Skip to comments.Retiree Benefits for the Military Could Face Cuts
Posted on 09/19/2011 3:42:14 AM PDT by SkyPilot
As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.
Military pensions and health care for active and retired troops now cost the government about $100 billion a year, representing an expanding portion of both the Pentagon budget about $700 billion a year, including war costs and the national debt, which together finance the programs.
Making even incremental reductions to military benefits is typically a doomed political venture, given the publics broad support for helping troops, the political potency of veterans groups and the fact that significant savings take years to appear.
But the intense push in Congress this year to reduce the debt and the possibility that the Pentagon might have to begin trimming core programs like weapons procurement, research, training and construction have suddenly made retiree benefits vulnerable, military officials and experts say.
And if Congress fails to adopt the deficit-reduction recommendations of a bipartisan joint Congressional committee this fall, the Defense Department will be required under debt ceiling legislation passed in August to find about $900 billion in savings over the coming decade. Cuts that deep will almost certainly entail reducing personnel benefits for active and retired troops, Pentagon officials and analysts say.
Weve got to put everything on the table, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said recently on PBS, acknowledging that he was looking at proposals to rein in pension costs.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
All "untouchable" - but our nation's heroes are on the block again, and again, and again under this Administration.
Obamma will not cut social security or medicare, but he will screw the military without a care in the world!
Please............this is the NY Times admitting that scaring the elderly hasn’t worked.
Now, they’re going to try to scare vets.
...if Congress fails to adopt the deficit-reduction recommendations of a bipartisan joint Congressional committee this fall, the Defense Department will be required under debt ceiling legislation passed in August to find about $900 billion in savings over the coming decade... "We've got to put everything on the table," Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said recently on PBS...We need to cut PBS, NPR, and the so-called arts funding. And thanks, Panetta, for letting everyone know just where you stand on this.
It’s time people realize that EVERYTHING should be on the table. That includes SS, Medicare, federal workers, farm subsidies, the military...everything. Are we willing to borrow more money from China to pay for military retirements at 20 years? Conservative republicans need to go toe-to-toe over social programs but if they start trying to “protect” their interests we will never rescue this economy.
And, yes, I’m a vet and a federal worker. We simply can’t afford all this.
He’s rather cut a retired Sgts. pension than a retired sh-thead politican or their staff. Peeelosi comes to mind.
How can military pensions be growing when we have cut our military?
Clinton cut them, Bush cut them, Obama cut them and the pension problem is growing? How can that be?
Let’s cut the Congressional Pensions, and cut about half of the Secret service agents we have guarding people who don’t need guarding.
Let Warren Buffett fund it. He says he ain’t paying enough. . . . . . .
I have a son with just over 10 Yrs Svc who is a Major in SF. He told me yesterday that if they take away his 20 Year retirement benefit, he is gone. I suspect there would be a lot more and it would decimate our Officer and NCO ranks.
If military benefits are on the table then the benefits for every other government worker should face the same cuts.
Everybody wants something ELSE cut. And here we are.
Better to find out now while he as time to move on. As we’ve seen, there’s nothing to stop them from reneging on pension promises after you’ve put in all of your time.
Including our representatives and bureaucrats.
I was the only gray hair in the office that didn't work there. The rest were wearing the hijab!
I sensed a problem...
Only a liberal fagrag like the Slimes would term the military retirement system a “social welfare program.”
I am retired military. There is probably a good way to accomplish this without harm. Privatizing military pensions might be a good way and might also provide more than the traditional does now. Even a modest gain over 20 years could give the retiree more in pocket.
Perhaps a lump sum is invested the first day of boot camp. That money vests fully over 20 years. If a person stays beyond 20 then more is added to the pot. Let the enlistee choose the investment mix. I bet it could probably be done with as little as 100 thousand at enlistment.
They are not going to scare the vets -- they are going to piss them off against Obama and the Dems.
You might have a good idea, but they need to grandfather current active duty people.
These people EARNED it defending your sorry asses, ya miserable worthless bastards ! ! !
Didn’t read the whole article but it didn’t mean cut benefits of those already retired, did it? I figure they will trim those retiring in the future, and all programs should be on the table.
When all federal workers’ benefits are cut, when all welfare benefits are cut, when ALL share in the paring down of government costs, then and only then should cuts to those who defend this country be considered.
Something I’ve always wondered.....Since our veterans have the VA for their health care, why don’t the poor have a health clinic system, with a co-pay, like veterans?