Rep. Ilhan Omar has come under fire for suggesting that the “ethos” behind the G.I. Bill, which funds college education for veterans, should universally apply to all students.
“Imagine what it would do for our country and those who live here if we were to take the ethos behind the original G.I. Bill and apply it to everybody—canceling all student debt and making public colleges, universities, and vocational schools tuition-free,” the Minnesota Democrat and Somali native wrote on Twitter.
The suggestion was linked to an article published by Alternet in which a Marine veteran voiced support for taxpayer-funded free college for all Americans.
The Alternet article was written by Marine vet Will Fischer, titled “A veteran explains why we need a new version of the G.I. Bill — for everyone.”
Critics online noted that the cost of education isn’t free and that the expenses would have to be born out with higher taxes on earners.
But also, other vets took issue with Omar’s comparison to the G.I. Bill, since that requires military service and sacrifice.
“I’m a recipient of the GI Bill. The GI Bill was earned by agreeing to serve my country for six years and to put my life at risk as an infantryman in Afghanistan,” wrote veteran and Libertarian U.S. congressional candidate Chris Manning. “It wasn’t something just given to me with nothing expected in return. Don’t cheapen our sacrifice w/ this comparison.”
“The ‘ethos’ meaning the whole concept of signing a blank check payable to the United States govt for up to & including your life should it be called of you and in exchange said govt upholds their end of the contract with benefits EARNED like the GI Bill…that ‘ethos’???” added Dennis Davis, host of “Not Your Average Joe” radio.
Leading Democratic presidential contenders Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have advocated free college for all.