Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Relying on flawed retention argument, McCain opposes modernized GI Bill

Go to Carpet Bagger Report original
Just a few days ago, appearing on ABC’s “The View,” John McCain talked about the importance of increasing the size of the U.S. military. To entice more volunteers, he said, the government should focus on incentives: “[O]ne of the things we ought to do is provide [the troops with] significant educational benefits in return for serving.”

Naturally, then, McCain indicated a few days later that he’ll withhold support for a bipartisan measure to renew and expand the GI Bill for a new generation of veterans.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill.

McCain indicated he would offer some sort of alternative to the legislation to address concerns that expanding the GI Bill could lead more members of the military to get out of the service.

Both Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. — have signed on as co-sponsors, and the bill has gained bipartisan support from 55 senators on Capitol Hill. A vote on the proposal is expected before the summer.

But the bill, which would dramatically increase educational compensation for American troops, has run into some unexpected resistance, both at the Pentagon and now from McCain, who has remained silent on the issue, saying he had not studied the bill close enough.

McCain’s opposition comes a day after petitions from 30,000 veterans arrived at McCain’s Senate office, urging him to support the modernized bill to offer veterans a college education.


Deficits, tax Cuts at Center of McCain Economic Plan
Go to New York Times original
Pittsburgh - Senator John McCain offered the broadest look yet at his economic policies in a speech here Tuesday, calling for tax cuts, a freeze of discretionary spending for a year, higher premiums for better-off Medicare recipients and elimination of federal gas taxes this summer to reinvigorate the sagging economy.

Mr. McCain, who made no mention of his previous pledge to balance the budget by the end of his first term, outlined a long list of tax cuts he favored in the speech, which was delivered on the deadline for filing taxes. He called once again for making the Bush tax cuts, which he voted against, permanent, and for cutting corporate taxes, phasing out the alternative minimum tax and doubling the value of exemptions for each dependent to $7,000 from $3,500. He also proposed giving people the option of using a simpler, shorter tax form.

One of Mr. McCain’s tax proposals would take effect even before the Republican Convention: he called on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent a gallon federal gas tax from Memorial Day until Labor Day. Mr. McCain said that doing so would provide "an immediate economic stimulus," but some environmentalists said that the change might encourage more people to use their cars, while Mr. McCain has made combating global warming central to his campaign.

On the spending side of the ledger, Mr. McCain pledged to veto every bill that comes to his desk with earmarked pork-barrel projects in it, and to order a one-year freeze on increases in most discretionary spending — a relatively small portion of the overall federal budget — while he reviews every federal program, department, and agency.


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