Tag Archives: Veteran benefits

Improved GI Bill Will Result In Improved Economy

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.

Barack Obama Promises Health Benefits To Veterans

Retired Air Force veteran, Andrew Hampton, grew emotional when he rose in an Iowa meeting to ask Senator Barack Obama about his plans to make certain veterans obtained health benefits they needed. Hampton was wearing an Obama T-shirt and the senator asked him to pose a tough question. The crowd laughed but then grew quiet as the military veteran spoke. He said he joined the Air Force in 1956 and retired in 1988 and initially did not receive the health benefits he had been promised due to a “political decision.” Eventually he received a pace-maker. The concern he expressed to the senator was ensuring that those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan receive full medical benefits. “We can’t desert them,” he cried. Obama promised if elected president that he would do all in his power to ensure every veteran obtained needed medical benefits as long as such assistance was necessary.

It has taken a Democratic Congress to finally force the Bush administration to carry out the nation’s obligations to those who have served in the armed forces.