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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 12:28 AM        Support our troops?
While I see merit in thwarting corporate welfare, why is it that Democrats vote for war and then fuck their warriors????


Posted on Tue, Mar. 18, 2003

Military families lose benefit

Washington Post Service

WASHINGTON - When House Republican leaders last week pulled back a bill that had become loaded with $300 million in special-interest tax breaks, one little-noticed provision of the legislation vanished with it: an improved tax break for the families of military personnel killed in battle.

It was a setback for organizations representing military families, which have fought for years for the provision. It would have eliminated all taxes on a $6,000 special payment the military makes to the survivors of a service member killed in combat. Currently, $3,000 of that amount, called a ''death gratuity'' by some, is tax-free.

The effort to broaden the tax break is part of a campaign by groups representing military dependents to improve the package of benefits for survivors of military personnel, including reservists, who die on active duty.

In addition to the $6,000 to cover immediate expenses for the family, the government pays burial costs and provides monthly compensation to the spouse and each child under 18, as well as healthcare coverage for the family, six months of free housing or help with housing costs, and part of the service member's retirement pay. The benefits -- which come from the Department of Defense, the Veterans Administration and the Social Security Administration -- include help with education costs for the spouse and children, as well as an income tax break for at least one year.

The value of the overall package depends on several factors, including the length of military service and age of the deceased.

The Navy Mutual Aid Association calculates that the family -- say, a widow and two young children -- of a petty officer with 10 years' service who is killed in action can expect a monthly benefit of $3,327. For the family of a Navy lieutenant killed in combat, the amount climbs to $4,795 a month.

The military also offers life-insurance coverage of up to $250,000 that service members can purchase at a modest cost. Private insurance for service members facing combat would cost substantially more.

Organizations that represent military families say the compensation package has improved in recent years.

For example, life-insurance coverage has risen to $250,000 from $100,000. Still, these groups say, more needs to be done.

The $250,000 life insurance, for example, is far lower than what is available to private-sector employees in less dangerous occupations. Some military support groups want it raised to $1 million.

In addition, they say, the government needs to improve both educational benefits for family members and job-hunting assistance to spouses.

The bill before Congress, which contained $200 million in tax breaks for military families, was withdrawn after Democrats objected to the number of special-interest tax breaks that Republican House leaders had permitted to be included.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 09:01 AM       
Like the cuts in education funding for the military, this sucks. The government expects the ultimate sacrafice from it's soldiers and should be prepared to take care of them and their families.

I don't know what all else was in this bill, but surely it could have been retailored.
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VinceZeb VinceZeb is offline
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 11:04 AM       
I love how people want to throw so much money at the school system, but not give our military a break. Because I guess that soilder that fights for the freedom of the teacher isn't as good as the teacher.

Solve the teaching problem? Get rid of the crap in the schools. You can teach a kid with nothing as long as the kid wants to learn and has disipline. Quit giving money to the fix a leaking ship and make people actually GO OUT AND FIX THE SHIP.

Joe Clark did it with a piss poor budget as did the guy from Stand and Deliver. Let children choose the schools they can go to so they can get a quality education, make the schools compete instead of stroking the feeeeeeeelllingsssss of students and passing idiots who couldn't read the back of a Denny's menu.
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mburbank mburbank is offline
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 05:26 PM       
Your having seen a movie changes everything.
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kellychaos kellychaos is offline
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 05:35 PM       
The money set aside for the version of the GI Bill that the veteran's received upon return from World War II was worth several billion dollars (That amount IS NOT changed to reflect the modern economy. In other words, it actually WAS several billion dollars). Since then, veteran's rights and benefits have started dwindling every year until the Department of Veteran's Affairs and various lobby groups moved in to protect the what little we had left. I pay my dues and receive newsletters all the time. I can provide links to all relevant websites for those who are interested.

Wherever you go, there you are.
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CaptainBubba CaptainBubba is offline
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 06:29 PM       
VinceZeb: Thats why big. daddy gov. needs to get itself the hell out of education. Privatization of all schooling would help the kids of this country to much. The only possible argument that I've ever heard against it is that some could not afford it.

1. If the government eliminates the U.S. Department of Education and gives tax credits to financially needy parents for their children's schooling it wouldn't be nearly as big an issue.

2. Letting the schools compete for our business not only brings about more serious and qualified teachers, it also naturally creates economic niches for itself, with expensive and less expensive schools (which even at their worst would still far exceed our current public ones).
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