Fox News: Volunteers Don't Deserve GI Bill


After garnering 256 votes in the House, Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) 21st Century GI Bill passed the Senate last week with 75 votes. Yesterday, on Memorial Day, the New York Times criticized President Bush and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) — who skipped the vote — for opposing the bill, writing that Bush and McCain “would prefer that college benefits for service members remain just mediocre enough that people in uniform are more likely to stay put.”



Discussing the op-ed this morning, Fox and Friends’s Brian Kilmeade defended Bush and McCain, saying their position is “just a different emphasis.” He insisted that current circumstances are “different” than after World War II, when the original GI bill was passed, because today’s veterans volunteered to serve:

This is just a different emphasis. … After all this is different. People point to, ‘Well, look what they did after World War II.’ Well after World War II, people were conscripted. They said, ‘You’re joining.’ They said for doing that and winning the war, here’s a college education. Now, people are saying, ‘I want to be a military person. I am signing on in a volunteer force.’

In reality, Bush and McCain’s stance on the GI Bill is not just a “different emphasis.” McCain’s watered-down alternative reserves the most generous benefits to those who serve at least 12 years. Furthermore, soldiers would not “jump off to college after three years,” as Kilmeade suggested, because they would still have to complete their enlistment terms.
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