Saturday, January 06, 2007

Webb Introduces New GI Bill

In his first act as a freshman senator, James Webb (whose campaign I enthusiastically supported, as long-time readers of this blog know) has introduced a sweeping revision to the now-creaky GI Bill.

The bill is the first truly generous one since the WWII and Korean vets mustered out and went to college, in what has been hailed as one of the laws most instrumental in changing the Old Guard in this country and allowing us to become more of a representative democracy.

The GI Bill that Vietnam Vets were stuck with was a pale reflection of that which allowed our fathers and uncles and older brothers to get an education. We were paid only a monthly stipend, out of which we had to pay our tuition, fees, books and living expenses. This was a great deal for the community colleges and the small state schools, where all these expenses were less, but what it really meant was that while I, thoroughly working class, was able to apply to -- and be accepted by -- Stanford, I couldn't actually attend because the GI Bill wasn't enough to pay even the tuition.

The new Webb proposal would include all of the tuition, fees, etc., in addition to the stipend for living. It would allow more veterans to attend more colleges, even those whose tuition is so high that now only the scions of the wealthy can afford to go there.

An influx of smart, tough battle-hardened veterans will be a healthy addition to those elete bastions of weak-kneed snobs, and maybe straighten out a few of those Yellow Elephants.


Anonymous said...

Sounds great! I bet the Shrubies say that it will allow people to become professional students.

Anonymous said...

Excellent idea for the nation, not just the vets. We need more people in leadership who can work on a team and are willing to put their money where their mouth is.