Michael Domininguez, deputy under secretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, said the Defense Department opposed proposed changes in educational benefits for Iraq War veterans. He argued that GI Bill payments at present come close to matching those of active-duty members. He felt making GI benefits too generous and allowing reservists to use them after getting out of the service could end up hurting the military by making it more attractive to get out. “These programs are not broken. They do not require radical restructuring.” He said the cost of the proposals would end up being more than $13 billion over five years, and argued the money could be better spent on other things like improved medical benefits. Under questioning he admitted the Bush administration would not willingly spend $13 billion to improve reserve health benefits. Keith Wilson of the VA was most concerned about costs of the proposed legislation.
Information from Stars & Stripes
Everyone who voted for Republican candidates in last year’s election should be compelled to read the stuff coming out of the mouths of Defense Department and VA people hired by George Bush. If $13 billion over five years is too much, how about reducing the $1 trillion given in tax benefits to Bush’s wealthy friends! Isn’t it interesting that Bush’s own appointee admits the president would “not willingly” provide additional spending on health benefits for reservists. Few Americans realize that National Guard and Reservists are NOT receiving the same educational benefits provided members of the regular armed forces. This is outrageous given that National Guard and Reservists have been compelled to return again and again to Iraq.