Yesterday, the New York Times shamelessly politicized Memorial Day by publishing an editorial attacking President Bush and Sen. John McCain for not supporting Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) “Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act.” The New York Times is free to criticize the president as much as it wants (we sure do) but it’s editorial writers owe our men and women in uniform an honest debate on an issue that greatly affects their lives. And this editorial leaves out half of the GI Bill story.
The paper completely fails to mention that McCain has sponsored his own alternative education assistance bill that ABC News reports “would offer more benefits to soldiers who have served longer terms” and “would also provide benefits accrued by soldiers to be transferred to spouses and dependents.” McCain’s bill increases the monthly G.I. educational benefit from $1,101 a month to $1,500 a month and, for those who serve in active duty for 12 years or more, the benefit reaches $2,000 a month.
Furthermore, to better help military families, the McCain bill allows half the educational benefit to be transferred to a spouse or children after six years, and the entire benefit is transferable after 12 years. The Webb bill, which the Times so wholeheartedly promotes, does not contain any such family friendly provision.