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Subject: Can we even agree on this? rss

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This is pretty disgraceful. Maybe the problem with the current administration is, that they cant figure out who to actually blame.


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Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-guard-bonus-201...
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What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.
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whac3 wrote:
What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.
 
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Might be right, might be wrong. What if the some or all of the soldiers who accepted the bonuses knew they shouldn't have received them? I don't know the full story here. I did see that they threw the incentive manager in jail so at least some actual justice was served. If the soldiers didn't know they shouldn't have received the money, taking it back does seem a bit distasteful.

That said, if I'm speeding in a school zone and didn't realize I was in a school zone, I still have to pay the fine. That applies to all sorts of laws, including your taxes. If you take deductions you shouldn't have taken, even if you did it on accident or you were advised by someone else to do it, you still have to pay a fine as well as having to pay the taxes back.
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J.D. Hall
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I agree with the first soldier they interviewed. Those people got screwed -- royally screwed. Maybe Congress could do some-

Wait, it's Congress. They don't do shit, especially for veterans.
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TheDashi wrote:
whac3 wrote:
What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

So I read but that sounds just bizarre. An enlistment bonus is just that-- a bonus. It doesn't make sense to ask for it back.
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Even though it is probably painful and onerous, it sounds like that if people have a signed contract they can fight it and the California Guard helps them do it and they occasionally win. Having said that, people who don't have a contract or didn't sign one, probably should have California pay the debt to the Feds. It seems that people made the decision based on what Californian officials promised.
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whac3 wrote:
TheDashi wrote:
[q="whac3"]What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignorantia_juris_non_excusat
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Sounds like California is responsible for the problem and California should pay for it. The federal government should not let California pass the costs for its mistakes to the veterans. President Obama needs to intervene.
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sfox wrote:
Might be right, might be wrong. What if the some or all of the soldiers who accepted the bonuses knew they shouldn't have received them? I don't know the full story here. I did see that they threw the incentive manager in jail so at least some actual justice was served. If the soldiers didn't know they shouldn't have received the money, taking it back does seem a bit distasteful.

That said, if I'm speeding in a school zone and didn't realize I was in a school zone, I still have to pay the fine. That applies to all sorts of laws, including your taxes. If you take deductions you shouldn't have taken, even if you did it on accident or you were advised by someone else to do it, you still have to pay a fine as well as having to pay the taxes back.


How do you relate speeding in a school zone which you KNOW to be illegal, to signing a contract with the military where they tell you that you will get this money, sign here. Where are you supposed to know that it is illegal?
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sfox wrote:
whac3 wrote:
TheDashi wrote:
[q="whac3"]What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignorantia_juris_non_excusat


Isnt that the people working for the military signing these people up that have no excuse?
NOt the people they are fucking?
 
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whac3 wrote:
TheDashi wrote:
whac3 wrote:
What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

So I read but that sounds just bizarre. An enlistment bonus is just that-- a bonus. It doesn't make sense to ask for it back.


Based on my reading, it sounds like they were given the money under a contract where they didn't qualify for it (e.g. there were additional contingencies for receiving the bonus) and, as such, they were never eligible for the bonus. So they "got" the money, but were never supposed to have it and are thus on the hook for returning it.

Anyhow, yeah, this is shit. Most of what happens to vets is shit, really.
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TheDashi wrote:
sfox wrote:
whac3 wrote:
TheDashi wrote:
[q="whac3"]What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignorantia_juris_non_excusat


Isnt that the people working for the military signing these people up that have no excuse?
NOt the people they are fucking?

Both, according to the law. You don't get to claim you were ignorant of the law. It really depends on how the bonus was handled. If the military personnel had to sign a contract which clearly spelled out the eligibility requirements, you still think it is ok that they took the money knowing they were not eligible?
 
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Ok how about another question then. If someone took unemployment benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back? If someone takes SNAP benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back?

If you don't think people who purposefully cheat on welfare benefits should be allowed to get away with it then you also shouldn't support the idea of letting veterans who took a signing bonus knowing they were not eligible.

Of course you might be claiming that the veterans didn't know they were not eligible, but how do you know that to be true? Are we just supposed to trust everyone who gets government benefits illegally and assume they were not aware what they were doing was illegal?
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It's the right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. Recruiters under pressure to fill re-enlistment quotas cut a lot of corners and hoped that things would work out. Their superiors were happy because those quotas were met and didn't look closely enough at the details. Auditors weren't happy because it's their job to look at the details.

In a just world, Congress would pass a bill relieving service members of the requirement to repay these bonuses. Sure, there might be a few who were well aware that they shouldn't be receiving the bonuses, but I expect most of them thought that they were legitimate and had no reason to suspect that they weren't.

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sfox wrote:
whac3 wrote:
TheDashi wrote:
[q="whac3"]What's the supposed justification? As presented, it sounds illegal so I'm presuming more must be going on.


Apparently it is illegal for them not to take the money back.

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignorantia_juris_non_excusat

Linguam latinam sine Vicipaediae cognosco. Dictum illud in re non cognito commodum esse.
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IIUC the mistake was the recruiters'; the people who enlisted did not misrepresent themselves. Therefore they should not bear the burden of someone else's mistake.
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J.D. Hall
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sfox wrote:
Ok how about another question then. If someone took unemployment benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back? If someone takes SNAP benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back?

If you don't think people who purposefully cheat on welfare benefits should be allowed to get away with it then you also shouldn't support the idea of letting veterans who took a signing bonus knowing they were not eligible.

Mainly because unlike the people getting SNAP or AFDC, those veterans went into a war zone and put their asses on the line so all those politicians back in Cali could look good to the people.
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remorseless1 wrote:
sfox wrote:
Ok how about another question then. If someone took unemployment benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back? If someone takes SNAP benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back?

If you don't think people who purposefully cheat on welfare benefits should be allowed to get away with it then you also shouldn't support the idea of letting veterans who took a signing bonus knowing they were not eligible.

Mainly because unlike the people getting SNAP or AFDC, those veterans went into a war zone and put their asses on the line so all those politicians back in Cali could look good to the people.

What does that have to do anything? If these veterans signed a contract that clearly spelled out the terms of the bonus and they did not meet the terms, how is that not theft?
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sfox wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
sfox wrote:
Ok how about another question then. If someone took unemployment benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back? If someone takes SNAP benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back?

If you don't think people who purposefully cheat on welfare benefits should be allowed to get away with it then you also shouldn't support the idea of letting veterans who took a signing bonus knowing they were not eligible.

Mainly because unlike the people getting SNAP or AFDC, those veterans went into a war zone and put their asses on the line so all those politicians back in Cali could look good to the people.

What does that have to do anything? If these veterans signed a contract that clearly spelled out the terms of the bonus and they did not meet the terms, how is that not theft?


What do you say to the 22-year-old medic who had his leg blown off?
Quote:
Hey, sorry 'bout that, kid. Now, we need you to fork over that $20K plus interest and penalties we gave you to sign up. Thanks and have a nice day.
 
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remorseless1 wrote:
sfox wrote:
remorseless1 wrote:
sfox wrote:
Ok how about another question then. If someone took unemployment benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back? If someone takes SNAP benefits knowing they were ineligible, should they have to give them back?

If you don't think people who purposefully cheat on welfare benefits should be allowed to get away with it then you also shouldn't support the idea of letting veterans who took a signing bonus knowing they were not eligible.

Mainly because unlike the people getting SNAP or AFDC, those veterans went into a war zone and put their asses on the line so all those politicians back in Cali could look good to the people.

What does that have to do anything? If these veterans signed a contract that clearly spelled out the terms of the bonus and they did not meet the terms, how is that not theft?


What do you say to the 22-year-old medic who had his leg blown off?
Quote:
Hey, sorry 'bout that, kid. Now, we need you to fork over that $20K plus interest and penalties we gave you to sign up. Thanks and have a nice day.


I say he gets the standard benefits that anyone who signs up for the military gets when they get their leg blown off. Maybe he can get a presidential pardon for the federal crime he committed when he stole from the government. As far as I am aware, the Purple Heart doesn't come with an automatic pardon for all crimes committed prior to getting injured.

What if the same soldier had been in charge of a budget and had been embezzling money? How is that any different than knowingly taking a bonus that you didn't qualify for? Theft is theft.
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TheDashi wrote:
This is pretty disgraceful. Maybe the problem with the current administration is, that they cant figure out who to actually blame.


Quote:

Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war.

Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back.

Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade.


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-national-guard-bonus-201...


This is a story with political, ethical and legal conundrums. The story makes fairly clear that the California National Guard broke the law in offering signing bonuses to which were not authorized by the Pentagon. Lacking in valid authority, the offered bonuses were fraudulent. Similar incidents within the public sector would likely be treated in the same fashion since a contract based on fraud may be regarded as unenforceable. Those people retaining the benefits would be considered to have benefited from fraud.

Politically, it is unpopular to ask serving soldiers to return the money they honestly took before renewing their obligation to serve in time of war. It is also politically difficult to ask the government to stand aside and write off this fraud given the rhetoric about government mismanagement of assets and the accrual of debt.

I would expect some form of legal pushback against these collections. To the extent the soldiers believed the bonuses were legit and they actual served, they can be said to have "detrimentally relied" on the promise of bonuses both by serving and by making financial obligations (such as mortgages or school tuition). Moreover, it was the government which held the information about the terms of the bonus program and apparently remained silent or failed to use reasonable diligence to detect the overpayments for so many years.

The outcome should not be arrived at by how we "feel" about it but, rather by what legal principles apply to such situations which are not unique to jurisprudence in the US.
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Who committed the fraud though? Wasn't it the recruiters?
 
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whac3 wrote:
Who committed the fraud though? Wasn't it the recruiters?

Doesn't matter. Let's just take money from the people who got shot at so lawyers and accountants can feel smug and superior sitting on their fat asses in an office.

If these were soldiers who had stay in the States, that would be one thing. But these were people, in the main, who went into Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, that trumps some law.

Of course, we've got to keep lawyers and accountants and auditors busy. This is beyond disgusting.
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remorseless1 wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Who committed the fraud though? Wasn't it the recruiters?

Doesn't matter. Let's just take money from the people who got shot at so lawyers and accountants can feel smug and superior sitting on their fat asses in an office.

If these were soldiers who had stay in the States, that would be one thing. But these were people, in the main, who went into Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, that trumps some law.

Of course, we've got to keep lawyers and accountants and auditors busy. This is beyond disgusting.

Well, it does matter in the sense that this is proverbially adding insult to injury.
 
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