Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Veterans groups angry over budget deal
The Hill ^ | December 11, 2013, 05:36 pm | Jeremy Herb

Posted on 12/11/2013 4:26:26 PM PST by robowombat

December 11, 2013, 05:36 pm Veterans groups angry over budget deal By Jeremy Herb

Veterans groups are lashing out at the congressional budget deal for targeting military retirement accounts to help pay for spending increases.

The Military Coalition, a group of 33 uniformed services and veterans organizations, is sent a letter to House and Senate leaders, as well as President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, expressing their anger with the deal.

“This radical proposal basically kills the grandfather-concern addressed by both Congress and the administration and actually eliminates the appropriate review process failing to consider long-term readiness and retention outcomes in order to meet an arbitrary deadline so that Congress can go home for the holidays,” the groups wrote. They are outraged that veterans and members of the military are footing $6 billion of the cost of the bill under the agreement, which lowers the cost-of-living adjustment for retirement accounts of service members younger than 62.

The deal reached by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senate Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash) lowered the cost-of-living adjustment for retirement accounts to 1 percent below inflation, which will fully take effect in 2016.

The veterans groups are trying to quickly mobilize opposition among their members over including military retirement in the budget deal, which provided $63 billion of sequester relief over the next two years in exchange — including restoration of $32 billion in automatic cuts to the Pentagon — for $85 billion in deficit reduction.

“We are not happy about it at all,” said Mike Barron, deputy director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). “This was a backdoor deal in the worst kind of way.”

In their letter to congressional leadership, the groups say the retirement changes “will have a devastating financial impact for those who retire at the 20 year point by reducing retired pay by nearly 20 percent at age 62.”

“While portrayed as a minor change, a 20 percent reduction in retired pay and survivor benefit values is a massive cut in military career benefits and an egregious breach of faith,” the groups wrote.

“Ending the harmful effects of sequestration is a top priority for our nation’s security and military readiness, but to tax the very men and women who have sacrificed and served more than others is simply a foul,” they said.

The veterans groups said they were surprised by the last-minute inclusion of military retirement in the budget deal, and complained that the changes did not stem from the House and Senate Armed Services or Veterans Committees.

“During the press conference, they were talk of all the stuff they left off the table. I’m wondering why veterans and military retirees were on that table,” said Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

“This will negatively impact the military, and eventually impact national security,” he said. “How are you going to retain high quality people to spend a career in the military if they think their benefits will get cut?”

The veterans groups also complained that the commission enacted in the 2013 Defense authorization bill to study military retirement had specifically removed a “fast-tracking” rule to change military retirement benefits.

Several groups are trying to get their members involved to express opposition to including the military retirement reduction in the deal. Both Barron and Tarantino pointed to the 1980s attempt to cut military retirement benefits, known as REDUX, which was enacted by Congress but later repealed.

“VFW calculates that this will have a devastating impact on retirement benefits for retirees and survivors and jeopardizes the future value of military career benefits, and adversely effects recruitment, retention and our national security,” the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) wrote in an alert to its members.

Still, it’s unclear what the organizations can do to remove the military retirement provisions from the budget deal, which the House plans to vote on Thursday.

The $6 billion portion from military retirement is a relatively small part of the $85 billion in total deficit reduction to pay for the bill. There is also another $6 billion taken out of retirement accounts for federal workers, down from an initial proposal of $20 billion.

— This story was updated at 6:03 p.m.


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: paulryan; veterans
This will go down well with a major GOP constituency.
1 posted on 12/11/2013 4:26:26 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: robowombat

gives another black mark to GOP for choosing such a tone deaf liberal to run in the general election. Good

Enough of it


2 posted on 12/11/2013 4:31:53 PM PST by stanne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

Throwing veterans under the bus to give more free money and freebies to freeloading maggots and illegal aliens. What a country.


3 posted on 12/11/2013 4:36:10 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (If you think signing up for ObamaCare was fun, wait until you try to use it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

Paul Ryan suddenly isn’t looking as brilliant as we’d thought.


4 posted on 12/11/2013 4:38:59 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

Kind of expected


5 posted on 12/11/2013 4:41:49 PM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FlingWingFlyer

Even here on FR vets are thrown under the bus on occassion when it comes to bennies.

I agree that the pain is inevitable because those bastages in DC are doing nothing to fix any of this mess. But ALL need to feel the pain. Isolating the veteran for the pain is, as the article alluded to, an egregious breach of faith.

IMO, if, as a veteran, I’m going to get pricked, then all those who take federal dollars under any pretext need to get pricked.


6 posted on 12/11/2013 4:47:28 PM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

Hell, if anything veterans should get more benefits.


7 posted on 12/11/2013 4:48:15 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Governor Sarah Heath Palin for President of the United States in 2016)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

why not cut the federal government employees benefits and pensions. the military guys and gals sacrificed for years and suddenly they get the shaft again.


8 posted on 12/11/2013 4:55:32 PM PST by hondact200 (Candor dat viribos alas (sincerity gives wings to strength) and Nil desperandum (never despair))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

I’m pretty sure I’ve never said a kind word about Paul Ryan and I’m sure not going to now


9 posted on 12/11/2013 5:02:59 PM PST by be-baw (still seeking)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: robowombat; jazusamo

This deal RAISES federal spending to over a trillion.

Someone please explain why anything gets cut when they are RAISING the amount of money taken in?

My take is that Paul Ryan arbitrarily decided to injure veteran retirements.

He needs a vet to primary him and get him out of there.


10 posted on 12/11/2013 5:05:16 PM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy

Getting beat down by a woman that has been running neck and neck for years with Barbara Boxer as the “dumbest” U.S. Senator does not show me that Paul Ryan has much to talk about in the smarts department. It is difficult to accept that this was the best that could be done; another government shutdown would have been better I think.
(FYI: I am a US Army retiree(NCO) and currently work for a contractor that does about 70% of its work with the DOD. I would be effected directly by a shutdown, but feel it may be the only way to correct things.)


11 posted on 12/11/2013 5:14:59 PM PST by rustyboots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: BfloGuy
Paul Ryan suddenly isn’t looking as brilliant as we’d thought.

Exactly, and I had such high hopes for Mister Ryan.

Do I still have GOPian high hopes?

Absolutely.

Two words...

Scott Walker.

.

12 posted on 12/11/2013 5:28:31 PM PST by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: xzins

I agree, a vet should primary him. For Ryan to get cozy with Osama Mama is a dead giveaway that he’s no conservative.

She’s one of my lib senators and doesn’t have the brains to come in out of the rain.


13 posted on 12/11/2013 5:51:56 PM PST by jazusamo ([Obama] A Truly Great Phony -- Thomas Sowell http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058949/posts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Extremely Extreme Extremist
Hell, if anything veterans should get more benefits.

We generally don't vote rat, so it is easy for them to throw us under the bus. I hate rats, because they usually favor the dregs of society, over vets.

14 posted on 12/11/2013 5:54:02 PM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Veteran, 70-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: robowombat
As the article stated, no one saw this betrayal of veterans coming. Under this “deal” the millions of people now taking from Social Security Disability (including the millions who joined those ranks in the last 3 years as their unemployment ran out) will get full COLAs for the rest of their days. Military veterans and their families get screwed. They are rushing this through so they can skip town and go shopping, while there has not been one hearing on this - the greatest break of faith to our military veterans in recent American history.
15 posted on 12/11/2013 5:56:22 PM PST by SkyPilot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SZonian
Oh don't worry, I found out earlier today, right here on FR that people who are injured/amputated while making tractors are the same as service men getting wounded from machine gun fire, RPGs, and IEDs.

And that it really doesn't matter about cutting veteran's benefits because everyone else was lied to as well and no one can afford defined benefits retirements.

16 posted on 12/11/2013 5:59:23 PM PST by Repeat Offender (What good are conservative principles if we don't stand by them?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: xzins

“...My take is that Paul Ryan arbitrarily decided to injure veteran retirements....”
*****************************************************************
Whether he consciously decided to do that or was, like a fool, tricked into it—he IS disproportionately hurting military members.

CURRENT RETIRED military (if under age 62) would have their computed cost-of-living increase reduced by 1% each year. So if the COLA percentage is 2.3% they’d only get 1.3%. This would repeat year after year, adding up over time. The same thing would happen to ALL CURRENT ACTIVE DUTY military (year after year until they reach age 62) once they retire. And the same thing would happen to future military.

ON THE OTHER HAND current civilian civil service employees and current retirees are ALL NOT EFFECTED AT ALL. The only civil service employees who would be affected would be those hired January 1, 2014 or later—and they would not be impacted until their retirement.

Anyone else notice the disparate treatment? Screw the military and protect the civil service employees (who just happen to be largely DEMOCRATS)—a typical liberal/progressive dream in America.


17 posted on 12/11/2013 6:02:33 PM PST by House Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

There are two nations within our borders. There is The United States of America and Democratland. The citizens of Democratland get their money by taking it from the citizens of The United States of America. Democrat politicians only work for the citizens of Democratland. Sounds like the Nazis, doesn’t it?


18 posted on 12/11/2013 6:36:00 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hondact200
‘why not cut the federal government employees benefits and pensions.’

Actually federal pensions were subjected to the same sort of ‘inflation rate’ (not really) minus 1% deflator back in the Reagan administration. And yes Diet Cola, as it is called, will have a very big negative impact on military pensions which are now fully indexed, over time. It is a big hit as most enlisted pensions are a lot lower than federal civil service pensions.

19 posted on 12/11/2013 6:52:19 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: robowombat
I haven't received a pay raise in a few years.

Why should any government retiree expect to receive any sort of raise, ever?
Have they done something to deserve a raise?

Can I get a COLA deduction on my annual income taxes?
Why no sarasmom, you cant!
The feds need me and others to pay ever higher amounts for COLAs for retired people, politicians, and everyone else who lives off government contributions.
Citizen or illegal alien.
In the CONUS or in foreign nations.

Doesn't matter if our earned incomes go down annually, and we have an ever increasing household budget deficit, due to the COLAs of others, and the squandering of tax dollars. Cry me a river!

20 posted on 12/11/2013 7:18:31 PM PST by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: House Atreides

So if the COLA is 0%, as was the case for a couple years recently, can I assume we’d see a -1% adjustment to our retainer pay?


21 posted on 12/11/2013 7:34:35 PM PST by GreyHoundSailor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: sarasmom
If you had bothered to read with care what I posted you would have seen it said two things. Federal pension COLA calculations have already been using the minus1% deflator for about twenty years. Previously military pensions were fully indexed now after this law goes into effect in ‘16 they will be calculated the same way. The second thing was that the deflator effect will have a greater impact for military pensions as most start at a lower plateau than federal pensions. The deflator will be applies to COLA calculations of all military retirees who are over 62 so it will be a rude shock to those who have been getting fully indexed COLAs from date of retirement (in their 50’s for many service personnel).

What is a COLA deduction?

Ranting such as you do does no good. This particular element in a bad budget bill really stinks. However, incoherent ranting such as you engage in is both useless and pretty stupid.

22 posted on 12/11/2013 9:19:02 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: robowombat

“...Federal pension COLA calculations have already been using the minus1% deflator for about twenty years....”
*******************************************************************
As I understand it, it’s only for certain pensions (FERS??) and only in certain years.


23 posted on 12/11/2013 9:26:41 PM PST by House Atreides
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Repeat Offender

Yeah, it’s odd isn’t it? The intelligence quotient on FR is quite questionable when it comes to these kinds of topics.

The tone is about the same as telling a teenage girl who’s a fan of some boy band that they suck.


24 posted on 12/12/2013 10:59:01 AM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: House Atreides

Thanks, I have to dig into this, hut up a recent copy of Fed Almanac which should have a description of the COLA setting process.


25 posted on 12/12/2013 7:38:56 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: robowombat
My “rantings” are fairly clear in substance.

No matter the amount of incoherent and garbage verbiage you spew, you can't change the facts, or the math.

But to answer your one question to me:
“What is a COLA deduction?”

There is none.
Yet.
But since I am one of those of the minority who does actually pay Federal income taxes, as opposed to those like you, who appear to merely subsist on them, I do think if you get a COLA increase, I should receive an equal amount of tax decrease.

If the “cost of living” has increased for you, on your taxpayer funded fixed income, where do you think the money comes for your raise?

Do you really think the taxes on my working pay and raises, if I even get one, is enough to pay for both MY OWN cost of living increases, and also yours?

I'm to be forced to swim ever harder upstream everyday, so you can keep comfortably floating downstream?

No thanks!

26 posted on 12/12/2013 9:57:06 PM PST by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: sarasmom

You are a fool.


27 posted on 12/13/2013 5:27:41 AM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: robowombat
LOL!

Eventually, all people like you, always out themselves for what they actually are.
Patience is a virtue....

28 posted on 12/14/2013 9:52:53 PM PST by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: sarasmom

This is five minutes of my life I won’t get back, and you probably aren’t worth it.

What I have is limited patience with self righteous blame mongers.

The choices you have made have taken you to where you are. The responsibility for your problems is yours. You can either accept that or spend the rest of what time you have blame mongering and scapegoating. Psychological transference and self pity seasoned with sanctimony and self righteousness are two of the cheapest and most addictive and finally most destructive narcotics that exist. You can either cultivate your garden of grievances against who or whatever you wish to blame for your problems or failures in life or move on and accept what is. But as Irvin Cobb observed ‘a capacity for self pity is one of the last things a woman surrenders.


29 posted on 12/19/2013 5:44:31 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: robowombat
Publically pointing out the falsehoods of your personal pity party, does not translate into me my having one of my own.

A “cut” to a “never guaranteed automatic percentage increase” in addition to the agreed amount, is not a retirement cut.

Your retirement pay has not been cut.
Future automatic COLA raises to your retirement pay has been cut by 1%.
Government math in play to rile everyone up, and set people against each other.

But thanks for playing, and outing yourself fully.

30 posted on 12/19/2013 7:25:04 PM PST by sarasmom (Extortion 17. A large number of Navy SEALs died on that mission. Ask why.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: sarasmom

I never said I had any complaint, if you ever bothered to actually read what i posted. Those with a gripe are career enlisted military. You are the one with the endless bile spewing. Anyway i am done with you sou r and dissatisfied woman.


31 posted on 12/19/2013 7:30:33 PM PST by robowombat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson