In Honor of Memorial Day
May 26, 2008 7 Comments
Bush and his lapdog John McCain argue against the veto-proof support in Congress for a new and improved GI Bill “on the ground that the bill is too generous and may discourage re-enlistment.” Please make a note of it.
Mr. Bush — and, to his great discredit, Senator John McCain — have argued against a better G.I. Bill, for the worst reasons.
… 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.
and perhaps remember this:
In terms of providing true opportunity, the World War II G.I. Bill was one of the most important pieces of legislation in our history. It paid college tuition and fees, bought textbooks and provided a monthly stipend for eight million of the 16 million who served.
Many of our colleagues in the Senate who before the war could never have dreamed of college found themselves at some of the nation’s finest educational institutions.
Passing the GI Bill brought more than 16 million veterans into a peacetime economy. Since it provided education and home ownership opportunities to millions, some dubbed the bill the “Magic Carpet to the Middle Class.”
Historians say the GI Bill contributed more than any other program in history to the welfare of veterans and their families and to the growth of the nation’s economy. The bill is credited with preventing a post-war relapse into the pre- war Depression.
the investment in education is likely to pay for itself many times over as veterans join the workforce at higher pay rates.