« | »

Obama Wants To Slash Military Pensions

From those deficit hawks at the New York Times:

Retiree Benefits for the Military Could Face Cuts

September 18, 2011

As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.

Who is squeezing savings from Social Security? And when have public sector union health and pension benefits ever been called a "big social welfare system" by The Times?

Military pensions and health care for active and retired troops now cost the government about $100 billion a year, representing an expanding portion of both the Pentagon budget — about $700 billion a year, including war costs — and the national debt, which together finance the programs

And the editors of the New York Times can’t sleep at night, for worrying about the deficit.

[T]he intense push in Congress this year to reduce the debt and the possibility that the Pentagon might have to begin trimming core programs like weapons procurement, research, training and construction have suddenly made retiree benefits vulnerable, military officials and experts say.

Perhaps it is time for the US military to be unionized. Then they will be sacrosanct, as long as they give their ‘fair share’ to the Democrat Party.

Not only would the military budget never be cut. But we would probably have endless wars.

And if Congress fails to adopt the deficit-reduction recommendations of a bipartisan joint Congressional committee this fall, the Defense Department will be required under debt ceiling legislation passed in August to find about $900 billion in savings over the coming decade. Cuts that deep will almost certainly entail reducing personnel benefits for active and retired troops, Pentagon officials and analysts say…

And never mind that Obama has already cut the Pentagon’s budget to the bone. In fact, to the marrow.

Under the current rules, service members who retire after 20 years are eligible for pensions that pay half their salaries for life, indexed for inflation, even if they leave at age 38. They are also eligible for lifetime health insurance through the military’s system, Tricare, at a small fraction of the cost of private insurance, prompting many working veterans to shun employer health plans in favor of military insurance

So what is wrong with retiring at 38 and getting half of your salary and basically free healthcare?

While health care costs for active and retired troops are growing faster, military pension costs are larger. Last year, for every dollar the Pentagon paid service members, it spent an additional $1.36 for its military retirees, a much smaller group. Even in the troubled world of state and municipal pension funds, pensions almost never cost more than payrolls

Hilarious. Yes, almost never. Except in all the places where pensions now do cost more than current payrolls. (Places that are usually Democrat Party bastions.)

Much like in the debate over Social Security, questions about the sustainability of the military pension system abound.

We thought only crackpots Rick Perry thought Social Security was unsustainable?

Each year the Defense and Treasury Departments set aside more than $75 billion to pay not only current and future benefits but also pensions for service many years in the past. But the retirement fund has not accumulated nearly enough money to cover its total costs, with assets of $278 billion at the end of 2009 and obligations of about $1.4 trillion.

The government tries to close the shortfall by simply issuing more Treasury securities each year, thereby adding to the nation’s debt

Which is also known as ‘printing money.’

But the debt ceiling agreement approved this summer by Congress, under which the Pentagon must find $400 billion in reductions over the next 12 years, may force cuts once considered unthinkable. And if Congress does not adopt the recommendations of the bipartisan committee studying deficit reduction, the mandated reductions in Pentagon spending would more than double, to about $900 billion, and fall on just about every category of defense spending

As we have said from the start, the idea behind Obama’s debt ceiling deal was to pit those who are opposed to raising taxes against those who don’t want to gut the military.

It’s just the old ‘cut the firemen cops first’ ploy – on a national level.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, September 19th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

6 Responses to “Obama Wants To Slash Military Pensions”

  1. JohnMG says:

    …..” military officials and experts say…..”

    Names, please!

    Are these the same un-named experts who perpetually err when reporting unemployment numbers and jobs information?

    …..”service members who retire after 20 years are eligible for pensions that pay half their salaries for life, indexed for inflation, even if they leave at age 38…..”

    And what will Anthony Weiner get? Or Jean Carnahan, who wasn’t even elected to the Senate but was appointed by a Democrat governor when her dead husband was elected (after he was already dead), and who only served two years before she was turned out to pasture because she was useless as tits on a cueball?

    Oh, I forgot. They’re Democrats.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    This version of government is truly off its nut.

    Naturally, none of them have ever served, ever wanted to serve and looked with disdain on those who did and do serve. What they hate the most about the military is not that they think they are “warmongers” and “killers” but that they are the embodiment of real, true, self-sacrificing service. Going into the military genuinely means that one will not be spending time on efforts to become anything other than a person dedicated to the service of their country. The standards are high; Being drug-free and not having a criminal record of paramount consideration. Something most democrats have a lot of trouble with and even more trouble understanding.

    And could there be any more glaring argument against gays in the military than that little shit Manning? Who had a hissy fit over some perceived jealousy and thus, took it upon himself to “show them” by being an operative for a well-connected malcontent, Julian Assange?

    It’s bad enough when men and women get involved in love triangles and become subject to their emotions, but those who are overtly gay seem to have such difficulties in spades. Those who are gay, serving covertly can and should remain as such.

    The national socialists are doing all they can to destroy the great traditions of the military and turn it into the skeletal, paper-thin European version. I worked with the European military. I wasn’t impressed. Their lax adherence to regulations, floppy uniforms and poor regards for safety and protocol told me volumes. I once watched an Italian F-104 pilot stuff the cockpit and radome of his jet with stereo equipment he had bought at my duty station. Some may not see this as “any big deal” but when you consider how difficult that aircraft is to fly, on the best of days, you would understand how foolish is is to pack things into a cramped cockpit like that.

    But back on-subject: Leave the military alone. One thing is for sure, he knows he doesn’t have their vote anyway so it naturally follows he would want to punish them for it. I still think that glaring difference between Rick Perry in his twenties, standing on the access ladder to a T-38, contrasted with fedora-wearing Barry the doper pothead, uselessly standing in the photo with a look of utter contempt and smugness. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61997.html

    The term “diametrically opposed” comes to mind.

  3. 11ten1775 says:

    And all this time I thought they were earning their retirement benefits, but it’s really just another social welfare program.
    My favorite part is when they try to discuss “fairness” in all of this:
    …“It cries out for some rationalization,” said Sylvester J. Schieber, a former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board. “Why should we ask somebody to sustain a system that’s unfair by any other measure in our society?”…
    Is he talking about Social Security or the military retirement program?
    What about funds matching for TSP? Government employees get that, but the military doesn’t. Is that fair? The government employees get retirement benefits, too.
    They insist on comparing apples to oranges, ignoring the many elements that make military life completely different than civilian life. I won’t go into them here, because it would sound like whining, and we don’t do that – which is part of the reason they’re having such a hard time finding people who’ve served less than twenty years to complain about not getting enough benefits.
    They always knew what was on the table, and they didn’t expect anything they hadn’t earned.
    Panetta says this won’t affect current service members, but that is not what has been said over the past months. The Military Times has reported differently, and nothing about this snake-in-the-grass administration makes me believe they won’t start hacking away immediately. This is, after all, the only government spending they are willing to cut.
    They will kill retention with this plan. There will still be young men who want to serve, but they will get out when it’s time to start a family, because it won’t be worth it. Then the only way to fix that will be to substantially increase pay across the board, and then where are the savings? But again, this isn’t about saving money, it’s about breaking down the US military. I think they’ve found one of the quickest ways to do that.
    They’re going to start accusing service members who object of only being in it for the money if this will do so much damage, which is silly if you look at pay charts, but what they miss is the idea of security. These men provide security for our nation for a few decades, turning their bodies and lives over to the military during their dating, marrying, and most of their parenting years, with the understanding that the US government will then in turn provide them and their families with some long-term security – health care for their worn-out bodies and a small stipend to ensure they’ll at least be able to pay the mortgage and buy groceries if all else fails. That’s why the current system makes sense. It’s not extravagant by any means. It’s a deal that these men thought they had made with their country. Now, with Obama at the helm, the idea that our nation has a duty to these men is gone. It’s every bureaucrat for himself. The hypocrisy when compared to their position on unions and actual social welfare programs is so thick you could cut it with a knife. It’s a slap in the face to our military, and it makes my blood boil.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “Is he talking about Social Security or the military retirement program?

      In either of those cases, citizens pay into both. The Social Security tax that comes out of everyone’s paycheck is certainly a government forced retirement plan. People in the military sign a contract whereby after twenty years of good and faithful service, they get half their base-pay for the rest of their life. If this government doesn’t like that, then go through congress and change it. I mean, hell, you had every opportunity to do so from 2007 to 2010, right? Oh, yeah…”universal healthcare” I forgot.

      But in either case, they are contracts. Agreed upon by the citizen and the federal government. But the government is showing us now how they feel about legal, binding contracts (GM, Chrysler, etc) and that they only want to honor contracts that they like. Actually, Obama himself couldn’t honor his own book-writing contract but had already spent the advance.

      And, yes, they retire between the ages of 38 to 42 because the military is an occupation for the young. After all, the shifts, work and tasks put forth by the military, the often wretched conditions are something the young can endure far better than the middle-aged and senior citizens. It’s a contradiction I have a little trouble with because of the sometimes lack of wisdom, but that’s supposedly why the military is chaired by citizens…and hopefully experienced, wise ones. I do mean hopefully.

      As 11ten has stated, it’s a spending problem on social welfare programs that have failed over and over again. The giant sucking sound that is “providing for the poor” (heh, the “poor”) is costing this nation dearly. Young people being the second and third generation of how society in some places has reshaped itself into the welfare state. And are they happy? And when has it ever been the government’s job to make people happy? Or even try?

      The way our government was envisioned was to provide freedom from harm by allowing us to protect ourselves, shelter ourselves and feed ourselves. Not much more. As long as the “common thought” is that someone is standing in the way of you, the uneducated, four-time mother of illegitimate babies, with a drug habit and no sense, from becoming a millionaire, then you will always get the jingle for survival so you can cast your vote for the national socialists. That’s how it works, sugar, that’s how it works. Too bad you can’t see that. (not addressing anyone in particular…just the general welfare populace)

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    Some one should advise the uppity Halfrican that the “MILITARY” has all the
    latest weapons at their disposal that can vaporize that leftest sewer he spews from…….or not.
    I can think of a several hundred worthless programs that he and his gorillas
    could gut and throw at each other in their cages.

  5. proreason says:

    The military…another group that doesn’t adore Obamy.

    We’ll see how they take to the lash.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »