Brian Lucid
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House budget chief Rep. Paul Ryan's website states that military retirement "provides an exceptionally generous benefit, often providing 40 years of pension payments in return for 20 years of service," in an explainer on why benefits should be trimmed. Zaphod B says, that's all fine and dandy, apply that logic to senate and congress retirements which they get after far less time and last I checked they don't have to go to the same shitty hot spots we did. Apply that same logic to welfare and illegal immigrant entitlements. Apply that same logic after you read the contract I and others like me put our names on and took an oath to serve. You made a promise to me, I signed a paper and fulfilled my end of the deal. I believe this will be overturned before execution but it irks me that folks don't know the difference between an entitlement and a benefit or a contract. There are many benefits to service. If you want them, go for it, after the blood, sweat and tears you too will enjoy what you worked hard for and what your families (if you come out at the end with them intact) earned with you. Republicans be damned, Democrats too you all suck!
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Greg Michealson
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When I read your post I imagined Plankton's voice. It sounded much more evil and maniacal that way. Especially the last sentence.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Maybe Paul Ryan should serve his country. Maybe he should call for representatives to have the same pay and conditions are as serving soldiers. Hell if he wants to cut cots how about no more bean soup.
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Andy Andersen
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Anyone that advocates vets are well taken care of should have their nuts shorn.

I'll buy the clippers
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Trey Stone
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Non-disabled vets go to all the places, endure the same hardships, isolations and dangers the disabled ones do. They just had the luck to not get permanently injured. The idea they should do a career and just get a "thank you"...

...and you have nothing to say about Congress?

At the very least, I doubt you did twenty years, Koldfoot.
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Leo Zappa
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I was never deployed to a combat zone, being essentially a reservist and REMF, but I will say that anyone who wore the uniform put themselves at the mercy of the government which could choose on the flimsiest whim to send them into battle on short notice, to kill or be killed or maimed. For that reason alone, I find it insulting that some civilian congresscritter has the balls to think our vets should have their benefits cut.

Frankly, I've always thought this nation was pretty shitty in how it treated its retired military. Hell, the old Soviet Union generally showed its veterans more respect than we have. I won't be drawing any government pension because I only served 12 years, but I'm mad for all those who have earned the pension serving this nation, just to have a bunch of cowards try to screw them out of a portion of those pensions.
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Leo Zappa
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bjlillo wrote:
We don't have the money. We're going into insurmountable debt. Just remember that any benefits will have to be paid back by future taxpayers with interest.


I'm sorry, but military veterans are the last ones who should see any cuts whatsoever. They are the only ones who earned their entitlements. Everything else should get cut before we squeeze one penny from our vets.
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Trey Stone
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desertfox2004 wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
We don't have the money. We're going into insurmountable debt. Just remember that any benefits will have to be paid back by future taxpayers with interest.


I'm sorry, but military veterans are the last ones who should see any cuts whatsoever. They are the only ones who earned their entitlements. Everything else should get cut before we squeeze one penny from our vets.


Exactly. Congress first. Shave a percentage of their salaries and end the one term/lifetime full bennies perk. Bullshit.

I mean, "we don't have the money. Just remember that any benefits will have to be paid back by future taxpayers with interest."
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Agent J
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How about cutting back on people who promised Obamacare websites would work and then not delivering? Like, just stop paying them. And charge back all the money we did pay them.

That sort of thing is where cuts should start.

Congress is a red herring - they get paid by paying contractors.
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Boaty McBoatface
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bjlillo wrote:
We don't have the money. We're going into insurmountable debt. Just remember that any benefits will have to be paid back by future taxpayers with interest.
And the liberties those future tax payers will enjoy was earned by the blood sweat toil and tears of those veterans.
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Boaty McBoatface
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Jythier wrote:
How about cutting back on people who promised Obamacare websites would work and then not delivering? Like, just stop paying them. And charge back all the money we did pay them.

That sort of thing is where cuts should start.

Congress is a red herring - they get paid by paying contractors.
Why not start with the ones calling for cuts?
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fightcitymayor
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Congress are scumbags, but...

1) Pensions, both public & private, have been slashed all over the nation during the last 40 years because those contracts were made at a time when we weren't bleeding debt like we are now. Hell, even unions renegotiate.

2) Not every person who puts on a uniform is entitled to the moon, the stars, and the keys to the kingdom. I totally agree that the government does a shit job of taking care of those wounded in combat service to the government that sent them there. But when it comes to stuff like posh pensions we shouldn't attempt to play the military card and act like everyone that ever put on a uniform was Audie Murphy, and therefore deserving of lifelong largesse at the taxpayer tit.

And, of course, I would be all for cutting congressional benefits as well.

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Boaty McBoatface
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fightcitymayor wrote:
Congress are scumbags, but...

1) Pensions, both public & private, have been slashed all over the nation during the last 40 years because those contracts were made at a time when we weren't bleeding debt like we are now. Hell, even unions renegotiate.

2) Not every person who puts on a uniform is entitled to the moon, the stars, and the keys to the kingdom. I totally agree that the government does a shit job of taking care of those wounded in combat service to the government that sent them there. But when it comes to stuff like posh pensions we shouldn't attempt to play the military card and act like everyone that ever put on a uniform was Audie Murphy, and therefore deserving of lifelong largesse at the taxpayer tit.

And, of course, I would be all for cutting congressional benefits as well.

I find it interesting that the one area where ts so much, there could be legitimate cuts are the family benefits. This is why the VA cost so much, something like a third of the population are in receipt of VA handouts.
 
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Born To Lose, Live To Win
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fightcitymayor wrote:

2) Not every person who puts on a uniform is entitled to the moon, the stars, and the keys to the kingdom. I totally agree that the government does a shit job of taking care of those wounded in combat service to the government that sent them there. But when it comes to stuff like posh pensions we shouldn't attempt to play the military card and act like everyone that ever put on a uniform was Audie Murphy, and therefore deserving of lifelong largesse at the taxpayer tit.

And, of course, I would be all for cutting congressional benefits as well.


Not everyone in the military does, just the ones who go 20 years and the disabled. The very nature of the work weeds out a lot of people before they get to 20.

As a veteran who only did 5, I get little to no benefits. At this point, I have access to a plot in a National Cemetary and a flag for my wife when I am dead. I'm not asking for anymore mind you, I'm just saying not everyone gets a lifelong check.
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fightcitymayor
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TheChin! wrote:
I'm not asking for anymore mind you, I'm just saying not everyone gets a lifelong check.
Correct, I merely ask for perspective. When unemployment benefits are not renewed for the umpteenth time, we get an inevitable chorus of, "This is a slap in the face of the American worker!" Just like when military matters arise like this, we get a similar chorus of, "How dare you even THINK of cutting benefits for our brave fighting men & women!" I just want to take the hyperbole out of it and get to the facts:

Fact #1: The tab for military pensions was $51.7 billion in 2012; it’s on course to hit $59 billion by 2022, even though the number of retirees will remain constant at roughly 2.3 million

Fact #2: Health care for retirees, both working-age and Medicare-eligible, and their families, has been projected to account for nearly two-thirds of all Pentagon health spending by 2015

Fact #3: Retiree benefits account for much of the increase in Defense Department health-care spending; it grew from $19 billion in 2001 to $52.8 billion in 2012

Reform, as it relates to benefits, is a must. But the first thing to confront is the inevitable torrent of outrage by those who presume that any dollar spent relating to the military is sacrosanct.

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Brian Lucid
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Fact #4 I signed a contract or an agreement with my government.

Fact #5 they are reneging

Fact #6 so that they can give my pay and benefits to BS entitlement programs

Fact #7 their fat retirement checks which they earn after far less hardship and time are not effected in the slightest.
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bjlillo wrote:
We don't have the money. We're going into insurmountable debt. Just remember that any benefits will have to be paid back by future taxpayers with interest.

As proposed it's projected to cost me about $125,000 in 2014 dollars. I'd be okay with it if they're going to make a lot of smart cuts across the board and get the federal budget back on track but I'm worried they're just going to squander it elsewhere. If they're going to throw away money I want them to throw it my way!
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zaphod b wrote:

Fact #7 their fat retirement checks which they earn after far less hardship and time are not effected in the slightest.


Yeah, and if they means-tested the benefits I have a hunch that a much lower percentage of congress-people would qualify than military retirees.
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fightcitymayor
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zaphod b wrote:
Fact #4 I signed a contract or an agreement with my government.

Fact #5 they are reneging
Agreed!
This is not particularly rare for 2014.

zaphod b wrote:
Fact #6 so that they can give my pay and benefits to BS entitlement programs

Fact #7 their fat retirement checks which they earn after far less hardship and time are not effected in the slightest.
We can play the "I'll give up my government $$$ when Group X That I Do Not Approve Of gives up their government money" game all day long.
And every year the debt increases.

 
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Brian Lucid
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I just wanted to let you know why we're mad. It's because it's unfair. The military is always an easy target because there are so few of us and we aren’t the ones who elect leaders with so few votes.

The folks who elect leaders vote for people who give them free ice cream. We are spending too much, we need to cut back and have and economist draft a plan that is fair and objective. One that we all don't like but we can handle it if it's responsible. What we have now is a bunch of irresponsible, account less, no good- jackasses in charge of my families livelihood and they are making decisions I have no input on.

It was agonizing at times (through most of my career) whether to stay in or get out. Our expectations after the military are what keep us in…those of us who made the cut, who lasted for 20 years or more. It’s the biggest accomplishment of my life and I did it for my family who also put their life on hold for those years following me around the world.

Yeah, you can say I feel like somebody owes me something, but we’re no stranger to doing without and I can bear that if there’s fairness applied.

No free ice cream anymore! Not at my expense.
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Benefits for veterans and their families are minuscule compared to other government programs already. An embarrassing amount of not just vets but even active service personnel and their families are on food stamps to make ends meet. Cutting the benefits is denying those people a living wage.
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Ben Vincent
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As a former soldier, I have no problem saying military retirement benefits are too high. It's been an awfully nice benefit since adopted in the general form we know it today after WWII, but that doesn't mean it should always be that way or that it's even the best means of handling military pensions.

In my opinion the proper way to make any changes to the retirement system is by honoring commitments to current retirees and service members, and changing the system for new entrants, as was done in the 80's with REDUX.

I'm also not convinced that we should just have the same time in service formula for every retiree. There's a big difference between someone like Jarred who will retire with an MBA, a six figure salary, and highly marketable skills; and an E-7 who spent his career in combat arms for which there aren't many equivalent demands in the civilian job market. I don't begrudge anyone the retirement package they've earned, but some people probably need it more than others.

It's not just a thank you for your service, it's an important recruitment and retention tool. People make long term career decisions based on the expectation of that retirement benefit paying out over their lifetimes, consciously accelting lower pay and significant hardships early in life for greater benefits later. So any changes absolutely need to be carefully implemented to avoid breaking the faith with our servicemembers. But that doesn't change the fact that we probably need to spend less than we do as a nation on military retirement benefits.
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SabreRedleg wrote:
As a former soldier, I have no problem saying military retirement benefits are too high. It's been an awfully nice benefit since adopted in the general form we know it today after WWII, but that doesn't mean it should always be that way or that it's even the best means of handling military pensions.

In my opinion the proper way to make any changes to the retirement system is by honoring commitments to current retirees and service members, and changing the system for new entrants, as was done in the 80's with REDUX.

I'm also not convinced that we should just have the same time in service formula for every retiree. There's a big difference between someone like Jarred who will retire with an MBA, a six figure salary, and highly marketable skills; and an E-7 who spent his career in combat arms for which there aren't many equivalent demands in the civilian job market. I don't begrudge anyone the retirement package they've earned, but some people probably need it more than others.

It's not just a thank you for your service, it's an important recruitment and retention tool. People make long term career decisions based on the expectation of that retirement benefit paying out over their lifetimes, consciously accelting lower pay and significant hardships early in life for greater benefits later. So any changes absolutely need to be carefully implemented to avoid breaking the faith with our servicemembers. But that doesn't change the fact that we probably need to spend less than we do as a nation on military retirement benefits.

It is true that I get paid a lot and I wouldn't leave even if they significantly cut my benefits.

I wonder what portion of the compensation we receive is for recruitment purposes. Seems like they might be able to achieve similar results for less cost by offering bigger reenlistment/extension bonuses. I don't think we want to pay a big bonus up front to new recruits/officers because their quality as an employee hasn't been determined.

I say big(ger) bonuses at the four to six year point. All those in favor say aye!
 
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Brian Lucid
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bjlillo wrote:
zaphod b wrote:
Fact #4 I signed a contract or an agreement with my government.

Fact #5 they are reneging

Fact #6 so that they can give my pay and benefits to BS entitlement programs

Fact #7 their fat retirement checks which they earn after far less hardship and time are not effected in the slightest.


If they're reneging on a contract, you should go sue them in court to get your benefits.


Interesting proposition, sue a bunch of lawyers for breeching their contract. Military folks would prefer to do without. Who is going to listen to me on the hill anyway? When we asked the decision makers what happened in Benghazi they replied “What difference does it make anyway?” The military is becoming a cult because they aren’t visible in our towns like they used to be.

Remember your comment the next time the wolf comes at night. Hopefully you’ll be watching it on TV and thinking glad I’m not over there in someone else’s neighborhood. We have two bodies of water and two more or less friendly borders so you don’t have anything to worry about this year as long as you avoid tall structures, sporting events and places of interest in the US.
 
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Ben Vincent
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Quote:
I wonder what portion of the compensation we receive is for recruitment purposes. Seems like they might be able to achieve similar results for less cost by offering bigger reenlistment/extension bonuses. I don't think we want to pay a big bonus up front to new recruits/officers because their quality as an employee hasn't been determined.


When I did a quick search on the history of the retirement system I came across this paper. It's a scan and I can't quote it easily from my phone but there's some good stuff there on pages 7-9 about that.
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