Skip to comments.Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Recommend Deep Budget Cuts Targeting Pay, Benefits
Posted on 02/23/2014 3:55:41 PM PST by kristinn
Teeing up what could be a politically explosive fight before the midterm elections in November, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday will recommend billions of dollars in annual budget cuts that would reduce housing allowances and other benefits, increase health-care premiums, and limit pay raises, CBS News confirms.
The recommendations, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, are part of a broader effort to trim the Pentagon's budget while minimizing the impact on preparedness and capability. But they're likely to provoke fierce opposition from veterans' interest groups and lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
The Pentagon argues that personnel costs are simply too big a share of the defense budget to ignore. "Personnel costs reflect some 50 percent of the Pentagon budget and cannot be exempted in the context of the significant cuts the department is facing," Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department's top spokesman, told the Journal. "Secretary Hagel has been clear that, while we do not want to, we ultimately must slow the growth of military pay and compensation."
(Excerpt) Read more at cbsnews.com ...
Instead of taking from those protecting us,
how about you make cuts from those leaches on permanent welfare?
Worthless bunch these politicians are.
Compensation costs are not hollowing out the Pentagon's budget as Ryan and Chuck Hagel have repeatedly said. They are using a cooked book number by taking the projected costs only since 1998 projected through 2008 - during that time, Congress had to fix the disastrous REDUX that robbed post 1986 military officers and enlisted, and Congress implemented TRICARE For Life (TFL) that prevented retired military from being immediately booted from TRICARE when the reached Medicare age. But those were one time fixes. The personnel and compensation costs for military today are about 1/3rd, almost identical to what they have been since 1980.
It was either Mark Twain or British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli who famously stated the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" quote. That is the case here.
First, everything costs more in the DoD budget in actual dollars year to year. It is because of this little thingy called "inflation." The costs of food, fuel, and housing goes up for every American and every business as well. Moreover, the overall personnel strength in the DoD is smaller than it was in 1980, but not great by historical comparisons. Even with those factors, personnel and health care costs are NOT costing the DoD 50% of its budget. That is statistcal slight of hand that is a deliberate falsehood. It is done with intent of screwing over the very people who fight the wars, maintain the equipment, and do the actual work of the US military.
Again, the OMB numbers tell the same, consistent story: the cost of personnel and medical care for our military is roughly 1/3rd of the DoD budget, the same as it has been for decades.
Also, be wary of any Washington DC insider who uses the "projected costs" argument. Paul Ryan and Chuch Hagel are masters of this.
Let's say you had 2 years of large car repair bills. In 2012, your wife hit a deer and your deductible was large. Then, the transmission on your daughters car had to be replaced, and your own car threw a rod in 2013.
You could hold a Power Point presentation to your family in the living room, and announce that based on "projected costs" from 2012-2013, you will not be able to afford heating and groceries in 2018 based on your current salary should these same auto repair costs go up the same percentage year after year. There were one-time fixes to REDUX retirement and TRICARE, plus much needed multi-year pay raises in the very years Hagel and Ryan cherry pick to justify their "projected costs" argument.
Screwing over the very people who are the heart and soul of the US military is not a strategy.
It is a betrayal and suicide for the armed forces.
If the same cuts go to EPA, IRS, welfare, staff, salaries, benefits and retirements to ALL of the government...
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.