Take action against cuts to military pensions

Take action against cuts to military pensions
(Photo by Noel St. John)

The American Legion has expressed its strong opposition to a measure that would cut benefits for military retirees by $6.3 billion. Legionnaires are now being urged to contact their congressional delegations to remove cuts included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Click here to utilize The American Legion’s Legislative Commission easy online tool to reach federal officials.

The measure would reduce cost-of-living retirement benefits for military retirees by 1 percent per year until they reach the age of 62. There are published estimates that the potential loss of income is about $70,000 on the low end to $120,000 on the high end, depending on retired rank and years of service.

"The cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) decrease would be disrespectful to America’s men and women who have devoted their careers at great personal cost to the safety and welfare of our nation," American Legion National Commander Dan Dellinger said.

Follow The American Legion on Twitter to get updates on the COLA issue. Use the hashtag #KeepYourPromise.

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Todd

January 13, 2014 - 8:46am

We need a law to protect our pensions and those of disabled veterans. Make our pensions untouchable by politicians.

RON PROFFITT

January 16, 2014 - 5:15pm

Yes We Do, and Social Security none of these are entitlements these are earned and paid for. They should enforce the laws and take away all benefits that illegals get and I mean everything is they did that they would save BILLIONS and they would DEPORT THEMSELF.

RM2SKI

January 12, 2014 - 7:13pm

with all the money that this nation gives away and puts to failed social programs (I.E. Free phone, Welfare, Food Stamps) why don't they take the money from them. Why touch the one thing that service members worked for? Would it be fair for Congressman, Senator or even the President to give up a raise, and why are they getting subsidies for a health plan they passed? I don't see any subsidies coming my way.

Dwight Chase

January 13, 2014 - 12:56pm

Why not take the money from those who have the money----those at the very top of Financial Industry. All this talk about making the poor more poor does not make a sound economy. Do you know the legislation that de-regulated the Financial Markets beginning 30 years ago? I am a fan of derivatives and other creative tools but a Hedge Fund manager making millions a year should not get away with paying less than 15%. All these commentators blogging here clearly have never bothered to do research nor study the full spectrum of the economic situation. Blaming those at the bottom of the socio-economic scale is jejune and ignorant. If you want real change, work for changing the tax structure. Work for ending the revolving door between Congress and lobbying. Be realistic and not just parrot ultra conservative positions that are promoted by organizations that don't care about you and certainly are people who have never served in the military. I am a businessman. I know we have to make all kinds of cuts. This includes being realistic about military pensions (lots of other pensions have been cut) and military medical care. If one is angry about the politics behind our current economic stagnancy (real wages for all others have been stagnant now for over 20 years) then do research, organize people and come up with a viable plan and submit it to your legislator. But please don't blame people who did not make the problem and are a lot poorer than those (especially those 0-5 and higher) who have it pretty well off. I know. I come from a military family.

Patricia Macher

January 13, 2014 - 11:00am

Absolutely we need to protect our Veterans rights! They served this country with there lives for our Freedom, we waste so much money in this country. Our Vets deserve there pensions and aid and attendance. My Dad a WWII and Korean Vet was a Captain in both wars. He went in cause his Country needed him. Now DSS wants to include Aid and Attendance as income for eligibility for home care recipients. My Dad is 95 years old, we need that benefit for my Dad to get home care, i do not know what we will do if they count it as an asset. Those people that want to cut there benefits are Evil....Veterans fought for there freedom and this is how they repaid. M

Dwight Chase

January 13, 2014 - 1:06pm

"we waste so much money in this country". Please remember that capital-whether it is "wasted or not wasted" all depends upon the one judging because money just does not sit around. It goes to somebody and some place for something. How much money was "wasted" on these two wars in the Middle-East? Even so, that money paid for people in research and development and kept soldiers and sailors and airmen paid and contractors in business. And all the money that went to pay off the tribal chiefs in Afghanistan, where did that money go? To this day, I hate to say this, but I have never met more people in an organization that got away with not working than some people in the military. In private business they would have been fired. So please, take a holistic perspective and see that there are a myriad of reasons for America's current state of economic uncertainty.

Nurf

January 10, 2014 - 3:22pm

Posting info in BILLIONS of $$ is meaningless to me as an individual. Put it in terms that relates to us as individuals, like x% per vet as it relates to retirement or disability..

fizixtchr

January 11, 2014 - 10:28am

A 1% reduction in COLAS means you get 99 cents instead of 100 cents. For those talking "sedition" as MURF called it, WE can do that in this years elections. Do not vote for the incumbent, do not (especially) vote for a democrat, do not vote for a republican. Vote for a libertarian, an independent or other 3rd party candidate. Better yet, 'draft' the most respected veteran in your district or state and send him or her to Washington. Want to find out what those, whatever you want to call them, fools on the hill are really up to? Check out the library of congress website thomas dot gov, you'll learn more than you want to know. If you really want to get pissed, check out a little thing they do called "Revise and Extend". A word of warning, it may make you want to check your mags & sharpen your bayonet. MURF, the president makes law via "executive orders", the judicial branch makes law by a combination of rulings and opinions. Ever hear of the United States Code and the Code of Federal Regulations? Congress via the USC, and CFRs, mainly hands over regulatory authority (the making and enforcing of laws) to the various federal agencies who then write and enforce those regulations (in effect making laws). Congress works anywhere from 360 to 365 days a year,up to 18 hrs a day to 1: stuff their pockets and 2: get re-elected; in between they strive tirelessly to screw things up & dodge the responsibility. It is a waste of time to e-mail or otherwise post your thoughts to them electronically, all you get is an automated response. You will have better impact with a phone call, even better with an old fashioned letter, as long as it's neat and not overtly hostile. No matter how you do that avoid irrationality (emotionalism, passion). Irrationality (emotionalism, passion) is the greatest threat AMERICA faces. One poster made a comment about losing military pension benefits when you took Soc Sec benefits, my Dad served 30 in the USN, he's 87 and still collects his full NAVY pension and his Soc Sec benefits. So no worry there, yet. Historically, the US has been pretty shabby in its' treatment of Veterans, doesn't seem to be changing at the 'leadership' level. My respect and admiration to those of you who have 'stuck it out' on the front line chopping block. And No I'm not American Legion because my Dad is a Veteran, though in part I served because he did. I did 25 with the Coast Guard (Reserve), retiring as an E8/BM.

Rusty R.

January 10, 2014 - 1:41pm

Congress has no problem protecting their own salaries and shipping members of the military to fight battles all over the world where they risk life and limb but for some reason the first thing they consider cutting, when it comes to the budget is either military, social security, and DOD pay and COLA'S. Wake up Washington, We are here to protect you cat's that don't do anything but hurt the very ones you should be protecting. We the people who put you in Washington are protesting your actions to cut our deserved Cola's.

Dwight Chase

January 10, 2014 - 12:01pm

Can we please tone down the fiery rhetoric. Nearly everyone (unless you are a Mark Zuckerburg or a Larry Page et. al) is experiencing the effects from a changing socio-economic order caused mostly by technological developments. Not even a law degree is a guarantee of a job anymore. Everyone is seeing cuts. We don't have the money to pay for a lot things and there is not the political will to borrow even at historic low rates as we have had for several years now. Unfortunately, even military pensions are on the cutting block just as are weapon programs. We are no longer in the 50's, the 60's, 70's, 80's.....................we are in a very different global economic environment today.

A. G. Me dive

January 10, 2014 - 4:22pm

I understand sacrifice and I am willing to do again without but only when valid alternatives have been exhausted; I am repeating part of a previous posting clearly portraying an alternative ignored by the democrats for reasons beyond my comprehension. How can you explain such an attitude towards our veterans? "the democrats in the Senate have twice blocked an amendment to the Ryan-Murray spending bill that would restore the cuts in veterans’ benefits that are part of the deal, the funds to replace the cuts would be replaced by closing a loophole that makes it easy for illegal aliens to defraud the federal government out of billions of dollars."

Dwight Chase

January 12, 2014 - 1:14pm

Please be less judgmental about one particular party when all political parties bear responsibility for writing legislation. It would be a benefit if more members of Congress (and the executive branch) had been in the military. I believe that a real solution to many of our political dysfunctional problems would be solved if the draft were brought back. I know that there is not the economic justification to do this but there is a justification based upon citizenship and sociological concerns. Many of our ills comes from people all acting and perceiving themselves as individuals with only their own interests to be concerned about. Plus the fact that the military was called to fight wars in a part of the world whose culture is an anathema to everything that the United States is. Lots of problems that could be tempered and resolved if everyone had experienced "skin in the game". Sadly, this is not the way America is today. But, tomorrow is always the future and things change. As they always must and always will.

Kevin JP O'Reilly HMC (Ret) 4th FSSG

January 10, 2014 - 11:07am

This country is coming to the edge of a full blown revolt. Congress and some of the brainwashed American public believe the US service men and women are second rate citizens. They believe the service member has been coddled and given to much, while the average citizen is jealous when they see what the military retiree receives for their merger allotment for a life of service. Wake up America when the enemy comes knocking at your door one day soon...you will scream for help form the retired solder down the street from you, to protect your family and you will be calling your congress person for help as they hide in their Washington offices asking what is the military going to do!

Jim Rosko

January 10, 2014 - 11:31am

Concur with Chief (HMC) O'Reilly. It seems few realize just how close we are to a revolution. Few, if any, in Congress have our backs, whether Active Duty or retirees (and veterans). America has been duped, they will NOT wake up (sadly). Chief, as a corpsman, you know they only want you/like you when the feces hits the fan. Whether COLA, Benghazi, shutting down war memorials, refusing funeral benefits, or sending our troops into harm's way without victory being defined - our troops are pawns. This administration has purged almost all the good leaders on purpose. Former SECDEF Bob Gates recently described the distrust of military leaders by this administration. Why didn't he speak up sooner?! Semper Fi, Mac! HMCS Jim Rosko, USN (Ret.)

Murf

January 10, 2014 - 4:07pm

You are showing your ignorance of how our government works. The president runs the Executive branch. He can send troops to combat, but does NOT determine the amount of $$$ or ships or guns or whatever. The Legislative branch, CONGRESS, makes ALL the laws, authorizes the number of Soldiers, Sailors, etc. closes bases, determines what ships and planes and tanks and bullets we buy, etc, etc, appropriates ALL the money (or not), including the funds for the renovation of the embassy in Tripoli, the capitol of Libya. Benghazi was a temporary, off-site quarters. Amazing how such a stink can be raised and continued for 4 civilians (the citizen class many of us are bad-mouthing) yet little is said about the Administration the LIED to take us to war in Iraq and the well over 4,000 service members who died and the many, many more who are disabled. Ad which ignored the warnings before 9/11/2001. Read up on RECENT history and you will recall it was some generals and Republicans who would not let Obama end the Afganistan war a couple of years ago or close Gitmo. You are allowing your hate to override your intellect.. Those who ignore history are destined to repeat it.

Murf

January 10, 2014 - 3:46pm

Revolution? Wake up people, Any of you who suggest such are guilty of SEDITION = noun incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government; and any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion. When you say such you are slandering all of us who served honorably and still love our country. If you don't like it here (in the USA) get out. There are over 200 other countries to choose from. I'm staying at home, right here. Except for the rich and the tea party idiots, we are mostly ALL tightening our belts. At the VA I hear complainers who are getting FREE medical care for LIFE yet bitch, bitch, bitch. Grow up, be men and women. Many of us already get more in retirement $ alone than most worker-bee level civilians do plus we get free VA medical care, PXs, hobby shops, golf courses, movies, all manner of freebies. Add it all up and then shut up!

Combatvet

January 11, 2014 - 8:11pm

MURF, I read your comments and you are so obvious! You've never fought and I doubt if you've ever served! Yeah, you'll stay here just because some other left winger might give you something. I suspect you are on the dole and you're most likely a bald faced Coward. The USA doesn't need the likes of you. Get lost!!

Retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief.

January 10, 2014 - 10:25am

10 Perks Congress Has That You Don't. 1. Base Annual salary of $ 174;000.00. 2. Free Airport Parking At a rate of $ 22.00 dollars per day; that represents almost $740;000 in forgone revenue annually.Congress had 92 spots reserved at Ronald Regan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport.Both Airports are in Washington DC. 3.Free; On Site GYM For HOUSE MEMBERS.This Gym was kept open during the sixteen days of shut down. 4.Few Insider Trading Restrictions. 5. Congress works 239 Days Per Year. 6.Congress Receives Health - Care Subsidies Under Obamacare. 7. A Considerably Better Retirement Plan. 8. Bags - Members Of Congress - Fly - Free. 9. Huge Death Benefits. 10. A 1.2 Million To 3.3 Million Allowance. Each one of these benefits can be found on the internet under the heading of ( 10 Perks Congress Has That You Don't )A explanation is given under each numbered heading.If Active Duty and Retired Military Are going to take COLA cuts then Congress should take Benefit Cuts also and give back Remember this on Election Day and go vote. United We Stand; Divided We Fall.

Murf

January 10, 2014 - 4:34pm

NEITHER airport is in Washington, DC. Both are in Virginia. Washington National / Reagan is in Arlington and Dulles is 30 miles further west (just north of the fantastic National Air and Space Museum Annex). The is no such law as "Obambacare". That is the derogatory name the Republicans stuck on the ACA they have wasted session after session and over 43 votes, trying to abolish after MANY of these same Republicans voted FOR the Affordable Care Act (which they now call Obamacare). Voting for it lets you brag about that vote if it works well, or you can TRY to ignore your vote and bad-mouth it if you see the tea partyiers bad-mouthing it and figure it best to climb on their band-wagon.. You may note, the president only gets a veto and has NO vote on the creation or passage of any law, including the ACA. He can send proposed legislation to the hill (just as you and I can, but he has the advantage of what Teddy Roosevelt called the "Bully Pulpit" = can get legislators or the populace's attention more easily than you and I). You're also missing the boat on Secretary Gates' book. Reviewers have already cited the many inconsistencies throughout it. Smart as he was, it appears Mr. Gates' age has caught up with him. He criticizes AND compliments the very same people (i.e.;Obama) in different parts of his book.. Do a little research before you bad-mouth..

R.Bedard

January 14, 2014 - 8:56am

How many of these people are veterans?I was drafted! I didn`t want to go,had a good job ,BUT I went.Got "paid" $74.00 A MONTH to protect you do gooders (my civilian pay $279.00 a WEEK)!Now how can you people say we should not get A INCREASE of a lousily 2 or 3% raise for services rendered.What did Congress get for their "services?".We are not looking for the thousands they get.How about the DISABLED that gave their all to make these people safe? Nice shot Sen.Warren I`ll vote for you again? Why won`t you people listen. Do not vote " party lines" Try to vote for the people just once in a while! UNHAPPY DISABLED VETERAN( Ma)xwp48

R E. WhiteTM1/ss USN/ret.

January 11, 2014 - 7:20pm

do you use leftist leaning paper or websites to research or do you think to even use conservative and liberal sites and find the middle ground. no one tells the truth they tell their side. and each side differs. you find out where the truth lays is somewhere in between. don't go preaching that you know if you obviously are left of the middle. tea party member stuck in the middle

Ted Nedderman

January 10, 2014 - 9:47am

So after 20 years in the military, you are between 40 and 45 years old and get a pension with a COLA and then work for another twenty to twenty five years in the private or public sector and then collect SS and what ever you earned since you left the military and your complaining because they want to reduce the growth rate of your military pension by one percent until you reach 62. You all ready have a good thing going and this is a reasonable adjustment to make to it.

REB

January 14, 2014 - 9:12am

WHAT? I am an E4 disabled and you can categorize us in one group? how about the " slobs" under these big shots that made a decent pay.We needed 10 yrs to make a realistic pay. please put your brain in gear b4 running your mouth!!!!!

Forever1

January 10, 2014 - 1:29pm

No we complain because of a broken promise (lie) and the fact is they do not take cuts they expect of others while giving themselves a pay raise up to 10K$. Retirement is earned, and paid for on the military's back. SS is our money they took from our paychecks. When VETS leave service the get another job to care for their wife/kids/themselves so as not to be a burden on the country. They gave millions to Hollywood, Billions to the Muslim brotherhood which by they way attacks us. Search the internet, this has been verified. Its not their money. I say fire them all, lets start over.

John DuPriest

January 10, 2014 - 1:22pm

And is the thanks we get for serving in TWO wars?! When I enlisted we were "Guaranteed" medical care AND DENTAL care for life. I never received any dental care after retirement. But I guess that is OK since I "all ready (sic) have a good thing going". What's next?

PO1 USN RET

January 10, 2014 - 11:13am

For those of you that are misinformed. Those that draw a pension from military service and reach retirement age and decide to draw SS benefits loose there pension benefits. And in case you haven,t been paying attention to SS it is on its way down the tube with government officials raping the systems for years so they can have there benefits.

EH_SCPO

January 13, 2014 - 8:40am

You better check on that again and see whose taking your pension when you collect SS. If you paid into to SS you receive it along with your military retirement pay. Some of the "old" guys pre-1960's did not pay into SS.

Friar

January 10, 2014 - 10:27am

Ted; They were willing to pay the ultimate price. Were you? They deserve all that they get, and more, for all the hardships that they went through for all of us. You need to put yourself in the front lines for a while and then comment.

RR

January 10, 2014 - 12:48pm

Thank you Friar. Not only am I a proud Legionnaire, But I am also a deployed service member. Do "they" think this makes it easier to get up every morning and do what we do? OK Now I'm not saying all of us deserve these benefits, but the soldier we just put on a plane, who isn't going home whole deserves a bit more then me... Whatever people think of us as service members, we have our own opinions about our leadership, and for the most part we keep it to ourselves. We all have one thing in common... We still have faith in this country!!! The rich suits tell us what to do and we do it with a SIR YES SIR! I'm retiring in about a year and will do so happily... but to my friend who is medically retiring because his foot has been taken from him over here...YOU deserve full retirement, and a handshake every day for the rest of your life! America, I say this not for me but for all of my brothers and sisters here in the middle east... Don't lose faith, We're still going to wake up EVERY DAY before the sun comes up, we're still going to do our jobs, and we're still going to make it home. Thank you for letting me vent, God Bless! RR

Ted Nedderman

January 10, 2014 - 11:05am

Yes, I did I served in the US Army and spent one year in Vietnam. I was drafted, sent to NCO school,became a Ranger and was a squad leader for a Recon platoon, E Co,2nd Battalion, 1st INF 196th LIB Americal, Division in 1970. So yes I know the hardships and was willing to make the ultimate price.. only to come home to an ungrateful nation!

Donn

January 10, 2014 - 10:20am

Ted, are you kidding, they have a good thing with 20 years of service. All those years they have spent without seeing their family for months or a year when the private sector gets to go home at night. I think that should account for something. And if you check many veterans can't find a job. I know I have been trying for almost a year.

James Sutton

January 10, 2014 - 10:10am

If it is a "reasonable adjustment" to reduce the promised and earned COLA benefit to Military retirees to reduce the deficit (which has been caused be the inability of Congress to pass and live within a balanced budget), then why is this "reasonable adjustment" only being levied against Military retirees; why is it not being applied to Congress, the Administration, and other beneficiaries of Federal entitlements? The Military Veteran who has served long enough to have EARNED a retirement benefit should not be singled out; if Congress and the American people want to devalue the service of Military Veterans, they should state as such and only apply it to future Military retirees. That way those who are currently serving can make an informed decision on whether to continue to put themselves in harms way for as long as it takes to earn a Military Retirement.

A. G. Mendive

January 10, 2014 - 9:20am

I posted a similar message before but I don't see it now so I will repeat that the democrats in the Senate have twice blocked an amendment to the Ryan-Murray spending bill that would restore the cuts in veterans’ benefits that are part of the deal, the funds to replace the cuts would be replaced by closing a loophole that makes it easy for illegal aliens to defraud the federal government out of billions of dollars. I hope this time the message stays on this comment section

Bill Crouse

January 10, 2014 - 10:10am

Our government leaders are in love with illegals, It does not matter what country they left, but they are here. Many work, send money away from the US, others apply for all the benefits they can recieve. Remember when you vote in any election, find out the candidates views and if presently in office, ask the hard questions.

arestedMP

January 10, 2014 - 8:56am

The plain facts are: there are no politicians that are trustworthy. It seems they do these things and always wind up wealthier themselves. Just who do they think they are pulling the wool over the eyes of?

Anonymous

January 10, 2014 - 8:54am

Why does congress always cut military benefits? Congress never cuts their benefits which is by far better than the military has ever gotten. If a congressman dies in office his family receives one years pay which comes to $ 174;000.00. A active duty military member dies and his family gets 100;00.00. A congressmen family who has done nothing is worth 74;000.00 more than a active duty military member? Maybe congress should cut their benefits. A congressmen only works 239 days per year but they get paid for the whole year.I believe that congress should preform better and give the retired military a break and cut some of their over inflated benefits also.

GC

January 10, 2014 - 6:57am

Where is our senior military leadership? The NCO corps and soliders are being used by the leadership. But they will not fall on their sword.

Gary H

January 9, 2014 - 11:00pm

Why is it that we are always running out of money for social security and always in need of cutting the military retirement pay or benifits, but no one every says we are running out of welfair

Bob USMC

January 10, 2014 - 6:46am

All day long I hear about the unions and their pensions and how the all the cuts are needed here and there, but the military is one place you have to do a min of 20 years. Not 19 with a buy out but 20 or no pension. We wonder why are military is so depleted. Write your congressmen and ask if they voted yes and next election you vote no.

Lewis Taishoff

January 9, 2014 - 10:58pm

Why is anyone surprised? The US government has a long and disgraceful history of systematically screwing anyone stupid enough to fight for this country. From Shays' Rebellion in 1786 to the Agent Orange cover-up, to substandard medical care for the wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan...why should any rational human being with a minimal knowledge of history expect anything other? And those who protest will continue to re-elect the same scoundrels who screwed them over.

VigilantWarrior

January 10, 2014 - 10:59am

Well stated Lew, how they continue to vote for the people who campaign to take "bread" out of their mouths and off of their table, I will never understand.

R.B.Bazel

January 10, 2014 - 3:25am

Thank you. Well Stated

Jim Wagner

January 9, 2014 - 10:36pm

What's next as result of breaking a promise. 1. Highly trained Officers & Enlisted will bail out as soon as our economic climate rebounds. 2. Recruiting will falter not knowing what will happen with no trust in another government program i.e.. Social Security, Military(?) etc. 3.

Jeffrey Gleason

January 9, 2014 - 7:42pm

Commented earlier, but look at conventionofstates and the required prefix and suffex to see if we can do anything to change politics as they don't allow email addresses in the report. And get the bums out of office and get the people in to represent their employers (general taxpayers).

Clyde colgrove

January 9, 2014 - 6:53pm

What good is it to call House or Senate, they could have admended the bill they new what was in it, Get rid of these self serving idiots

Lewis Madison

January 9, 2014 - 10:05pm

I agree with Clyde. My question is why don't they reduce their pay also instead of giving themselves a pay raise each year.

Mac McSpadden

January 10, 2014 - 8:21am

Their yearly pay raise is not half the problem. Why is Social Security going while the politicians have The Golden Fleece? Some folks don't know what that is. The Golden Fleece works like this: Federal elected officials get their full pay for life when they retire.

Bobby Miller

January 9, 2014 - 7:40pm

I agree. Some of them are retired military themselves.

Ted Smith

January 9, 2014 - 7:38pm

I agree with 100%.

Chris Hamilton

January 9, 2014 - 6:50pm

When was the last time those politicians decided to cut THEIR COLA for their pensions or those of the Federal employees in order to cut costs? Isn't nit interesting how they never touch their pensions nor that of the federal employees unions? For the unions they claim they can't because of a contract agreement seems to me a PROMISE MADE is also considered a contractual agreement they are bound by. As for the politicians, THEY HAVE NO CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT NOR UNION so why are they exempted from having their pensions slashed or a COLA cut?

Ted Goldenberg

January 10, 2014 - 12:07am

I would guess that most people have received the email about changing the rules about our elected officials just serving 4 years and not getting full retirement for life after their four years of service too the country.

Tom Stroud

January 9, 2014 - 10:40pm

You might want to check your facts. Federal pay has been frozen for over 3 years. Only the upper management, such as congress, executive, judicial, etc are the only ones receiving raises. It is uninformed like you that have allowed the current situation to perpetuate.

Al Harding

January 10, 2014 - 8:02am

You are so right Tom. It is unfortunate that people don't check facts before they open their mouths and before they vote!

Park Harrington

January 9, 2014 - 6:47pm

Military pay after you leave is RETAINER pay. You can be recalled if the military needs you. During NAM there were a lot of people recalled to operate WWII equiptment that we used. Congress should have only 2 terms and then be barred from serving in any federal position again, go out and work like the rest of us have to do.

Jim West

January 9, 2014 - 6:25pm

Ok, I have read every thread on here and I get one overall impression: pretty much everyone agrees that Congress sucks. So we are all airing our opinions and that's good. But, our opinions don't really go beyond these pages. So, what are the options? We could march on the Capital - great idea but, hard to organize. We could call in an air strike (hah, hah, just kidding). We can all phone and/or write to our representatives. Hey, I think I'll do just that. May or may not help but, if every single one of us do it, maybe it will have some effect. And it's easy to do. Especially if you have a computer. Just my opinion.

Gary Webb (Phoenix,Az)

January 9, 2014 - 9:07pm

I liked the "Air Strike" idea myself... But seriously folks, EVERYONE OF US needs to write to our reps! Just think of the hundreds of thousands of Legionnaires, flooding email boxes in Washington? These veteran's have held up their END of the bargin, Washington needs to ALSO... Thanks for your service and replying to this blog Jim. Now keep convincing legionnaires to write their reps. Gary Webb Phoenix, az

ret80

January 10, 2014 - 12:39pm

Good idea to contact your Representative, does it do any good? How many of you have sent emails from the Action Center and received the reply, " I am not on that Committee, however, if it comes up in Congress or the Senate, I will do my best to represent you>", Great help, Right?? Don`t really see any improvement.

Gary Webb (Phoenix,Az)

January 10, 2014 - 3:53pm

ret80 I have a response from one of my reps (I heard back from) I am going to post at the end here. Same BS Blaa, Blaa Blaa, so NO it probably won't do any good....You can do with this, what ever you would like. =========================================================================== From: Representative David Schweikert 6th District - AZ January 10, 2014 Dear Gary, Thank you for contacting me regarding the changes to military retirement under the Ryan-Murray budget deal. I truly value your feedback and am pleased to have this moment to respond and address your concerns. The annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) increase, for those who retire from the military before the age of 62, will be reduced by one percent. At age 62, their full COLA will be restored. The savings to the taxpayers for the civilian and military retirement changes were equal, about $6 billion each over ten years. It is important to note that this affects only a small number of those who have served this country. According to DOD's Office of the Actuary, responsible for overseeing retiree pensions, only 15 to 17 percent of the enlisted service members will serve long enough to retire. Further, the vast majority of people who retire from the military in their 40s and 50s take other jobs, often using skills they have gained or developed in the military. Their military retirement pay is not their sole source of income. Finally, military retirees who are disabled are not affected. Those who participate in the REDUX retirement system are not affected. No other compensation, including disability or base pay, is affected. With rising costs and a shrinking budget, it is vital that the defense department examines retirement compensation in order to assure that our military remains a powerful force. It is important to note that an independent review board has been established to examine and provide recommendations to Congress due mid-2014. I look forward to examining their findings on how best to move forward addressing this issue. I am greatly honored to serve you in Congress and look forward to future correspondence with you. Please contact me if you have future questions or concerns that I may assist you with. Sincerely, David Schweikert Member of Congress

Perry

January 9, 2014 - 5:57pm

What started as a hunt for bin Laden led to troops being sent to Afghanistan, and Iraq. The weapons of mass destruction were not verified, and evidently based on bad intelligence. Again we were in a situation of expending vast amounts of U.S. resources, particularly measured by the the loss and destruction of our military personnel, not to mention the effects on their families. In the meantime, our politicians lost and won elections, while propping up the different middle east regimes. Ultimately good information ended the hunt for bin Laden and he paid for his crimes with his life. Now, the same politicians continue to espouse what this country and our military should do for the mess in the middle east. Sorry, but I would not favor any further loss of our resources in these countries. Protect this country for a change.

Jeff Gleas

January 9, 2014 - 5:49pm

I think all of Congress need to have their wages reduced and their benefits cut back to no retirement retroactive unless they have served 20 years. Also limit future terms to 12 years which eliminates the retirement problem. Put them of FICA, Medicare and other programs they have put the average taxpayer on. Also keep us on COLA instead of the other farce program they felt would save money without noticing that they weren't dipping into their program. They are all a bunch of waste of human flesh and should all be thrown out of office and get a group in their who are fair and will support their bosses (the taxpayer) instead of their party which should also be dissolved.

Larry Cowden

January 9, 2014 - 6:51pm

Sounds like a GREAT plan.

Jim West

January 9, 2014 - 5:55pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly that they should all be fired. Only problem is, nothing short of a revolution will ever make that happen!

Skyking129

January 9, 2014 - 6:13pm

Lock and Load

jeff november

January 9, 2014 - 5:37pm

Why doesn't our National Commander publish an investigatory article on who is to blame for this cut? Everyone knew that Paul Ryan, and his Tea Party faithful, demanded many more cuts than this to our benefits. This is the biggest cut he could get by the Dems, who were blackmailed to vote for this budget or face another shutdown. All the Democrats in Congress and the Senate, voiced displeasure with this measure.

Skyking129

January 9, 2014 - 6:17pm

It's unusual for Democrats to favor our military or veterans, so I would ask for some proof from Jeff before I'd pass what he said on. Usually it's the Dems who tear down the military only to chastise Republicans when they have to rebuild our defenses.

Al Harding

January 10, 2014 - 8:10am

Skyking, you are completely wrong, if you are questioning Jeff, then you haven't read anything about the cuts. The Democrats overall are against the wars, but are for helping the vets. It's the republicans that are for screwing us once our job is done. They are the ones that are for the cuts for vets.

Wayne Hellbusch

January 9, 2014 - 5:34pm

Many pension plans don't have a COLA benefit. The bill reduces COLA by one percentage point below the inflation rate for veterans under the age of 62. Would love to have a COLA benefit in my pension plan but am very grateful for what I have after 45 years of employment including 16 months in Korea.

david mcleod 30

January 9, 2014 - 5:30pm

I would like to know why I am being taxed on my SS every year. I got taxed before it was taken out and now I have to pay Taxes on it again every year for taxes. My military retirement pay is the same. I have to pay taxes now because it is only my wife and I on the tax paperwork. Talk about a double slap in the face. I am already paying back taxes and will probably do so till my death. Hell, we never got paid a lot when I served for my 21 yrs and now I'm paying more.

Elvin Berndt

January 9, 2014 - 5:10pm

It Amazes Me that Washington can Cut Our Pay but Give themselves A Pay Raise EVERY YEAR.I think the only one's who can Serve in Washington ought to At Least Have Spent 3 Years in the Service.We'd have some Sincere and Honest and Dedicated People Guiding Our Country.

Jim West

January 9, 2014 - 6:05pm

Well, 2 years anyway. But, you're right. It's mind boggling to see how many of these yahoos have never served. They are nothing short of a bunch of corrupt buffoons! Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see the abuses of power taking place in Congress. The Congressional process needs to be revamped completely. Starting with the totally inane parliamentary procedures which were adopted from the Great Britain (that country we fought a revolutionary war with to get out from under). It is nothing more than a time waster. Filibusters should be outlawed.

Kevin 99

January 9, 2014 - 5:07pm

Rep Paul Ryan threw vets under the budget bus claiming the COLA reduction is only a "small adjustment", when he asks his billionaire buddies for a corresponding and relative to their income "adjustment" I will not complain about being asked to sacrifice, even though many vets have already sacrificed much more. He just lost my support for any office higher than dog catcher.

burns

January 9, 2014 - 5:00pm

I'm also a veteran and the best thing to is to kick the president and the vice president and all of congress out of office, especially senate leaders I can't believe the senate and house go for most of the sick and stealing dealing that the president wants. Also kick out his museum Obama right hand people. Doing this would be great for our freedom and our country.

James R. Barnes,Jr.

January 9, 2014 - 4:51pm

Let's send congress to at least 4 tours in Afghanistan, than let see how they feel about cuts!!!!! The problem is that they have a FREE hand to do what ever they seem fit to do, with no back lash. I think we should cut their pay big time and make them go on social security. After don't they work for us????

Tim McGrath

January 9, 2014 - 4:50pm

Not so fast Frank ... you're forgetting about the wonderful present Reagan gave me and thousands of others called the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO). I'm being denied over 40% of my Social Security (earned) benefit thanks to the Bast*^d. 1% ... I'd be thrilled !!!!

RLParry

January 9, 2014 - 6:00pm

I know how you feel Tim.I'm 63 and gave my Government 36 years(6 years Navy,service connected disabled,29 years Letter Carrier and one year with the Federal Energy Office). WEP took 50% of my earned Soc.Sec benefit and now they are going to take more! What about the 'Income Cap' for Social Security tax. How much would be saved if the'Cap'was eliminated?

Yorkline

January 9, 2014 - 4:41pm

Why don't our politicians look to cut their pay? We need term limitations because just serving less than 20 years should not entitle our congressmen and senators to a pension that pays them very well. Now if they do a minimum of 20 years then I can see it. Anything less than that should go toward their retirement. This problem will not cease until "We the People" force them to connect their retirement to Social Security like everyone else. We have allowed the politicians to define "entitlements" and many in this country vote against their own interest. The debate with unemployment is a prime example. People who worked for 25 years or more who were laid off paid into the fund all those years and now it's a partisan issue? An entitlement is something someone has paid into and deserves just like all veterans that retired from the Military. They are entitled because they earned it. We have allowed the politicians in this country to usurp the word and the total disregard for the population continues. If anyone should take a cut in pay, it should be them.

bpage

January 10, 2014 - 11:16am

I strongly agree with you premise however You may want to look at your pay stub. the employee does not pay into an unemployment fund. It is the employer who must by law carry unemployment insurance for his / her business. At least in my state the employee does not pay a single penny. Unemployment is suppose to be a short term income suppliment but when it is extended to 99 weeks it becomes a full time job for those who refuses to take personal responsibility for making a modest living. After all, why take a job paying $400 a week when one can turn that job down and get paied $440 A WEEK for not working. Beleive me as an employer i have many job hunter that refused job offers because unemployment paid more and for 99 weeks. It,unemployment benefits, created a new class of workers. Those that will soak every penny from the tax payers before doing for themselves. I know that many will think that i may be heartless to the needs of our unemployed but i contend that the longer we let our unemployed receive benefits the harder it will be for them to re-enter the work force when their benefits run out. I personnly will hire an induvidual who in seeking upward mobility or has just recently lost their job over a benefit junkie who has been out of work for up to 2 years because the benifits were there.

Rev MH Talbot

January 9, 2014 - 4:35pm

Since they switch from a COLA to a chained COLA my big raise is 1.5%! If they cut that by 1% that means my big raise will be 1.485%! Big whoop! Keep the 1% and put us back on COLA and put congress on a chained COLA.

Bradford Randolph

January 9, 2014 - 4:20pm

As a veteran, I am concerned about the reduction in benefits to those who served a lot longer than I did. It is time for us all to come together and demand no cuts to anyone at this time, regardless of vet status. I did not serve to protect the rights of one group of Americans. America is not broke! It prints dollars. There was no income tax until 1913... yet the government ran itself from 1787 up to 1912 with no federal income tax.

Tony F

January 9, 2014 - 4:11pm

They don't want us to have retirement, social security or both, however they can give out money to people who immigrate, or have children out of wedlock, and never work or serve this beloved country. A retiree is worth more than any lawmaker who wants to decrease their benefits (not entitlements) it was benefits when it started, now changed to look as if we are asking for what we earned.

Richard Baldwin

January 9, 2014 - 4:02pm

I also earned these benefits for my retirement years. It is totally wrong to tax those benefits that were promised and earned over the course of a military career. This especially hurts those under age 62. Once again, our political leaders are using the military to balance their budget. Why not take the COLA out of congressional retirement checks. It's a bad double standard.

David Tackett

January 9, 2014 - 3:58pm

How about Congress and the Senate and all Presidents former and present take the same cut?

hpinnc

January 9, 2014 - 7:56pm

How about the military get the same benefits when they leave the military as the congress when they leave the congress. I think the military is a darn sight more deserving than any politician I can call to memory.

skyman

January 10, 2014 - 10:19am

"Right On" Our Country has a serious problem, those who rule over us. Tell me " When is this going to end"

Lee Hydechuk

January 12, 2014 - 12:32am

When you, and I, and everyone else, get off our collective a**es and do something about it. WE created the problem by putting these idiots into a position where they can do us harm. Then we simply bitch about the fact they are screwing us. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!

Max L. Hughes

January 9, 2014 - 3:56pm

I did not retire but I believe that a person that will put his or her life on the line for 20 to 25 years earns every bit he or she is getting and even deserves more. How about cutting the civil service retirement and the elected officials yearly income. OH DONT DO THAT.

Dick Bulova

January 9, 2014 - 3:54pm

I'm not against this very modest reduction. We all know that entitlement spending continues to grow and the deficit continues to balloon. This is a very small sacrifice to make. Same with social security.

Leewis

January 9, 2014 - 5:14pm

I don't know about you, but we paid into our ss. and the company's we work for did too. Its not a government benefit like Obama calls it. It would help what the government toke from the SS fund would replace it. It will not help by cutting Social security.

L green

January 9, 2014 - 4:39pm

That would be a novel gesture, BUTTTTT, Food Stamp recipients 5% increase, welfare bastard breeders 5% increase, Disabled drug addicts funding for new programs to support them $6.5mil. , idiots that just walk across the border immediately get the increased sum for welfare, free medical, aid to Muslim Brotherhood $3.8 billion and countless other blood suckers all got a bonus this year. But those who fought, suffered and died so all the others could prosper from the few. Even the faggots and abortion or murderers got additional funds to operate their perverted deeds and agendas. There's only one explanation for such atrocities....once we do their shiYYYYYT details, we are throw away as a pain in their party. What love???

Allen Noble

January 9, 2014 - 4:04pm

You must be a rich Son of a bitch I can't afford to lose any of my pay I will become homeless.

Gerald G Smith

January 9, 2014 - 4:02pm

I don't think military or SS COLAs are high enough now. If we need revenue its time to make those who have benefited from the military to come up with the money. Its time to increase taxes on the ones who have benefited most from this country and its military.

Gerald G Smith

January 9, 2014 - 4:02pm

I don't think military or SS COLAs are high enough now. If we need revenue its time to make those who have benefited from the military to come up with the money. Its time to increase taxes on the ones who have benefited most from this country and its military.

Mac McAlister

January 9, 2014 - 3:57pm

When was the last time you heard or seen our govt. reps not get a pay raise or take a reduction in pay or benefits?

Hal English

January 9, 2014 - 3:47pm

As for those that lead and serve constituents similiar to military retirees having led and served junior personnel, I am sure that members of Congress would and should quickly agree to they themselves following the same formula of reduction to current and retired congressmen pensions. Should they choose not eliminate the COLA reduction provison then I guess they don't want to be leaders, and should not lead any military processions, gatherings, events conducted by fraternal military organizations and not lead in speaking at Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, tribute to troop events. It is not a matter of "regretfully trying to balance the budget" but is taking away from committments made to military personnel during their entire career. The choice is theirs as to how they wish to proceed.

richard camburn

January 9, 2014 - 3:46pm

i have a friend that tryed to join the leigion but served i the wrong time,canot,but the person that never served can join because his fater or grandfather did serve????????????

22 year Retired Military

January 9, 2014 - 5:32pm

You are wrong! A person who's father, uncle or some other relatives may join "Sons of the American Legion" NOT the American Legion! Can they go to the social quarters? Yes. But the social quarters IS NOT WHAT THE AMERICAN LEGION IS ABOUT. There are three distinct military organizations. 1. The Veterans of Foreign Wars - Must have been in a war zone. 2. American Legion - Must have served DURING A WAR PERIOD. 3. American Veterans (AMVETS) = Must have served in the military! '

FirstSgt USMC Retired

January 10, 2014 - 1:14pm

22 Year Retired Military: HOLD ONE SECOND! There is another BIG organization out there, the MARINE CORPS LEAGUE! To be eligible for membership ALL active duty MARINES, Reserve MARINES, Retired MARINES, MARINES who were honorably discharged, FMF Corpsman (active, reserve, retired, honorably discharged), and Chaplains who were awarded the FMF Badge for ministering to MARINES. Check out their website, AMAZING organization. Do NOT have to served during wartime nor been in a combat zone.

Jay Joseph Besig

January 9, 2014 - 3:43pm

I can't help but wonder if any of the so-called legislators in favor of this breach of promise to veterans has ever even SEEN the inside of a Veteran's Hospital or served during time of war.

A.C. Swafford

January 9, 2014 - 3:39pm

Oh, sure why not screw with the military and dependents pay and benefits. These idiots will do it and then turn right around, if, they haven't already and vote themselves a big fat pay raise and then they can go on feeling good about screwing us over.

Frank Wasmer

January 9, 2014 - 3:38pm

Typical politics. If you don't want to make a budget cut, cut something that everyone will insist that it be restored. It is called "killing the sacred cow". Secondly, in spite of what they say, politicians largely fear the military and do not support them.

Rabbit Ears

January 9, 2014 - 3:29pm

Well, if they have even thought of treading on military pensions and retirement benefits..... what else!!!??? Maybe, they'll farm out the VA to private clinics and hospitals??? That was thought of too.... and they might well succeed through OBAMACARE!! Boy, this makes me flip my lid!!

Gerald G Smith

January 9, 2014 - 4:05pm

Republicans are the ones pushing for cuts while cutting taxes on the rich.

Frank Wasmer

January 9, 2014 - 3:41pm

Private health care providers replacing VA health care? That might be an improvement.

Douglas Tracy

January 9, 2014 - 3:57pm

I do not where you go for VA health care but I assure you that those that go to the Syracuse VA hospital receive some of the best care that equals or exceeds that received by most others from private doctors and hospitals.

FirstSgt USMC Retired

January 10, 2014 - 1:26pm

Douglas, agree with you. Outstanding care provided by VA Out Patient Clinic in Tallahassee, FL. Providers there actually LISTEN to what YOU have to say! No Holy Molly/ I know better than you folks, but REAL health care professionals. Treat you with RESPECT and (believe it or not) ALWAYS thank you for your service!

Cecil

January 9, 2014 - 3:28pm

I am 65 and I get my 20 year Mil pension, I also get Social Security, and a private earned pension. Cuts need to be made in Congressional pensions and budgets and the executive budgets. Mil pension and SSA should receive twice the raises of congress as we receive less than half of their salarys.

Richard Franklin

January 9, 2014 - 3:10pm

What is Congress giving up? Or are they still the privileged class........

Larry C

January 9, 2014 - 3:53pm

Jack sh!t, instead they keep on getting more at "the people['s] expense. They clearly do not deserve to be getting half of all they allot themselves. We have already been given a major deduction by two years of none followed by a meager 1% approximately no matter what forever by the government crooks every since ... Obama got in. I think it is high time for honorable military service to become a prerequisite for all congressional and executive branch PEOPLE'S EMPLOYEES. I am for less government as they are fond of invoking. Just not their way. Start with lessening their pay and benefits to a reasonable amount and requirement of being stripped of everything and mandatory imprisonment for engaging in taking anything other than their pay .... Also, they are merely entitled to the same ... that "we the people" are given to deal with as they are all just one of the people.

Thomas Baltimore Sr

January 9, 2014 - 3:42pm

Congress loves to pass thing that they do not half to comply with.They wrote their own INSURANCE PLAIN.They have their own RETREMENT PLAIN. What happen to CONGRUSS shall not past any bills that leave them out of. their insurance & ours should be the same.

Ed

January 9, 2014 - 3:05pm

I do not get a cola on my pension and it was reduced for every year I retired before 62. Does a military pension stop a person from receiving social security??

22 year retired veteran

January 9, 2014 - 5:38pm

Yes I draw SS because I PAID IN TO SS out of my military pay during my entire military service!

Dick Bulova

January 9, 2014 - 3:47pm

Your military pension has no effect on social security. A federal civil service pension, on the other hand, does. Called an "offset", you only receive the amount back you contributed with no government contribution. And that amount is spread over your estimated lifespan. I don't know if your survivor(s) can claim the unpaid portion if you pass away earlier.

noone imprtant

January 9, 2014 - 3:28pm

President Carter passed a law that would only allow retirees to draw the highest of the two(pension and social security) president Cli nton overturned that so all military retirees can draw both, probably the only good thing he did for the military while in office.

Frank Wasmer

January 9, 2014 - 3:45pm

Two separate things. Military retirement is a contractual agreement between employer (DOD) and employee (service member) If the employee meets the requirements of the contract they receive retirement benefits. If they pay into social security, when they meet eligibility requirements, they can draw social security payments. The same is true in the private sector.

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