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If You Try to Send the Troops to College, They Just Might Go

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Heisenberg, May 9, 2008.

  1. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/05/if-you-try-to-s.html

    If You Try to Send the Troops to College, They Just Might Go

    May 09, 2008 10:31 AM

    ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports: The stage is a major wrap-yourself-in-the-flag, support-the-troops type measure on the floor of the US Senate in the coming weeks and it could have repercussions in the 2008 presidential campaign.

    Democrats and some Republicans want to drastically improve college benefits for veterans through the GI Bill sponsored by Virginia Democrat Sen. Jim Webb.

    Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., solidified his position in a paper statement last night, along with the Pentagon and the White House, concerned that the measure could hurt retention in a time of war. In short, if you try to send the troops college, they might just go.

    It's a particularly interesting issue because it pits McCain against his strongest ally across the aisle, Connecticut Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, and high profile Republicans, like Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who is a co-sponsor of Webb's bill. It has also created a rallying point for veterans groups. Both Democratic presidential candidates are cosponsors of Webb's bill.

    When senators consider the House version of the President's $108 billion war funding request in the coming weeks, look for Democrats to attach a proposal authored by Webb that would drastically upgrade the Montgomery GI Bill. Instead of receiving a fraction of college tuition (a max of about $3,000 per year), Webb and 54 other Senators from both parties want to make the GI Bill more like it was after WWII, when it paid for all of college, even private schools. They won't go quite that far, but would offer most veterans who serve in the war on terror -- even reserve and national guard who deploy -- compensation for the most expensive public school in their state as well as a living stipend.

    McCain, along with Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., introduced his own, less generous plan that would encourage troops to stay in the military, increasing benefits more for troops who serve 12 years or more. McCain's bill would also encourage troops to transfer their GI Bill benefits to family members.

    They point to a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, requested by Republicans on the Budget Committee that says improving college benefits for troops could lead affect military retention rates by as much as a 16 percent decrease.

    Supporters of the Webb bill point to the same study, which says the improved college benefits would lead to a 16 percent increase in recruits overall. Plus, they argue the Webb bill would improve the quality of recruits who come to the military .

    Beyond retention, however, Webb and others believe the country owes troops who sacrifice abroad, a good education when they return home.

    Here's an earlier look at Webb and his bill.
  2. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg Pow! Pow!

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    I'd say it might have an effect on retention, but I would say that it would help with recruiting.

    Maybe I'm crazy though.

    I do like the bill quite a bit.
  3. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    The GI Bill paid for my education.
  4. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Retention is more important then recruiting. BUT this one is a tough call. I disagree with McCain on this one- the people DESERVE more then they are getting.
  5. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    I'm proud that my state is represented by Jim Webb and John Warner... I'll really miss John when he retires...
  6. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    I still think it was good thing, even if the money was clearly wasted on you...

    <ducking for cover> :D
  7. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    At least I learnt summtin not played golf all the time. :lmao2:
  8. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    My friend, Juarez gave me a VERY liberal education... LOL...
  9. SuspectCorner

    SuspectCorner Bromo

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    Troops who serve during wartime deserve a free ride. Do it.
  10. hank2k

    hank2k Member

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    Id like to see a few college republicans being sent to war as well:D .
  11. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Gave being the key word :lmao:
  12. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Brotherhood of the Beard Staff Member

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    Agreed 100% If we are going to support the troops, that includes after the leave the military IMO.

    I have to say this kind of thing burns me, esp with McCain. If anyone should be for it, it should be him.
  13. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Can someone summarize the current state of college benefits?

    I've talked to a few kids who indicated that service would pay for a couple of years at a junior/community college in CA. BTW - CA community colleges cost about $1000 a year if you include the cost of books. (Of course, living expenses add considerably)

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