Noriega Op-ed Misleads the Public
Posted by Tony Listi on May 26, 2008
Rick Noriega, the Democrat challenger to Senator Cornyn, wrote a misleading op-ed in the Houston Chronicle.
The article criticizes Senator Cornyn for voting against Jim Webb’s GI Bill proposal but conveniently fails to mention that Senator Cornyn is supporting an alternative bill introduced by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: S. 2938, the Enhancement of Recruitment, Retention, and Readjustment Through Education Act. According to a Congressional Budget Office report, Webb’s bill will harm military retention rates. Webb’s bill seeks to increase benefits to soldiers after only one enlistment. Does every soldier who enlists just once deserve a free college education anywhere plus a stipend? A four-year college degree and stipend for three years of service? Maybe the answer is yes, but the question should be asked and seriously considered. Is it even sustainable over the long-term?
Improved educational benefits for only one enlistment may increase the number of new recruits. But there is NO reason to believe that these new recruits will be of any higher quality. A piece of cheese attracts both the strong and the weak in the mouse hole.
Moreover, an all-voluntary military requires career soldiers who are committed to service for the long-term. New recruits are no substitute for re-enlistments! A great military is built on quality and experience, not raw numbers.
“I know it’s not his intention, but Senator Webb’s bill actually would encourage people not to re-enlist by providing an incentive to leave early in order to obtain the benefits they would receive after three years of service,” Senator Cornyn said on the Senate floor. “We need to make sure that we encourage continuation of service and retention in the military that is in the best interest of our all-volunteer military force. I believe that we ought to reward those who continue to serve. We especially ought to reward the families by allowing transferability of the benefit upon continued service to spouses and children.” (emphasis mine)
Examine Noriega’s duplicity: “The notion that we should limit benefits to force our troops to stay in the military is morally repugnant.” The denial of additional educational benefits is coercion?! There is a difference between an incentive and force, Noriega; it is called a respect for freedom of choice, something Democrats don’t understand when it comes to economics!
He tries to make it seem as if Sen. Cornyn doesn’t care about rewarding our troops for their service, but he is just playing political games, desperately trying to get traction for his campaign however he can. Senator Cornyn is merely trying to reward troops who give greater service with greater rewards. What is so wrong with that? Oh, that’s right, how could I forget that the Democrats are socialists.