Skip to comments.COLA Wars
Posted on 01/20/2014 4:39:27 PM PST by SkyPilot
Why trimming military pensions irks this deficit-hawk veteran.
With a $1.1 trillion budget wending its way through Congress and likely headed for President Obamas desk, officials in Washington are no doubt patting themselves on the back for a job well done.
Heres who wont be cheering the news: American veterans and military retirees and their families. Tucked away in this massive spending package is a provision that chops away at the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) raises for military retirees and family survivors, in order to save an estimated $6 billion over the next ten years.
You could argue that I, as a deficit hawk, should cheer this fiscal reform: Cmon, Pete, youre always going on about cutting spending, and heres a spending cut! Why arent you happy? And its true, spending reform is hard to come by in todays profligate Washington, and the case could be made that we should celebrate any minor victory in that fight. But whats galling about this specific spending cut is that it achieves so little, while breaking faith with veterans and sending a discouraging message to rank-and-file members of the military. Washington politicians cant be bothered to make even the most minor adjustments to Social Security, Medicaid, or Medicare but cutting back those who have served our nation honorably in uniform, or the families who have lost a loved one in combat? No problem. Its an assault on the dignity and pride of our military personnel, for so very little in savings.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Hegseth's civilian employment during his non-deployment National Guard service was with Bear Stearns.
Upon return from Iraq, Hegseth worked briefly at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. In 2007, he left the conservative think tank to take the helm of Vets For Freedom as executive director. At that time, the organization had no staff, limited membership and no budget. By 2008, after eighteen months of Hegseth's leadership, the group had grown to 95,000 members with a $9 million budget and a dozen staff members. While leading Vets For Freedom from 20072010, he was also a Fox News Channel military analyst and made multiple television appearances on the Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC. Hegseth is also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the National Review Online, as well as the author of many editorials in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Post, and The Washington Times.
No. It achieves its intent, which is breaking faith with veterans and sending a discouraging message to rank-and-file members of the military.
The “compromise” by Paul Ryan and Patty Murray had nothing to do with balancing the budget or reducing the deficit. Nobody’s taxes will go down because of it. Murray wanted some extra money for HEADSTART, and Ryan offered up the money from retired Veterans.
I dunno. Reagan appointee Larry Korb (former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower) presents a very compelling case in favor of this reduction in the increase of COLAs. Korb notes that when most vets joined, these lavish retirement packages were not in existence —they were only introduced later. So these packages weren’t part of most military members’ “contract” when they signed up. Plus, as SecDef Hagel and CJCS Dempsey have stressed, personnel costs are eating up half of DOD’s budget right now, and are going higher.
Active Duty/Retiree ping.
6 billion dollars saved over ten years by gouging the service members and veterans Yet the U.S. sent $37,680,000,000 in foreign aid overseas in 2012 alone.
Detroit is going to get 108 million aid this year to try to get back on its feet. Egypt, however, will be getting 127 million in economic aid. I’m not saying I approve of giving all that dough to Detroit, but why Egypt?
$10.744 billion went to the top five countries on the list in 2012. Israel was #1. The next four are Muslim nations. Think about this as you write out your check to the IRS come April 15th.
Are there more or fewer Soldiers now than in 1990? Are there more or fewer civilian government employees now than in 1990?
Why....yes.....sitting in an air-conditioned government office drinking a latte and visiting about Oprah’s latest show while waiting for that 3pm quitting time is JUST like moving out under fire.
“...personnel costs are eating up half of DODs budget ...”
Personnel costs typically eat up 80+% of a school district’s budget and most of you get to vote on that. Face it, spending all levels of government are completely out of control.
“I dunno. Reagan appointee Larry Korb (former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower) presents a very compelling case in favor of this reduction in the increase of COLAs. Korb notes that when most vets joined, these lavish retirement packages were not in existence they were only introduced later. So these packages werent part of most military members contract when they signed up. Plus, as SecDef Hagel and CJCS Dempsey have stressed, personnel costs are eating up half of DODs budget right now, and are going higher.”
Poundstone, as a proud retired federal employee, I’m sure that you would agree that financial sacrifices should be shared and spread around. How about the following proposal?
I think that (as part any debt increase legislation coming up) ALL current and future federal employees & retirees should have their COLAs reduced (below whatever existing reduction is called for by current law) by 1% each year for the first 20 years following the later of 1) their year of retirement (independent of age at retirement) or 2) the first annual COLA that follows enactment. At the end of those 20 years, these 1% reduced COLA percentages can then be restored (prospectively only) for those retirees still living.
As you know Somethings got to be done...-and that should apply to civil service compensation & retirement benefits. Surely YOU would agree with this! As a “proud federal retiree” I’m sure YOU would agree that YOU should share in this sacrifice for the next 20 years of your life.
By the way, you do know that Korb is a highly paid Senior Fellow at the progressive Center for American Progress? He, of course, would have no agenda.
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
What are these "Lavish retirement packages" of which you speak? When I joined in 1982, retirement pay for 20 years of service was 50% of final base pay, but by the time I actually retired in 2006 it was 50% of the average of my last three years' base pay, a reduction which adds up after a while. So this isn't the first time the military has taken it up the chute.
Korb is also being paid off by the left wing Socialist Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, again by Soros, "whose aim is to redirect 15% of the military's budget to social programs like education, healthcare, job training, humanitarian relief, renewable energies"
Since its inception, the Center has gathered a group of high-profile senior fellows, including Lawrence Korb Also, Admiral (ret) Ryan blew every "argument" that Korb had out of the water during an appearance on PBS.
Notice how agitated Korb gets when he is confronted with the facts. Notice also that Korb quickly changes the subject from pensions to attacking military health care.
Korb also is spearheading pro-homosexual issues vis a vis the military, and has already caused untold damage to the military by peddling immorality by his past "victories" on this issue.
Once again, incorrect.
The historical average has been approximately one third, and that is what they are today.
You can call me one, but your writing proves that you’re one.
Korb is either uninformed or lying.
The 50% at 20 years was the rule in 1970 when I first enlisted. And it had been ongoing for many years before that.
I remember when leaving to go to college the talk I got from the reenlistment NCO who pointed out the retirement, the health coverage, the education.
Korb is nuts....there are very few "when most vets joined" who predate me. And I KNOW what it was then.
I can’t believe they complain about the personnel costs.
It’s like saying “We’re complaining that we have to have soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. We’d be much better off without them!”