Give Bums a Free Ride, But Cut the Pay of Bleeding American Soldiers?
Where are the priorities of this administration? Republicans included? While welfare programs, $.50 school lunches, free breakfasts, race- oriented scholarship programs, useless research programs, bank bailouts, homeowner re-financing, section 8 housing, teachers’ fat retirements,
politicians’ full retirement after only a few lousy years of service, administrative federal employee pensions, food stamps and seemingly endless unemployment benefits go completely untouched, our government is eyeing the meager pay of the men & women who die for us.
Who lose arms, legs, feet and brains for us. Who must live with death & dying in their dreams for the rest of their lives. Who are the most professional and decent military the world has ever seen. Yeah, them. Right. Because they get paid so much! Because getting a retirement of 50% for the rest of their lives (should they survive three or four wars intact) after 20 yearsof loyal and dangerous service is just too much to ask. Oh, and let’s not forget to take away the ‘free’ medical services they need for their injuries either. A blown up leg or torso is just too expensive to treat!
Obama makes me sick. But I expected that. But the Republicans devastate me. They are traitors of the worst kind in my book. You just don’t take pensions & full health care away from our soldiers. My God, these benefits are only for those brave souls who give their entire lives to America. How a politician like Anthony Weiner can receive a pension for the rest of hislife after two years of shameful service, while our retired soldiers who have served 20 years of honorable service can’t is beyond me. Contact your Congressmen and say NO to these cuts (I have included a form letter you can cut & paste into your emails, your Congressmen’s contact info as well as a full zip code link you will need for your representatives below). Please share this with every red-blooded American you know. The press isn’t even covering this story. Our politicians shame our country beyond belief with this one.
August 03, 2011
Associated Press|by Lolita C. Baldor
BAGHDAD — Health care, retirement and benefits for the military are all potential targets for cuts as the nation struggles to rein in spending, the top U.S. military officer told anxious troops on two warfronts.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that while the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are going down as U.S. forces withdraw over the next few years, the latest debt agreement will demand defense cuts. Nothing is off the table, he said.
Military Advantage blog: Military Retirement Faces Overhaul
From the Marines battling a fierce insurgency in southwestern Afghanistan to Soldiers packing up to leave Iraq, troops quizzed Mullen about rumors that military retirement benefits and health care would be affected as part of the debt compromise being hammered out in Congress. “If we’re going to cut spending, we have to go where the money is,” Mullen told several hundred troops gathered at the Al Faw Palace on the soon-to-be-shuttered Camp Victory outside Baghdad on Tuesday morning.
Well more than half of the defense budget, he said, is spent on personnel issues, ranging from pay and benefits to bonuses used to recruit and retain needed expertise. In Washington, the Pentagon had no immediate comment Tuesday on how the debt ceiling measure would affect defense operations. “I don’t think we fully know yet,” said Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Defense Department spokesman. “We’re still looking at this to determine … impacts.”
The plan calls for $350 billion in defense savings over 10 years but also sets up a special bipartisan committee to draft legislation to find more government cuts. If the committee cannot agree on a deficit-reduction plan by year’s end or if Congress rejects its proposal, it would trigger some $500 billion in additional reductions in projected national security spending.
While acknowledging he still did not know the total cut in defense spending that will be required by the legislative package, Mullen repeated his contention that the debt is one of the biggest threats to national security. But he vowed that Pentagon leaders will continue to ensure that troops on the front lines get the equipment and services they need to fight, and that any cuts will be done carefully.
“I have an expectation that there will be defense cuts as part of this,” said Mullen. “I just don’t know what those will be.”
In response to direct questions about retirement benefits from troops, Mullen said he does not expect immediate changes.
Related story: No More Retiring at 20 Years?
Currently, military members who retire after 20 years receive 50 percent of their pay, and that percentage inches up as additional years of service are tacked on. About 13 percent of those who enlist actually make it to the 20-year mark.
Cuts to retirement and other benefits have long been avoided by Congress members leery of going after the troops they send to war. But Mullen said the chiefs of the military services have talked about the issue, and he said there may be a review of those issues. He said the service chiefs would recommend that if such a change were considered, troops with some years of military service would be grandfathered in, so they would not be affected. He did not specify how many years of service that would be. While promising a balanced approach that looks at spending on military people, operations and equipment, Mullen predicted that bonuses will be harder to get and poor-performing procurement programs will be eliminated.
Contact Your Senator & Representative Today, Before This Passes:
If you wish, you can simply modify, copy & paste the following statement into your Senator’s & Representative’s email:
My husband & I adamantly oppose any cuts to the current pay and/or benefits of our American soldiers. You made a deal with them- you must honor it. It is entirely shameful that this is even on the table when considering the need to cut government spending. There is no way that teachers and you politicians should continue to receive full benefits and retirement while we cut the same benefits for people who risk their lives & health for the sake of this nation. Excuse us for saying so, but you have your priorities seriously skewed. How can you, a politician who has never seen a hard day’s labor during your service, deserve to get pensions for only a few years of active service while soldiers who dedicate 20 years of life threatening & physically gruelling work don’t? Further, how can elementary teachers deserve more than soldiers who die or who are maimed protecting their land & schools?
I guess because those loyal soldiers wouldn’t even conceive of striking or forming a union.
There are many, many other ways to cut spending. To say otherwise is disingenuous. We could save money by simply pulling our soldiers out of Libya, for example. We could stop threatening Iran & Syria so that we need not send more soldiers that we can’t afford to send. You could begin to downsize the military by cutting recruitment or you could buy out soldiers early from their commitments. We have no doubt that there are many wasteful spending projects under the military umbrella- just your insane procurement process wastes hundreds of millions of dollars every year! But we demand that you leave the soldiers with their current benefits.
You need to look at the true financial problems:
- Stop making wars without clear benefit to our nation
- Get this economy growing again so that the government can increase their tax revenues
- You need to stop giving away our money to other countries (including China, for goodness sakes!)- you can’t buy friends- the track record stands for itself
- You need to stop creating a welfare state- get rid of most of these programs- including Obama care. Healthy adults need to work for their food & housing, plain & simple
- You need to overhaul Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security and you need to do it NOW! We would rather just lose money now than to have nothing at all later.
Further, you have kept this horrible news from the mainstream media- that was wrong. We can only suspect that you knew what public reaction would be. We are severely displeased with you for even considering these cuts to our soldiers and demand that you stand up for what is so rightfully theirs.