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New COLA 'fix' creates have, have-not disabled retirees
Stars and Stripes ^ | 16 Jan 14 | Tom Philpott

Posted on 01/16/2014 8:30:19 AM PST by SkyPilot

Congress has rushed to protect the medically retired and survivor benefit recipients from the cap on annual cost-of-living adjustments it approved only a few weeks ago for all “working age” military retirees.

The quick “COLA fix,” part of a massive “omnibus” funding bill for 12 federal departments, still leaves most military retirees under age 62 with future COLAs trimmed by one percent below the annual inflation rate, an erosion of retirement value set to begin in January 2016.

The fix also creates a disparity in COLA protection between separate groups of disabled retirees, critics contend. It won’t affect retirees with conditions diagnosed and rated in service, even if the rating is as low as 0 or 10 percent for those with 20 or more years served. Full COLAs are being restored for anyone medically retired, so-called Chapter 61 retirees.

The COLA cap remains for retirees under 62 whose service-connected disability ratings came later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These VA-rated disabled retirees will continue to receive full COLAs on disability compensation but not on any military retired pay they also draw. [Only in the last decade did Congress phase out a long-time ban on “concurrent receipt” of both payments for many disabled retirees.]

Retired Army Lt. Michael Parker, an advocate for disabled retirees, said the COLA disparity from the quick fix in the omnibus bill would create “huge inequities.” He gave a few examples.

“A fully employable Chapter 61 disability retiree rated at 0 percent [disabled] by DoD,” which occurs when a condition is recognized but not compensable, “will not be subject to COLA reduction,” Parker explained.

Yet an unemployable length-of-service retiree rated by VA, even if rated 100-percent disabled, would see the COLA cap impact their retired pay.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cola; disabled; military; pension
Politicians like Sen Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI), and Sen Patty Murray (D-WA) and are mugging for the cameras today, saying they supported the $1.1 Trillion omnibus budget because it "protects disabled veterans."

You now have permission to call them out as liars to their face.

The above Stars and Stripes article confirms that any military hero who was severely wounded or injured, even Purple Heart and 100% disabled rated veterans, are not protected from the pension robbery if they had served 20 years or longer.

1 posted on 01/16/2014 8:30:19 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

In before the, “The problem with cutting spending is that no one wants their spending cut” crowd.

2 posted on 01/16/2014 8:39:15 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion. The only constitutional rights protected by Democrats.)
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To: CitizenUSA
Moral clarity requires the application of truth and justice.

A just nation will execute the child molester, and that is an act of morality for the good of the nation.

It is unjust to single out those who have given more to this nation than 99.13% of the others for cuts. Washington has decided that Purple Heart 100% disabled veterans should be cut, so that $1.5 Billion more can be spent on Head Start and other spending.

This "savings" by robbing military retirees saves $0.6 Billion per year.

If we cannot fix this, then there really isn't a nation left that is deserving to be defended.

3 posted on 01/16/2014 8:45:14 AM PST by SkyPilot
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To: SkyPilot

I guess a lot of people, including some FReepers, don’t understand the difference between an earned payment, i.e. compensation for a job done, and social welfare, wealth redistribution payment. It’s not that veterans are opposed to cuts. It’s that virtually nothing else was cut EXCEPT for retirement pay inflation protection (which was promised to military retirees).

Sure. I think it’s great that Representative Ryan managed to restore some DoD spending, and I’m not really opposed to making sacrifices to restore fiscal sanity in D.C., but that is NOT what this budget was about.

We’ve got $ billions upon billions in waste, even more $ billions in transfer payments to people who have never lifted a finger to help this country, and even greater payments to people who did indeed contribute something (payroll taxes) but who are now getting more out than they put in. Yet, the only thing (apparently) Representative Ryan could cut was military retirement pay? Out of everything else, cut payments to people who actually EARNED them? Frankly, it boggles my mind.

4 posted on 01/16/2014 8:47:03 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion. The only constitutional rights protected by Democrats.)
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To: SkyPilot

I expect the cuts to be eventually restored, but I’m not really worried about the money. A possible 20% cut over 20 years won’t ruin me. In this case, it really is the principle of the thing.

We conservatives have been clamoring for less government for years. That means less spending, less rules and regulations, less government across the board. The so-called party of small government, aka Republican, controls the House. Yet, we have virtually nothing to show for it.

I also think most of us understand that compromises need to be made, because we do indeed have divided government in D.C. I just think we’re upset that our team seems so completely inept. I’m being kind here when I write that, because some FReepers believe Republicans are indistinguishable from Democrats. I’d rather believe “our guys” mean well, they’re just incompetent.

So, I understand a bargain had to be made. I’m just disappointed that Republicans bargained so poorly. Representative Ryan is apparently saying he managed to restore DoD spending by sacrificing military retirees. Of all the things to sacrifice, it’s very telling that he (and other Republicans) found it so easy to give us up first.

5 posted on 01/16/2014 9:07:08 AM PST by CitizenUSA (Sodomy and abortion. The only constitutional rights protected by Democrats.)
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To: SkyPilot; Jet Jaguar; Jim Robinson

The cynicism of “fixing” Ryan’s attack on those who’ve fought our battles is only exceeded by the lies about fixing it.

ALL of those veterans risked everything during a time of multiple deployments to war. This nation has regularly been at war since 1991...1989 if you count Panama. That’s 25 years. And these are the very veterans that Ryan wants to attack. He wants to distinguish between those who were removed from the service for medical reasons, those who were injured but stayed, those whose disabilities caught up with them after they left, and those who were uninjured in any way yet apparent.

In other words, Ryan is trying to divide and conquer.

We are comrades-at-arms, Ryan, and we have each other’s back. We don’t desert our brothers or sisters in the field as you have done.

We’ll have none of your lies about fixing your attack when you know it applies to a small percentage of those you’ve attacked, when you know any cut to retirees was theft, and when you know there were thousands of places to cut that are nothing but waste, fraud, and abuse.

6 posted on 01/16/2014 9:19:59 AM PST by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: SkyPilot
First there should be no cuts to any vet program before welfare is cut by at least 30%. Our veterans benefits are something we have earned with our long years of service, our blood, and the survivor benefits were earned with lives given.

We all entered into a contract to serve and protect our nation. We did that. Many of us did that for decades. Now they are trying to take away the benefits we have already earned. We did our part and believed that our government would hold up their end of the bargain, and then they elected Obama. His actions scream that he has no value or respect for the American service man or woman. The Obama administration is completely to blame for this intended wholesale theft of benefits we earned and that were promised to us.

The people who are still on active duty can not make any negative comments about their commander in chief. The retired and disabled vets are not restrained or restricted from voicing our absolute and total disgust for our president. At first the party he leads wanted to screw all of the retired vets on their continuing retirement benefits and that was supposed to be OK. That didn't work so now they just want to forcibly fornicate some of the disabled vets and that too is supposed to be OK. We are not drinking that cool aid. In fact this is the topic of discussion where ever and when ever vets meet. We are not a happy bunch right now.

It is not OK. We have spent years away from our families, bled our own blood, witnessed our comrades die and be maimed and given our lives to complete the contract we signed and to fulfill the oath that we took. Now the liberals lead by President Obama want to treat us like $hitt. We earned our benefits, leave them alone. If you have to save money on the budget look to the welfare rolls. 99% of those people did not serve our nation or do anything to earn the monies they receive.

One fact that all of us need to remember is that there are recruiters for all the armed services in every city in our nation. Those people who feel all entitled to this free money could have enlisted and earned their retirement just like we did. They chose not to so. Do not take part of the money we have earned and give it to those who refused to utilize the same opportunity we did. Do not take our earned benefits and give it to people who refused to serve this country as we did and who have earned nothing.

When we enlisted there was an equal opportunity for all young Americans to join the military. Although they make up a large percentage of our nations population there is a very low percentage of our active duty armed forces that are from the bigger cities. Not many young people from the large cities chose to enlist in our armed forces. What naturally follows is that when retirement time comes around that most of the retired military members go home to the red counties and states. President Obama does not care about those old warriors or their votes. The liberals so not win in these areas so we politically expendable. What they do value is all the free money votes in the big cities.

It is all about politics, votes, the promotion of socialism by building the dependent entitlement class in our nation.

7 posted on 01/16/2014 9:52:54 AM PST by oldenuff2no ( Retired AB Ranger, 23 years active duty.)
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To: SkyPilot

Our men and women are coming home with lost limbs...permanent disabilities and cutting anything to them is wrong. Just plain wrong. We are giving it to undeserving drop outs to sit on their collective a$$es with Obama phones, free healthcare and big screen tvs. Why?

8 posted on 01/16/2014 9:58:03 AM PST by tioga (Wise men still seek Him.)
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To: CitizenUSA


“Representative Ryan is apparently saying he managed to restore DoD spending by sacrificing military retirees. “

Kind of like tying someone to train tracks and then as a train approaches, unties them. . .you know. . .”saving” them.

9 posted on 01/16/2014 10:21:24 AM PST by Hulka
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To: Hulka

Even Hugh Hewitt was upset at Marco Rubio when he was on Hugh’s show. It went right over Marco’s head.

10 posted on 01/16/2014 10:31:50 AM PST by minnesota_bound
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To: SkyPilot; blueyon; KitJ; T Minus Four; xzins; CMS; The Sailor; ab01; txradioguy; Jet Jaguar; ...

Active Duty/Retiree ping.

11 posted on 01/16/2014 6:26:33 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
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