- The Washington Times
Friday, March 15, 2013

The Pentagon spends almost $1 billion each year of unemployment dollars that are earmarked for the job-needy to those who have voluntarily left military service.

Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers is a Labor Department program that is supposed to help “eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own,” as The Blaze reports.

But the standard is relaxed for military members. The Labor Department will issue unemployment checks to anyone who served in the military and received honorable discharge, The Blaze reports. And in just a few years’ time, the program has increased its annual payments from $300 million in 2003 to $928 million in 2012.

Defense officials and military members are questioning the rationale of taxpayers providing checks to service members – who could just as easily have stayed employed and extended their military contracts.

“It eats away at other parts of the [defense] budget, and is for people they no longer have control of,” said Air Force veteran and Veterans of Foreign Wars spokesman Joe Davis, in The Blaze.

And other, quoted by The Blaze: “Why are we spending so much on (the program) at a time when we can’t afford to build a new fighter jet?” said Samuel Wright, a former Navy lawyer who helps troops with employment and other legal issues.

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