A common conservative talking point against Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-VA) 21st Century GI Bill is that it would reduce reenlistment rates by 16 percent, citing a recent CBO report. But the report also states that there will be a 16 percent increase in recruits. Slate explores the numbers and finds that the military would in fact see several times as many new recruits as drop-outs:
The problem is, the “16 percents” aren’t necessarily equal. You need to know the underlying numbers of recruits and re-enlistments. … The CBO estimate concluded that the 16 percent increase in recruitment would add an additional 30,000 recruits annually, while a 16 percent decline in re-enlistment would result in 7,000 fewer re-enlistments annually. In other words, new recruits would greatly outnumber soldiers who decline to re-enlist.