Mr Bush and the G.I. Bill

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mac-convert, May 26, 2008.

  1. mac-convert macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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    #1
    I just checked Google news before wrapping up and heading to bed - I could not believe I saw this. I don't normally get this vocal, but I served 12 years in the military, two tours to Vietnam, plus a few others to that part of the world.

    Thank you Mister Bush - I hesitate to call you a president, as you have not exhibited those qualities yet after almost 8 years in the job. Most of us would have mastered our trade in that time.

    And this comes out for Memorial Day - a day to remember those that have gone off to war and have not returned to their parents, wives/husbands, brothers and sisters and children. I am appalled - and frightened - that the leader of this country and the person we give the title "Commander in Chief" to can be so callous and uncaring.

    Well - you just got my five dollars worth. Here's how the article starts, and is published in the New York Times. Click the link to read the entire thing. Then give some serious thought to whom you will vote for.


    The rest of the article here --> http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/26/opinion/26mon1.html?hp

    Take the time to read this in full...
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #2
    I have not looked much into the details of the bill but I do know the military right now is struggling to get people to re-enlisted. It not a matter of having enough people but more a matter of keeping there good officers and experienced troops. A lot more of them are choosing to leave the service.

    This infomation came from 2 career army officers.

    The problem is not personally it is the lack of experience to many of them being green so to speak and to many of the experience choosing to leave. Made worse by Iraq and people not wanting to stay because of it.

    So in that since there is some backing to wanting to not pass the bill.
     
  3. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #3
    For what our troops sacrifice for us, we owe it to them. I have a real hard time accepting explanations like, "We can't do the right thing for them because (fill in the blank)." Bull. They give their all for us; you can't mealy-mouth that away with excuses.

    Besides, the main problem in recruitment, I'm sure, isn't an improved GI bill, it's a government that sends them to war -- over and over -- under specious rationales.

    I'm pretty sure soldiers would appreciate fighting to defend their country more than they would fighting to gain access to oil, or worse, prove some horribly misguided point about democratic nation-building.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    And Grampy McSame couldn't even be bothered to show up to give voice to his disapproval of this bill. What a maverick that guy is. Guess he's afraid of how a vote against this bill would look come November, but also afraid of how his base might take it if he didn't toe the George W. Bush line.

    So while there is no end to how generous our no-bid contracts to Halliburton and KBR are, there are limits to how generous we can be to our service members. But that's ok, as long as you've got one of those yellow ribbon magnets on your SUV and a flag pin on your lapel.

    And then to hear people suggest that our service members are serving, not out of loyalty to their country, or from a sense of duty, but only for financial gain to boot... that's just shameful. If those who make that argument are truly worried about retention rates and the things that influence retention, why weren't they as vocal about those concerns while Bush was busy breaking the military? The only logical conclusion is that it was OK to hurt retention rates as long as it didn't cost them anything.
     
  5. mac-convert thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mac-convert

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  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Well, come on! Uncurious George knows best! Those silly soldiers will just run off after their three tours in Iraq and go to college and then never come back! Don't forget that now that the rich pay less taxes, there simply isn't any money to send the soldiers to college anyway. I mean gosh- they're just poor people, right? :rolleyes::mad:

    Anyone- and I mean ANYONE, who tries to ever tell me this man does a good job derves nothing but my utter contempt. Why didn't we get rid of him after the first term? WTF was anyone thinking? The man is an absolutely disgusting POS leech.
     
  7. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #7
    You did nothing but parrot the WH's ludicrous talking points. To begin with, those entering the military, and wanting training in specialized and technical fields, cannot get them with a 3 year enlistment. It is common for recruits sign a 5 or 6 year enlistment to get the best training, and jobs. Even when I joined, during the Vietnam war, I had to sign a four-year enlistment to become an electronic technician. At that time, there were 2 and 3 year enlistments available.

    Regardless, retention is based on a desire to remain in the military. A infantryman, who enlists for 3 years, and spends two tours in Iraq, has a strong incentive to make sure there is not a third. But, to use extortion, like McCain, Bush and you suggestion, is cold-hearted and chickensh*t.

    Are you in the military? Have you ever been?
     
  8. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #8
    There was a recent article in Slate focusing on the retirement of Lt. Col John Nagl.

    Simply put, it's the grind.

    The use of stop-loss, multiple tours of duty, and the harsh conditions of the mission is what's lowering the retention and recruitment rates. Until the mission changes in some significant way, this is going to continue to be a problem.
    Refusing to give soldiers additional benefits, pay, or VA care is not going to make this situation better. Soldiers are leaving because they don't want to endure the harsh realities of insurgent warfare, not because they've just received a chance to play frisbee golf on the quad.
     
  9. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #9
    This is an example of what is exactly wrong. Peopple are having trouble seperating out cost.

    They whine when we spend to much on the military and then whine when we do not spend enough after wards. This all falls into military budget.

    If you think this is cold and heartless go look at large business. they are not different. Think of the military like a business and the view changes. And yes the militry is no different than a business. You do not want you incentives to high so everyone takes option A. You want it balanced so people have to choose between option A and B and you get a balance between them. It is a balancing act.

    But this might be asking to much of some people to understand.
     
  10. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #10
    If you think the military should be run on the same lines as a large business, you clearly don't "get it".
     
  11. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #11
    It's asking far too much. I had a friend who was able to go to med school by joining the army. He did his full twenty years and served in both Gulf wars. I'd like you to talk to him about this issue. I already know his answer. BTW- he's against the war.

    Helping our soldiers get to college is the absolute least we can do, especially when they've fought for us.
     
  12. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #12
    Who are "they"? Perhaps I've missed it, but where exactly has SMM whined about spending? Maybe you should address the points actually made.
     
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #13
    Of course, this all falls into the military budget, which is why Congress is working on a bill to expand "employee" benefits. This helps retention and recruitment, and is part of an overall package to help those employees who cannot stay with their current company, but who have given their time to the company. If you think in corporate terms, you see this is still a good idea.
    Your point seems to orbit around the idea that because of the new GI Bill, there will be a sudden out-flux of troopers who have suddenly discovered college. But, the reality doesn't fit with this. The reason people are leaving is because the work is hard and dangerous, fits poorly with having a family. Giving these people a better "retirement" package is a good thing.

    If we remove this from the myopic framing of a corporation, and rediscover the reality of an Army or Marine officer working through Basra, we realize that our troops are doing a difficult job that should be rewarded with opportunity.
    It's also worth noting, that the large boom after WWII can be directly tied to the original GI Bill.
     
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #14
    I give up....

    I can see it from the point if there is a problem for troops not staying in for re enlistment that means one of 2 possible problems. Either A) you benefits afterwards are to good or your re enlistment bonuses are not enough. It sounds bad but it is that simple. Cold and heartless as it sounds that is what it boils down 2.
     
  15. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #15
    The fact that you would even try to defend this is beyond me. It has nothing to do with "cold and heartless". It has to do with what people deserve. If you're going to tell me that some kid in the military who's done his time and fought for this country and lost god-knows-what shouldn't be put through school, we're gonna have some major problems. As I said before, IT IS THE LEAST WE CAN DO. If we can't do that, then this country deserves to fail as a nation and a superpower.

    Anyway- if you read the article, you'll see that congress passed it with a veto-proof margin. So Mr. Bush (he no longer deserves the title "President" at this point) is just gonna have to suck it up and deal with it. Thank god we don't have to deal with him much longer.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    So what you are arguing, essentially, is that our troops serve, not out of a sense of patriotism, but only because of financial incentives.

    This slam on our troops aside, I'd add a third possibility to your list: Retention is being hurt by repeated deployments and stop-loss orders already. Why is THIS suddenly the issue that has people wringing their hands about the effects it will have on troop retention levels?

    It smacks of political expediency to me, rather than concern about our troops.
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #17
    You should, because it's nothing like you're describing.

    You just disproved your own argument. They're already having trouble with new enlistments, and as you noted, with those leaving. Even without the new bill in place. So they're leaving anyway without enough to replace them and fill the need for more.

    As noted here, this would actually provide some incentive to not only stay in, as it gives better benefits, but for more to join up to replace them.

    And more here:

    GOP Senator, VA Secretary Disrespect Troops on Memorial Day

    No one is whining about the after cost, merely pointing it out as a cost they don't seem to want to think of, or deal with. As said, it's the least we can do. We spend so much on contractors and everything else, cost is not something they can hide behind to say we can't do this. Why do you think none of them do? They'd be crucified, and rightly so. Support the troops indeed.

    It is. Just ask anyone close to you serving in the military how they feel, as it's obvious you have not. They're already being screwed over. If you're willing to send them over there, you better damn well be prepared to take care of them. Which they aren't. All while crying "support the troops", saying we're the ones who don't.

    But it's not balanced. That's why people are leaving, and why so few are joining up. The cost is high, the benefit low. They want to get people to join up and want to stay, they can at the very least provide for them. Or not send them there for reasons we still don't really know in the first place, taking them away from where the real terrorism is, and costs us more than we could have paid to take care of every soldier indefinitely.

    We understand it completely, we're just calling them on the hypocritical bull****.

    This new law isn't in place yet, and I'll tell you, the current benefits, if they can even get them, are not great. So it can't be A. Reenlistment bonuses aren't enough, but that's a separate issue. And something else Bush threatened to veto for the record. The issue was told to you above. Any soldier could tell you that. The war is going poorly, despite what the press says, or now doesn't say. They're sent back time after time, and the reasons are still muddled. Then when they get back, those who say "support the troops" the most don't. Whether it be via the VA, or programs like these. How is that good business? Or better, how is that taking care of our own, supporting the troops we so carelessly send into battle? Those we've already promised to take care of?

    More here:

    ON MEMORIAL DAY: Broken promises to our veterans

    And someone a lot tougher on Bush than even we are:

    Dead Troops Remembered By President Who Had Them Killed

    By (veteran) Bob Geiger.


    Support the troops (for real):

    http://www.votevets.org/index_html
     
  18. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #18
    The only thing you could say, which I would not understand, is your attitude. However, since you are simply regurgitating WH talking points, I suspect you are locked into it, and understanding your attitude is an exercise in futility.

    I notice you sidestepped my question. I will ask it again. Have you ever served in the military? Have you ever been in combat?
     
  19. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #19
  20. atszyman macrumors 68020

    atszyman

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    #20
    So we can't whine that they're wasting money that could go towards troop benefits on a war most of the country wants us out of and no-bid contracts to companies that have strong ties to this administration?

    Any good CEO would see the waste on the no-bid contracts and see if money can be saved there before cutting employee benefits.

    Cutting benefits only cuts new hires, and makes them more likely to leave if they can find a job with better benefits, and they are going to leave earlier rather than later since most benefits tend to improve with employee longevity. If you're benefits are crappy and not going to improve much, where is your incentive to stay especially in a high risk job?

    If this administration were company executives the shareholders would have had them fired at least 2 years ago.
     

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