Author Topic: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill  (Read 1044 times)

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Offline Gilgondorin

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http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/military/the-intel/sd-me-gibill-tax-20170419-story.html

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A proposal in Congress would impose a new $2,400 fee on troops who want to sign up to get the GI Bill after discharge.

The idea is being considered by the House Veterans Affairs Committee next Wednesday at a hearing.

The nation’s veterans groups appear to be steaming about the proposed change.

“We are still a nation at war. We have troops actively engaged in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and now in Syria,” said leader of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Brian Duffy, in an issued statement.

“The war on terrorism is not over! Congress’ focus should be on defeating our enemies and ending the war, not cutting the benefits of those who are fighting it.”

The VFW has proposed a hashtag campaign: #NoTaxOnTroops

The folks over at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — who are enjoying the current version of the generous post-9/11 GI Bill — are equally irate.

“Yep. Just when you thought things in DC couldn't get any stupider! #IAVA will again fight like hell to #DefendTheGIBill,” wrote Paul Reickhoff, chief executive of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans group, on his Facebook page.

“Especially in a time of war. Join us and spread the word. This is shameful,” he added.

Prior to 2009, troops had the option of paying into the Montgomery GI Bill, a benefit created during peacetime that came with a $1,200 non-reimbursable enrollment fee.

The new proposal would offset taxpayer cost for the GI Bill by about $3.1 billion over the next 10 years, according to news reports.

As is, the GI Bill is expensive: The U.S. government paid out an estimated $42 billion between 2009 and 2014.

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EDITED TO ADD:

https://www.stripes.com/news/proposal-in-congress-would-require-servicemembers-to-pay-into-gi-bill-for-benefits-1.464199#.WPgWY_krKAY

Quote
WASHINGTON – Congress is in the early stages of considering a mandate for servicemembers to pay into the GI Bill – a proposal that has drawn sharp criticism from one veterans organization, while another argues it would improve and protect the education benefit for the long haul.

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs gave veterans groups a draft last week of legislation that would deduct $100 from servicemembers’ basic pay each month for two years, for a total of $2,400, in order for them to receive education benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill created in 2009 doesn’t require servicemembers to pay into it, but an earlier version of the benefit – the Montgomery GI Bill – mandated recipients to pay $100 per month for one year.

Veterans of Foreign Wars issued a statement Tuesday, calling the proposed $2,400 buy-in a “tax on troops” that VA committee leadership was attempting to pass quickly and quietly, without allowing opposition the chance to speak up.

“The Post-9/11 GI Bill was implemented as a high-five, a wartime benefit. It was a, ‘Thanks for taking the oath of enlistment while at wartime’,” said Kayda Keleher, a VFW legislative associate. “The VFW… will not stand idly by as Congress continues adding on mandatory pay-in requirements of our troops, let alone while we are still at war.”

Will Hubbard, vice president of government affairs for Student Veterans of America, called the VFW’s position “short-sighted.”

Hubbard said the buy-in would provide an estimated $330 million each year, which would bankroll an expansion to veterans’ education benefits. Some of the improvements SVA, which says it supports more than 500,000 student veterans, are seeking include more money for veterans pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics degrees, increased benefits for survivors and dependents, providing more benefits for reservists and doing away with a requirement that veterans use their benefits within 15 years after their military service.

[ . . . . ]

The second article is added perspective. What say you all?

Offline JohnnyDollar

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 05:25:34 AM »
I say if they want to change the benefits for new recruits, OK.
That's fair as long as people know what they are signing up for.

But I have a problem when they want to change the benefits for guys that enlisted with the promise of X,Y & Z and then decide later to take away X, Y or Z. 
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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 06:35:03 AM »
+1 JD.
They are changing the retirement also.

Offline JohnnyDollar

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 06:43:20 AM »
+1 JD.
They are changing the retirement also.
It sucks,
but I suspect there will also be more changes to Social Security/Medicare before I get there.
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Offline Jeb_66

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 07:28:11 AM »
I agree with JD on both points. Lol.

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Online Alte Schule

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 08:00:29 AM »
I agree with JD on both points. Lol.

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I also agree with JD but add that screwing the ones currently serving is asinine. Only a politician, that probably never served, would think of that. I don't know what the current pay scale is but a $100 a month is a lot for some young service members.
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Offline JohnnyDollar

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 08:24:34 AM »
I agree with JD on both points. Lol.

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I also agree with JD but add that screwing the ones currently serving is asinine. Only a politician, that probably never served, would think of that. I don't know what the current pay scale is but a $100 a month is a lot for some young service members.
My point as well.

They enlisted (a contract) with a defined set of benefits, changing it after the fact is just wrong.

But it has happened to most everyone I know, myself included.
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Offline riattta

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 09:35:34 AM »
I think a rider should be added on that all congressman/women have to pay 2400 for each and every benefit they receive .   

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 09:40:38 AM »
To All,

At 70YO & LONG retired from the USA, I'm disgusted that the (mostly did NOT serve) skunks in DC won't stand by the solemn PROMISE that was made to all of us GIs & our spouses in the late 1960s that we would ALWAYS be cared for as long as we live.

The US government should (IMO) be REQUIRED by the US courts to stand by their promise & IF there are to be changes made to their promises that it ONLY happen to NEW people, who haven't yet "signed on the dotted line" & taken the oath of enlistment.

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Offline dred

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 10:25:29 AM »
Our troops are cheap enough.  Heck, our troops are a bargain.  This idea needs squashed and the bean counter that looked to balance a budget (HOOT) on the backs of soldiers protecting them is s-h-a-m-e-f-u-l.

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 01:36:01 PM »
Our troops are cheap enough.  Heck, our troops are a bargain.

The Saudi's said exactly that.  When threatened by Saddam Hussein, The Saudi's looked at their troops and mercenaries to deal with Saddam.
That was a pretty short analysis.  Instead they hired the US DoD as the best merc force in the world.

Not only did Saudi's stay in power, the DoD make a very tidy profit on the Saudi's request.

Yes, they are maybe too cheap. 

Offline 308nato

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 06:40:36 PM »
To All,

At 70YO & LONG retired from the USA, I'm disgusted that the (mostly did NOT serve) skunks in DC won't stand by the solemn PROMISE that was made to all of us GIs & our spouses in the late 1960s that we would ALWAYS be cared for as long as we live.

The US government should (IMO) be REQUIRED by the US courts to stand by their promise & IF there are to be changes made to their promises that it ONLY happen to NEW people, who haven't yet "signed on the dotted line" & taken the oath of enlistment.

yours, satx



Well said , I agree 100%.
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Offline Dubya

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Re: Congress considering new $2,400 'tax' on troops for G.I. Bill
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 03:56:42 PM »
I'm not a fan of the new "tax" but I can say back when I joined in 2002 I had to pay 1,200 for the GI Bill. It was a no brainer and I have zero regrets about having done it. The Post 9-11 GI Bill is waaaay better than the Montgomery that I had and putting myself in a soldiers boots again, I don't suspect I'd have an issue paying for it, even if they did double the fee. Being old and understanding the "long game" now, I'd rather it stay solvent than to not be available for future generations.