An excellent editorial in the pages of the Topeka Capital-Journal today lauding the new GI Bill, which has seen full support from Congresswoman Nancy Boyda:
We agree wholeheartedly that this is the very least we can provide to our men and women who have served us overseas- and the funding mechanism- an income tax surcharge of one-half of 1% on individuals with incomes of more than $500,000 and couples with incomes of more that $1 million- is a small price to pay to do what's right for our veterans.
We think this bill, however, is one worth championing and one that should be signed into law when it reaches President Bush.
The legislation would increase education benefits available to military veterans to bring them in line with the actual cost of a college education.[...]
A spokeswoman for Rep. Nancy Boyda, R-Kan., said that under the bill passed recently, the tuition amount available to veterans would be based on that charged by each state's most expensive state university.
The current benefit is sufficient to cover tuition cost at The University of Kansas, but wouldn't cover other fees, books, housing and living expenses. The University of Kansas has requested an 8.7 percent increase that would raise tuition for incoming freshmen this fall to $3,471 a semester.
During a visit to Topeka, Boyda and a former Marine sergeant now attending KU noted many veterans take on jobs or large loans to pay the remainder of the cost of their education.
Granted, many students who haven't served in the armed forces also work and take out loans to finance their educations. We're not trying to make light of their predicament, one that also should be addressed by universities and federal and state governments, but we think the time is right to live up to the original intent of the GI Bill for those risking life and limb at their government's behest.
And to the lying liars who say the bill will hurt small businesses, we have this from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities:
Critics of the House-passed bill maintain that their concern is its impact on “mom and pop” small business operations, which they describe as the engines of economic growth and job creation. These critics should be reassured by the fact that the overwhelming majority of such enterprises will never generate enough profits to make them subject to the surcharge.and
Moreover, even the 1.2 percent figure likely overstates the impact of the surcharge on small business owner-operators.In a time of war, when thousands of our young men and women are sacrificing for us, the least we can do as a nation is to provide them with opportunities when they return home. This bill, thankfully, does that.
Many of these individuals, however, play no role in managing the business and are simply passive investors who contribute some capital to the enterprise and, in exchange, receive a share of the profits. Their ranks include President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, as well as many other wealthy investors who are not actual small business operators — and whom the public generally does not think of as “small business owners.”
(For even more, visit Left Brain Kansas)