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  • The new GI BILL(argument against?)

    I'd like some of our conservative users to give me a good argument AGAINST(or for if your a mutant republican :P) I've not been able to find any info on valid reasons for not giving our soldiers of the 9/11 era free education.
    Bf2142-TOOmuchMcLovin
    America's Army- -=No.Ob=-McLovin
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  • #2
    Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

    The McCain argument is that is would negatively effect career retention rates, as more soldiers would be encouraged to leave the service as soon as educational benefits became available. Since we're already holding soldiers in the service via stop-loss, that seems like an odd position to take, so I assume there is a deeper policy reason that's simply harder or less palatable to explain to the press.
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    • #3
      Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

      I don't see a problem with it. Most soldiers are too dumb to do anything else, or they wouldn't be stuck in Iraq in the first place right? So promising a bunch of free education won't really cost that much in practice.

      Seriously, I support updating the GI bill to reflect new college expenses, but if I had a pile of money to spend on soldiers I'd spend it on the disabled soldiers first. Let's get the VA system sans pareil then move on to the next thing.

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      • #4
        Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

        I think the GI Bill should definitely be upgraded and I agree with Leejo that it should first go to injured/disabled vets. Although they do have disability payments available I'm pretty sure it hasn't kept up with the times just as the GI Bill is outdated. When I used mine in 1994-1997 it was $400 a month which was a great help with rent but was nowhere near paying my university tuition.

        As for the opposition argument that a college degree is too rich a reward for serving four years during this day and age I'd have to say they're crazy.

        Originally posted by Steeler
        Since we're already holding soldiers in the service via stop-loss, that seems like an odd position to take
        Interesting point about stop loss. Since you have this opinion I assume you've already done the research. Can you give us some numbers of soldiers held over via stop loss versus those that voluntarily re-uped?
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        • #5
          Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

          Originally posted by Steeler View Post
          The McCain argument is that is would negatively effect career retention rates, as more soldiers would be encouraged to leave the service as soon as educational benefits became available. Since we're already holding soldiers in the service via stop-loss, that seems like an odd position to take, so I assume there is a deeper policy reason that's simply harder or less palatable to explain to the press.
          I am not necessarily against the proposed GI Bill. It would certainly help me tremendously, and while I mostly think it's a big pandering pile of crap designed to address no particular pressing national need, interest, or problem, I like getting "free" stuff like everyone else. I would certainly use it.

          Stop-loss is definitely not affecting everyone, but it does mean that we already have manpower issues in certain areas. Anything that lowers retention is going to make those problems worse. I'm not convinced that the fact that we already have to use stop-loss for some people is an argument in favor of lowering retention further.

          And the number one problem is that "retention" and "recruitment" are VASTLY different things. Recruiting problems can be addressed by giving better incentives to join. But giving better incentives to leave means you're getting rid of leaders...people already done with their first contract period and who have years of experience.

          I was well aware of the benefits when I joined. Weighing the incentives and drawbacks, I still signed, just like a lot of people. But do we as a nation have an incentive to make it harder for us to retain qualified professional leaders?

          Though beneficial, why is college the magic talisman for incentives? Why not provide a dramatic pay raise for the military and thus attract not only more new recruits but make it an easier choice to stay in? Some people do save their money and pay for their own education, right?

          If this is going to cause as many people to leave senior positions as it is feared, the responsible thing would be to figure out how to balance that out BEFORE implementation.
          ---
          Sources say the Dow Jones' decline is directly related to Dethklok front-man Nathan Explosion's constant deleting of potential new albums.

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          • #6
            Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

            Originally posted by Switchcraft View Post
            Though beneficial, why is college the magic talisman for incentives?
            Because the vast majority of people need a college degree if they ever want to do something other than flipping burgers or stopping shelves. Hell, there was a job posting a while back here at the University that required candidates to have a PhD for a job that was- and I'm not exaggerating- washing petri dishes and setting up lab trays. The alternatives to having the government pay your way boil down to either having the cash on hand and paying for college on your own or taking out enough loans to keep you in debt until you're 50. It's over $50k for 4 years at the U of Illinois for in-state tuition; that's more than half a house in some areas.

            Why not provide a dramatic pay raise for the military and thus attract not only more new recruits but make it an easier choice to stay in?
            I doubt that the military could get enough money to compete with private industry and corporate America. How long does it take time-wise to go from E1 to E7? Take a look at the pay scale for enlisted soldiers and think how much they'd have to raise the rates to compete with your average $40-50k/yr straight out of college job. That's a ton of money the government would have to spend; not that soldiers don't deserve it, but where do we get that money? On top of that, how many people truly wish to make a career out of soldiering, especially in current times?

            Some people do save their money and pay for their own education, right?
            Some people save, but I'd imagine the vast majority are taking out loans. Hell, I've been out of school for 7 years and I still owe $18k on my remaining loan. And that's after I paid off one $5k loan myself, and my mother (against my will and without my permission, I might add!) paid off what I had remaining on a third. As college tuition keeps rising, it's going to become even harder for people to put themselves or their children through college without taking on some significant portion of debt.
            [squadl]
            "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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            • #7
              Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

              Originally posted by SmokingTarpan View Post
              Because the vast majority of people need a college degree if they ever want to do something other than flipping burgers or stopping shelves. Hell, there was a job posting a while back here at the University that required candidates to have a PhD for a job that was- and I'm not exaggerating- washing petri dishes and setting up lab trays. The alternatives to having the government pay your way boil down to either having the cash on hand and paying for college on your own or taking out enough loans to keep you in debt until you're 50. It's over $50k for 4 years at the U of Illinois for in-state tuition; that's more than half a house in some areas.



              I doubt that the military could get enough money to compete with private industry and corporate America. How long does it take time-wise to go from E1 to E7? Take a look at the pay scale for enlisted soldiers and think how much they'd have to raise the rates to compete with your average $40-50k/yr straight out of college job. That's a ton of money the government would have to spend; not that soldiers don't deserve it, but where do we get that money? On top of that, how many people truly wish to make a career out of soldiering, especially in current times?



              Some people save, but I'd imagine the vast majority are taking out loans. Hell, I've been out of school for 7 years and I still owe $18k on my remaining loan. And that's after I paid off one $5k loan myself, and my mother (against my will and without my permission, I might add!) paid off what I had remaining on a third. As college tuition keeps rising, it's going to become even harder for people to put themselves or their children through college without taking on some significant portion of debt.
              For clarification, I am a disabled/retired Marine and have since racked up an incredible amount of debt at a wildly expensive ivy league university.

              I agree that college is very expensive, and that college degrees are being required for positions that require no such level of education. The expense of college wouldn't concern me (it's an investment in your future, after all) but I'm not convinced that embracing college as the magical cure for everything is doing anything but making the "you need a phd to mop our floors" problem worse. I think that's a problem that needs to be addressed. In the northwest, I once worked with a consortium of manufacturers who told me their number one problem in hiring new people was that they needed skilled laborers. People they would pay 20 to 40 dollars an hour to drive forklifts and operate machines that required certifications. The problem is that even though an 18 year old could do these jobs with a few weeks of training, our education system has convinced high school graduates that there are only two paths: college or burgers. Those that take the college route rarely realize there are plenty of other ways to make vast amounts of money with specialized training, like in construction, plumbing, etc.

              As for military pay, Tarpan I don't know what you mean. You say that the military isn't going to compete with "corporate America" but this is obviously false as it DOES already compete with all the other industries with available jobs. Hence, I joined and re-enlisted because I very much felt that it was the place I wanted to be. All I'm suggesting is that when someone decides they want to "do something for the troops" and thus get more votes by spending a lot of money on something, maybe they could decide to do something other than shake the college talisman. If the extra billions of dollars are available, and you know giving a college incentive might cost you seasoned, professional military leaders, why not give a pay raise instead? You say the money isn't available, but if that's the case then I see that as an argument against the new GI Bill. I'm just asking why the GI BIll would be better than a pay raise, which provides increased benefit to military members, allows them to make their own choices with their money so it doesn't preclude college if that is the individual's goal, and it provides additional incentive to join and re-enlist.
              Last edited by Switchcraft; 06-11-2008, 12:17 PM. Reason: Forgot to spell check, sorry.
              ---
              Sources say the Dow Jones' decline is directly related to Dethklok front-man Nathan Explosion's constant deleting of potential new albums.

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              • #8
                Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                Originally posted by USN_Squid View Post
                Interesting point about stop loss. Since you have this opinion I assume you've already done the research. Can you give us some numbers of soldiers held over via stop loss versus those that voluntarily re-uped?
                I don't think the army publishes that kind of data - all we have is anecdotes of an increase in the rate of stop-loss order. In any case, my point is that if you can and are already willing to forcefully extend the contracts of soldiers ready to leave the service, why complain that the GI Bill would hurt retention? We already take steps to force higher retention.

                And wouldn't the promise of a bigger education fund increase recruitment rates? That IS one of the more attractive personal benefits to service.
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                • #9
                  Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                  Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                  And wouldn't the promise of a bigger education fund increase recruitment rates? That IS one of the more attractive personal benefits to service.

                  I got too wordy above, maybe, but recruitment and retention are vastly different things. Promise everyone a million dollars when they leave the service and you'll boost recruitment to wherever you need it, but you've also boosted the urge to leave the service at 4 years, so you make it much harder to keep the good sergeants and chiefs that we rely on in a professional military.
                  ---
                  Sources say the Dow Jones' decline is directly related to Dethklok front-man Nathan Explosion's constant deleting of potential new albums.

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                  • #10
                    Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                    I think this bill discriminates against officers.

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                    • #11
                      Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                      Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                      I don't think the army publishes that kind of data - all we have is anecdotes of an increase in the rate of stop-loss order. In any case, my point is that if you can and are already willing to forcefully extend the contracts of soldiers ready to leave the service, why complain that the GI Bill would hurt retention? We already take steps to force higher retention.

                      And wouldn't the promise of a bigger education fund increase recruitment rates? That IS one of the more attractive personal benefits to service.
                      They do indeed publish the numbers. The stop loss order has actually gone down and the rumors and anecdotes are incorrect. 8000 Army soldiers are currenlty being held over on skill based stop losses (70,000 since the war started). Re-enlistment in 2007 was more than 70,000 which was 112% of the Army's goal.
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                      • #12
                        Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                        Thanks for the info. Where do they publish that?

                        What does the ratio of stop-lossed to re-upped soldiers have to do with the GI Bill?
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                        • #13
                          Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                          Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                          Thanks for the info. Where do they publish that?

                          What does the ratio of stop-lossed to re-upped soldiers have to do with the GI Bill?
                          I couldn't find the source data from the pentagon, but the IAVA website (they're pushing the new GI Bill) and various news articles quote the data. Google "army retention goals" and you'll have plenty of reading. edit: http://www.army.mil/aps/08/informati...n_Program.html

                          Your statement was a generalization that we can't retain our current troops made obvious by the fact that we have a stoploss program, so giving them incrementally more money wouldn't change much. Unless I read you wrong?

                          The stoploss program is a small fraction of the troops that voluntarily re-enlist. I hate to see anybody held over, but I hate to see these baseless generalizations thrown about which muddy the waters. It's a political line and I'm just calling it out.
                          Last edited by USN_Squid; 06-11-2008, 02:15 PM.
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                          • #14
                            Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                            Well, I think the idea that we can't update the GI Bill because that would impact retention rates is a political line, too. The numbers that I read said that it would reduce the rate by 16% (of current retention). From 42% to 36%. But that's just an estimate, and subject to as much political spin as you like.

                            If you want to leave stop loss out of the equation, that's fine. But I would be curious to see if increased pay or post-service benefits would improve future recruiting enough to offset future retention losses. Would there really be a long-term brain drain among officers, or are officers primarily careerists anyway?

                            We could certainly afford the GI bill in both dollars and manpower if we were confident that the war would begin to spin down in the next few years, which I think politically, it's going to have to.
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                            • #15
                              Re: The new GI BILL(argument against?)

                              Originally posted by Steeler View Post
                              Well, I think the idea that we can't update the GI Bill because that would impact retention rates is a political line, too. The numbers that I read said that it would reduce the rate by 16% (of current retention). From 42% to 36%. But that's just an estimate, and subject to as much political spin as you like.

                              If you want to leave stop loss out of the equation, that's fine. But I would be curious to see if increased pay or post-service benefits would improve future recruiting enough to offset future retention losses. Would there really be a long-term brain drain among officers, or are officers primarily careerists anyway?

                              We could certainly afford the GI bill in both dollars and manpower if we were confident that the war would begin to spin down in the next few years, which I think politically, it's going to have to.
                              I agree and have the same questions. You never really know where the market clearing price is until it's tested. Given retention rates currently the question remains is the boost necessary or just the right thing to do.

                              There will be more compromises I think before it's all said and done. There are other ways to deal with special situations besides raising benefits across the board. For example; Officers who agree to three additional years can get grad school benefits in addition to the normal GI Bill.
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