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Legion: Don't cut military retirement benefits

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Legion: Don't cut military retirement benefits
U.S. Marine Corps photo

American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster is criticizing the recommendations of two debt reduction commissions that would decrease military retirement benefits. One panel, chaired by former Sen. Pete Domenici and Clinton administration Budget Director Alice Rivlin, calls for changing the formula to calculate military retirement pay and delaying payments until the eligible veterans reach age 57. Another panel, chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson and retired Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, recommends that military retirement checks be delayed until age 60.

“There they go again. Every time Washington wakes up with a deficit hangover after decades of spending binges, those who study the serious problems of our national debt can’t resist the easy but unfair route of trying to balance the budget on the backs of veterans,” Foster said. “It is unfair, and if these ridiculous proposals are passed into law, it will hurt America’s ability to defend itself from our enemies.

“Tell it to the Marines. I want these commissions to look a 22-year-old Marine in the eye and say that if you retire at age 40, after 20 years of service and three, four or even more tours of being shot at in Afghanistan, that you still have not done enough to receive your retirement. I want these commissions to tell the soldiers in Iraq that the benefits they are receiving are too much. America has a huge debt all right. And it is owed to these men and women who protect our freedoms every day. It is a debt that must be repaid.”

The panels have also recommended cuts to military weapons systems that could hurt American efforts to fight the global war on terrorism. The Simpson/Bowles Commission suggested slashing $100 billion from the defense budget in 2015, closing one-third of the U.S. bases overseas and freezing noncombat military pay. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates warned that cutting even 10 percent or $55 billion from his budget would be “catastrophic” for the military.

“Cutting the military’s budget while it is engaged in two wars is unconscionable,” Foster said. “When you send American troops to war, you must pay the cost of those wars. Freezing pay and cutting benefits, whether in combat or in garrison, will also make young people think twice before volunteering to serve their country. The United States would not exist if not for the sacrifices of the men and women who have served in our military throughout our history. It is only because of their sacrifice, that bean counters have the freedom to argue about how to balance the budget to begin with.”

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Doug McLean

August 25, 2011 - 5:41pm

First it was Social Security then Medicare/Medicade and now Military Retirement. When I retired after 25 years in the AF my wife asked me if the income was for life. I told her nothing is that certain and our goverment is working to prove it true. While our retirement is non contributary people might look at just what our men and women earn compared to like employed in civilian life. That is the sacrifice that those in uniform make to earn that retirement. In addition, how many civilians do their jobs under the threat of violence. I understand the threat of terrorism in todays society but it is nothing compared to what our personnel confront on a daily basis. I ask how many civilians have to deal with the separtation for long periods of time other than those that do so by choice. The retirement allows those men and woment to begin a second life on the civilian economy and bring with them a world of experience. KEEP RETIREMENT AS IT IS. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

USMCwife0515

August 17, 2011 - 10:21am

I don't understand. I have tried. My husband has been a United States Marine for over 16.5 years. Serving with loyalty, commitment and dedication to ensure this country remains safe from its enemies and providing me and everyone I know with the freedoms and life this country was founded on! Now we talk about "punishing" them for the fault of the country that has desperately failed them. A country that has now begun to offer more support and benefits to those who come here illegally and send their monies home and refuse to pay taxes here. A country that GIVES these people medical care, but considers making military members pay more for their care. I am so sad by this. This is my country I love my country, but I don't understand it! What kind of future are we building? Or are we trying to ensure there is no future? I can't figure it out. I love my husband and I love my military I will do what I can to make sure this doesn't happen no matter how may letters I have to write.

danboone143

June 7, 2011 - 10:38pm

Looking at the panel you can see it is made up of sneering, efette snobs who see the "lower classes" of society serving in the military and apparently being darned grateful for the low pay, sub-standard lifestyle, high risks and not seeing the real payoff (retirement) until you turn 60. Imagine you actually play along and do 20 or more years. You get out at age 40 and have to start at the bottom of the economic ladder. You won't live long enough to build up a civilian retirement and you will have to rely on a future military retirement at age 60 that is in the hands of elitist snobs who will no doubt find a way to steal that from you as well. ***Good luck getting anyone to believe you when you promise that the massive ripoff you are about to perpetrate on the veterans is only a "one time" deal.

danboone143

June 7, 2011 - 10:26pm

I'll be leaving too after 24 years of faithful service. ***They used to wait until the war was actually over before deciding to go back on their promises to the military. Now they are doing it while we are deployed down range and things are getting pretty hot over in Afghanistan. ***This plan will save them a total of less than $138 billion dollars over 40 years (compare that to the hundreds of billions they gave away to Wall Street recently to high rolling fatcats while we Soldiers bled and died in Afghanistan and Iraq). This will be screwing over not only the vets but also the quality of the military. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if you cut benefits AND LIE TO YOUR EMPLOYEES they will quit as soon as they have a better opportunity and won't look back.

cpohowell

December 10, 2010 - 2:07am

Here is a reality check. The U.S. government is in debt to the tune of $13 TRILLION Dollars. The reality is that nothing goes on forever and the fact is that sooner or later Social Security, Federal and military retirements are going to have to change. I'm not suggesting that anyone who is currently on active duty has their benefits changed. The right way to change it is to set a date for new incoming recruits with the understanding that they will have a different benefit package and gradually ween off of the current retirement system. Social Security should be done away with for everyone born in the year 2000. Why? Because they have not paid into the system and should know up front they are not going to receive benefits. The same should be done for federal and military personnel. Say, anyone who enters into federal/military service on and after January 1, 2012. Perhaps a one time sum could be given or a 401K plan put in the current system's place. But something has to be done.

SJulianYZ125

December 1, 2010 - 10:11am

I am currently Active Duty Air Force, and proud of it, but I will quit the day they announce my hard earned retierment is gone or I cant claim it till 57 or 60.

boomboom

November 23, 2010 - 11:36am

All retired service men and women, regardless of branch of service, should be afforded the benefits that members of Congree, be they senators or representatives, receive both while serving in Congress and afterwards. None of us deserve pay cuts. For myself, I'm 100% disabled, service-connected, tax-exempt, so I won't get a pay cut, unless they cut my SS, but for those veterans who do, I'm extremely angry. I remember being promised upon my original enlistment, way back in Mar 65, that I would receive medical and dental care for life if I stayed in the USAF until retirement. I also remember being assured that I would receive retirement pay commensurate with my rank at the time I retired. Now, Congress is reneging on that promise. I wonder how many of them did two tours in the 'Nam, or saw buddies killed or wounded in action???? I wonder how many of them kept reenlisting because the civilian economy wouldn't support them or their families????

1poamerican

November 21, 2010 - 2:00pm

Over the last 10 years there are a lot of subjects that can divide a nation. Unfortunately many of these "divisions" result in veterans voting for parties and policies which are not in their best interest. We as veterans represent about 10% of the total population in this country over the age of 20. Demographically as a group. We are one of the largest. Yet collectively as a group we have spread out across many different organizations, posts, or nothing at all. We have something in common very few people have or will ever have, yet too often we retire or "get out" and go our separate ways. It is more important than ever in our history that we close ranks and do the things that our part of our preamble.

Christopher520

November 21, 2010 - 9:51am

I just retired after 26 years with over 5 years of combat time. I suffer from severe TBI from multiple IED attacks, loss of vision and hearing. During my final physical I found out that some time after 2003 I suffered 2 heart attacks. It is actually a very smart plan to change the retirement system. It is a well known fact that most vets that serve 25 plus years don't live more than 10 to 15 years after they retire. Just wait us out, pretty smart. I know in my case I'll never see 60, I'm 43 right now. So for all of you who still think the military needs to do it's part during these tough times I truly hope that my sacrifice and those of my fellow Vets helps out with your tax bill. The fact that you can right comments on this message board lets me know I did my job and my selfless service was worth it. I just hope in the end it was worth it to our Great Nation. Be careful for what you wish for, you just might get it!!!

bsbill

November 20, 2010 - 12:45pm

How about these two congressmen giving up the rest of their retirement. It's time we got rid of lifetime politicians and set term limits. The military is not the place to start cuts. Congress should be the first place with cutting all the unnecessary perks these jerks get. Let them cut all the earmarks and other redicules wasteful spending they do. Why can't they find and do away with all the fraud in the other entitlements that is out there. If they are serious about cutting the deficte then stop giving billions to other governments that just waste it. Our fighting men and women are willing to put their lives on the line to defende our nation. They earn every dime of their retirement and should receive it for the rest of their lives. Let some of these congress members put their butts on the front line for just one day and see if they see things differently. I served 29 1/2 years and thank God I never was called to serve in combat. I still feel I earned my retirement.

terrybake

November 19, 2010 - 9:15pm

According to Edward Wolff, economist, the median household WEALTH in the U.S. had dropped 36.1% since the high point of the housing bubble in 2007. The wealth of the top 1% households dropped by about 11.1%. In terms of wealth distribution, as of 2007 the top 1% households owned 34.6% of all private wealth, with the next 19% having 50.5%. Thus the top 20% in terms of wealth owned about 85% of the wealth, leaving 15% for the bottom 80%. In terms of total net worth minus a households' home value, the top 1% had a 42.7% share. What's the direction of travel? 1983 through 2004, wealth became more and more concentrated. The American Economy grew enormously during this period. 42% of the new financial wealth created went to the top 1%. 94% went to the top 20%, leaving some 6% to be shared out amongst the bottom 80%.

zenomorph1952

November 19, 2010 - 3:29pm

Congress has no business cutting retirement for service men and women,they deserve their retirement as promised by the goverment of the United States.If congress is serious about cutting budgets,cut there own salary and their pensions and stop giving themselves salary increases everytime their is a new body of congress.Start with them first and not the service men and women!

Vet68

November 19, 2010 - 8:17am

It's nice that your still able to feed from the public pocket and saved three other public feeder's jobs. These Vets worked and earned every benifit they have and to have some public feeder in Washington say they have to wait to recieve them is inexcusable.Sorry this was ment to be a reply to a police officer that posted.

Gunny Rios

November 19, 2010 - 8:08am

Agreed. How can these "representatives" of the American people make more than the median income for American families? Do they know what it is like to spend the first 6 years of your daughter's life away from home being able to visit on the weekends for 36 hours because operational tempo does not allow for you to home? Go figure it would be Clinton administration fools that have their hand in this. Their budget cuts that gave us a surplus during his administration were also the budget cuts that reduced our national security to the point of massive attacks on our own soil that cost, at a minimum, 3000 American lives. The entire federal government is "broke" and over-reaching.

Larry Evans

November 19, 2010 - 4:30am

I am upset as the rest here, Cutting should start at the top and work down , Take the First Lady,s staff and what that will cost tax payers like all of us, and those nice little party,s they have with drinks and food all on us ,it,s easy to spend when it,s not your money, and those stress all paid for vacations all on our backs , ( send the Troops and family fighting for us on these stress vacations I am sure they have enough stress to justify them !! ) and poor old Charlie Rangel served our country for over half of his Life time as reported by one of his supporters well this is good but what he forgot to say was he received good pay for half of his life time and cost of living raises even when the Military did not and it,s easy to say yes when you vote for your own pay raises ( Let the Military vote for their raises )I wish I were in charge of cutting , they would hate me after I got done, Washington reminds me of Jim and Tammy Fay Baker Spend on what not needed /cut where it,s not.

neptuno556

November 19, 2010 - 1:52am

I am receiving 50 percent of my base pay for 20 years of service. I served as a radioman The whole time and I would gladly do it again, I have no regrets. I am barely making ends meet. I retired at 20 yrs because of all the downsizing remember those? Now ships have to be in more places and there are way fewer of them to do the same job. Cruises are extended longer at-sea time and away from home. Most of my sea time was supposed to be six months but many were 7 and a half or longer I had 6 yrs shore duty and 14 yrs all sea time. I Have Huntington's Disease, so I don't think they would take me back in. Tomorrow I would gladly throw my uniform back on and do it all again without a second thought. I am a VietNam veteran who enlisted in 1972 right out of high school. My parents had to sign for me since I was 17 still. They may try to take my pension but they can never take my pride.! Thank you so much! signed Patrick Kelly. (6399 )

emrobin

November 19, 2010 - 12:23am

They actually started paying into Social Security in 1984 and receive it. The system you're talking about was scrapped back then. Having said that, they are paid $175K from day one. First term Senator, $175K. No working your way up. If you do manage to get to to a majority leader position, you're pay jumps to a ridiculous $198K. Congress would be a great place to start cutting. Their salaries could be halved and that would still be too much based on their performance.

72VET

November 18, 2010 - 11:21pm

It's no secret the power house we fought for in NAM is no longer. Our National debt is beyond approach and getting deeper. When a free society, such as ours, borrows millions/billions from a Communist state, as we have from China, it grows weaker, economically and politically as well. Yes, we need to regain our economic strength and cost cutting is a part of that task. Let's start with the blown out salaries and retirement plans and health benefits of Congress! It would be easy to justify the cuts given their performance over the last 10 years. They want to cut retirement benefits of those that served...fine let them set the example by cutting theirs first equally to those that bore the greatest risk of life and limb.

recoveryd

November 18, 2010 - 11:11pm

These are the kind of reps we send to washington; as if our retirees and vets are not hurt enough. How can they turn a blind eye to the amputees,brain injuries,and numerous PTSD cases constantly ignored;they waste hours on creating and passing laws to take away and not to compensate our serviceman for giving of their mental and pyhsical lives. And yet they say we love and honor our serviceman. What a Joke

72VET

November 18, 2010 - 11:36pm

I agree with you. Washington doesn't walk the talk. Its not politically correct to say they don't care in public. Perhaps if they were to spend a tour or two in a soldiers boots, in a combat zone and get his pay while they contemplate the days risk versus tomorrows survival, they just might get an idea of how valuable the troops are. They have placed themselves on pedestals at our expense and have the notion that they are above the rest of the population. 37 million Americans out of work and they give themselves a pay raise that on average was $10 grand/year. Given their performance over the last ten years we should demand they cut their wages and benefits - to include the free medical benefit they get for life. Let them set the example.

jandrews3363

November 18, 2010 - 10:15pm

Ideas to save billions on the federal budget. 1. Congressional Representatives serve a limit of 2 terms and enjoy the same retirement system as the people who vote them in, Social Security. No full pay retirements after serving just a few terms. It should be a priviledge to serve, not a career. Citizen/Statesman returns to his/her job after service to the country. 2. Cut the ridiculous salaries of contractors working for the government. The $600K plus that the government shells out for poorly qualified contractors serving overseas is not only a waste of money, but a slap in the face of the soldier/marine earning not even 1/10th that salary. Contracting companies are getting fat on the backs of our soldiers 3. Reduce/Eliminate the massive funding we provide to foreign states/entities and focus those dollars on Americans and our national debt. Buy back the treasury bills. There is a reason foreign governments don't want the Fed to buy back bonds. We become stronger

SFCSapper

November 18, 2010 - 8:53pm

Cut my benefits? Over my dead body! If they want to save money cut the pay and benefits of the congressmen,senators and the other over paid and under worked presidential staff and cabinet. The legion commander hit the nail on the head when he said congress should face to face tell the men and women who are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight hard for less benefits. If you have never worn a military uniform you have no idea what the its like to be a retired veteran and what we and our family members gavve up to serve our country. Be a 40 year old man or woman and have to start a new career at the bottom when you were at or near the top. What about those men and women who come home with major medical issues are you going to tell a double amputee he is not worth what he was fighting for? If you though this past election was rough try to run for reelection after you cut retiree and veterans benefits!

tlsoley57

November 18, 2010 - 8:19pm

You are correct they do pay into Social Security at a 8% rate which only covers about 1/5 of their retirement taxpayers pay the rest and if they retire with 20-25 years they receive about 80% of their final pay. I don't know of anyone's system that generous, definitely not the military's and yes some have served in the Armed Forces but not a lot and for many one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan would probably have changed their mind about how they vote on issues dealing with the military.

bbz3qmt

November 18, 2010 - 7:12pm

So, now that I am almost 60 my benefits are going to be cut. I can't say I'm surprised. All politicians are liars and thieves, Charley Rangel was just very sloppy and got caught. I always said I served for the medical benefits the pay wasn't the important part but the promise of lifetime medical, that is priceless. If you do your time, the promises should be kept. 24 years in combat boots and endless periods away from home, I would still do it again, I had a great time, I was very lucky. I will be vocal in my protest about cutting our benefits as retirees. Furthermore, I will be even more vocal about any cuts to the VA programs that are helping the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan of which my son is one.

family of combat vets

November 18, 2010 - 7:06pm

Right on Fed Up. These glorious members of congress should start ANY cutbacks with their own salaries, health care, retirement benefits, and all the other perks they enjoy. One of the last places they should be looking is at the skimpy pay and benefits owed all military personnel for working in the country's most dangerous jobs. They don't make enough money as it is considering the dangers they face and the service they perform for all of us.

WasProud2Serve

November 18, 2010 - 6:36pm

Well as my SN says I "WAS" Proud to serve what I thought was a great country. NOw after several surgeries, and being told by the Dr that My 50 yr old body is not all that bad for a 70 yr old...... Well I wonder why I was willing to do that for people that are so ungrateful as the sargeant in the police force. I am glad that YOU guys gave up so that you could allow several others to stay on the force- That was very sacrificing on your part. However, while I was overseas, never once did any Burger King, NMcD's or Wendy's offer me my food GRATIS for protecting them. The best they do for our service is give you about 10% off. Now I won't even ask for that... I rarely ever show my Military Retired ID as it seems that with new REGIME it is not appreciated. You need to cut the budget? Take it from the ARTS/ take it from the Welfare.... we have too manye people NOT willing to sacrifice, and the only people you can find are people who have been willing to give their lives for you?

wtram46

November 18, 2010 - 6:34pm

This is just another way for Obama to dismantle or military and our defenses a little at the time. It is part of his plan for our destruction!!!!

WasProud2Serve

November 18, 2010 - 6:39pm

Mr OBAMA needs to keep kids from having any desire to defend this nation.... Otherwise, someone might give a crap about this mediocre place.... We give away things to Illegals, welfare, etc.... and take from those willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. "THE NATION WHICH FORGETS HER DEFENDERS WILL SOON ITSELF BE FORGOTTEN" May we never succumb to the ignoranbce of our leaders and believe those that have given so much are worth so little.

Sgtopd

November 18, 2010 - 5:46pm

With the country in dire straights everyone needs to help close the deficit. In order to save 3 jobs in the Police Dept where I work we gave back holiday pay and comp time to save the jobs, no one liked it but it needed to be done. Nothing can be off limits and everyone needs to share the pain. The Federal deficit is not going to go away by eliminating pork spending and leaving defense and Social Security alone. Everything needs to be cut. I find is amusing that during the most recent election people here and other places were screaming about the debt but now that their interests are in the line of fire, there is outrage.

emrobin

November 19, 2010 - 12:30am

You gave up perks to save three jobs, not to reduce the deficit. Nobody is saying there's nothing to cut in the Defense Department, but going after folks retirement AFTER they have already served is ridiculous. It's amazing that you find it "amusing" that Veterans are fired up about the government trying to steal the retirement they were not only promised, but contractually obligated to to pay us. We held up our end of the contract. We served. We went to war and spent years away from our families for 20 or more years. The reward was our meager retirement plan and you think it's perfectly okay to void the contract and take what we worked for? Of course you do. It's not your retirement that's being threatened AFTER the fact.

SFCSapper

November 18, 2010 - 9:12pm

My friend there is a debt because George Bush put us in two wars that never needed to be fought. You gave back holiday pay and comptime to save jobs? Think about the American soldiers they get no holiday pay or comptime. all they have to give is hard work, love of country and for many BLOOD. My interests are nothing to laugh at my friend soldiers are not some interest group they are patriots who volunteered to fight for our country in far away lands. If not for these brave men and women there would have to be a draft and little Jimmy who has a football scholarship would have to go to war. Most of these patriots are from low income backgrounds and the military and its benefits are the only way they had to make a better way of life for themselves and there families. Thank you sir for giving up your comptime and holiday pay for the good of your job and not the good of a nation.

sommoner

November 18, 2010 - 5:38pm

Since Vietnam our country has fallen and slid down the political credit card psychology. Everything is purchased credit default swap and at some point no one knows who owes whom. Now we as veterans are comming back to a country whos' moral depravity surpasses the enemy and now we are saddled with more payments due than our children can ever know? Our country is worth less than what we owe?

Fed Up

November 18, 2010 - 5:07pm

It's about time that if cuts are necessary, it starts at the top, the Congress. It's time that the American people demand that Term Limits be installed. That their service not include retirement at full pay. They should be on Social Security and pay into it like the rest of us. Also they should pay for Health Care like us. Roll back their pay to reasonable rates. Their raises should be a percentage, based on CPI as Social Security. We have let these people pass laws that pertains to all citizens, but exempts themselves. Are they above the laws that the rest of us have to live with ? I think not. Then too, the Congress is the very people that have caused all problems that face our country today. They failed in their duties and yet they rewarded themselves with a pay raise. We need to rewrite the laws controling Congress bennefits and demand that they put the American People, their first oblication, not their particular political party. It's up to us.

rrroy3

November 18, 2010 - 4:48pm

Both, Bowles and Simpson, have served in the military. Albeit, for a very short time. They, of all people, should know the sacrifices that veterans have made. Having said that, they should also know that not everybody makes the military a 20-year commitment. If this committee would research this, I would venture to guess. that less than 1% of all people who serve in the military actually retire. That's for 50% of base pay only. I ask a simple question. Is it really worth putting the strength of continuity in maintaining a strong military at risk for pennies on the dollar? Hell, if it weren't for the retirement benefit, our government would be hard pressed to keep valuable, key people in longer than their first enlistment.

SFCARNGPA2006

November 18, 2010 - 4:00pm

Ever since the beginning of time when the first warrior picked a weapon and was promissed his life. Today we are civilized enough to pay our veterans/worriors with benefits and then take them away. When a Senator/congress person is in office four years, they get a pension, no one takes that away. They lay the burden on the lower class and let us face the trouble they make. BUT when they dont serve their public correctly, dose someone take their pension.

ckohl

November 18, 2010 - 3:37pm

on these issues, let's start with those responsible:<b>Cut the pay and benefits for the President, Congress, Senate, The House, decrease Foriegn Aide and stop Pork Barreling.</b> Military men and women have served 20+ years and have paid into Social Security earning the benefits they receive. <b>LEAVE THESE PROGRAMS ALONE!</B>

RDavid Hummel

November 18, 2010 - 3:28pm

A reminder for all, "Many that make new rules an consequences", have never served in the common ramks of the service members 24/7 on call, nor have applied themselves to the discipline of a soldier giving service thru a open check, even when negotiable and available to communities, after retirement. Is there any wonder that even the strongest of our servicemen at retirement are shocked by the they served, with lies and deceit, rendering the former service and valor,MUTE, while the slippery slope of SUICIDE, scars the mind and releases the land he/she served of all responsibility and costs, except to form another count in statisics.

patrick02

November 18, 2010 - 3:13pm

I am very upset that our political leaders want to take money from the military. Our military does not have a three day work week nor do they have a five hour work day Plus an over sized staff. So lets cut our political leaders pay,by at lest one half or more from the president on down.Plus cut their staff by two thirds,they do not read the bills before they vote on them anyway!! when it comes to pay raises & benfits for our so called political leaders, let the voters decide. After all the politicians are suppose to be WORKING FOR US.You can never pay service member to munch!!!

NeoConVet

November 18, 2010 - 2:50pm

I would consider a retirement reformulation WHEN Congress reduces their's, takes part in SS, begins collecting at age 60, etc. Other than that let these freeloader politicians pick-up a rifle and stand-the-line!

Joseph McCaffrey

November 18, 2010 - 2:45pm

The richest three or four percent of billionaires in this country pay almost no taxes at all as a result of President Bush's tax cuts, due to expire the end of this year. If we tax the richest people in this country at the same rate we tax middle class and working people, we'd get a couple of trillion dollars more in revenue. Now the super-rich get to keep all of their money and we are paying their way for them. The Republicans in Congress want to continue to give the super-rich a free ride. Set fair tax rates for Bush's buddies, those billionaire's who contribute to the Tea Party movement and to the right wing republicans. Don't take it out on us veterans who have served our country and already pay our fair share.

bluemm

November 18, 2010 - 2:41pm

I have alway felt they should paid SS also and then they would leave SS along and pick on something else. They forget sometime that some of there parents happen to be on SS also. I don't know how this can come about but it ready would help alot. It is also not right to take away from our troops. They also should serve and see what it is like. They should also like overseas for awhile without what they have here to live with and I think they would have a whole different outlook on live.

dennisaa

November 18, 2010 - 2:39pm

It is ture they have their own system. But almost 100% of these people work in private companies long enough to receive Social Security PLUS thier other retirements.

dennisaa

November 18, 2010 - 2:39pm

It is ture they have their own system. But almost 100% of these people work in private companies long enough to receive Social Security PLUS thier other retirements.

dennisaa

November 18, 2010 - 2:36pm

Republicans always cut veterans benifits. Just check voting records. We now for the 1st time has a Health Care bugdet over $100 million dollars. Give credit where credit is due.

sunsplit

November 18, 2010 - 3:34pm

If you will carefully review the history of who did what to the military, including retirees, you'll find that in pay and benefits it has ONLY been the Democratic Presidents with Party controlled Congresses. As examples, Carter and Congress stopped COLA pay adjustments from going at full percentage into the Base Pay and reallotted the percentage amount figured against Base Pay into lodging and such. Carter declared that in lessening the retirement pay amounts because of this would be OK, because the SS benefits would never be taxed. Clinton took care of that. SS benefits are taxed now for military retirees just like everyone else. I can speak for the fact that any civilian government employee before the Civil Service retirement redo, that carried a weapon or was involved in hazardous duty for 20 years, received 85% of his total pay. The military was just 50% of Base Pay and a couple of medals.

Ingo - Oregon Vet

November 18, 2010 - 2:33pm

Ah, pardon me, Senator D & Ms R, but there are one or two things which seemed to have escaped your grand exaulted poobah of finance reform, TTP, and Revealed Natural Philosphy here; 1. The problem is ALWAYS a matter political expedience of attacking the perceived path of least resistance: military folk (active and retired), time, and troops available. Don't get no simpler than that. Don't give a damn where it goes down, we have the American Legion, the VFW, the MOAA and, other like-minded organizations that will NOT takes this lying down. 2. In order to provide that basiiss for thinking, You better sell the young troops on their fighting investment then and, explain to an old, grizzled, Combat Arms commander what the impact of these factors is on THEIR future missions, you need to provde justification of the potential drops in reenlistments and the cause and affect of their proposal, the justifications surely can not meet that national security risk! Brilliant Educated Bozos......

axehandle6

November 18, 2010 - 2:16pm

I have served for 31 years in the National Guard. I have had to attend all the same schools and training as active duty personnel. I have been deployed since the attack on 9/11. I have great respect for our military personnel, but the truth is, we need to sacrifice with our prsent budget deficit. We have to reduce government spending. Retired Guard and Reserve personnel who may have been on several war deployments are put in a gray zone once they retire and can not draw retirement pay until 60. I am presently in that situation. We have programs now to help retirees find civilian jobs and most retirees go back to work for the government or government contractors and/or suppliers anyway. Like in the civilian and Guard/Reserve world, active duty retirees can get another job and wait in the gray zone until they are 60 before they draw retirement pay. They can have the benefits like retired Guard and Reserved gray zone personnel but not receive retirement pay.

iflyak

November 18, 2010 - 9:33pm

Axehandle6- It's all about choices partner-- You chose to server in the guard hopefully full and well knowing that a deployment or two or ten may be required of you. You knew that your retirement would be based on a formula and that you would not be able to collect ret pay until you were 60. you accepted that. over and over again for 31 years. You deserve to reap the benefits of your service at age 60 as you contracted for. the travesty would be if the "govmit" told you tomorrow that you had to wait until you are 70 to collect that pay. My guess you would be less inclined to swallow that shinola sandwich. serving for 20+ years on active duty. My retirement scenario was 50 percent of basic pay. No wait-- it was 50 percent of basic pay until congress decided to HMMMM lets say we only pay you 50 percent of basic pay calculated based on your last three years of active duty. Suck it up? -- we have good axehandle, we have. Protect and defend 'ol buddy--- YOUR RETIRED PAY!

KP72

November 18, 2010 - 4:48pm

There is quite a difference between 30 years in the NG and 20 on active duty. Sure there are many of the same sacrifices when it comes to deployment, but that doesn't come close to serving 24/7 for 20 plus years and serving part time in NG and AR.

jbm

February 27, 2011 - 6:35pm

There used to be maybe...But not much in these times! My husband has been with the National Guards for 26 years, part-time for many years but full-time AGR since 1999. He is on duty 24/7 as well and has a myriad of duties and frequent training as well as many soldiers to serve and he does it well. He has been on two deployments....No, that doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but the NG has deployments of a year long....minimal. Not 2 weeks, 3 months, or even six months.....a year!! And they perform their duties VERY well. I will not stand and listen to anybody belittle the NG service. They are just as important in today's world as any branch of service! However, I would take my hat off to you anyday for your service! Thank you!! Let's stand together and not put walls between the branches, no matter what branch they may be!

homertgen

November 18, 2010 - 2:10pm

It is not appropriate for the people who make the laws to abuse them and then get only a slap on the wrist. Mr Rangel broke several ethics rules and will experience no real loss. The congress people who break their own rules should lose their pension benefits....this would provide real incentive not to play God with the tax payers money. Censure....is not the way to manage representatives behavior....The Rangel case is proof of that.

DLL66

November 18, 2010 - 2:09pm

How about this for an idea. How about restructering the way Congress gets paid for their retirement. How about calculating 35%-50% for their retirement, or even less! See how that sits!

USMick78

November 18, 2010 - 2:03pm

They just wan't to make sure that those of us exposed to dangerous chemicals while in the service of our country can't collect a retirement because we won't live that long. Maybe if they made it a requirement that you have to serve in the military before you can become a Congressmen, Senator, or President...? Cut Social Security or Medicare and you face the wrath of your constitutents. But it's OK to cut military benefits.

dickusaf53

November 18, 2010 - 1:56pm

Maybe if everyone that ran for Congress,Senate and President had to serve at least 2 years on active military duty they would think differently when it came to cutting the military budget.I have never seen it fail.When the Dems get in office they cut the military and then the GOP has to build it up again...The GOP has the edge in Congress now,so maybe they can stop this madness....

alrkrash

November 18, 2010 - 2:30pm

Let's say, leave politics out of this. It has no place as the American Legion has to deal with both parties.

chas63

November 18, 2010 - 1:54pm

Our Senators and Congressmen don't pay in to Social Security, and, of course, they don't collect from it. The reason is that they have a special retirement plan that they voted for themselves many years ago. For all practical purposes, it works like this: When they retire, they continue to draw their same pay, until they die, except that it may be increased from time to time, by cost of living adjustments. For instance, former Senator Bradley, and his wife, may be expected to draw $7,900,000, with Mrs. Bradley drawing $275,000 during the last year of her life.

Walterr

November 18, 2010 - 1:00pm

I am really upset that our leaders feel that they must try and balance the budget on the blood sweat and tears of our brothers and sisters who proudly serve and have served . What I have never heard is what they will cut from their own office budgets, Are they willing to cut their retirement?, Are they willing to take a pay cut? What of their many perks are they willing to give up? How about their staff? Are they that self centered that they think that they are more important than our fighting men and women? Why does the DoD have to ask for pay raises for the servce members and they get one automatically? unless they vote not to recieve one of which I don't beleve they have ever done.

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