Skip to comments.Military retirees: You betrayed us, Congress
Posted on 12/12/2013 11:24:42 AM PST by Sleeping FreeperEdited on 12/12/2013 11:27:38 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
Military retirees are outraged that Congress will start voting Thursday on a budget deal that trims military pensions, calling the move "an egregious breach of faith."
The Military Coalition, some 27 military groups, wrote to leaders in Congress and President Obama late Wednesday about their "strong objection" and "grave concern" over the budget deal.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
This is outrageous, but how many people who are rightfully incensed over cutting military pensions are indifferent, or pleased, at the prospect of Detroit retirees losing their pensions? The spirit of austerity is like a prairie fire, once it erupts it’s hard to control, and nobody can tell who will wind up being burned.
I don’t want to see anyone’s pension benefits decimated. Of course, the military is a special case, but we also need to be concerned about Social Security, Medicare, 401ks, and private and public pensions. We also need to be concerned about the fate of future generations and the sustainability of retirement systems. These need to be addressed in a spirit of fairness and a desire to advance the common good. It’s depressing to see the young set against the old, the public against the private, and the civilian against the military. We’re all in this together, and there shouldn’t be any second class citizens.
Well said and I applaud your thinking (and agree). However, people are so stuck on what they were promised that there is little thought of shared sacrifice.
This bill is outrageous in that it seemingly singles out military retirees for cuts. This bill is also outrageous because we are trillions in debt and it only cuts 23 billion and spreads that out over 10 years. I believe it’s less than a half of a percent in overall government expenditures. What a joke. We are destroying our future to keep the Ponzi scheme alive. We are enslaving our children and grandchildren to preserve the status quo and keep politicians and special interests happy.
Just watch a social security thread here on FR and it will prove what you said. Our leaders won’t tell us the truth because it’s ugly. We need huge cuts across government to survive and it won’t happen with this bunch. They will beat their chest and talk about meaningless cuts spread out over 10 years.
Wake me when they cut the entitlements. Based on my calculations, they could cut out all non-entitlement spending and we would still go bankrupt or experience hyperinflation.
Military pensions are funded in advance. That started in 1984. All of my retirement pay was paid in advance during my time in service.
“To promote better management, in 1984, Congress directed a switch to an accrual method of funding retirement. Under this procedure, each year the services transfer into a fund the amount necessary to pay for future retirements.”
By cutting the COLA, they save money both by needing to fund less now for future retirements, and by taking back money already pain into the trust fund. What Congress and the GOP are doing is the same as taking money out of someone’s IRA...
This isn’t just about a promise not kept. I assumed everyone here on FR understood the importance of our military and their service.
I used the word “promise” in the true sense of the word. A promise to the brave who choose to don a uniform and vow to protect our Nation.
Again I say... cut every other program, including the disability fakers and welfare queens, and birth control and abortion sluts,.....then we can talk about cutting money off the backs of our heroes.
1.If a COLA is, lets say, 2% of base pay then 1% of that is chump change.
2.The example given was $3700 a year. Again; if the COLA was 2% that means base pay was $185,000
3.It appears you dont understand the difference between a percent and a percentage point either.
Sorry my friend, you’re having a mental block on this and not understanding it. The below quoted text is extracted from the article:
“...The average cut in pension payouts, INCLUDING COMPOUNDING INTEREST, for a retiring Army Sergeant first class, would be about $3,700 each year, according to the Military Officers Association of America. Over 20 years, the total losses could balloon to more than $80,000....”
I capitalized three words which mean that, in the article’s example, the $3,700 is the amount that this change in the law will have reduced the retired sergeant’s ANNUAL pension after a period of years compared to what it would have been in the absence of Ryan’s “Screw Military Retirees Act”.
$3,700 a year may be “chump change” to you, but to many of us it is not.
“Military pensions are funded in advance.”
No they are not. They use the same accounting as social security, namely (from your link) “The money in the fund is invested in nonnegotiable government securities”
In other words, the money is simply recycled within the government and spent.
That means that military pension payouts are funded out of current year funds - that also means that when there isn’t enough money in any current year to come, they won’t be paid as expected, if at all. As in Social Security, there is no “lock box”
So, yes, they promised. A government promise is meaningless unless there is a prosperous private sector to pay for it all.
“I used the word promise in the true sense of the word.”
And a government “promise” is worthless, in the truest sense of that word.
We already do not have the money to pay for all the government “promises”. All such promises will either be cut, or if not that, they’ll be wiped out altogether.
You mistake my statement of reality as some sort of attack on you or your husband. It is not. It is just the truth.
No, the militarizing FEMA and DHS are.
You do know there exists a statutory provision for NO negative COLA, for anyone, including the military, right?
There have been several years when COLA was 0.
There were a few years it was as high 10-14%.
If you did not retire at exactly 20 years, you worked each year thereafter, needlessly, for 50% of the income you were already fully entitled to receive.
Before you castigate me for my differing views of this “outrage”, you should know I am a USAF veteran, with two honorable DD214s.(I had a break in service, and volunteered for a total of two 4 year enlistments)
That said, if you are as smart as you think you are, you already knew Uncle Sugar was going to break up with you as soon as possible.
Pity the poor civilians who are still working now, and seeing negative results in their actual working wage incomes,(No COLAs for us) and still they(we) are forced to keep paying for Uncle Sugars schemes.
I'm older, and now qualify for the over 55 senior discount rates.
As a member of the “baby boomer” generation, albeit the tail end...I can tell you the reckoning is coming, on schedule.
And you complain about a 1% reduction in an unearned and a never guaranteed annual retirement pay raise formula?Are you sure you are a conservative?
I’m much in agreement with your thoughtful post, except for the presently politically correct “a desire to advance the common good.” Who determines what the “common good” is? And at whose expense?
There is no “common good.” There is only individual good.
Assuming retiring at 40, 1% each year until 62 means a military retirement check will be worth approximately 22% less. Even this, I could accept if it was part of a massive reduction, but it is not. Effectively, other than the pension cuts, we are continuing down the same road of deficit spending that will bankrupt our nation.
Based on your own calculations, that would make your retirement pay at age 62, 72% of your former active duty pay.
Obviously a government math calculation issue.
Any cut in increases is considered a reduction.
That's never true, but that never seems to matter to government mathematicians.
there is a condition called dysphonia...probably not spelling it right...but its basically dystonia of the voice box.....dystonia is a nerve disorder that causes spasms...if you have that, you can get botox for it...of course its a specialized type of treatment and not just any neurologist can do it...
Sounds fairly reasonable to me. They are also talking about making similar cuts to social security. Sacrifices have to be made.
You are wrong.
We do have the money to pay the promises made to our military retirees.
The govt. would rather spend it on junkies, communists, sluts and bums.
That is a fact.
“You are wrong.”
The numbers - deficits, debt don’t agree with you.
Overall employment trend numbers, forecasts for future business performance don’t agree with you.
Trends in government - programs, entitlements, and the appetite for more of the voters don’t agree with you.
We still have money coming in - but the likelihood that it will be set aside for the military is not very high - and the impact of debt and deficits does not spell “solvent”.
The government wastes a lot money, so does the military - that is a travesty, given the state of finances of the people who pay for it all - but it is, for now, a fact of life.
What is correct is that the government has wagered that it can cut military benefits now as a political tool so that the illusion of solvency and the illusion of austerity is communicated and reinforced to the American people. It doesn’t change the truth though, We are broke, we don’t have the money to pay everyone everything someone in government “promised” them.
You just can’t see that the article is in error which is what prompted me to post in the first place. Colas usually run in the 1%-3% range. Reducing 3% by 1% results in a COLA of 2.97%. Reducing a 3% COLA by one percentage point results in a COLA of 2%....See the difference? Now do you understand that a one percent reduction in the COLA is in fact chump change.
Compounding interest can really add up over a long period of time. The article, however, uses a period of one single year. Annual refers to one year. It does not mean “over a period of years”.
You do the math...Tell me how much an SFC would have to earn if a 2% COLA resulted in $3700 in a single year.
The article includes compounding interest in a 20 year total of over $80,000.
Again. This article is just factually incorrect. No one can tell for sure how extensive the damage to retirees will be based solely on the information provided here.
The money has to go somewhere. If non-negotiable bonds are not ‘safe’, then what is? But the money was not just promised. It was spent, and taken out of the taxes paid each year in advance - just as social security was.
That makes it a contract. Yes, a contract is sort of a promise, but it is a promise that has been paid for and thus the obligation is different than the pension in Detroit, which was promised but never funded.
“If non-negotiable bonds are not safe, then what is?”
Well, if I were to be able to choose between a negotiable financial instrument, and a non-negotiable instrument, I know which one I would choose.
It was an illusion. They took the money and recycled it back into the budget for spending as soon as it was allocated to the “non-negotiable” bonds.
“That makes it a contract. Yes, a contract is sort of a promise”
You are correct - actually a contract IS a promise. However, the government cannot honor it’s contract/promises.
They will either renege on the contract, or pay it with dollars of drastically lower value than the dollars originally promised.
There are too many promises made to too many people.
You cannot, for instance, expect me to pay you benefits that were promised to you by someone else.
The perverse problem we have is that military and other government retirement benefits are awarded to people who then must be paid by people who cannot fund their own retirement because they are taxed so much to pay yours.
That may be immaterial to many. The faces are obscured when the money gets laundered through the federal government, so its easy to say “we have the money” or “we should pay my benefit before someone elses benefit” when the taxes are coupled with defacto money printing.
But in the end you have to say to me (or other productive taxpayers) that you deserve my money for your retirement before I deserve my money for my retirement. That’s a tough argument to make successfully over the long-term. That’s why we are borrowing torrentially right now.
When the borrowing must end I will simply stop working my private sector enterprise instead of working so that you can get a paycheck in retirement. Millions of people will make the same calculation.
There is no difference to the taxpayer - from a financial standpoint - where the money goes. We can’t fund the active promises we have right now. One way or another you are not going to get the money you expect - nor will anyone else who relies on a “promise” from government.
The course we are on now only guarantees that the cut-off to federal benefit recipients of all kinds will be sudden.
The outrage that military is the first to go is well placed. I’m a veteran, so I know about this. But it’s all a charade to make people think that we are doing something to remain solvent. We are not doing anything of the kind.
I wish we had a vibrant private sector that could support the size of federal benefit recipients - minus sponges - because that would mean I could pay for your retirement and my own.
I can’t do it. I don’t have enough money for you and for me.
It’s not my fault that you accepted a promise from the government at face value. We’re all going to pay the price.
Government lied to all of us. Our founding fathers understood this, and sought to keep our government limited - we’ve tossed that idea out the window - but the reality is not changed - we don’t have the money for everything promised.
From your posts it seems that you may be a federal civilian employee likely embittered because your salary “scale” has been frozen for several years.
Someone up-thread said that federal civilian employees are also subject to the 1% reduction in Cost of Living increases in their pensions. I did some research and found out that is correct for a retirement system called “FERS”. However there is a MAJOR difference in how FERS came about for civilian employees compared to what’s happening now to military service members.
FERS was established in the mid-1980s but only applied to NEW federal employees hired in 1985 or later (apparently already employed civil service employees were also allowed to VOLUNTARILY move to FERS if they desired). Sweetening the deal for these FERS people was that the federal government would provide a free match (of up to 5% of salary each year) of the FERS employees contributions to their 401K plan. So the NEW (1985 & later) federal employees covered under FERS will shortly be completing the 30 years in a typical career and be eligible for retirement and will have 30 years of these 401K matching contributions to help compensate for the annual 1% reduction in their COLA increases.
I don’t think most of us would have a problem with this if the Ryan budget deal made the change only for new (i.e., entering active duty January 2014 or later) service members in a fashion similar to what was done for civilian employees and also offered those new service members some matching of their 401K contributions. But the Ryan budget didn’t do any of this—it willy-nilly covered ALL (future AND current) service members and all current military retirees who are under age 62. This shows how they think about service members relative to how they thought about civilian employees (such as Congress critters who are apparently covered under FERS).
His argument is a flat lie. We barely get any raise after taxes. A puny $35 or so a month. BS. He will never get a vote of mine in any election. Nothing but a liberal puke in my book now. Supporting his pal Obama.
Exactly. If you hear of any kid thinking of the military, tell them that. Tell them a military retiree suggested that. Everyone out there tell any and all kids thinking of the military that. Screw going for a career. Do only 3 years. Do it in a job that you can bring out and sell that training and experience to a civilian employer. The training is top notch. So use it against them. Train and walk. Earn a better living out side because you will get nothing in the military any more. Used up, beat up, broken up, and pi$$ed on later on. Sorry for the French, but the US government makes me mad enough to puke. The sorry lying good for nothing thief can go straight to Hades as far as I am concerned.
“The perverse problem we have is that military and other government retirement benefits are awarded to people who then must be paid by people who cannot fund their own retirement because they are taxed so much to pay yours.”
Again, the money was already paid. At best, your argument would be that the general population borrowed money from me and now refuses to pay it back - ie, the general population is STEALING MY MONEY - because it was already paid into an account for me. The American taxpayer then ‘borrowed’ it to pay for things he wanted free, and now he is refusing to repay the loan and telling me it is unfair for me to expect him to repay my loan.
“You just cant see that the article is in error which is what prompted me to post in the first place. Colas usually run in the 1%-3% range. Reducing 3% by 1% results in a COLA of 2.97%. Reducing a 3% COLA by one percentage point results in a COLA of 2%....See the difference? Now do you understand that a one percent reduction in the COLA is in fact chump change....”
Your first statement (”reducing a 3% COLA by 1% results in a COLA of 2.97%”) does not accurately reflect what will be happening as a result of the language in the Ryan budget. Your 2nd statement (reducing a 3% COLA by one percentage point results in a COLA of 2%) is correct. This legislation will have a substantial impact on our currently retired service members and current active duty service members who decide to stay in long enough for a pension.
By the way, I served 7 years active duty and decided to get out (didn’t join the reserves which was a mistake in retrospect). I don’t get a military pension and will not be getting one. But I certainly don’t begrudge the pensions earned by folks who decided to stay in for a career. They earned it.
I’ll make no more comments on this thread as it is descending into bickering.
Your first statement (reducing a 3% COLA by 1% results in a COLA of 2.97%) does not accurately reflect what will be happening as a result of the language in the Ryan budget.
No but it exactly portrays what this article said. I am not arguing the merits of Ryans proposal either way. I am trying to point out that no one should rely on this article as an accurate source of information on the effects of his proposal.
This unreliable and irresponsible journalism is the point of every post I have made here. A point that seems to go totally un-noticed by you.
No it wasn’t paid. It was a deliberate scheme to defraud. Now that you find the money is gone you accuse me of stealing it from you.
The money is gone and the only chance of getting some of your benefits secured is through the very private sector you now resent for “stealing” from you.
You need a vibrant private sector. If everyone insists on full payment of whatever promises the government made, you will get pennies on the dollar. If you don’t kill the private sector with taxes you might get more.
We are just debating. Nothing personal intended.
Definitely grounds for a major lawsuit.
Point is they ought to pay attention to who and what they vote for. Elections have consequences
I've got a post office pension, which isn't much, a lot less than outsiders might think, but it's a lot more than many people have. I worry about the young people of today. It's not easy to enjoy one's retirement if the children and grandchildren are headed for the poorhouse. If my pension has to be cut I'll just have to take it like a man and be thankful for what I've got.
I never thought of it that way with regard to my mother. She was in a great deal of pain which she tried to fight through. She lived to be 92, and even at that age, in that sort of pain, she strove to be independent and hated the idea of being a burden on others. She even did everything she could to take care of Dad during his final illness when she could barely move herself. That being said, I'm sure fibromyalgia can be used as a convenient diagnosis to placate whiny patients.
I hope you werent being sarcastic with the best wishes for my family.
No, I was being sincere even if it may have seemed sarcastic. I feel bad that your husband may be having the rules of the game changed on him, and I hope for a happy and just resolution in your sister's case. I would feel terrible if one of my siblings was involved in a fraudulent situation.
I think I've been watching too much MSNBC. At least I didn't mention the bourgeoisie or the proletariat. A better way to put it might be to say that I wish the best for everyone, and that the powers that be use their influence in a way that doesn't impede the citizenry in their individual pursuits of happiness.
I am with you on this.
UNTIL EVERY SINGLE POS CHEATER, SLACKER, CRIMINAL WELFARE/SS/DISABILITY/PENSION/ENTITLEMENT IS REVIEWED, ADJUSTED OR CUT, I DO NOT WANT ONE CENT OF ANY MILITARY SPENDING, NO MATTER HOW WASTEFUL, TO EVEN BE CONSIDERED FOR ANY CUT. WHEN BIKE TRAILS, STUDIES ON THE SEXUAL HABITS OF THE SPOTTED SALAMANDER, MIDNIGHT BASKETBALL, PBS (AND 100 MILLION OTHER EXPENDITURES THAT ARE DROWNING US) ARE CUT AWAY, THEN, AND ONLY THEN, WILL I CONSIDER ANY CUTS IN DEFENSE OR BENEFITS TO VETERANS OR RETIREES.
Sorry about the All Caps. I am glad my parents are dead and don’t have to be subjected to this crap.
Thanks. That data like most polls is skewed.
Here is data, from US 2010 Census, table 521, less skewed:
Number of Vets in 2010: 22,658,000
US population in 2010: 311,963,411
Percent of Veterans in USA in 2010: 7.263%
I don’t have the time and capability to find out how many retired vets and disabled vets, we have and their % of the population. This data should be gathered and used a club against the Obamaites to prevent cuts in $’ to our retired and disabled vets.
Again thanks to you for your service.
“No it wasnt paid. It was a deliberate scheme to defraud. Now that you find the money is gone you accuse me of stealing it from you.”
Yes, it was paid. That you and other taxpayers borrowed it so you could buy things you wanted without being charged for it does not change the fact that it was paid for, in advance, by money from the Department of Defense.
Now you and other taxpayers refuse to reimburse the fund because you still want to spend money on other things. That is theft. You borrowed the money and you refuse to repay it because you - generic you, not you personally since I’m sure you don’t like what the government does with money either - are a thief.
Ok. I am one!
Oh, and I meant to say, you’re here in Alabama, aren’t you?
Martha Roby voted for this. She “Represents” us retirees from Ft Rucker, Maxwell AFB and Gunter AFB.
Lotta good she done us. /s
Wouldn't it be ironic if the US Senate could stop this outrage?
Wouldn't it be ironic if the US Senate could stop this outrage?
Was this included in the final draft of the bill they voted for on Thursday PM?
Do they really want to goof with military retirees and veterans? Millions of people who have from 3 to 30 years experience and training in death and destruction? How smart is that? 535 against roughly twenty five million veterans. That’s about HALF A MILLION veterans for every congressman!
I have no problem differentiating this at all. Detroit and their employee unions (not just the city of Detroit, but car companies working there) are not (or SHOULD not) ever be beneficiaries of MY tax dollars. I don't live there, have never worked at a GM plant or whatever.
What happens to their pension plans is between them, the City of Detroit, and whatever locality is paying for those pensions. I don't wish ill on them, but when one sees some of the pensions offered to various municipalities (especially in states like California and Massachusetts) that are completely and totally unsustainable due to bad agreements AND bad planning/execution, that is not my issue.
But as someone paying federal taxes to cover the benefits that should go to our military retirees and veterans, I DO feel that this is something I should have an interest in.
And, just to be clear: I am NOT saying "DON'T CUT ANYTHING", what I AM saying is "If we are going to cut military benefits, I will not concede to a single cut until ALL areas of ALL budgets are subjected to the SAME scrutiny, as a minimum..."
According to the US Census in 2010, there were 22,658,000 vets in America.
22,658,000/535 = 42,352 per total.
They have more welfare, illegals and unions thugs not working than they have vets.
That is why they are trotting this stuff out.
My numbers came from the VA, but no matter. How many “welfare, illegals and unions thugs not working” have gone through 10-14 weeks of basic training, advanced schools and leadership training, not to mention marksmanship, small unit tactics, intelligence, communications, heavy weapons, artillery, reconnaissance, ambush, seaborne/airborne/jungle/desert/mountain/urban warfare scenarios? Some, I’m sure, but many of them? Doubtful. I’m 53, overweight and nowhere near the stamina I had at 18, but I’d still recommend you don’t **** with me, and many veterans are 22-49 years old with recent combat experience and n good shape.
There is a difference between should and would. Or in this case can but won’t.
I get the gov’t can’t pay everyone everything. Please stop posting to me that same sentence every which way to Sunday.
I believe our military retirees are more important than welfare queens and bums.
My problem with this is that they cutting our heroes but not the fakers and bums.
It is obvious you do not see a difference between volunteer heros and welfare takers.
HoooAhhhh then. :-)
I agree with you.
The problem is each day, more of us old Vets leave this orb.
Statistically/demographically, the rats and rinos in Congress know that our numbers are decreasing and have decreased to the point that our votes don’t represent any threat to them anymore.
So they don’t care anymore.
If it wasn’t for the military..there would be no private sector