COLA vote not quite enough

COLA vote not quite enough

American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger says he has mixed feelings about a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives that partially restores planned cuts in cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) on pensions for military retirees. By a vote of 326-90 on Feb. 11, the House approved an amended measure that would restore full annual COLAs for most working age military retirees. However, it continues to apply a controversial COLA cut to future pensioners who first enter the military beginning this year.

"What the House did is commendable on one hand and rectifies an unfortunate earlier move to restore full COLAs only to veterans with disabilities," Dellinger said. "However, this action still falls short of reversing the COLA cut for all eligible military retirees, current and future. Again, as in targeting the Department of Defense for sequestration, this legislation places the responsibility for correcting our nation’s fiscal crisis almost solely on our servicemembers. While we applaud the House for taking another step forward, we will continue to push toward a full repeal of military pensioners’ COLA cuts."

The bill in question, S. 25, is not law and may never be. The House and the Senate are expected to study the measure in conference when the House returns from a Presidents Week break on Feb. 25. In the meantime, the Senate is considering its own measures to repeal the COLA cuts contained in a budget and deficit reduction agreement reached by Congress last December. Since then, The American Legion has led the charge, joined by many other veteran and military service organizations, in opposing any benefit reductions for military retirees.

 

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James F. Carr USAF

February 19, 2014 - 11:09am

Nothing has change in the legion, when I joined in 1978 , my post was devided between the winners (WWII) vets and the losers ( korean & vietnam vet)and we are still divided. Together all veterans in a congressional district if they vote can change an election, the same holds true for a senate race. The answer to our problem is every INCUMBENT, if we reallly want the people in Washington to listen, vote them out every election for the next three congresional cycles( just 6years) and only one senate cycle( also 6 years, senators are brighter). This is a simple solution, but I know the National Service Organization would never get behind this movement. Our Vetern leader like the attention they get from our employees in congress to truly STAND UP to them. I can only hope you follow the " Anybody but the Incumbent rule this cycle" an I guarantee your congressional employees will do what the PEOPLE want and stop using us as door mats. God save the USA , JimCarr

1SG_ABN

February 18, 2014 - 11:45am

As I read more of these comments - I worry more about the state of our ability to have civil discourse with facts!!! Too many of the comments here are out of hatred and are not contributing to a real discussion of the article. When I was in the Army I was told I would receive 50% of my base pay after 20 years as a retirement. It was not meant to be a liveable salary. This was to entice people to stay and make a "career" of the military. Like pro-sports you usefulness is limited to a number of years. As far as the COLA is concerned - they are not taking away anything, you are still getting an increase, just not as much as originally planned. I remember getting a 13% pay raise, I believe under President Carter, that I was thrilled with!! I was thrilled anytime we got a pay raise whether it was one percent or 13%. I am glad to do my part to help with our financial problems - which are not all Obama's problems. Ignorance, intolerance, and arrogance is not a way to win an argument!!

Viking31

February 16, 2014 - 2:26pm

These comments confuse me. Are we talking about Veterans, of which I am one? (I served in the Army of the Occupation Germany 1953-54.) Or are we talking about retired military benefits? The recent COLA law did not address Veteran's benefits, as such military retired pay is not a "Veterans" benefit. And please don't tell me all retired servicemen are veterans. Of course they are, but the pension is not a Veteran's benefit.

E. Marietta

February 15, 2014 - 3:10am

It is really funny that our Congress (elected officials) keep messing with our earned retirement benefits, the COLA in particular in this article. They have no idea what is or was like serving our Nation and particularly our fellow military personnel which we all became a team. The COLA should become a permanent irreversible benefit, the cost of living keeps going up, but it is really funny we as a country give away billions of dollars to 100's of countries only by the country asking for it. What a shame! And we get nothing in return for us opening up our pocket. We need to stop being the worlds police force and take care of ourselves first. We have Veterans on the street that do not even have the basics to live on. Stop messing with the our benefits and make them irreversible and enforce them. Help ourselves first, that is the reason for all of us paying taxes.

G Dunville

February 15, 2014 - 12:28pm

Things will never change. If we have a good war to fight we get benefits. When they get ready to shut down, which is what Obama is doing, there goes the benefits. They did it after Vietnam and they are trying to do it again. As I said in my other comment, call your congressman and make your voice heard and let them know we want this mess fixed and it is not just about your COLA.

Richard Cunningham

February 15, 2014 - 9:13am

Congress knows what they are doing. They took it out in secret, and now they let everybody know there putting it back in. How many votes do you think they will get now for looking out for the Veteran. The whole thing is a game to our (ELECTED OFFICIALS).

G Dunville, Seymour, WI

February 14, 2014 - 2:19pm

I am a 10 year veteran. I have a card that says I'm retired but I get no retirement pay. That was my choice. As far as I'm concerned all members of the armed services deserve more pay when you see how the taxes are wasted. That will never change until we band together, not for ourselves but for the whole country. We need a country that approaches this debt problem like we dealt with WW II. Everyone needs to feel the pain and not always think not me. There is a movement in the works called the Convention of States that is trying to take back the government from the professional politicians. I do not know at this point how well they will do but I know if all the people in this country who are unhappy with Washington will band together with this or maybe another group, we can take back this country from the whiny couch potatoes. Go to the Convention of States web site and see who they are, do some study of the constitution, write you congressmen, listen to more than one side of the issues, don't always make everything about you. If the whole country wins we all win. If we keep on this I want everything for me attitude we all loose. Remember no one is ever all right but that does not mean they are all wrong. We just have to do what the framers of the Constitution did which was to make they system as right as possible for everyone without making it too complicated.

Reading and Laughing

February 14, 2014 - 4:46am

You all sound like Congress / Senate they always complaining, and you all many not a damn thing wrong with you, but you are disabled, and retired after 20 years or there abouts... The TAXPAYER paid your salary while you served and the TAXPAYER pays your retirement.... The TAXPAYER he pays the politicians and their retirement after 1 term of service.... The TAXPAYER he pays for the welfare recipients and the poor and elderly and all the rest MANY ARE LIFETIME RECEIVERS AND NEXT GENERATION RECEIVERS. EVERYONE SHITS ON THE "TAXPAYER" and THEY PAY AND PAY for 49 YEARS and NEVER CATCH A BREAK FROM THE NATION OF A$$HOLE$ THEY SUPPORT!! I SERVED 12 in USAF and heard all the bullshit before. You whiney hineys many VETERANS are in congress and the senate, and sit as PRESIDENTS so shut the hell up already, take your cut of the pie America gives your retired lazy ass and pipe down!! LMAO @ CRY BABIES!!! TOO bad they don't make you invest in a 401K and take away your Social Security that you paid in and they squandered. BUT you feel after 20 years you are better then EVERYONE!!! NEWSFLASH!!! You are NOT!!! If you were injured that's different, but I know many are not!! Guess what?? So does YOUR Politicians and TAXPAYERS!!

Indianatucky

February 14, 2014 - 9:39pm

You troll!!!!! Are you taking a break from trolling Main Stream Media and other sites? How much do you make? Don't hide behind your computer in your mother's basement and disrespect the people who preserved our freedom. Like it or not, it is a messed up world we live in. We do our best to lend a helping hand to other nations and help to keep the world a safer place. Our Nation is not perfect. Some of our politicians suck. Does that mean the members of our armed forces do not deserve a retirement or disability after putting their lives on the line while their families are put second or even third? The taxpayer chips in to pay the salary of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day. That is a small price to pay to sleep peacefully in their beds at night. To not have to worry about their kids getting blown up by a car bomb or rocket attack going to school. If you have a hard time understanding the current events in the world, rewind all the way back to W W 2 you uneducated troll. Show some respect. Be careful with Karma, It bites you in the ass when you least expect it. To the Legion: Thank you for lobbying for the men and women who proudly serve. Sleep peacefully at night knowing that brave young men and women have stepped up to relieve you in the Armed Forces and are willing to lay their lives down for our Country.

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 12:53pm

Troll huh lol. Main Stream Media you say and other site.. well well lol. How much do I make? I earn every nickel I get lol I can tell you that none of them are free. My mother REALLY you want to go there?? okay she died in 2006... is that the basement?? I'm not there yet, though one day I will be I'm sure of that. :) My intentions were to piss you all off... WHY?? Because I served my time and I know many veterans who served NOT all retire NOR want to retire. OUR service was just as important as yours and of you all's bunch shit heads yourselves lol. You all claim you paid taxes?? Explain how that works??? You have a government that take taxes to pay government wages?? You call that self employed huh?? NO! That isn't quite correct now is it?? Now all the glamour of brain washing they did shows very well, and it makes me smile still. Yep the military still polishes that bullshit they stick in your head. Now for all that great protection that the Tax Payer bought. What happened to it during 9/11/2001?? Your self employed asses are CEO's too I suppose and should have all the answers? I earned my damned right to disrespect some of the bullshit I hear, and That liberal bullshit you can shove up your asses. What keeps me sleeping good is my God given ability to fight, and nothing more or less. I hate seeing young troops coming back dead from fighting for a country that don't give a rat's ass. To hell with it all... That's how I feel any more. I left when Dick Head Clinton was our commander in chief and I don't regret it... Don't Ask Don't Tell... There is your sign. Hell No I had enough at that point. I could no longer agree to follow the bullshit of those appointed over me. So like a good honest NCO I left. When I see the need to fight within our borders being greater then outside our borders, yet nothing being done then what the hell good is this defense we as tax payers our buying?? Yeah so where you been for that last 20 years earning that pension?? If you earned it why the hell is my country such a mess?? Were your asses all to sleep or what?? Where is my country for what I see today is NOT America where is she?? I owe you a pension for this??? Are you serious and extra COLA?? Get real we're not blind what's going on with this stuff?? There is your respect. Time to bring the fight home yet? What a mess and you think you all deserve more funny stuff right there.

Troy Weigel

February 14, 2014 - 9:03pm

First you are a PIECE OF CRAP COWARD!!!! Why do you hide behind a made up user name and not use your real name like I have?????? You definitely are either lying about being a veteran and/or a welfare, unemployment, government program sucking shithead!!!!! You have no clue what we veterans have done so that you can express your left wing, GLBT loving opinions. If you are a veteran then you probably were told to leave. You sound like an admin airman that never deployed or served a remote tour. You didn't learn a damn thing if you were on active duty. One thing for sure is that you are not worhty of saying a damn thing about retirees!!! Take your opinion and crawl back under that disrespectful, liberal rock that you crawled out from!!!!!

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 1:19pm

Well Troy real name Weigel you think that makes you BRAVE?? Who cares about your name I certainly do not. I don't give a crap whether you believe I served 12 years or NOT. I spent a year In Korea Osan AB 82-83, I spent 4 in Germany 87-91 Spangdahlem AB. So who gives a shit what you think I certainly don't. You earned NOTHING in my book, especially by calling me a liberal... you ass wipe. I earned my right to say what I want and screw you if you can't handle it Cry Baby!! I learned more then you think evidently and guess you can CAP LOCKS me now huh?? Glad I pissed you off I intended too and don't regret it either lol. There is more I posted you can read it too you deserve what I said.

El Gato

February 14, 2014 - 2:23pm

It's not a matter of lazy or not. It's a matter of promises and at least an implied contract. Veterans were promised if they stayed for 20+ they'd get retirement, and cost of living increases. While I don't think those who enlist after the new law passes, if it passes, should have their retirement reduced either, since that is one "draw" that the military uses to attract and keep good people, it would at least not be violating promises and commitments made when the people enlisted. While I am a veteran, I get no retired pay, and until 5 months ago, was a taxpayer. I keep getting laid off under Democrat Presidents. Twice now under the current one. Was out about 5 months the first time, 18 the second, and 5 so far this time. I doubt I'll find another job in my field, since no one wants to hire a 64 y/o defense modeling, simulation and algorithm development engineer.

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 1:33pm

I know they were promised stuff. Our constitution promised the citizens rights too, and those rights are being eroded away while we pay for an entire military that took and oath to defend those rights. So where is the justice in that? They retire and complain now cause they may loose a dollar or two? They act like they are part of some elite citizenship. Our service was just as important as theirs and I meant to ruffle some feathers and this former NCO knows exactly how to hit buttons lol. I hope you find work NAFTA, and the North American Union is hurting our country badly. It jeopardizes many tax payers jobs, and seems like the only who realizes it are those effected by it. I wish you luck on your job searches.

Gato Submarine Builder

February 17, 2014 - 3:52pm

Do you just think it is a democratic presidents fault you cannot get a job, or maybe it is your age, the do nothing congress that refuses to put forth jobs bills, or the Koch brothers who are destroying the workplace with forcing their buddies in congress to roll back workers rights? Easy to blame the president, but first look at congress that has stifled every thing he has tried to do for this nation to INCREASE jobs and opportunities for veterans. Congress's #1 goal was NOT jobs and our nation, but repealing the ACA. They admitted it! And Paul Ryan is the #1 man who insisted that the DoD and congress wanted to cut veterans benefits, because the Republicans WANT a balanced budget. Either you get a balanced budget and we all suffer, or you don't, and we get our COLA's. Quit blaming the president for lack of you not getting a job, but write your congressman and ask him what HE is doing to put jobs out there while accepting the cut backs in the budget that YOU scream for. And your job skills, while commendable, do not matter when you are older. I am the same age and have an MS in Psychology and could not get a job UNDER Bush! Jobs want younger people with less pay, so either get new skills or take a lower pay and QUIT blaming the president! Unless he IS a god, he has no control over all things in your life!

Anonymous

February 18, 2014 - 2:52pm

Well said and you told him the truth. The truth in this case is a bitter pill to swallow, because it is the Republicans who want to take benefits and pay away from veterans in order to balance the budget. Every time the president proposes a project to create jobs for vets, the house members shoot it down. They don't want this president to succeed at any endeavors he proposes. To them, party loyalty trumps the good of the country.

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 1:55pm

Well the Democrats are the ones always trying to get the Unions vote, and Republicans are the ones always trying to get the military vote. So explain how that would serve the Republicans to do that if you can? See here is your problem is the thing called the TEA Party and sure many ran under the heading Republican, but they make no qualms about what they are. Those are the ones who don't give 2 cents if your Democrat or Republican they are fighting to straighten out a nation that has strayed way off course of our constitution. So you may keep your Democrat line it doesn't work well with folks that can read. That loyalty is very obvious lol.

Spilly

February 14, 2014 - 12:00pm

Military members pay taxes also, from active duty pay and retired pay. You make it sound like military members do nothing to earn their paycheck or retirement benefits. If it was so damm easy and a free paycheck why did you discharge out after 12 years. Or is there more to the story that you dont care to share. Maybe not recommended for reenlistment???? I THANK ALL MILITARY MEMBER'S FOR THIER SERVICE and they deserve what they have earned.

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 2:43pm

I was an E-5 with 12 years. I left because I was fed up with everything. Government and Military that simple. It is like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. You can't win! First off the military takes away pretty much every right the constitution gave you as a citizen. You can't do this, you can't do that, and you can't say nothing. Even Generals are being tossed out today because they speak up. So not much has changed since the 20 years since I left that side life. I had more reasons to get out then stay, and an ageing sick mom was one of them. I know they were promised a retirement. However they are no better then other citizens and government screwing them over. ONLY ones I see that has it made are those not working and sitting on their behinds. I still am amazed at how crazy this country has gone with the mentality of someone in the government owes them a living. Veterans are no exception to that rule in my opinion Sorry I am one whether you like or not. The fact is the government has no income except for what they take from others, they pay everything from what they have taken. So as a military member your wages were derived out of what was taken, and then the government wants you to pay back a share of what it took to start with and that's your taxes and you all think that's really paying into the system. I hate to break to you but actually that's just eye candy. All this governmental pensioning is breaking this nation, and even Ray Charles can see that. They can't balance a budget today anymore then they could 20 years ago, and the government and the people are to blame for it. If anyone speaks out about it then everyone wants to crucify him for it. How's the name Jesus grab you? Would it make you feel better, well I'm not Jesus or the Anti-Christ. I understand the purpose of our military, but I do think it has drifted way off from the original intentions like everything else, and our nation as a whole is being bleed dry by a bunch of vultures. Well I'm glad to say I walked away from their crap they called an earned pension after 12 years. I hate that factories close daily across our nation, and a president talks of a great job he does, and the Republicans they broke it all according to the Democrats anyway. The Independents they are the real cowards afraid to say what they are backing or are they just to dumb?? I wonder lol. Thanks to all the Veterans who earned that pension defending the US Constitution, and the elected dictator who disregards it as a nuisance, and a Congress filled with thieves just waiting for the next vote to see how they can benefit themselves more. I call it a national disgrace, but what the hell do I know. If you say you earned bravo congratulations.

Thomas Simmons

February 14, 2014 - 10:07am

Too bad you only served 12 years and at that time you were paying taxes and paying part of your own salery. You didn't have the will to complete your 20 years. Some of us are close to our 20 years and with the cuts we may not get our retirement just thank you and goaway. The 401k didn't exist when we signed up. Now we are struggling to survive a disability is not just seen a lot are not visual but we have to deal with it for the rest of our lives and we still pay taxes. If it wasn't for the veterans and thoes still serving you would be paying more than taxes and it would be to china or japan or some other comminunist country. Thank you for your service but DO NOT take away the respect that the military and veterans deservive they have given selflessly and rarely ask for anything but what has been promised to them and are deserving of for that service. Thank you

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 2:50pm

You really believe that hype don't you? Somethings are more important then a dollar promised in a pension.

Allison Ruff

February 16, 2014 - 4:43pm

I was looking for a man named thomas Simmons he appeared in a photo with my father. This man also listed is address in NV and i was wondering if it was you? Were you stationed at Camp Casey w/ 707th maintenance comp. 7th inf div sometime in dec 67 till june 69. Thank you if you can help if you are not him sorry for bothering you

Retired Senior NCO

February 14, 2014 - 9:25am

I retired from the Air Force as a Senior NCO with 21 years of service. Oddly, I agree more than I disagree with this comment. If giving up 1% of COLA means a more secure future for the next generation(s), I'm all for it. But to be clear, when I retired, I discovered Uncle Sam was paying me about a third of what I was actually worth. If you take into account remote assignments, deployments, and just the routine overtime, it was much less than that. So I view my pension more as back pay than I do as welfare. By the way, as a TAXPAYER, I more than cover my own pension.

El Gato

February 14, 2014 - 2:33pm

It's actually a combination of deferred pay and retainer... Yeh retainer, they can call you back. Companies offer retirement, increasingly "defined contribution" rather than "defined benefit", to attract and keep good people, same as the military. That's why it' taxed, it's pay. Defined contribution gets the liability off the company's books. The government doesn't keep books the same way. If they had to, they'd all be in jail. They pay current retirees, including social security, out of current revenues, or as now, current borrowing. But, cutting military retirement isn't going to make for more secure future generations. If they were really worried about that, they'd cut the various forms of welfare, food stamps, AFDC, etc. And the (un)Affordable Care Act, which will, sooner rather than later, bankrupt us, and result in shitty healthcare as well. But there are more votes to be bought with those programs than military retirees.

Reading and Laughing

February 14, 2014 - 5:08am

JUST so you know the TAXPAYER is the people who make a living outside of the GOVERNMENT... TRUCKERS, FACTORY WORKERS, SERVICE ATTENDENTS, CASHIERS these are the some of the folks whom are GENUINE TAXPAYERS!! IF you were part of the Federal, State, County, or Local GOVERNMENT you are just a small cut above a LIFELONG Welfare RECEIPENT, and if you retired in 1 term, 20 years, or 30 years well you figure out WHY THE COUNTRY IS SO FAR IN DEBT... the REST of US ALREADY KNOW... you all grow like WEEDS and that the kind of WEED that needs to be outlawed GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIZED WEEDS lol. ;)

Troy Weigel

February 14, 2014 - 9:09pm

What country's Air Force did you serve in, Russia, China, Norht Korea?? Go back to the communist country you came from!!!!!

Reading and Laughing

February 22, 2014 - 1:38pm

LMAO Troy Boy!! USAF yes sir alrighty!!

Gene Tinsley

February 13, 2014 - 11:37pm

Why is it that a measly 1% or so is such a problem but a 10 or 12% raise for the politicians is never a problem? If they get a 10% raise then the Military should receive the same. We need to cut some Senators and Reps pension. That alone would probably get the Country out of debt in 5 years.

Richard Guilfoyle

February 14, 2014 - 2:27pm

I agree with Gene Timsley. I am a 23 year retired master Sgt. from the A/F. The politicians get there raise for sitting on thier ASSES.

El Gato

February 14, 2014 - 2:40pm

I wish they would sit on their asses, but they are too busy spending our money and buying votes. Their pensions, while individually lavish, are not that big a deal in the big picture, there just aren't enough of them. Still I'd like to see them term limited, as many local and state ones are, and given no pension at all. I'd only let them serve 6 years in the House and 12 in the Senate, 3 and 2 terms respectively. That way they'd only get at most 18 years, and most would only get 6, not enough for a pension. The President wouldn't get one either. Ex Presidents cost enough even without their pension. However, the pensions may be a slight incentive to try to stay in office, with the attendant spending and vote buying, which is way more significant than their pensions.

1SG_ABN

February 13, 2014 - 11:36pm

I want someone to show what military benefits the current administration has cut?!!? Not what Congress has done, but what President Obama has done on his own!! When I was in the military the only thing I was promised was if I retired at 20 years, I would get 50% of my pay and medical insurance for the rest of my life. That's been the case so far!! As far as cost living adjustments - that's based on the cost of living actually going up! COLA is there to make adjustments - a certain percentage is not a guarantee every year - there has to be a need for a COLA. The cost of living in some areas has gone down. The CPI in some areas has gone down.

Michael Franks

February 13, 2014 - 11:26pm

I am tied of people in congress every time they try to make cuts taking money away from the veterans. No where in any of the savings was mentioned about taking money from anybody in congress. One of the things needing fixing is the members of congress. We need to vote members out if they don't support the retirees and military personnel.Lets look at everyone running for reelection and get rid of anyone voting for the last budget deal.

BMCM (MDV) U.S.N. Ret. sends

February 13, 2014 - 8:45pm

Why would the American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger send such a spotty mixed msg? This is a black and white issue with only one plausible response for all elected officials to read/hear: A vote on COLA that is not all inclusive is unacceptable! It is time for the leaders of all military faternal orginazations to unite and muster the troops on the steps of Congress with a march to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. No more moo-gee-ha bs! Quit whinning about right vs left, Fox vs MSNBC, term limits and/or perks recieved by Congress. We were A-political when in uniform it is time to assume that same position! Lets get it done!

wingrider6

February 13, 2014 - 6:41pm

I'm retired USAF and I have a hard time finding fault with what Congress has done. If we don't get a handle on spending in this country we will be a country in worse shape than Detroit. I retired and went to work at an institution that included an US Army retiree and another USAF retiree. When we retired from our second career (not in the same year) all three of us were making over $80,000 with great benefits plus another great pension. How many others are in that situation?

ret AF E8

February 13, 2014 - 8:41pm

wingrider6, Please speak for yourself. I make alot more than 80K a year in retirement benefits, but it is not about me. I had a very difficult time getting commitments out of my 2ond and 3rd term airman. They were reluctant to renew their commitment to the Air Force due in part to the short sided thinking of those who control their careers and retirement benefits. It may be easy to attack those who don't understand the impact of a 1% cola reduction at this time in their careers, but I can assure you that this type of nonsense will gut our experience and destroy the professionalism shared by many in uniform. Take a look at the nuclear side and recent morale and discipline issues never experienced in the military that I am aware of during my 22 years of active duty.

CPT J. R. Robert USA (Ret)

February 13, 2014 - 7:04pm

This is NOT about you and other desk jockeys who were able to obtain the big paying jobs in second careers after their service. This is about my NCOs and EMs who did not make it to college and are now stuck doing physically challenging or seasonal work (construction in the northern states) or not living in Washngton DC or San Francisco but in the middle of the Midwest or in the deep outh and have to provide for their extended families. This 1.8% Cola "adjustment" is farce when real inflation is more in line with 5% and 6% Do not balance the budget on the back of the Veterans but reduce the size of Governemnt and cut-out all the "gifts" to such companies like Solindra.

1SG_ABN

February 13, 2014 - 11:39pm

The rate of inflation in 2013 was less than 2%!!!!

Wildman

February 13, 2014 - 6:14pm

Ok let's fix entitlements and the budget, but not from my check? Get real and stop whining. The American taxpayers are footing the bill for our healthcare and generous benefits. We don't need to be putting our kids in debt and crying about every single thing that comes along.

Joe Hooper

February 13, 2014 - 11:21pm

you want to balance that budget? then first look to closing down all the redundant government offices. Stop sending foreign aid to CHINA that we BORROW from them in the first place, Stop sending foreign aid to countries that want to see us destroyed. Those few things would take more out of the budget than the small COLA that these retirees who have served this country honorably for more years than most of us have served!

Justcause

February 13, 2014 - 6:57pm

We are (Military)and I am and have been paying taxes (Federal, State and Social Security) since I was 14. I am 52. I paid all three the entire time I was in the military ( 20 ) years, so whom else helps to pay there own salary while working the job there in and at a drastically lower rate of pay then there counter parts in the civilian sector, patriots do and they do it on the knowledge that while others are safe and secure at home I am doing my duty and one day I will turn it over to another patriot and know I have done my duty. With that there is an understanding that we sacrificed the prime of our lives and will be entitled to what we have earned and not be used as pawns between the ruling parties to get what they want as is evident in this fiasco. We paid our dues, continue to do so today and you call it whining. It is obvious you do not know anyone whom has ever sacrificed anything for their country, and or have not done so yourself. Don't tread on me!!!!!

Thomas Simmons

February 14, 2014 - 10:40am

Agree

Jim H

February 13, 2014 - 6:40pm

Agree

Troy Weigel

February 13, 2014 - 8:19pm

I TOTALLY agree with Justcause!!!!! I am a working age retiree that has been unemployed for the last almost 5 years!!!! I have a Masters degree and a lot of other training. However, the civilian sector has been very biased in their hiring. I am either over qualified or not specifically qualified enough. I have not tried to use my VA disability rating of 80% to get any special treatment. I have a current issue that will keep me out of the job market for some time, maybe for good. So not all "working age" retirees are working high paying second careers, getting another retirement and heealth benefits. Our lousy elected officials are once again making the military pay a high price for the elected officials incompetence, selfishness, and failure to live up to their sworn oaths!!!! I along with countless others did our time and paid our dues, why should we have to pay again?!?!!?! Many of the retirees that have stated that persons like me are whiners are most likely senior grade or higher officers that used the buddy system and politics to get their second career. But, us mid-level to E-7 NCOs had to use our hard work and true abilities to get a shot at a second career. As such it is easy for those officers to say that the rest of us are whiners and don't deserve to keep our retirement and health benefits intact. Glad to know that our senior officer corps is still looking out for themselves and giving lip service to those who worked for their rank.

Rich C

February 13, 2014 - 6:07pm

When is it all going to come to a screeching halt

AENOS E. WHITMER

February 13, 2014 - 5:06pm

AMERICA THINK ABOUT THE COST OF THAT JET TO FLY THE OLE GAL FROM DC TO CALIFORNIA ALL THOSE WEEK-ENDS AND THINK ABOUT THE EXTREMLY LONG EXPENSIVE VACATIONS OUR PRESIDENT TAKES AT OUR EXPENSE. WHY WERE THEY VOTED IN, WHY DO WE NOT HAVE IMPEACHMENT CHARGES GOING FOR MR OBAMA. JUST CONTINUE TO PLAY AROUND AND DURING HIS LAST 24 HOURS IN OFFICE HE WILL PARDON THAT JOKER WHO KILLED ALL OF THOSE SOLDIERS AT FORT HOOD. OUR RETIRED MILITARY ARE OUTSTANDING AMERICAN MEN WHO LOVES OUR COUNTRY. I AGREE WITH ALL THE COMMENTS IN THIS SECTION AND I TO FEEL WE SHOULD KEEP OUR ''COLA''

Bob S.

February 14, 2014 - 9:22am

Just for the record. The 1% COLA cut was insisted on by REPUBLICAN Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. So you can bash this President for taking vacations and such, just as every President has, and then support the real people who are screwing you over.

1SG_ABN

February 13, 2014 - 7:19pm

As a retired member of the Army - I take great exception to your comments. If you don't like our President - fine I understand. But to say the things here are just right-wing rhetoric. Obama has taken less vacation Bush did, Reagan also!! I believe President Obama cares just as much or more about our military that Bush! And believing he will pardon the major who killed all those soldiers is absurd! We are paying our soldiers a good wage, they can retire at an age to get a second career as I have. Like everyone else, I believe we should do our share to help with our country's debt. And before you get on your soap box about spending - Obama has reduced our deficit every year in office (except the first) and his policies are project to continue that trend. So, don't spout things you believe are fact without checking. Ignorance, intolerance, and arrogance are not a good thing for our country. Too many people believe the nonsense put out by the talking heads!!

SGT AZ

February 13, 2014 - 10:05pm

I agree with 1SG_ABN. I would also add over 3,500 soldiers died in Bush's war of choice, Iraq, and over 100000 injured at a cost of over 4 trillion dollars. Bush just bankrupted the nation. And now we have to pay for this stupid venture and the republicans would rather it come from the middle class and soldiers, sparing the rich.

Troy Weigel

February 13, 2014 - 8:31pm

Where are you getting your information from?????? You obviuosly are not stating facts. In the last two years Obama has pushed for more cuts to military personnel benefits than even Clinton!! Did you retiee with 20 or more years or are you retired for other reasons? Your comment about right wing rhetoric leads me to believe that you are a left wing liberal that supports Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the other oath breakers!!! When your retirement pay and benefits are completely revoked in the coming years or months what will you have to say about those people. And when our debt has gone past the $20 trillion point what will you try to use as proof that Obama has reduced our deficit??? He hasn't done squat for this country or it's non-political motivated true military!!!!!

Anonymous

February 18, 2014 - 4:55pm

You are wrong. Quit using those labels against your fellow vet/s. What is wrong with you?? If you were ever in a foxhole in combat or in a firefight, did you turn around and ask the warrior next to you if he was a Democrat/Liberal or a Republican/Conservative? I doubt that you were ever in that type of situation, although I could be wrong. I don't remember anyone asking anyone else around me what political side they were on.

1SG_ABN

February 13, 2014 - 11:21pm

Obama has reduced our deficit - it is out there and true!! I am not a left-wing liberal. I spent 23 years in the Army, served in DS/DS, Haiti, our embassies in Nigeria, Cyprus, and Lebanon. Congress, I repeat, Congress approved the biggest cuts to our military. Fortunately, they have for the most part been overturned. There is always a reduction in the military budget after a war or two and that is what the Obama administration has done!! In regards to your comments - nothing but rhetoric. Better go get some facts from other than Limbaugh and the other talking heads. I don't watch FOX, MSNBC, or listen to ANY political talking heads. I research my information. So should you. And last, reducing our debt is not as easy as many people think.

GySgt - USMC-Ret

February 13, 2014 - 8:07pm

I guess we found our MSNBC listener. I know mine is such a shallow statement, but it's really just an observance. I agree...talking heads do put out a lot of nonsense.

Kyle Blackmon

February 13, 2014 - 6:34pm

I agree don't take anything from the Vets that have been promised. The thing about changing what people who have not enlisted yet is fine. We have done that forever. When I was in we got the GI Bill. Now they match funds. There are changes everything goes through. Just don't change the rules in the middle of the game on us.

Joe Hooper

February 13, 2014 - 11:27pm

Kyle, what was the cost of a college education when you ETSd? The old GI bill would not cover the costs of a good college now.

AENOS E. WHITMER

February 13, 2014 - 5:06pm

AMERICA THINK ABOUT THE COST OF THAT JET TO FLY THE OLE GAL FROM DC TO CALIFORNIA ALL THOSE WEEK-ENDS AND THINK ABOUT THE EXTREMLY LONG EXPENSIVE VACATIONS OUR PRESIDENT TAKES AT OUR EXPENSE. WHY WERE THEY VOTED IN, WHY DO WE NOT HAVE IMPEACHMENT CHARGES GOING FOR MR OBAMA. JUST CONTINUE TO PLAY AROUND AND DURING HIS LAST 24 HOURS IN OFFICE HE WILL PARDON THAT JOKER WHO KILLED ALL OF THOSE SOLDIERS AT FORT HOOD. OUR RETIRED MILITARY ARE OUTSTANDING AMERICAN MEN WHO LOVES OUR COUNTRY. I AGREE WITH ALL THE COMMENTS IN THIS SECTION AND I TO FEEL WE SHOULD KEEP OUR ''COLA''

100% SC P&T Army Vet

February 13, 2014 - 9:43pm

Really? Not only are you spamming the comment section yelling about your dislike of the Commander-In-Chief, but you have the bad netiquette of double posting in this section. I know you along with a bunch of others are upset that we have an Negro in the Oval Office. Get over it already!

Lt USN LDO Ret

February 13, 2014 - 4:50pm

Everything I have read here has some merit. I believe we must not only pay attention when we vote, but we must follow our representatives and senators closely, and present a united front. They all get to DC and promptly forget how they got there. Only in Congress can one make his/her own pay increases!! And now that all that is there, it seems there is no way to stop the speeding train. Once they are in office, all they do is campaign for the next election. What about us???? Just my $0.02 worth. For the first time, I got involved at the local level, and I discovered that one voice, joined with other voices, can make a difference. So, let's ALL do our part, whatever we can do, and get together with others of like mind, through our veterans' organizations. God Bless You All!! and God Bless America!

SFC US Army Ret.

February 13, 2014 - 7:47pm

Great insite. I believe we must hold our representatives responsible for their vote. Also term limits should be put in place. This would cut allot of corruption out of the system. These jobs were never meant to be carriers. It seems we always see cuts in the earned benefits to fix shortfalls, but you never hear about entitlement program cuts where individuals get checks far exceeding my meager pension for doing nothing in return.

Big G

February 13, 2014 - 4:41pm

The answer is one man, one vote, no gerrymandering, no corporations, no lobbying. Then the people can get what the majority of PEOPLE want. With all the problems we have, do we really need to spend trillions on being the police force of the world, do we need more aircraft carriers, jets, etc. when our bridges are falling down, our veterans are in need, and the list of national needs grows every day?

Joe Hooper

February 13, 2014 - 11:29pm

Then we need voter ID as well!!

A Hanson

February 13, 2014 - 4:29pm

The lying gets so extreme during campaigning these days, it's hard to determine who's for what. There shouild be follow-ups on campaign claims and criminal charges brought against the ones that lie. People go to jail for lying to congress. Why the hell shouldn't they go to jail for lying to us???

pooruncle

February 13, 2014 - 6:24pm

Correct, and about lying, they made laws to have any person who states they got a medal, or, ribbon etc., who did not receive, a criminal offense. Therefore, If the potus is "supposedly" a Constitutional Scholar/lawyer, if that is not true and/or knowingly not abiding by, should also face criminal charges, which, imo, is much worse, BUT, like on the news, nobody can do anything, and its already about 2016 elections and that witch. We, the People, have NO voice at all... I am here for action, just let us know when where how...Veterans and families do have numbers, lets use them!

R Greeno

February 13, 2014 - 4:48pm

I agree with A Hanson, all campaign promises should be true and consequences if they don't at least try to do what they promise. They should also half to be tested on the constitution so we are sure they understand what they are sworn to uphold and defend. Also any law that is brought to a vote should quote what part of the constitution makes it legal.

Paul Eygnor

February 13, 2014 - 4:27pm

We've got to step up our people in congress and senate are slowly make us a thread world country.

Sailor Ron in FLA

February 13, 2014 - 4:13pm

Leave COLA alone for ALL! Congress - why don't you CUT YOUR EXTRAVAGANT and SALARIES instead? Americans - vote ALL of them out! Especially California and Massachusetts...PLEASE!

Joe Hooper

February 13, 2014 - 11:32pm

Ron, Make them go on Obama care like the rest of us as well. The law, to be changed, has to be changed by CONGRESS, not the president! If we have to be on it then ALL should be on it. The law is supposed to be applied EQUALLY!

JimP

February 13, 2014 - 4:23pm

Sailor Ron- the ones who are the worst and need to be fired are not the ones from Massachusetts- they are the ones from red states like Texas and Florida, and Georgia, and Alabama. They are the ones who are cutting cutting cutting and refuse to properly fund veterans issues.

Anonymous

February 18, 2014 - 10:06pm

I agree. It's not rocket science. Some people have their minds closed and tunnel vision.

Kenneth Reese U.S. Army Retired

February 13, 2014 - 3:35pm

Dear Congressman, If you have NEVER worn the uniform to serve or sacrifice for this great nation, you DO NOT have the right to tell us how/why our veteran benefits should be cut. I will ONLY entertain suggestions/comments from a Congressman that has worn the uniform and served their country.....which is less than 1% of the Congressmen. God Bless America!!!

Joe Hooper

February 13, 2014 - 11:37pm

Ken, then I know you also include the president in that as well, right? HE has never worn the uniform either. We had billy boy in there and HE protested against this country on foreign soil, another one that cut the military.

DeDonato

February 13, 2014 - 4:07pm

Although I agree with the jest of what you said the best words to use is they DID NOT EARN the right to cut the retired veterans benefits. We joined the military and fought for their right and freedom to be a congressman. Who knew that these elected welfare recipients (both sides of the house) would have thanked us this way. Especially the young (non-veteran) house members, their just a bunch of spoiled babies or wanna be soldiers that the only battle they ever seen is using a video controller playing one of those military games on their play station.

DeDonato

February 13, 2014 - 6:35pm

Caught myself. I didn't mean the word "Jest" I know that what Kenneth Reese U.S. Army Retired said was serious. What I meant to say is although I agree your point.

Shakopee

February 13, 2014 - 3:35pm

Time for a new party in this wonderful republic of ours, THE VETERANS, we are better at planning, looking to the future, and looking out for other people then congress has ever been, after all we took care of each other when the chips were down now it is time to take care of the nation, AGAIN!

Donny Brook

February 13, 2014 - 3:57pm

Amen. I'm am a former member of the military, not retired, but stand with my brothers. I write letters to our overpaid congressional twits and call them to raise hell with them, but as you know it is all about them. I like your party idea too. It's time for a revolution, bloodless of course, but the country cannot survive with these undisciplined imbeciles running it.

pooruncle

February 13, 2014 - 4:07pm

Yea, their letters are BS. Form letters on what they have done, avoiding the original intent of the letters contents completely.. Good idea, time for a VETERANS Party!!! Great Idea..

Art Pollak

February 13, 2014 - 3:34pm

Clearly, something must be done regarding entitlement programs. However, picking on Veterans COLA benefits instead of ALL COLA benefits shows remarkable cowardice on the part of all legislators that would vote for any bill that singles out veterans or any other group. I suggest that all veterans, spouses, children, grandchildren and friends vote all the cowards out as soon as possible.

Nick Rinaldi

February 13, 2014 - 3:29pm

Send them all into an active war theater and if they make it back tell them there are no benefits for them. The only we could offer is term limits with no medical benefits.

Al Epstein

February 13, 2014 - 3:21pm

I understand that we must work with congress. I don't understand why we allow congress to work against us. People who have never worked and will not work have received a thirty percent increase in payments. Forget fair the country is falling apart and we need to learn how to impeach this president and get rid of most of our members of congress.

DMAC CMDCM USN RET

February 13, 2014 - 3:33pm

Al...if you take away the spin doctors and pundits on both side of the aisles and look specifically at what POTUS has done for Veterans and their families, you will be surprised to see if he one of the most supportive. Remember the COLA issue never made it to his desk and he infused $17B into the VA. Even Bill O'Reilly in his interview with POTUS before the Superbowl gave POTUS a thumbs up with regards to our Vets.

Donny Brook

February 13, 2014 - 7:12pm

BTW, O'Reilly's comment is for the president lending his signature to a previous article for the Wounded Warriors, a photo of the five surviving presidents and now Obama's scrawl on O'Reilly's interview notes. If Obama was looking out for vets with disabilities, O'Reilly, my wife, me and a million others would have to. Obama and the others prefer giving $Billions to those that hate us and let are missing leg men and woman crawl.

Donny Brook

February 13, 2014 - 6:54pm

No he hasn't. Every bad thing that has happened to the military has come from him through one of his minions, or his Senate or the Pelosi bunch in the House. When the going gets tough, he either "just heard about it on the news like you", or doesn't know anything. Then he reverses course and some people think he is doing things right. Obama cares about one person and only one person . . . BHO

Clark A Barnes

February 13, 2014 - 3:30pm

Amen to that!!!! We need a house cleaning from the top down.

pooruncle

February 13, 2014 - 3:24pm

I have no answer...It will take numbers, whatever is done, and I am sure numbers would be no problem...I am 200% behind whatever the brains can come up with to stop this.

El Gato

February 14, 2014 - 4:21pm

Numbers would be a problem if it's just veterans. There aren't enough. Haven't been a significant number, relative to the population, since WW-II. That's also why the veterans COLA cuts aren't really significant to the budget either. 22 million vets(2012, probably lower now) out of a population of about 300 million, 9.5 million of them over 65. (as of 2012, higher now) The numbers will be plummeting as the last of of the massive numbers of WW-II and Korean vets die off, as do the older Vietnam and Cold War vets. In December of 2012, there were 46.6 million on food stamps. I think it's more now There are of course some of the 22 million vets included in that, but vets participate at lower rates than the population as a whole, so not many, probably less than 2 Million). Vets really don't count for politicians only concerned with getting votes to stay in office. My ancestors fought in the Revolution, one as a sergeant on the very first day. His future son in law fought at 1st Saratoga, as did he, but he was a Captain by then, with his own company. They would be ashamed, not because they were treated so very well (who knows, the younger one might have participated in the Whiskey Rebellion too) , but because of what the country had become, with a federal government that refuses to recognize it's Constitutional limits and an executive that legislates in direct contradiction to the Constitution's grant of exclusive legislative power to Congress. Although a Civil War veteran ancestor did get a nice piece of land in Nebraska for his service, but most in the east though the soil poor there.. they were wrong, it's very rich indeed) This veteran's march/protest thing has been tried before. Look up "Bonus Army". They were herded away by horse soldiers and infantry with fixed bayonets, under MacArthur. They too wanted what they felt was due them. Some were killed in the ensuing melee, their encampment, well away from the Capital and White House, on what was then a useless mud-flat by the Anacostia River, was burned. Two babies were killed, and their were many other people wounded. Two veterans had been killed by the DC police prior to President Hoover ordering MacArthur to clear them out of DC proper. MacArthur exceeded his orders and crossed the river to rout them out of their camp, he burned them out. Patton was in command of the horse soldiers and the small tanks were also used. Eisenhower was there as well.

pooruncle

February 13, 2014 - 3:14pm

What can we do folks? Seems that our hands are tied from all those scammers in DC....Really, what can we do? Got to be realistic, all them will not get voted out, and DC will stay same as new comes in..Seems like helpless, unless zillion person march on DC...I don't know, but something needs done..How did we ever let those fools in DC get away with their doing for themselves whatever they want...with no accountability...Its crazy.

Donny Brook

February 13, 2014 - 7:08pm

First there was a TEA Party, then there was a party at Valley Forge. If you vets want to get something going, then the places to start are the American Legion, VFW, and DAV. There are numerous other associations and organizations to drag for members, like the Destroyer Escort Association, Tin Can Sailors, Airborne Units, etc. There must be a nationwide honor guard usually on Harleys. The foundation is built and strong, now we need leaders. Young guys in their thirties and forties. Guys with charisma who can sell iceboxes to Eskimos. I think guys like the late Chris Kyle who seemed to keep his cool when under squirrely interviews. I also go for the Zillion man march on DC. Everyone get on the Beltway and stay on until it is shut down, then shut 'er down and march to the capitol, storm it and start handing out evictions. It is OUR House not THEIR House.

JOHN WHEATON

February 13, 2014 - 3:32pm

STUDY AND LEARN ABOUT ALL CANDIDATES AND THEN VOTE,VOTE,VOTE,VOTE WISELY!!

Lynn Halle

February 13, 2014 - 3:14pm

The Speaker just gave himself a hefty raise and then tells future veterans your cola is not going to happen? Boy oh boy is it ever time for term limits!

JOHN WHEATON

February 13, 2014 - 3:29pm

NO! IT'S TIME TO THOROUGHLY STUDY THE BACKGROUNDS OF POTENTIOAL AND SITTING CONGRESS PEOPLE SO THE VOTERS CAN WEED OUT THE CULPRITS AND KEEP THOSE WHO SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION. CLEAN SWEEPS ACCOMPLISH LITTLE OR NOTHING IN THE CONGRESSIONAL HALLS. NOTE, VOTE-VOTE-VOTE IS THE ANSWER!!!!

DMAC CMDCM USN RET

February 13, 2014 - 3:10pm

Senators Warner and Kaine are on the right track. After we go after off shore accounts and lop-sided tax incentives should we dare take up military benefits. There are many many ways to address our nation's revenue problem. However, both agree on the back of the men and women who choose to wear the cloth of our nations is not one of them.

Disappointed Serf

February 13, 2014 - 4:17pm

You are completely mistaken about the President & two senators mentioned! They just vote in lock-step with Dear Leader & want to hollow out the force before end of second term! Warner's on his way out, so I look forward to Kaine right behind him. The debt incurded by this administration is raping us as a Nation no matter how much Kool-aid loyal his followers have. If you were to do homework on their "fair share" argument, you would be pissed off 'cause they're after us! If you want to be poor, vote democrat & fulfill your dream...

Donny Brook

February 13, 2014 - 7:15pm

You're 100% correct. One of the major goals of the progressive movement is to bankrupt the country, the other is to destroy the military as we know and understand it.

Paul Flanegan

February 13, 2014 - 3:07pm

Why don't we tie Congress salaries to what they accomplish and make them put in 20 years before they can qualify for their pensions. However, since they are the same conniving low life's that write the laws, that will never happen.

Jim Fratolillo PNH

February 13, 2014 - 3:07pm

Having two different classes of veterans is totally unacceptable. There is but ONE CLASS AMONGST US. Whether it be the greatest generation or the latest generation, they are all called upon, and are prepared, to make the same sacrifices for our country.

OSC (ret.) Bob Stockton

February 13, 2014 - 2:57pm

Where are the spending cuts outside the military? Has Congress offered to share the pain by cutting their own bloated package of perks and pay? Of course not. The real problem is a squishy Congress that legislates based on polls. Send 'em all home and lets start over, and that includes my representative. He has had my last vote. Bob Stockton Jacksonville, Florida.

Bill Brannan

February 13, 2014 - 2:53pm

Two Comments: Why not tie active and retired COLA to Congress Pay raise? Why not have term limits in congress?

Andy Duran, CWO3, USN Retired

February 13, 2014 - 6:41pm

Bill you have a great idea. This should be a constitutional amendment so they can't try to reverse it.

al gillette

February 13, 2014 - 3:45pm

term limits should have been imposed for them years ago no one that has not served in the military should have a right to say anything about us. most have not served and they make sure their children are always safe for the most part except for the few that stood up and served.

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