A Pentagon initiative which would allow career service members to share GI Bill e ducation rights with a spouse or children was opposed by the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Sen. Daniel Akak said: “I believe that those who would rely on transferability as an incentive to longer service would be disappointed.” He said studies indicate fewer than 2% of soldiers showed interest in giving their GI Bll benefits to family members which indicates there is need for further testing and review “before anyone can positively say that this benefit would have the desired impact on retention.”
Akaka is one of the sponsors of the 21st Century GI Bill pushed by sen. James Webb. Webb’s proposal would ncrease GI Bill benefits from the current $1,100 a month for those with at least three years of service, to cover full cost of attending a four year college plus provide stipends for living costs.
The House version of the bill would cover costs by adding a surcharge of 0.47% to couples with incomes of $1 million and to single taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of $500,000. There is no question President Bush will oppose raising taxes on the wealthy in order to pay for the cost of the Iraq war. He, naturally, would prefer cutting taxes since it violates his political beliefs that wealthy people should ever be forced to endure any financial burdens.