Senate are working on an alternative to the bill, but would only support something that included incentives to stay in the military.
"We are working on proposals of our own — I'm a consistent supporter of educational benefits for the men and women of the military," McCain said. "I want to make sure that we have incentives for people to remain in the military as well as for people to join the military. ... I've talked a lot about veterans' health care, so we'll continue to talk about those issues and how to care for vets. I know I can do that, having been one."

"Sounds like McCain just wants fairness to those proud Americans who wish to continue to serve our country. What is wrong with that"?

sez me: Darn right - after 4 years and a couple tours to cruise around the gulf of Tonkin back in the day i really feel i took advantage of my country by going to school and buying a home on the GI bill. Maybe i should have stayed in 8 years. 20? What would be fair to a veteran? I know - how about paying through Doctorate studies for those who re-up?
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:13 PM   #5
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Well, they could have passed the bill with no veto and then done a separate bill to encourage people to remain in the military.
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Old 05-26-2008, 12:49 PM   #6
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Maybe the bill needs some adjustments for what the services needs.
Should a person that never served on a combat mission (band or accounting) get the same benefits as a person who was in Iraq for 1 or more tours? Aren't there about 150K serving in Iraq and Afganistan now and about 1,450m in total.





ANNE FLAHERTY
AP News
May 13, 2008 02:18 EST
Veterans groups say it's time to expand college aid for GIs, and Democrats want to use an election year to do it. Their biggest obstacle? The Pentagon.
<br/>

The Defense Department is lobbying against legislation proposed by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., that would guarantee a full-ride scholarship for service members to any in-state public university. According to defense officials, the plan would hurt its ability to retain service members because the new GI education bill would require only three years before the full benefit kicks in. The Defense Department wants the commitment to be extended to at least six years.
"We have no issue with the fact that Sen. Webb wishes to provide a more generous education benefit to troops," said Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. "But we are certainly concerned that this would be eligible to them" so soon.
The Pentagon's opposition to Webb's bill underscores the difficulty the military has had in recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force at a time when it is engaged in a war that is deeply unpopular with the American public.
Adding to the military's dilemma is the larger number of soldiers and Marines needed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year, the Pentagon recommended that the Army be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 547,000, and the Marines be increased by 27,000 to 202,000.
The difficulty in finding young people also can be attributed in part to low unemployment numbers in recent years. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, unemployment dropped from 6 percent in 2003 to 4.6 percent in 2007.
In recent months, the military has had to take creative steps to reach its desired troop numbers. A year ago, when Army recruiters didn't meet their goal, the service announced new $20,000 bonuses for recruits and up to $40,000 if an enlistee signed up for at least four years.
The Army also has granted special exceptions to recruits with prior criminal records, medical problems or low-aptitude scores that would have otherwise disqualified them from service. Senior military officials defended the change in policy as justified because they say current restrictions were so stringent that many members in Congress would have been denied entrance to the ranks because of indiscretions from their youth.
Retention rates have been less troublesome in the military, with the Army and Marine Corps exceeding their goals by large margins in 2006 and staying strong in 2007. Studies have found that combat deployments can prompt service members to re-enlist, usually because of a sense of accomplishment.
Still, the Defense Department is worried that its retention numbers could fall as service members are asked to return repeatedly to Iraq and Afghanistan and they are given too much of an incentive to leave. One particular problem facing the military is its ability to hang on to seasoned combat veterans, including those in the elite forces, who are being lured to higher-paying jobs in the private sector.
Webb, a Vietnam veteran and critic of the Iraq war, counters that his legislation would be more effective in attracting new recruits and would offset any drop in the military's ranks.
"I can't think of a better way to broaden (the) propensity to serve than to offer a truly meaningful educational benefit, rather than simply taking that smaller demographic" of those already enlisted "and pound on it" with repeated combat tours, he said.

Source: AP News

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Old 05-26-2008, 01:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by calmloki View Post
sez me: Darn right - after 4 years and a couple tours to cruise around the gulf of Tonkin back in the day i really feel i took advantage of my country by going to school and buying a home on the GI bill. Maybe i should have stayed in 8 years. 20? What would be fair to a veteran? I know - how about paying through Doctorate studies for those who re-up?
Thank you for your proud service to our great country. But, why would you deny additional benefits to those who choose to stay in the military? Are they not just a deserving as someone who decides they prefer civilian life? If the bill is to be fair, it must address all military personnel.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:12 PM   #8
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Thank you for your proud service to our great country. But, why would you deny additional benefits to those who choose to stay in the military? Are they not just a deserving as someone who decides they prefer civilian life? If the bill is to be fair, it must address all military personnel.
? I'm fine with military personnel getting educational and other benefits - in or out of service. I was serious about earning increased benefits for more service. I'm also serious about not reducing benefits for those who have served and not using the base GI bill as a carrot to increase retention.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:45 PM   #9
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? I'm fine with military personnel getting educational and other benefits - in or out of service. I was serious about earning increased benefits for more service. I'm also serious about not reducing benefits for those who have served and not using the base GI bill as a carrot to increase retention.
So then you agree with McCain that any bill should also include additional benefits for those who choose to stay in the military? I am glad to hear you are of that opinion. At first I was confused with your comments.
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:52 PM   #10
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Well, they could have passed the bill with no veto and then done a separate bill to encourage people to remain in the military.
You forget that this an election year. This bill was carefully crafted to make it seem that the Dems support our Military when what they really want is to weaken it by reducing the number of troops. If this bill is passed who will bring another bill before Congress. By virtue of their majority, Dems control the agenda. Benefits for those who choose to stay in the military should be put into THIS bill.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:32 AM   #11
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N.Y. Times = More Lies

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Once again, the New York Times Editorial Board doesn't let the facts get in the way of expressing its vitriolic opinions - no matter how misleading they may be.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:35 AM   #12
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So, should I believe the NYT, or a press release from the WH?

How about "none of the above"...
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:43 AM   #13
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Watched the 'Beltway Boys' the other night. Seems like the NYT did not mention that there were two competing bills. Basically the one passed and the McCain bill. Seems like Reed pulled out the parliamentary stops to keep the McCain bill from coming up. That left many Republicans with the choice of vote for the Web bill or vote against the troops and be blasted by the likes of the NYT.

So once more the troops are played with by the politicians!!!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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Just my take.... and I might get shot down big time here....

But do you think it is 'fair' to pay for a 4 year eduction when they only served 3 years?

Here is the average costs... and I have not read the bill, so I do not know if it is 'total cost' or just tuition... if it is total, then that is about $50K extra....

Don't they get something like $25K now? I am not sure... just remembering the commercials.


College Costs Tuition Total Cost
Four-year public $5,836 $12,796
Four-year private $22,218 $30,367
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:12 AM   #15
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The McCain bill uses a sliding scale. The more time served, the more paid for education. Only seems fair to me.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:31 AM   #16
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First, what I've read does not agree with the CBO's contention that an enhanced GI Bil would increase recruitment by 16% It is less than that.

Second, it should be very obvious that a 16% reduction in retention cannot be fixed with a 16% increase in recruits. Those folks who are leaving take 3-6 years or more of training and experience with them. And peopel straight out of high school are supposed to replace them? Only someone with no appreciation for the skills of these young men and women would propose this. Does anybody have any doubt about why the service chiefs oppose this?

Third, making this entitlement an open-ended check (paid tuition for whatever the state schools charge) is a guaranteed way to boost tuition rates through the roof. It's interesting that the same politicians who favor government cost controls on reimbursement for medical care think that no such controls are warranted for tuition payments.

McCain's bill makes more sense. It more fairly compensates those who serve longer.

Also, I'm a little suspicious that those politicians who have tried hardest to whip up the fear of a draft (which the military services do not want) are in favor of this bill that will damage the very successful all volunteer force. Coincidence? Probably--but maybe not.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #17
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The McCain bill uses a sliding scale. The more time served, the more paid for education. Only seems fair to me.
Seem better than just the 3 year idea.
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Old 05-27-2008, 03:48 PM   #18
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Watched the 'Beltway Boys' the other night. Seems like the NYT did not mention that there were two competing bills. Basically the one passed and the McCain bill. Seems like Reed pulled out the parliamentary stops to keep the McCain bill from coming up. That left many Republicans with the choice of vote for the Web bill or vote against the troops and be blasted by the likes of the NYT.

So once more the troops are played with by the politicians!!!!
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Old 05-27-2008, 05:23 PM   #19
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Here is another thought. The GI Bill was great for Universities. So how about treating it like Medicare and Tricare. If a University accepts GI Bill payments they must except it for the total cost of Tuition. If they accept gov. research grants, they must accept GI Bill payments.
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Old 05-27-2008, 06:59 PM   #20
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A little off topic of the GI-Bill - but how about some of these rich universities step up the patriotic plate & offer to fund scholarships w/stipend for war vets - as I hear it they could educate them all if they wanted to with just the interest off the endowments they have built up.

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