The White House along with many veterans’ organizations announced support for the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits that will provide military personnel easier entry into the civilian workforce.
The White House said the Returning Heroes Tax Credit incentivizes companies that hire unemployed veterans with a tax credit of $5,600 per veteran. Similarly, the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit would offer employers that hire veterans with service-connected disabilities a tax credit of $9,600.
“No veteran should have to fight for a job at home after they fight for our nation overseas,” said President Barrack Obama. “Congress should pass the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior tax credits, but we can’t wait for Congress to act. That’s why today, I am directing my Administration to move forward with three initiatives that will help make it easier for veterans to find jobs when they return home. Unfortunately, we have not yet seen progress in Congress.”
While the overall program is welcomed by veterans across the country, the fact that Washington DC continues to play political football with the military issues angers most Americans.
“Senate Republicans have so far chosen to block these bills and these proposals,” the President said at a press conference earlier today. However, Obama demonstrates that he can’t resist injecting politics into the issue. The President knows it is the defection of a few Senate Democrats that effectively killed legislation.
However, in an effort to run against a do nothing Congress, Obama continues to skirt the Congressional process by submitting a flurry of executive orders. “As Commander-in-Chief, I won’t wait, nor will I let politics get in the way of making sure that veterans share in the opportunity that they defend. If Congress won’t act, I will.”
This political theater shouldn’t detract from the real issues of joblessness for America’s returning warriors. Leading support for the new program is the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
“The American Legion, on behalf of its 2.4-million members, appreciates the efforts of President Obama and Congress to curb the unacceptably high rate of unemployment among the men and women who have selflessly served our country,” said Peter Gaytan, Executive Director of the American Legion. “Tax credits will augment the good and patriotic intentions of employers with tangible, financial incentives. The rewards will be great for them and, most importantly, for the most deserving of our citizens, our military veterans.”
Americans agree, the jobless numbers for veterans remain too high. During the past decade, approximately 3 million service members have transitioned from a military career in to civilian life. This number is expected to increase by approximately one million veterans over the next five years as the wars in the Middle East continue to wind down.
“The men and women who have served and sacrificed for our nation deserve a square deal in the job market,” said Disabled American Veterans National Commander Donald L. Samuels.
The President also launched several programs that will make it easier for veterans to gain employment in the private sector. They include:
Veteran Gold Card: Effective today, Post-9/11 veterans will be able to download the Veteran Gold Card, which entitles them to enhanced services including six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling, at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country. This could help serve the more than 200,000 unemployed Post-9/11 veterans. The President directed the Department of Labor tolaunch this initiative in his August 5, 2011 speech at the Navy Yard.
My Next Move for Veterans: The Department of Labor will launch My Next Move for Veterans, a new online resource that allows veterans to enter their military occupation code and discover civilian occupations for which they are well qualified. The site will also include information about salaries, apprenticeships, and other related education and training programs.
Creating a Veterans Job Bank: Starting Monday, the Administration will launch the Veterans Job Bank, at National Resource Directory, an easy to use tool to help veterans find job postings from companies looking to hire them. It already searches over 500,000 job postings and is growing. In a few easy steps, companies can make sure the job postings on their own websites are part of this Veterans Job Bank.
This week marks Veteran’s Day and American workers and children will get a day off for reflection. “Standing up for our veterans is not a Democratic responsibility or a Republican responsibility, it is an American responsibility,” Obama finished.
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