In an election where most issues are cutthroat and divisive, the presidential candidates’ split on veterans issues is actually surprising minimal. In short, both candidates support veterans and have plans that confer on them special privileges and benefits.
While there are some distinctions, neither candidate has come out in favour of slashing benefits or cutting the G.I. Bill.
Here are the plans:
The Obama plan
Obama right now is standing on a pretty strong record of accomplishment on veterans’ issues. His first term performance has actually led some to believe that veterans — a group that historically tends to vote with Republicans — could electorally be in play in the 2012 presidential election.
The president has so far largely delivered on his promise to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has aggressively pursued strategies to incentivise the hiring of unemployed or wounded veterans, including a 2011 tax credit to businesses that hire vets. According to his campaign, the Obama administration has so far motivated 1,600 companies to commit to hiring more veterans.
The president also has campaigned on providing PTSD treatment at VA medical centres. And on the campaign trail, he has also touted his implementation of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which covers in-state tuition at no cost for veterans.
The Romney Plan
Romney’s plan is less clear on statistics and numbers than Obama’ plan, but by and large he supports most of the same things that the president has pushed for.
There are, however, some key differences:
Romney wants to focus on revamping the bureaucracy at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which has been bogged down with claims and long wait times as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close. He, like Obama, also wants to improves availability of VA health services in rural areas.
He also wants to make more credit available for military training for veterans seeking trade certifications outside of the service. He wants to stop the impending defence cuts as a result of sequestration, and include veteran mental health covered by the TRICARE network of providers at the VA’s expense.
Romney also wants to grant all GI Bill veterans in-state college tuition, regardless of their state of residency.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.