Thursday, May 22, 2008

G.I. Bill

Thanks, Diane, I am encouraged. The congress seems to be waking up to their job, to guard the public; and the farm bill seems to be moving on over the idjuts in the executive branch. Also, the G.I Bill.

This G.I. Bill gave educations to those who would give up part of their lives to defend this country. Sadly, lives have been shed for political aims instead of our security. Even more, those troops should be rewarded.

G.I. Bill benefits have sent John McCain, John Warner and Jim Webb to college. Oh, sorry I left out the Senator on their names.

This Memorial Day, we think about the more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and the tens of thousands wounded in body and mind in a war based on lies, pushed by a clique of right-wing militarists and their corporate backers.

After 9/11, many Americans signed up for military service, wanting to serve their country and defend it from terrorism. Instead, they were sent to invade Iraq, to serve a right-wing/corporate agenda.

So it’s shocking to look at the congressional vote May 15 on a "Post-9/11 GI Bill" — a World War II-style GI Bill for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Republicans pushed the Iraq war and now refuse to end it. Yet only 32 of them voted for the GI Bill. One hundred and fifty-nine GOP House members, including their entire leadership, voted against the bill, which would substantially increase educational benefits for post-9/11 veterans. The bill is backed by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and every leading veterans organization.
Perhaps the Republicans objected to the fact that the bill also extends unemployment benefits for jobless workers who have used up their current benefits? Or maybe the warhawks didn’t like funding New Orleans levees? We’d like to point out that most veterans are workers, and many are jobless too. And building and repairing levees, and other parts of our nation’s crumbling infrastructure, would provide a lot of good jobs.

President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, especially complaining that the GI benefits would be funded by a tiny tax hike for the rich.

Despite the Republicans, the measure passed the House and is now before the Senate. Veterans are demanding that veteran Sen. John McCain vote for the new GI Bill. McCain, who hopes his military service will propel him into the White House, has wrapped himself in Bush’s disastrous war and economic policies.

A good way to mark Memorial Day would be to get this bill passed and signed into law.

The argument against this G.I. Bill is that it would keep troops from sacrificing their lives for the political gains of the goPerv party.

In fact, one of the central criticisms of the Webb-Hagel bill -- from both the White House and many congressional Republicans -- is that it's too generous, and therefore will encourage service-members to abandon the military in favor of college. Offer a lesser benefit package, the theory goes, and the troops are more likely to stay in their boots. (Supporters of the Webb-Hagel bill, including a number of veterans advocacy groups, say the better benefits will encourage recruitment, therefore nullifying any retention problems that might occur on the other end.)

Give it a break, Senator - those who were able to go to college and have a salary that gives back to this country - especially should pay their debt.

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Blogger Unknown said...

John McCain attended the U.S. Naval Academy. He has no advanced degrees. He did not need the G.I. Bill, because taxpayers already covered his expenses.

Here's the current description of coverage:

The Navy pays for the tuition, room and board, and medical and dental care of Naval Academy midshipmen. You also enjoy regular active-duty benefits including access to military commissaries and exchanges, commercial transportation and lodging discounts and the ability to fly space-available in military aircraft around the world. Midshipmen pay is $864.00 monthly, from which laundry, barber, cobbler, activities fees, yearbook and other service charges are deducted. Actual cash pay is less than $100 per month your first year, increasing each year to $400 per month in your fourth year. Midshipmen may voluntarily sign up for the Midshipmen Investment Fund (MIF), which will allow you to invest a portion of your monthly pay into your choice of participating mutual funds.

Jim Webb, also a Naval Academy graduate, received his law degree under the Vietnam War version of the G.I. Bill.

John Warner's senate biography acknowledges his gratitude to the G.I. Bill for enabling him to receive both his undergraduate and law degrees.

9:07 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

If I'm wrong on that county, I'm sorry, but have heard him talk about it on the floor of the Senate and was under the impression he'd used the G.I. bill.

4:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I offered the correction only because I appreciate your customary factual rigor.

Other than that minor point, you are -- as usual -- exactly right.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thank you. Please let me know if I get something wrong, I do not ever want to spread bad information. As the G.I.Bill is for more than just education, it may have been used for something else, but I haven't delved into this deeply .. just believed he knew he had used it, and 'fessed up.

11:29 AM  

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