Skip to comments.GOP seeks military pension cuts in looming budget deal
Posted on 12/11/2013 7:34:40 AM PST by SkyPilot
In front of television cameras, Republicans wave the flag in support of US military personnel. But behind closed doors, they are taking aim at their pensions. The budget deadline of Dec. 13 is fast approaching with the threat of avoiding another government shutdown waning in the balance.
Budget chairs Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) may be close to a deal that could trim $20 billion from federal pensions.
Similar to the chained CPI cuts President Barack Obama [Unlink] included in his failed Grand Bargain in 2011, Ryan is proposing changes in the way military pensions are calculated so retirees will end up with less money.
(Excerpt) Read more at allvoices.com ...
I am a military retiree, and I recognize we have a budget problem. I am willing to see cuts that must occur to solve our fiscal problems, however, those cuts should be shared.
Medicaid is now a time bomb because ObamaCare is adding millions of more Takers to the system. Social Security Disabilty is now a $150 Billion a year enterprise, and there is no arguing that many on this program are nothing but scammers.
They will get a full Cost of Living allowance.
These guys won't.
It is time to realize the GOP is no friend of the military. In fact, they have not been one for years.
You are full of ____. America is on the verge of total collapse and if you were really intelligent you would realize that we all are taking a cut. I am a Korean vet so spare the BS.
Nope, the country's been effectively divided so they don't need military votes. And of course there's the fact that America has let these tyrants stop military ballots over and over again so the military has no say in anything anymore.
You made your bed, now sleep in it.
I’d like to remind you both that not all retirees are officers and it will make a WORLD of difference to most retirees to not get the retirement or not get all of it. Please remember, especially you, Logical Me, that while i thank you for your service, that these men gave their future for a career in the military, and deserve compensation.
I’m merely a dependent widow, and therefore get 1/4 of his A/D pay, It’s not much, but it’s a lot of what I get each month. Many of us depend on getting what was promised, this isn’t a “gimmee”
You end up paying for three workforces, of which one is actually working. Used to be most died before they were receiving benefits for to long, now a 20 retired person can life for an extra 30 years.
The benefit system is why the US is starting use more and more mercenary “security forces”. They are MUCH cheaper in the long term than regular military personal. Trouble is by definition, most have no loyalty to the USA. The Fedgov has little choice but to use these mercs if they want to keep pursuing US interests.
We either start cutting benefits, cut services, or both. Status quo won't work.
Full disclosure. My wife is a state employee in the same boat. Teachers were “promised” a nice retirement package that is not able to be paid out now because of reality. Many are mad about it, but we have decided that we will not retire till late 60’s early 70’s. With the decline in health care coming, that means that we will likely work till we can't anymore, and die.
If we’re ‘on the verge of total collapse’, there sure are a lot of folks in DC doing their damnedest to give it that final push.
The lawyers shouldn’t fret. They won’t be calling for cuts for diversity training and rainbow celebrations.
Federal, state, and local government expenditures amount to over 40% of the country's GDP. Government has a major impact on the winners and losers in the private sector. Such control is pernicious, especially since the political parties can extort campaign contributions using government funds.
As a veteran, I share your concern about our defense posture, but unless we do something about curtailing the welfare state, we will have more and more cuts to defense in order to fund entitlements and other government benefits. It is the age old battle of guns versus butter, and butter usually wins since it has more constituents. One just has to look at the UK and other European countries to see where we are headed in terms of defense spending. We just added another huge entitlement program, Obamacare, that will suck huge amounts of money out of the private sector and the federal budget.
It would be interesting to know when the last member of Ryan’s family or Murray’s family was to serve in uniform. I know Ryan himself had better things to do apparently.
I don’t think that cutting military pensions is at the top of the list for the Republicans. Every time somebody starts calling for cuts in any Democrat base supported item, the Democrats start yammering about cutting defense. They throw it out to frighten the conservatives. This is an even bigger issue because of the “haircut” they are looking to give the city retirees of Detroit. That really has the Democrats scared. Those Democrat city retirees in Detroit are about to get their reward for voting for Democrats all those years....a nice 80% cut in their pensions. How loud do you think they are screaming? They don’t have the guts to look in the mirror and say, “We brought this on ourselves.” So, they threaten military retirement to try and get a bone to throw to the city retirees from Detroit. I don’t vote Democrat because they’re a bunch of self-serving liars.
I am not sure what you mean.
If you are a Korean vet and retired military, you are over age 62 and the COLA cuts do not affect you. Given your age, you are on Social Security and Medicare, which are by the way, two of the largest drivers of our debt and deficits (the other being Medicaid).
Due to political cowardice, nothing is being done to reform those time bomb programs.
Paul Ryan is a disappointment.
Have fun delineating which is which. Who has the tougher position, the guy instructing at Ranger School working 14 hour days or the guy nice and warm in the submarine who will be underwater for the next two months? I have never found somebody who honestly compares the military to the civilian sector that really knew what the military sector went through.
I agree with you 100%. You have been one of the few voices of reason here on FR regarding this subject.
The Sequester will still stand under this agreement, it simply is a rope thrown to the victim in the quick sand. The military is eager, at this point, for any port in the storm because it has been under attack from all sides, and both parties.
As I have posted before, even if we zeroed out all Defense spending, we are still screwed as a nation, because of Entitlements.
If this "deal" ends the worst of the Sequester for 2 years, it helps the military deal with an untenable situation. It was cut, and cut deeply, even before Sequestration. The mission of the military is a Constitutional enterprise - handing out SNAP cards and SSDI checks isn't. So I support relief from the Sequester for the military.
I see war on the horizon. First, with regards to Iran, second with regards to China. Either or both of those will be bloody and cataclysmic. Wars, as you well know, are "come as you are" these days.
The GOP were fools to even consider the original "formula" for the Sequester (DoD is ~17.5% of the budget, yet it "pays for" 50% of all Sequester cuts). Horrible policy, horrible deal.
So, full disclosure again, I am a military retiree like you and I am willing to see benefit cuts if they help us solve our fiscal woes. The problem is, they say they save a whopping $6 Billion over several years by changing the rules on military retirees, but then they turn around and starting ladling out Billions the next week for paying people not to work, ObamaCare subsidies to the Takers, Section 8 housing vouchers, utility subsidies, and all the rest.
We live in interesting times.
Unless you know of teachers that had a limb or two amputated on the job, or shrapnel through the lung, or a host of back issues that inhibit other employment, or traumatic brain injury, or were otherwise left permanently wounded or maimed.
To renege on obligations and go after veterans that (held one of the few Constitutional federal jobs) signed a contract to forsake nearly everything else in their lives, potentially including their own life on behalf of the Constitution - eg We the People.........
all the while ignoring the billions and billions spent on federal pensions (lifetime congressional pensions after one term anyone?), welfare, section 8, foreign aid (particularly to "palestinians" and other terrorists), medicaid, medicare and on and on, is disingenuous at best. Especially when you look at the proportion DoD spending is compared to the rest of the budget.
And I don't know what "mercenary security forces" you speak of, other than private security firms contracted for things like State Department security - but, it is still U.S. troops patrolling places like Afghanistan, it is still U.S. troops on ship or at foreign locales that project U.S. influence by force - Not Triple Canopy, not Academi, not Tier One - active duty and/or reserve U.S military.
Now, does that mean there isn't waste in the DoD? No. Does that mean we can't cut nonsense out of the budget from DoD? No. Does that mean we can't scale back on things like the college funds? No.
But, starting with the DoD pension is BS if you ask me.
Full disclosure - I am 32 years old. Nearly half my life was spent in the Marines. I have four combat tours; not four deployments to a combat zone - four tours of getting shot at and being the pointy end of the stick for U.S. interests (Note: there didn't seem to be any of the mercs you mentioned to take my place). I have shrapnel in my lung. My back, knees, hips, feet, and shoulders are ruined I was medically retired a week ago. I don't know how long I can physically hold gainful employment as I have difficulty remaining in any one position for an extended period of time. And, I guess unfortunately for the taxpayer, I may live another 30 years.
I didn't even consider that one. Hmmmm.....so by next month, Obama could stand up and announce he is coming to the rescue of the Detroit pensioners, while at the same time the ink is not dry on a deal to take from military retirees.
Read the news articles that out there on Google: if you retired because of medical reasons, your cost of living should be exempt from the Cost of Living decrease they are about to pass.
I'll buy you a drink if I ever run into you.
I don't understand your comment. Please clarify, thank you.
Look at the negotiating strategy on this. The Democrats want something.....no increase in federal civilian employee donations to their retirement. So, they threaten military retirements. First, don’t the politicians work for everyone? If the Democrat politicians only work for federal civilian employees, then they should say that. Then, we can start sending Democrat IRS employees to Afghanistan to fight. That would be fun to see. The federal budget isn’t decided by “tit-for-tat”. The federal budget should be developed to get the maximum effectiveness and efficiency out of every hard-earned American tax dollar for the citizens of The United States. It’s not there to just buy Democrat votes. If it is, let all Americans know so we can start the new revolution.
I just can’t stand these creeps from Congress.They’ll go out of their way and stab our Veterans in the back by taking away their Health Care,Benefits and Now they’re attacking the Retirement Benefits for these Veterans.
When is the Congress going to cut its own damned benefits and pay?Damned S.O.B.’s.
I only spent 8 years on active duty in the USN, but I am a federal retiree. There is no doubt that all federal employees and retirees will come under the cross-hairs for reductions. It is inevitable since most politicians know that it is career enhancing to attack government employees. That said, I have already received more than ten times in benefits than I paid in contributions for my federal pension, which is close to 115K. No pension system is sustainable under such circumstances.
I agree that national defense should be our number one priority and it is constitutionally mandated. The sequester was devised by the WH and the idea was we would never implement it because the cuts in defense would be too onerous for the Reps. It was intended to force a budget deal that would increase spending for the federal government. Now we are seeing the pressures building to eliminate the sequester because it is causing the pain it was intended to inflict. Ryan is caving along with the GOPe, which has no stomach for a confrontation with the WH.
I agree that even if this two year moratorium on the sequester is enacted, the pressure on reducing DOD will continue as the costs of the welfare state continue to escalate. Essentially, we are just kicking the can down the road, making future choices more draconian and painful.
You’re right, veterans have made their own beds and most of us are more than willing to sleep in them.
I believe the author is concerned that we are losing our bedding at a time when blood-sucking leeches are being treated to rooms at the Savoy.
Not that I’m incensed over this. No, not me...
Really? Every military veteran is subject to being placed in harm's way. That's not true of other federal employees. Sounds like sour grapes, to me.
I’m a year younger than you and was never able to serve, but I agree with what you said. Not like the Gimpy Old Party is listening though.
I’m in favor of cutting the retirement and pension benefits that the Congress critters receive after serving just 5 years. Did I say serving? I mean ruling.
Before Congress cuts military pensions they should get rid of their own outrageous retirement system. Why do congressman get lifetime pensions when they leave public service? For that matter, why do they even get paychecks seeing as the can’t even accomplish their primary task to produce an annual budget (we have been operating under CRs for years)?
You beat me to it.
I do think we should reform our military pension system for future servicemen.
This is how I think it should be reformed.
Go to a 401k type system. Use the TSP program in which service members already can participate. However, change it in this regard. Have employee matching contributions for a certain amount, just like civilian employees have. Here’s the real change I am proposing: make the system tax free going in and coming out. Service members can deduct contributions from taxable income and not have to pay any taxes when they collect a lump sum or elect tax free allotments when they get out. This way those who do not serve 20 years can also benefit from the system. The incentive to stay in is there also as serving more years produces additional tax free contributions and a larger amount when you get out.
The other advantage to my proposal is that the separating service member than is not dependent on, or tied to, the federal government for a retirement check every month. Freedom and no dependency on monthly checks. Time to rethink the wisdom of waiting for a monthly government check. I would rather have a lump sum of tax free money and no need to be locked into receiving a monthly check which could be manipulated by Congress as it is now.
My heartburn is that working-age federal retirees aren’t affected - only new hires starting Jan 2014.
Interesting debate. Glad I’m already a Federal retiree!