Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, May 18, 2017

A congressional proposal to make service members buy into their Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits surprised veterans groups on Tuesday, with advocates divided over whether it amounts to a long-term fix for the benefit or an unfair bill for veterans. "This new tax on troops is absurd," said Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander Brian Duffy in a statement. "Ensuring veterans are able to successfully transition back to civilian life after military service is a cost of war, and not a fee that Congress can just pass along to our troops. Congress must stop nickeling and diming America's service members and veterans." The plan -- draft legislation from House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn. -- would deduct $2,400 from future service members' paychecks to establish eligibility for revamped post-military education benefits. This was first reported Tuesday by Task & Purpose.

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Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, offered similar frustration with the proposal. He said his group will fight any "tax" on troops to pay for education benefits, and that he doubts there is much support in the public for such a plan.

"Pushing this GI Bill tax proposal on troops in a time of war is political cowardice," he said.

"Some politicians would rather make backroom deals than raise taxes or find other ways to support our troops as bombs continue to fall overseas."

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... The plan -- draft legislation from House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe, R-Tenn. -- would deduct $2,400 from future service members' paychecks ...

The service personnel aren't paid enough as it is, imo.

I still have difficulty understanding how professional athletes are paid millions of dollars a year, while service personnel and teachers are paid pittances.

#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-05-18 02:41 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

As long as the wealthy get their slobbery tongue-kiss tax cuts from the slobbery Republican Leadership, dont expect any Repub concern for the military peeps, working peeps, unemployed peeps, senior peeps or disabled peeps.

Aint gonna happen.

Trumpublicans are happy to watch the little people suffer as long as somewhere in America, a librul get pissed off.

#2 | Posted by oldwhiskeysour at 2017-05-18 02:43 PM | Reply

I still have difficulty understanding how professional athletes are paid millions of dollars a year, while service personnel and teachers are paid pittances.

#1 | POSTED BY LAMPLIGHTER

It's called free market capitalism.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-05-18 02:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"It's called free market capitalism."

No it's called having our priorities all screwed up. How about this, every ten dollars earned by the NFL, one goes to pay for Veterans Benefits. Every player earning over $1,000,000 per year kicks back $100,000 for Veterans Benefits, every person earning over $1,000,000 kicks back $100,000 to the Vets.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-18 02:50 PM | Reply

#3 | POSTED BY RSTYBEACH11
"It's called free market capitalism."

#4 | POSTED BY DANNI
"No it's called having our priorities all screwed up."

What's the difference? That which we call a rose...

#5 | Posted by TheTom at 2017-05-18 03:05 PM | Reply

They shouldn't pay troops a dime.
If they want to go overseas and do their patriotic duty, let them do it for free or not at all.

#6 | Posted by pumpkinhead at 2017-05-18 03:23 PM | Reply

"I still have difficulty understanding how professional athletes are paid millions of dollars a year"

It's called talent. One ghetto dude down my street runs faster than everyone on the block, gets a scholarship, becomes an all-American and then gets drafted and lands a high-paying gig in the NFL-- good for him. He deserves it.

If he doesn't have quite that much talent, he still has his college degree to work for and leverage after graduation. If he has absolutely no talent, there's always the military.

#7 | Posted by pumpkinhead at 2017-05-18 03:26 PM | Reply

" If he has absolutely no talent, there's always the military."

with Veterans Benefits paid for by those talented fellows who didn't put their lives on the line for their country.

#8 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-18 03:38 PM | Reply

"with Veterans Benefits paid for by those talented fellows who didn't put their lives on the line for their country."

Nay. Football players risk serious brain related trauma for the good of the American people. If it wasn't for football, Americans might actually start doing other things with their Sundays-- possibly church-related, and certainly that is only going to harm longterm American prosperity when it comes to the loss of consumerist profit margins.

#9 | Posted by pumpkinhead at 2017-05-18 03:44 PM | Reply

Republicans talk alot of fake patriotic nonsense about our military personnel but any time they have a chance to put their money where their mouths are, they prove that they are full of it.

They'll start charging our soldiers for ammunition if their corporate masters ask them.

#10 | Posted by Sully at 2017-05-18 03:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

Advertisement

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Republicans talk alot of fake patriotic nonsense

#10 | Posted by Sully at

Yes, they do.

The proper attitude towards the GOP is one of fear and loathing.

#11 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-18 04:22 PM | Reply

That these evil excuses for human beings would target veteran's benefits was predicted long ago.

Donald needs to be removed from office and the House needs to flip. Enough of this insane and hateful crap.

#12 | Posted by Zed at 2017-05-18 04:25 PM | Reply

remember when OBAMA hated the Troops!

I bet they are glad he is gone

#13 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2017-05-18 04:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 5

Republicans.

Love wars.

Hate the troops.

Wouldn't it be easier if they all just died?

#14 | Posted by ClownShack at 2017-05-18 04:40 PM | Reply

You already "buy into" benefits if you choose the Montgomery plan over the post9/11 GI bill.

#15 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-05-18 05:12 PM | Reply

It's called free market capitalism.

#3 | Posted by rstybeach11

The free market doesn't underpay teachers, republicans do. They think it's worth having crappy teachers if rich people can have low taxes.

#16 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 07:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

But frankly, I love it when the government screws over the troops.

The worse it gets to be in the military, the fewer people will enlist.

Enlisting in the military is simply signing up to be a poorly paid mercenary for banks and oil companies, and encourages them to start more wars.

#17 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 07:14 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thank heavens the GOP is looking out for our people in uniform. I'm sure they're glad they voted Republican.

#18 | Posted by morris at 2017-05-18 07:38 PM | Reply

This is how Rethugs treat the people they have asked to fight and die for them, to promote their agenda, which is to rob and kill in other countries for Corporate tycoons. Rape, pillage and plunder is the centuries old story of man's exploitation of man.

Like so many other issues, none of this was ever mentioned during the campaign. Americans are being played by both parties.

#19 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-05-18 07:39 PM | Reply

/snarkon

As well they should!

I know that boaz agrees with me that those freeloaders know it is not a right but a privilege to get these benefits from the taxpayer.

They should be lucky any benefits were offered at all for the honor and privilege of possibly dying for this country.

Pay up you freeloaders!

/snarkoff

#20 | Posted by donnerboy at 2017-05-18 07:53 PM | Reply

Like so many other issues, none of this was ever mentioned during the campaign. Americans are being played by both parties.

#19 | Posted by nutcase

Unless you think they're being played by both parties, EQUALLY, you really should specify that in your statement.

Telling people both parties are screwing them equally makes a lot of cynical people not vote. That gives us republican majorities and presidents, leading to worse lives for the middle class and poor, environmental destruction, and war.

#21 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 07:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


@#17 ... The worse it gets to be in the military, the fewer people will enlist. ...

But if enough do not enlist, then the Selective Service System will be restarted

#22 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-05-18 09:03 PM | Reply

Considering the Republicans desire to take so called "free stuff" away from those less fortunate, this seems to fall right within their values.

#23 | Posted by Whatsleft at 2017-05-18 09:05 PM | Reply

I still have difficulty understanding how professional athletes are paid millions of dollars a year, while service personnel and teachers are paid pittances.

That's because the vast majority of people are not rich and tend to spend their disposable income on cheap entertainment.

#24 | Posted by REDIAL at 2017-05-18 09:11 PM | Reply

For the most part, both parties loyalties are to the 1%. There are exceptions, largely among the Wussies and Sanders of course. Rethugs are direct in their attacks, pretending poor people are the cause of alleged budget deficits. Deficits which are meaningless when war or the plight of rich criminals are in play. Rethugs drive to privatize everything produces immediate benefits and long term excess costs for taxpayers.

No President was more successful at undoing the New Deal than Bill Clinton, who initiated NAFTA and would have privatized SS except the Monica scandal got in the way. Shrub & Obama wanted to privatize SS and cutting benefits is still on the table. Obama pushed the TPP to the very end and its text is re-emerging in other documents. Obamacare is an improvement but also a gift to the insurance industry. Don't get me started on Hillary.

Still there are sound reasons for favoring the Wussies, starting with their markedly superior SCOTUS appointments. There are other reasons for favoring the Wussies.

#25 | Posted by nutcase at 2017-05-18 09:13 PM | Reply

But if enough do not enlist, then the Selective Service System will be restarted

#22 | Posted by LampLighter

That's the point. Then plutocrats will be more hesitant to start wars. Its harder to to say "we must fight" when "we" includes you or your kids.

#26 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 09:23 PM | Reply

Still there are sound reasons for favoring the Wussies, starting with their markedly superior SCOTUS appointments. There are other reasons for favoring the Wussies.

#25 | Posted by nutcase

That's all I was looking for. I don't see how you could know that, and still say the "both parties blah blah blah" crap. If you're going to say that stuff I think you have an ethical obligation to add that one of them is still far preferable to the other.

#27 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 09:25 PM | Reply


@#26 ... Its harder to to say "we must fight" when "we" includes you or your kids....

The "we" does not include everyone. Many people whose parents have enough money seem to be able to obtain draft deferments for, say, bone spurs in one's feet.

Bottom line, the draft tends to pull in fewer of those who had the money to avoid it.

#28 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-05-18 09:29 PM | Reply

Bottom line, the draft tends to pull in fewer of those who had the money to avoid it.

#28 | Posted by LampLighter

Well that's because we tolerate it. But SOME of them get pulled in, and the fear of that would help prevent their rich parents from supporting stupid wars.

#29 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-18 09:39 PM | Reply

The GI Bill has kinda lost its way. It's now a program to also help children of vets attend college. That's not right.

This thread is typical of what I've come to expect from the DR lately though. Nobody reads articles anymore.

#30 | Posted by WhiteDevil at 2017-05-18 09:39 PM | Reply

@329 ... Well that's because we tolerate it. But SOME of them get pulled in, and the fear of that would help prevent their rich parents from supporting stupid wars. ...

That logic didn't work then, and I see no reason why it would work now.

A better approach would be to stop starting wars. And we know how well that works. :(

#31 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-05-18 09:50 PM | Reply

Didn't we have a draft during Vietnam?

Did that stop folks from supporting that stupid war?

#32 | Posted by eberly at 2017-05-18 09:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


@#30 ... This thread is typical of what I've come to expect from the DR lately though. Nobody reads articles anymore. ...

I read the cited article, and others on the topic.

If the current benefit structure needs changing, then change it, improve it.

But don't make our service personnel pay for those benefits on the pittance of a paycheck we provide.

This legislation, as it stands, looks like little more than a thinly veiled attempt to extract more money from our service personnel to try to pay for a part of Speaker Ryan's tax cuts for the wealthy.

#33 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-05-18 09:59 PM | Reply

As I mentioned earlier: there is already one GI Bill which requires service personnel to pay into:

Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) For active duty members who enroll and pay $100 per month for 12 months and are then entitled to receive a monthly education benefit once they have completed a minimum service obligation.
www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/montgomery_bill.asp

Not sure why someone would choose the Montgomery GIB over the post9/11 GIB, but it exists as an option.

Apparently you can sign up for both, pay into the Montgomery, use it after service, then transfer post9/11 GIB to a dependent.

#34 | Posted by GOnoles92 at 2017-05-18 10:10 PM | Reply

It's called free market capitalism.

#3 | POSTED BY RSTYBEACH11 AT 2017-05-18 02:45 PM | REPLY | FLAG:

No such thing. The NFL was allowed a monopoly exemption which allows them to extort billions from the taxpayers of the cities and states "lucky" enough to be blessed by their presence. From stadiums to free security to outright cash payments, this welfare allows the owners to buy talent. There is nothing free market about the NFL.

#35 | Posted by 726 at 2017-05-19 07:56 AM | Reply

They'll start charging our soldiers for ammunition if their corporate masters ask them.

#10 | POSTED BY SULLY AT 2017-05-18 03:55 PM | FLAG:

When dumbya sent the troops into Iraq, they were buying their own body armor because the government didn't provide it.

www.foxnews.com

"Congress has allocated funds for all U.S. troops to wear 16-pound, ceramic-plated Interceptor body armor (search), but as many as 51,000 American soldiers and civilian administrators in Iraq have not yet been equipped with the gear, and have been asking friends and families at home to purchase and send them off-the-shelf models for protection.

As part of the inducement to get other nations to join coalition forces in Iraq, Washington has offered protective gear and other equipment to allied countries. Coalition requests have varied -- the Hungarian military asked for desert vehicles; the Latvians requested night vision goggles."

#36 | Posted by 726 at 2017-05-19 08:00 AM | Reply

"Americans are being played by both parties"

You are simply full of crap. Show me the bill Democrats proposed to screw Veterans. Liar.

#37 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 09:13 AM | Reply

"Did that stop folks from supporting that stupid war?"

Um....absolutely positively. WE had huge protests, riots. Are you not old enough to remember? We ended the draft because of Vietnam.

#38 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 09:16 AM | Reply

"Um....absolutely positively"

so, we didn't go? It didn't happen? We didn't send hundreds of thousands of troops? have nearly 60K killed? killed millions of other people?

all this WITH a draft in place.

My point is that a draft didn't stop us from going to Vietnam and experiencing the carnage.

The draft obviously did not stop us from going to Vietnam.

#39 | Posted by eberly at 2017-05-19 09:23 AM | Reply

The draft obviously did not stop us from going to Vietnam."

But it did motivate the young to protest violently and cause the end to the draft, an amendment to lower the voting age to 18, and a generation to mistrust government when it wanted to go to war for the rest of our lives. Here's what we learned: "War is good business, invest your sons."

#40 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 09:34 AM | Reply

And further, today, I'm in favor of bring back the draft with no deferments, if rich politicians think we need to go to war then their sons should be on the front lines. Something tells me we wouldn't be fighting very many wars.

#41 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 09:35 AM | Reply

"if rich politicians think we need to go to war then their sons should be on the front lines"

Was it possible for rich politicians to keep their sons out of serving when there was a draft?

Has this country ever had a draft with no deferments?

#42 | Posted by eberly at 2017-05-19 09:41 AM | Reply

Eberly, there were many different mechanisms that allowed the rich (politicians or not) to avoid the draft. Some of those exemptions were perfectly valid such as actual medical conditions that do and should rightly exempt a person from service. But it was fairly simple with adequate resources to find a doctor that would attest to BS conditions, mythical bone spurs come to mind, that exempted. College deferments were the most common and that's when you saw a bunch of people taking 7 years to finish undergrad degrees for the first time.

There were always deferments and disqualifiers as long as there was a draft but they were fewer and much less frequently used.

I'm also a strong proponent of reinstating the draft and make the bar for deferments much higher, basically none other than medical by a military panel or some "key industry" provisions.

#43 | Posted by Reagan58 at 2017-05-19 10:07 AM | Reply

"Was it possible for rich politicians to keep their sons out of serving when there was a draft?"

You didn't even need to be rich, you just needed to be in college. I have four brothers and my Dad was a 30 year Navy man. He made it clear that he didn't want any of his sons going to Vietnam and none ever joined the service nor got drafted. One brother was called up and reported for the physical then was told he would be notified when to report, so he took a trip to visit family in Delaware where he got arrested on a misdemeanor charge. Then he was notified to report and did but was told he needed to take care of his charge first. So he did, he went back up to Delawere for his court date and told the judge he'd been drafted. The judge said ok, we'll dismiss the charges. So he came back down to Florida and was prepared to report for duty, only thing was Congress ended the draft right then and thus he never had to report for duty. And that is a totally true story that we laugh about all the time. Hell, I felt so sorry for him being drafted that I even gave him a car to drive for his last days of civillian life. He drove that car for years. It was junk but it drove. Back in those days the draft was a cloud hanging over every young man's head but mostly over the heads of kids from poor families that couldn't find a way to enroll in college.

#44 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 10:12 AM | Reply

Show me the bill Democrats proposed to screw Veterans. Liar.
#37 | POSTED BY DANNI

They blocked funding to secure a bigger overall budget.
thehill.com

Overall I agree with your point on the draft, but the VA is a political football.

#45 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2017-05-19 10:14 AM | Reply

First paragraphs of Andrea's link:

"Senate Democrats on Thursday blocked a bill that would fund veterans' benefits and military construction, in an effort to push Republicans to negotiate a larger budget deal.
Senators voted 50-44 on ending debate over whether to proceed to the funding bill. Sixty votes were needed.
Democrats were expected to block the legislation as part of their push for an agreement that would roll back congressionally-mandated spending caps on both defense and non-defense spending."

Not actually an anti-VA position.

#46 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 10:24 AM | Reply

Was it possible for rich politicians to keep their sons out of serving when there was a draft?

Has this country ever had a draft with no deferments?

#42 | Posted by eberly at 2017-05-19 09:41 AM | Reply

You didn't need to be rich to get a deferment. What the rich and connected could do was have their sons "serve" while never actually facing any danger. They serve in "champagne units".

en.wikipedia.org

From the link:

"Commenting on this disparity, General Colin Powell wrote in his autobiography, "I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well placed and many professional athletes (who were probably healthier than any of us) managed to wrangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to our country."[3]"

Ironic considering his boss Dubya is an infamous example of this favorable treatment.

#47 | Posted by Sully at 2017-05-19 10:26 AM | Reply

Don't worry. The military will still vote for Republicans who will in turn screw them over at every possible turn for their corporate backers.

#48 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-05-19 10:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Thanks for all the responses on the draft.

So....I don't think politicians are afraid of going to war because of their sons' exposure to military service.

Instead....the voting population might shift to more of a pacifist type attitude if they believe supporting pro-war candidates means their sons might go to war.

IMO, pols will only change their tune on wars based on their constituents...not their own family's exposure.

#49 | Posted by eberly at 2017-05-19 11:18 AM | Reply

"Enlisting in the military is simply signing up to be a poorly paid mercenary for banks and oil companies, and encourages them to start more wars."

#17 | Posted by SpeakSoftly

"I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."

--Smedley Butler--

#50 | Posted by dibblda at 2017-05-19 12:35 PM | Reply

But it did motivate the young to protest violently and cause the end to the draft

Posted by Danni...

So you are ok if we conservatives start protesting "violently" for causes we believe in or is it only ok when it's coming from liberals?

#51 | Posted by boaz at 2017-05-19 02:38 PM | Reply

And BTW,

I'm for this.

I myself paid $1200 for the Montgomery GI bill and put in an extra $600 kicker to get the Post 9/11 benefits. It has paid off in spades with two BA's and one Master's. Countless certifications.

Key here is, I paid into it and reaped benefits. To keep it sustainable, raise the buy in..

#52 | Posted by boaz at 2017-05-19 02:40 PM | Reply

So you are ok if we conservatives start protesting "violently" for causes we believe in or is it only ok when it's coming from liberals?

#51 | Posted by boaz

Yes I actually encourage you to start violently protesting, demanding tax cuts for the wealthy and more pollution.

Good luck with that.

#53 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-19 03:16 PM | Reply

"So you are ok if we conservatives start protesting "violently" for causes we believe in or is it only ok when it's coming from liberals?"

Protest any way you want but don't whine when the police do to you what they did to left wing protesters who became overly agitated, be prepared to go to jail, be prepared to bleed. I don't think most conservatives want to protest violently, I know I don't.

#54 | Posted by danni at 2017-05-19 03:28 PM | Reply

Any rise in the buy in is a pay cut for the men.

The truth is even more perverse. Some of these men will pay in but never collect.

They are changing it from a benefit that was earned by being in the military to merely a product for sale. The whole point of benefits is that they are part of the compensation for the job.

Bottom line the soldiers will get smaller paychecks.

#55 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-05-19 03:34 PM | Reply

Bottom line the soldiers will get smaller paychecks.

#55 | Posted by hatter5183

And then they'll vote for the people who cut their paychecks and gave tax cuts to billionaires.

Soldiers aint too smart.

#56 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-05-19 04:09 PM | Reply

This is the same weird mental jibber-jabber that allowed corporations to replace pensions with 401(k)s and pretend that ALLOWING YOU TO INVEST PART OF YOUR WAGES on a 401(k) is better than giving you a pension IN ADDITION to your wages. They suckered us in by matching when they started but now many have scaled back or outright eliminated matching.

#57 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2017-05-19 04:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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