Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, urged the president and Congress to incorporate a new version of the GI Bill of Rights that is closer in content with the WWII bill that stimulated America’s economy by enabling millions of veterans to obtain college education. He noted the original GI Bill, “resulted in higher national productivity, consumer spending and tax revenue. Every dollar spent sending the Greatest Generation to college added seven dollars to our national economy.” The Congressinal Research Service estimates the World War II GI Bill resulted in a $5 to $12 increase in tax revenues for every $1 spent on sending veterans to college.
The Bush administration has been hesitant to make dramatic changes in veteran benefits due to the estimated $5.4 billion cost. Of course, President Bush sees no problem in spending over a trillion dollars in search of WMD and costing the lives of thousands of soldiers and Iraq civilians. There is something fundamentally wrong when a president hestiates about spending $5 billion to improve the nation, then again, President Bush opposed extending medical care to children.