Veterans Benefits, a social program or deferred payment?

A question the other day amongst us was about Veterans Benefits. I firmly believe that Veterans Benefits (VA Benefits and the GI Bill) are a form of deferred payment. We all write a blank check to Columbia giving up some of the best physical years of our lives, that check is also payable with our souls, limbs and sometimes our lives.

Veterans Benefits
Social Program
Deferred Payment

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Über slater

Is a young Cavalry Officer on the Frontier.
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10 Antworten zu Veterans Benefits, a social program or deferred payment?

  1. ultimaratioregis schreibt:

    Umm, I don’t mean to be critical, but you have a „yes/no“ response to a „this or that“ question…..

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    • vmijpp schreibt:

      Yes, well, that being said– I say DEFERRED PAYMENT. Veterans‘ benefits accrue to veterans as the consequence of a contract.

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      • ultimaratioregis schreibt:

        But of course they are deferred payments. The fact that they were earned by people who actually stood for something and risked all for their country makes the Leftists despise those benefits (and those who earned them) even more.

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  2. DaveO schreibt:

    Social program.
    1. Their purpose is to secure votes.
    2. Their administration is impudent and in some cases extra-legal.
    3. Veterans and family members are a true burden on the backs of those long-suffering technocrats. Most veterans are only permitted to get jobs as janitors.
    4. The benefits are not beneficial given absence of Empathy. A veteran with a heart condition doesn’t go to Disneyland to wait in lines, so WTF is SecVA thinking?

    The „benefits“ are deferred for Reservists. AD retirees get the full meal deal right out of the gate. The programs are there because the older generations had a vested interest in mollifying angry vets. The millenials and younger are so disconnected from the duty of service and being invested in conserving America that these programs are not politically safe.

    They want someone else to pay for their fact-absent education, and to be taxpayer-funded Trustafarians. If comes between you getting a knee replacement and their trip to Burning Man, you’re going to get burned.

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  3. slater schreibt:

    FIXED…I was sober too. But tired.

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  4. burkemblog schreibt:

    Veterans benefits have a long and complex history–we forget sometimes that Washington’s soldiers went unpaid for years, and were promised federal land grants in the as-yet unsettled areas west of the Alleghenies–of course, the only problem was they had to get there and wrestle the land away from the Indians. So many sold their land grants to speculators, and there was a huge market for these after the Revolutionary War. Also, veterans then were invalided out, but offered free medical care and food at any military installation–they also got one uniform. But the only military installation after the Revolution was West Point, at least until we started building fortifications to defend national seaports. Medical care, before establishment of the VA, was provided indigent veterans at many military installations–West Point, for example, had a hospital built specifically for such veterans in the early 1870s–it’s still there, though converted years ago to quarters.

    Fast forward to the Bonus Army of 1932–when Douglas MacArthur used the Army to remove the veterans c=encamped on the Anacostia flats. They wanted immediate payment of a bonus promised in 1920 for1945 payment. That action is what in part led to the extraordinarily generous WWII-era GI Bill, which really fundamentally transformed the country. Jim Webb is the one responsible for trying to get the post 9-11 GI Bill back to something roughly comparable to the post-WWII one.

    Interestingly enough, in the federal budget, the outlays for veterans support falls under function 700, which is about 90% devoted to veteran medical care. Veteran-related spending is about 4% of the federal budget. As we all know, it is separate from DoD spending, though some have argued that it belongs there, as veterans are created by DoD.

    Here is an interesting report from the Congressional Research Service on veterans affairs and budgeting: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS22897.pdf

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    • burkemblog schreibt:

      One more point–neither „deferred compensation“ nor „social program“ apply here. These are terms that have little or no meaning within the federal government budgeting process. So the question is phrased inappropriately. The folks who think about this stuff think about it in terms of incentives for military service–especially for an all-volunteer military–what sort of benefits and pay (and promotion and retirement and the like) policies and programs get the military the country needs? There is wide recognition, at least in my experience as a compensation staff officer 20 years ago, that military service is arduous and not attractive to many people, so there has to be a system that encourages people to make the decision to join rather than not. Like per diem, bonuses, retired pay, housing and medical care, VA benefits are a part of that system–though „system“ is probably too generous a term to describe an extremely messy and thoroughly politicized process.

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  5. slater schreibt:

    Trust me when I say there isn’t much to attract me now after five years within the machine. I love serving, but my body is broken and I think the pay sucks from E-1 to O-4.

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    • burkemblog schreibt:

      The (old) 20-year retirement system was designed to „pull“ people past 8-10 years, when it is frankly better for them to resign and become civilians. The (old) retirement system, which I have been drawing benefits from since 2000, is really a good deal, compared to what many civilians have–medical care in particular–don’t know how well the new one will work.

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