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Just like when Republicans talk about “family values” and then you find out they’ve been having secret sex meet-ups in airport bathrooms or abusing teenage boys, when conservatives say they “support the troops,” they usually mean they’re sending them overseas to fight for oil profits, but now it also means they’re taxing them for their own benefits.

According to the Military Times, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) has drafted legislation that would charge soldiers $100 a month for access to the GI Bill. The bill would deduct a total of $2,400 from each soldier’s paycheck to make them eligible. To be clear, this money would not be used to offset spending, because it would only be a fraction of the total cost. Supporters of the proposal (pronounced “as soles”) say that having soldiers “buy in” would make future budget-makers less likely to cut veterans benefits, which is a lie, for two reasons:

  1. It is really an attempt to reduce the number of veterans whose educations they have to pay for by forcing already low-paid soldiers to give up $2,400.
  2. The “people likely to cut soldiers’ benefits” are the politicians who are proposing this law!

Democrats have expressed reservations about the plan, as have some veterans groups, insisting that the education benefit is earned through service, not by paying money back to the country they serve. “Pushing this GI Bill tax proposal on troops in a time of war is political cowardice,” said Paul Rieckhoff, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America “Some politicians would rather make backroom deals than raise taxes or find other ways to support our troops as bombs continue to fall overseas.”

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Instead of charging soldiers, there is another novel way to solve the problem, which conservatidiots might not have thought of: Simply pass a law banning cuts to veterans benefits. Voilà! Problem solved.

The GI Bill offers full tuition to a public four-year college (and the equivalent to private colleges) to active duty service members after three years of service. The benefits are also available to reservists who are called up to active duty for extended periods, and soldiers wounded while serving. This bill would apply only to new enlistees.

Because that is the hypocrisy of the Republican ethos. They will wave the flag and trumpet patriotism, but when they see the faces of the people who make up the force that protects them and provides their freedom, what they want to say is, “Thank you for your service ... but not really.