Thursday, February 20, 2014


After World War i, a concerted effort to increase the compensation for veterans finally succeeded in 1924 with the passage of a compensation package over the veto of Calvin Coolidge:
A compensation measure worked its way through Congress by the fall of 1922, but President Warren Harding vetoed it, an action in keeping with Treasury Secretary Mellon's drive to avoid all unnecessary government expenditures. Undeterred, the veterans’ groups kept up the pressure and succeeded in gaining passage of what was popularly known as the Soldiers' Bonus Act in the spring of 1924. Calvin Coolidge’s veto of the measure was overridden.

Provisions of this law applied to veterans who had held the rank of captain or below and provided:

Adjusted compensation was to be paid at the rate of $1.25 per day for time spent in foreign service and at the rate of $1 per day for domestic service.

The sum earned by veterans was not to be paid in cash, but was to be used to create a 20-year endowment; in the short term, participants were entitled to borrow up to 22.5 percent of the value of the fund.

Veterans and their advocates were not satisfied with this measure and pressed immediately for cash settlements. The Republican presidents and legislators of the later 1920s resisted those appeals and the issue would continue into the next decade.
In 1931, President Hoover vetoed a bill that would have provided badly needed money to veterans caught up in the Great Depression, in part because
"It is therefore urgent in any event that local committees continue relief to veterans, but this legislation would lead such local committees and employers to assume that these veterans have been provided for by the Federal Treasury, and thereby threatens them with greater hardships than before. The breach of fundamental principle in this proposal is the requirement of the Federal Government to provide an enormous sum of money to a vast majority who are able to care for themselves and who are caring for themselves.
The need of our people to-day is a decrease in the burden of taxes and unemployment, yet they (who include the veterans) are being steadily forced toward higher tax levels and lessened employment by such acts as this.
The matter under consideration is of grave importance in itself; but of much graver importance is the whole tendency to open the Federal Treasury to a thousand purposes, many admirable in their intentions but in which the proponents fail or do not care to see that with such beginnings many of them insidiously consume more and more of the savings and the labor of our people. In aggregate they threaten burdens beyond the ability of our country normally to bear; and, of far higher importance, each of them breaks the barriers of self-reliance and self-support in our people.


Ken Hoop said...

Wilson, however, made sure there WERE war veterans,and vets not so lucky-- not to defend in any way Hoover.

Steve J. said...

After Wilson, I don't think Americans will ever elect another college professor.

Ken Hoop said...

Obama taught, didn't he?
Thanks to Putin for checkmating him on Syria.
BTW, the Eurasian Union could only be a positive force against the remaining Evil Empire.