Newsflash: Representative Rehberg is Still Lying About the G.I. Bill to Protect the Richest Americans

It’s certainly nice of the Independent Record to give Representative Rehberg 600 words to lie about his support for an expanded G.I. Bill that would extend education benefits to for men and women serving in the military since 2001. While it was certainly a kind gesture, a cursory examination by a fact checker would have revealed that Representative Rehberg is still distorting the record to hide the fact that he is choosing to put the interests of service men and women behind the interests of super-rich Americans.

Representative Rehberg claims that he was protecting Montana taxpayers:

Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and company had a different plan, a plan that puts politics first. So, they took an annual troop funding measure, which received next to no debate, and attached it to deadlines for troop withdrawal and a $51.6 billion tax increase on Montana’s small business owners.

That’s a fascinating claim. The total cost of the expanded educational benefits under the new G.I. Bill is $51.6 billion. Surely, Representative Rehberg doesn’t believe that Montanans pay the entire cost of federal programs, does he? It’s possible–though I am just speculating here–that Representative Rehberg is deliberately inflating the cost to Montana taxpayers in an attempt to scuttle this bill.

Incidentally, those costs are over 10 years, hardly a huge price to pay for our service men and women.

The deeper deception in the piece, though, is the nature of the tax itself. While Rehberg claims that he is acting in the interests of Montana’s small businesses, the truth is anything but. Who does the tax impact? People who make in excess of $500,000 annually:

A bill scheduled for a vote in the House today would finance the education benefits for troops by imposing a half-percentage-point surtax on income exceeding $500,000 for single filers, or $1 million for joint filers.

The average Montanan makes about $30,000 annually, but Representative Rehberg, while claiming to support average Montanans, who volunteer to serve in the military in huge numbers, is more interested in protecting the economic security of people who make sixteen times that amount.

Rehberg is once again showing his true colors. He will claim to support every popular measure before the Congress, because rhetoric is cheap. Having the commitment to pay for programs and actually provide support for needy families, the elderly, and veterans? That’s beyond Representative Rehberg’s comprehension. That style of Republican governance has brought us inadequate benefits and reckless deficit spending, a combination only the Bush-Rehberg combo could possibly support.

As the Anchorage Daily News notes (about President Bush):

If he has any sense of honor, decency and gratitude, he needs to change his mind and sign it.

The act, commonly called the New GI Bill, would boost education benefits for veterans who enlisted or served in the military after Sept. 11, 2001.

Isn’t it time for Representative Rehberg to show some honor and real gratitude?

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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