The “President Obama wants to cut military pay” meme.

 
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The “President Obama wants to cut military pay” meme.

Getting a ton of emails on this, and wanted to address it if only to give my conservative detractors an equal chance of attacking me as my liberal ones. 

The genesis of this latest batch of emails seems to be from a press release/fund raising letter from Move America Forward.  Somewhat interestingly, I couldn’t find it on their website, but I did find it at the Canada Free Press:

In the latest and most outrageous move, the Obama administration wants to cut pay and/or benefits for our troops and their families, even those deployed overseas fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, in order to reign in budgetary spending.

It’s the classic game that the liberals play whenever they are in power – they are always quick to claim they support the troops, but the military is always first on the chopping block. Yesterday Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed that the Obama Administration was considering cutting military paychecks when he said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

“The defense secretary said the strategic review could require politicians to look at other uncomfortable choices, including pay levels for service members, new approaches for retirement and pensions, or higher healthcare costs for working-age retirees.” - David Alexander, Reuters 24 MAY 2011

Thanks to the Obama Administration, the gilded age where America supported it’s troops in times of war may be coming to an end, and this commander-in-chief may be asking our troops to fight two wars while at the same time GIVING UP pay, and benefits both for themselves, their spouses and their children!

It continues in that vein for a while, and then apocalyptically foreshadows:

Can you imagine what it would feel like to be serving overseas, fighting the war on terror in Iraq or Afghanistan, far away from your family, and then you receive a letter in from your own Government, saying that your paycheck is going to get cut and the prescription medicine for your kid’s ear infection that used to get covered by your military healthcare plan is now going to have to be paid out of pocket and there’s nothing you can do about it because you’re 6,700 miles away from home dodging bullets and trying to shoot back and kill these crazy radical Islamic terrorists!

Now, they are basing this on the speech by Secretary Gates at AEI.  You can read the entire speech here, and I encourage you to do so, rather than simply take the Reuters report at face value, you can see the context under which he made the statements that are being attributed to him.  Specifically, Gates noted that he had “launched a comprehensive review last week to ensure that future spending decisions are focused on priorities, strategy and risks, and are not simply a math and accounting exercise.”  That review he noted would:

Re-examining military compensation levels in light of the fact that – apart from the U.S. Army during the worst years of Iraq – all the services have consistently exceeded their recruiting and retention goals;

It could mean taking a look at the rigid, one-size-fits-all approach to retirement, pay and pensions left over from the last century.   A more tiered and targeted system – one that weights compensation towards the most high demand and dangerous specialties – could bring down costs while attracting and retaining the high quality personnel we need;  and

It will require doing something about spiraling health care costs – and in particular the health insurance benefit for working age retirees whose fees are one-tenth those of federal civil servants, and have not been raised since 1995.

Now, the main point of the MAF release seems to be that President Obama is behind this sudden perfidy to cut troops pay.  While certainly Gates was working in his capacity of spokesman for the Administration in this regard, what is not mentioned is that this is the exact same debate that the Pentagon has been pushing for over the course of the LAST FIVE YEARS.  It didn’t pop out this month from nowhere.  I was listening to the same arguments from DoD actuaries that the military pay and benefits increases were unsustainable from the time I got back from Afghanistan and returned to following Armed Services hearings on the hill.

Take for example the Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation from 2005-6, which advocated almost the exact same sorts of changes that are now being discussed by Gates.  Among other things, that Committee found:

 

  • “Cliff-vesting” retirement at twenty years limits force management options and fails to recognize service of less than 20 years (inflexible and inequitable)
  • No incentive to serve beyond 30 years
  • Immediate Lifetime retired pay was designed for another era and force
  • There is growing sentiment in the Department for “Pay for Performance,” but changes are necessary to address this sentiment
  • Compensation differences not related to mission demands or performance remain in today’s system

 

And crucially:

• TRICARE costs, especially for the pre-65 retiree population, are growing rapidly

• The premium and cost sharing provisions for TRICARE retiree pre-65 Prime beneficiaries should be restored to more competitive levels with premiums and cost sharing in civilian employer plans

• The premium and cost-sharing provisions once adjusted should grow at the same rate as the annual cost-of-living adjustment to the military retirement annuity

 There is a TON of information out there on how military health care delivery is taking a larger and larger share of the DoD pie.  I’m not going to include pie charts etc, because I don’t want to get too lost in the forest here, but if you actually want the info, you can find it.  (Perhaps starting here.)  The point of this is largely that MAF is focusing on this round of a recurring message, without acknowledging that it is the same message we’ve been hearing on Capitol Hill since long before President Obama was elected as Commander in Chief.  Although I empathize with any argument against lowering the pay and benefits of service-members, to lay this all at the feet of the President is to ignore the history of the preceding five years.

If any soldier, sailor, airman, marine or coast guardsmen serving overseas gets the letter prognosticated by MAF, it will be because the Congress did it, not because of President Obama.  In fact, the President’s budget was defeated in the Senate by a margin of 97-0.  Eventually the Congress is going to be forced to focus on the rising costs, or our national debt will go even higher.  But, it is entirely unlikely that Congress is going to go along with some scheme to lower military pay while we are engaged in combat, and especially not so simply because an out-going SecDef made a statement at the AEI.

 

(ON EDIT: I underestimated the amount of time this issue has been on the table.  In looking for art for this post, I found a study from 2003.  Go ahead and take a look and see if what they were predicting then has come to pass....  Also, for you Conservatives that want a conservative saying the same things as Gates, I give you no less an authority than the Heritage Foundation.)

 Regardless of who brings up any idea like this, our Legislative Staff will be knocking on Congressional doors making sure that the troops currently in harms way don't have their pay and benefits cut.  Granted we do need to balance the budget, something everyone agrees with, but you don't do it by shortchanging the people who signed up on promises which the gov't is potentially trying to retro-actively change.

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Houston I believe we have a problem. Or something like that. Our government is broken and broke. This happens because we hire crooks to do whatever government is suppose to do which is to worry about the next election, and not their paychecks because they only seem to raise it. I think we should fire the whole group including the president and hire an accounting team which is fair and reasonable, and of course patriotic enough to know what it is to sacrifice. I think all representatives from all states should be left to their jobs except this time hire people who are unemployed with degrees in business and who have been through some military academy and have served their country with honor. And I believe that should be the way we go. No republican party, and no democratic party just a person party. We really only need representatives, we do not even need senators they seem to be a burden. I advise people to watch the movie Mr. Smith goes to Washington and then tell me what you think. I’ll run for president when they start making it a real office instead of a figure head like a king or queen.

Our government spends and spends will little or no regard for the people who make it possible for them to use tax payers money "avoid a crisis".
Take the money we will loose from the auto industry bail outs, the bank bail outs and the " shovel ready" projects and add this money to shore up the budget deficate.
Ask the banks who did not take "Obama's" money how they are doing . Ask Ford motor company how they are doing, they didn't take any bail out money, who did they survive?
They did it the old fashioned , the right , way , as stated " They Earned it "!
The problem is not with the military , the DOD, it's with all the pork that continues to be spent, the fraud and mismanagement built into the Federal system and "so called " federal benefits, Medicare, Medacaid, Oboma Care. Also federal contacts to lobist's companies along with shoring up the Union contracts and benefits. ( nothing agains unions, just making a statemen ).
Why don't the politicians take the money they will spend on getting elected or re-elected and put that towards the deficate (being they are so concerned about this situation) the millions and billions they wll spend so they can spend Trillions of other peoples money.
It never fails, when a politican talks about budget cuts, it is always the military and VA benefits they look at first instead in their own back yard.
Woodrow Wilson : " A nation that forgets it's veterans will it's self soon be forgotten ".

I'm not sure how these recent comments are considered to be equal to those from the previous administration. Yes the subject of military pay and benefits has been discussed in the past but reports by the CBO and unnamed actuaries in DoD are not the equivalent of speeches given by the SecDef and Chief of Staff. Equating the two is quite a stretch in my opinion and almost looks to be trying to curry favor.
Frankly I don't know why anyone is paying that much attention to either one of these soon-to-be-retired guys. If this were the presidency, we would all be using the words lame-duck and not paying much attention. The problem though is that they seem to have the authority to have a large voice in choosing their successor. Dempsey is the choice for Chief of Staff since apparently Gates vetoed Obama's first choice of Cartwright. How's that work?
There are a lot of things on the table when reductions in the defense budget are being considered buy pay cuts should only be an absolute last resort. Finally looking at some of Gates own words

"Re-examining military compensation levels in light of the fact that – apart from the U.S. Army during the worst years of Iraq – all the services have consistently exceeded their recruiting and retention goals;"

I find it somewhat insulting that he believes that it is just about the money. I'm looking forward to a new SecDef in 27 days. I think this one has gotten way too isolated from the troops.

Lawmakers make 140,000+ a year and the military man/woman makes just above minimum wage. Military works all year long in all conditions and lawmakers work 151 days average a year. Lawmakers have given themselves pay raises and benefit/retirement increases while cutting these for the Veteran and Active Duty personnel. I say if our government wants to give foreign nations tons of cash let them take it from our legislators and cabinet officals. They are the ones guilty of bleeding the system dry. Or give them a weapon and have them stand a post. Freedom isn't free except for our lawmakers. I am to the point I despise our government for both their actions, inactions and their theft of our American dream.

There should be a way that we could make congress and especially the pres. live within their own means. 1. Starting with a paycut of atleast 10% 2.Cut office staff in each of their offices 3. No more great benefits for them such as cheap medical for them and their families, make them pay for med insurance just like we do, no special rates 4. No more retirees from congress period put term limits on all. They all have forgotten where they come from and who they answer to, but its up to us to vote these idiots out otherwise we are just as stupid for re-electing them

If congress had to live on the pay and benefits afforded our service members, they'd think twice about making cuts! Better yet, lets put them on the battlefield so they can gain an appreciation for what serving your country really means!

Before cutting benefits to current members and retirees, one must remember that the current system was implemented in response to the situation at the beginning of the Second World War. Many active duty members were physicially unable to perform wartime duties, yet remained on duty until forced to retire. As a result, we have the current system with 20 years service required for normal retirement coupled with a high year of tenure (HYT) program. Many people are forced out by the HYT program even as they remain productive and desire to continue to serve. The proposals to force retired members to pay more for the deferred benefits they earned does not take this into consideration, and at best is wrong, but is most likely based on the jealous opinions of those who did not or would not serve. In addition, unless an enlisted member is very lucky, he or she will need several years to earn enough after retiring to return to their previous income level if they ever do. The people in Washington do not see or care about the situations expericenced by most retirees, preferring to believe that everyone is a retired Colonel or above working for lobbying for some defense contractor. These people are not representative of the average military retiree and their financial situation should not be used as an excuse to force the less fortunate majority on to welfare or into working far beyond normal retirement age. Yes, there is a problem, but it should be corrected by revising the HYT program to take into consideration the members speciality and the requirements to successfully accomplish the related tasks. I retired at 29 years with a 30 year HYT ceiling not wanting to move my family across the country before two childrens senior year in high school. Given the option, I would still be on active duty, assuming that both I and my superiors felt I was still productive and capable of accomplishing my tasks. This was not to be, thus I am one of the people being attacked by Mr. Gates and others for simply following the rules.

At what point will the continuing price hikes in medical costs be considered threats to National Security? If those spiraling costs were being imposed by say Russia or China, would Americans feel that was a threat to the economy. Does the congress no longer have power to control price gouging activities by any group? If it were oil companies charging $10 a gallon for gasoline wouldn't congress haul the CEOs before them to demand answers for such costs. The AMA needs to be held to account. Insurance companies need to held to account. Lawyers need to be reigned in (tort reform/frivolous lawsuits). All that should take place before even one active duty or retiree received a reduced pay check!

Look back in history, yes all the way to the American Revolution and you will see military personnel programs being cut. This is not about one political party or the other. Where will the budget be cut because it will be cut. Let us not talk about whose pay should be cut, but what is the most effective way to do it. Cut the military and we are not ready to fight the next group that comes along. We need to cut all three branches of governemnt. Let us start with the federal court system. No one ever talks about cutting the funding for the US Administrative Offices of the Court. Next eliminate the Department of Education, Energy, and reduce EPA, and Commerce. One of my senators wanted to take funds from Pork Projects and spend it on other projects. This is not how you reduce spending.

YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT IAM THINKING. THIS PERSON WHO SNUCK IN TO THE WHITE HOUSE. HAS THE BALLS TO EVEN SUGGEST A CUT IN PAY FOR OUR MILITARY .IS NOT PLAYING WITH A FULL DECK. THIS MAN TRAVELS ALL OVER THE WORLD ON FALSE PRETENSIE IS PURE UNADULTRED B.S CARES NOTHING ABOUT OUR COUNTRY OR OUR TROOPS. LOVES THE MUSLIMS AND WANTS TO DESTROY OUR COUNTRY. GOD BLESS AMERICA

Obama needs to remember that everytime he flies in one of the Marine one's over water, those pilots and CCs have a hell of alot of experience getting themselves out of choppers that ditch in water, maybe not so much helping others........cut pay you cut training. Cut out Capitol Hills limo service and you could bump every soldier up a pay grade,,,,,let Pelosi walk her ugly spider legs out for lunch............Freakin parasites, roaches.............

Did ANY OF YOUR Obama haters even bother to read the article. There isn't going to be any military PAY CUT. IF there were, and no politician would sign off on it, it wouldn't be Obama's bill but the republicans in charge right now.

DID ANY OF YOUR READ THE ARTICLE?

Seriously I'm reading comments here that show they read the headline and went straight for the "I hate Obama" comment.

NO PAY CUT morons.

Why read the article, America is going broke, pay and retirements will be slashed. The military now has numerous soldiers with family members and children. The draft, served a purpose, whereby young unmarried men and women, could serve with minimum pay. The experiment toward a volunter military is an expensive option. The troops are provided with meals and lodging, upon discharge and they have educational benefits. It seems like the USA is running out of money when it comes to supporting an entire family of one young soldier. The draft is cheaper, gets the young kids off the streets and out of these gangs, and provides guidance and positive options.

Don't just look at this and blame it on the President. A proposed budget was shot down by the Senate in 2004 when President Bush tried to send it up. We are in a a tough economic time. We spend a large amount of money on defense. I'm glad we have submarines to help combat the car bombs and advance jets to help out in the dog fights with the Taliban. America wants to balance the budget but doesn't want an increase in taxes or to cut defense spending. Cutting defense spending doesn't mean taking away flak vests. As an insurance salesman, I can say that the government does charge to military for TRICARE. No one thinks about it because it doesn't go on an LES. We are kicking people out of the Navy left and right. They call it "Right Sizing" but we all know it is down sizing. This is the same that a conservative president tried before. President Obama is trying to look out for the best thing for the country. We may have the strongest military but we will be broke and have no one to defend. Armies and Navies don't win wars, Countries win wars. Right now a country is not at war. Some Americans don't support the military, our government, our economics, or our president. Notice I said "Our." People think that the president should fail because of various reasons. I think Bush is one of the worse things to ever happen to America but I never wanted to see him fail. He was the leader of my country. I wanted to see him move us forward. Should we cut defense spending? Yes, I think there are some areas that can be cut. Maybe not health care but do we really need 30+ fully manned submarines? There are other areas of the government that President Obama was trying to cut as well. I understand that because the Legion is military based that we follow the military cuts and rightfully so. I don't think the Legion should really care about cuts in agriculture. We are in a hard time from an economic stand point. We are trying to fund 3 wars with 3 tax breaks. That will never work. It has never worked. Politicians did take a "pay cut." A Senator receives a .9% pay increase while an average servicemember received a 3.1% increase. Congress does look out for the military. DOD has the largest budget of any other department. Just look at the facts before making a decision. You are entitled to you own opinion but never your own facts.

Don't just look at this and blame it on the President. A proposed budget was shot down by the Senate in 2004 when President Bush tried to send it up. We are in a a tough economic time. We spend a large amount of money on defense. I'm glad we have submarines to help combat the car bombs and advance jets to help out in the dog fights with the Taliban. America wants to balance the budget but doesn't want an increase in taxes or to cut defense spending. Cutting defense spending doesn't mean taking away flak vests. As an insurance salesman, I can say that the government does charge to military for TRICARE. No one thinks about it because it doesn't go on an LES. We are kicking people out of the Navy left and right. They call it "Right Sizing" but we all know it is down sizing. This is the same that a conservative president tried before. President Obama is trying to look out for the best thing for the country. We may have the strongest military but we will be broke and have no one to defend. Armies and Navies don't win wars, Countries win wars. Right now a country is not at war. Some Americans don't support the military, our government, our economics, or our president. Notice I said "Our." People think that the president should fail because of various reasons. I think Bush is one of the worse things to ever happen to America but I never wanted to see him fail. He was the leader of my country. I wanted to see him move us forward. Should we cut defense spending? Yes, I think there are some areas that can be cut. Maybe not health care but do we really need 30+ fully manned submarines? There are other areas of the government that President Obama was trying to cut as well. I understand that because the Legion is military based that we follow the military cuts and rightfully so. I don't think the Legion should really care about cuts in agriculture. We are in a hard time from an economic stand point. We are trying to fund 3 wars with 3 tax breaks. That will never work. It has never worked. Politicians did take a "pay cut." A Senator receives a .9% pay increase while an average servicemember received a 3.1% increase. Congress does look out for the military. DOD has the largest budget of any other department. Just look at the facts before making a decision. You are entitled to you own opinion but never your own facts.

Just saying those words, a person should have his mouth wash out with soap and fired.
What a disgrasful thing it would be to cut pay and benefits. Men and women serve thier country with more risks of families being separated and being in harms way every day. They do it for us and thier country. Have respect for them.
I think the congress and senate along with military and government employees should have the same coverage and benefits. The special attention and coverage the congress and senate has is far better than anyone else in the country has. Thier pension plan is better for a shorter term served than any military person ever dreamed about getting.
Don't cut the military pay because we have to pay for so many wars. Bring the troops home and cut the cost now. The military is so far underpaid for what they do for our country. Pay "all" government employees on the current pay scale as our military gets and listen to them yell. God bless the military and Sempher Fi.

SARAH PALIN COULD HAVE DONE A BETTER JOB THAN OBAMA !!!!!
PLEASE VOTE IN NOVEMBER, CORRECT THIS BLUNDER !!!!!

OLD PERMANENT RANK CPL, TWO TOURS VIET NAM ERA (GERMANY) !!!!!
ERM

WOW! That had to be some really tough duty. Sarah Palin could have done that. And to think you achieved the rank of E4. If you had the balls to go to VN maybe you would have been an E5. Did you use the GI bill when you got out? If it were not for Obama, current vets wouldn't have this great benefit. Mccain/Palin opposed giving it to Guard and reserves as well as regular enlisted. Isn't that American? Bush opposed it too.

Know your FACTS before wagging tongues. Geewizz, have clear and logical thinking. Some on the board are just being very political for their own political party. "At ease"!

if there are any cuts to be made the commander-in-chief is the one that should tke them..... i m talking about pay of course...... no........ really...... i am

President Obama has tried to do more for the military than most of the other Presidents we've had. Like all the other negative things place on him, for him not to be military, he has done well by the military. Unlike the one everyone praise to high heaven, Ronald Reagan cut everything he could from the military and yet you love him. Be real.

Easy answer keep military pay as is, they r so under paid for what they do. Civilians doing there job Forceget paid three times more than the soldier,air man,sailor. politicians to join the health care pool like all otkuer Americans. And cut politicians pay. Imagine the amount this country can save when its not having to pay for the crooks in Washington.

The last time they cut the armed forces (primarilly career militar men and women), The last time they cut the career military force, enlistments and reenlistments fell short of DoD goals and affected the mission of the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines Corps. In order to restore manning levels the Congress was forced to change the law that led to losses thoughout the Department of Defense System. Civilian congractors tht was hired for secruity in Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan were and continue to be paid a minimum of 3 times more than a military force. The prestent system isn't broke and don't need another congressional fix as happened before. By the way, how do you compensate for military persons required to be available for duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 52 weeks a year plus numerous deployments to fight enemy combatants? How much is DoD going to have to pay for people willing to lay their lives down with no benefits that is being proposed? My military service left me 100 percent disabled!

I would like to make the observation that the opinions of the people who have commented vary greatly. This is one of the benefits of being an American! I do not support any reduction in pay for our service members. Their job is difficult, and yes, their pay does reflect the difficulty of their job. I will agree that the government needs to come up with a reasonable plan to help eliminate the debt in America, and like many who have commented, I am not qualified to decide where cuts should be coming from. It is rather easy to sit in our computer chairs, read the article and what other individuals have posted, and boldly state that we have the answers. It is all to easy to place blame on the President, Congress, the Military, etc. But placing blame on one person or group will not solve any problems.
Finally, for those who have posted and neglected to proofread your response before posting it, immediately discredits what you stated.

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Believe it or not, the Obama administration is not anti-military. Typical partisan garbage to select choice soundbites from a report and present them as complete facts.

They aren't going to cutting military pay, people. Tell Chicken Little the sky is intact, and is indeed NOT falling. But it would be a good thing if the current retiree plan was pushed until age 60. Why on Earth would a 38 year old retiring after 20 years get a pension??? Please...the economy is in bad shape. Presenting a helmet fire to the American legion isn't the way to serve our veterans.

Because he/she EARNED it. Anyone could have EARNED the same thing if they had the fortitude to put up with a low paying stressful dangerous career. Get your thumb out of your #&& expecting others to do what You are AFRAID to do yourself. By the way The president HAS said (September 2011) military should be cut.

This great country of ours has been in a crisis ever since the current administration took office. Spending is out of control, congress continues to make poor decisions and at the same time votes themselves a raise every year while as a disabled vet I haven't even got a cost of living increase for the past two years. If Obama gets his way to cut pay and benefits for our military and veterans it will definetly have an adverse impact on our national security. There's too many other spending cuts that need to be considered, including the pensions and ongoing benefits for congress. Part of the criteria to run for the office of President should include prior military service.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

This great country of ours has a number of issues that could result in a catastrophic end to a very young nation. This is just one of the many mistakes that this administration has made. Why not look at spending cuts that can be justified like reducing the pay and benefits congress votes for themselves, or discontinuance of unjustified foreign aid in many cases? The criteria to run for President should include prior military service and verifiable nationality!

People join the military to get a job. It isn't some great act of patriotism, it is a job.
Certainly some are motivated by a sense that they will "save the world" or "save America" but that delusion should fade soon enough. I was drafted in 1967 after I flunked out of college. Luckily I was shot in VN and received VA benefits (Vocational Rehabilitation) that allowed me to get my MBA and have a greta career. Obama was the only political candidate in 2008 that supported renewal of the VA benefits we received. McCain and Bush opposed this because they thought too many would quit the military to get the education. Great thinking! Sort of keep them dumb and on the farm.
Everyone in the military, then and now, is not some sort of hero. The base camp commandoes as we in the infantry called the cooks, clerks, etc were busy smoking and joking with the hooch girls. Maybe 10% of the military in VN was in the field getting shot at. And we weren't waving the flag as super patriots. We were just trying to get home. as are many of today's enlisted personnel.
The military needs foreign language speakers. Maybe they should get paid differently than a cook? Sure they need cooks too but there are a lot more potential cooks than Farsi speakers.
Stop making this an emotional issue and think about it as a practical one.
I agree that congress is over benefitted. Wouldn't we all be if we could vote our own increases? We don't need more time for them to be vested, we need term limits to get them out before they "earn" any benefits. Just Social Security and a 401k plus average health benefits like other government employees. But the they are out and will need a real job with whatever benefits they can negotiate.
Politics cannot be a career or we are all scrwed.

No one is going to cut our military servicemen and women pay, is just wrong and would be political suicide, rhetoric. If we were not invading other countries we would need half the size of the army and if we put them at "our" borders doing for what the constitution provides, Americas treasure, security, economy and illegal immigration would all be intact. There are other ways to fight terrorists in their own country.

I find it interesting that your article speaks of changing the retirement stucture to encourage retention past twenty. That is not a good idea, at all. The military is a young mans game, where we need the most people is always going to be hands on deck and boots on the ground, just what are we going to do with all these middle aged sailors and soldiers? I fear that what our leaders, many of whom have never served and certainly never came under fire, will began to equate service in the military with civil service.

– the bipartisan Gang of Six is telling the Senate Armed Services Committee to make cuts

plan proposed requires a reduction in retiree COLA
The list of so-called entitlements that face cuts includes, all forms of retired pay, survivor benefits, Montgomery GI Bill for Selective Reserve, and TRICARE for Life for older military retirees.

The Gang of Six includes:
Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND)
Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK)
Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our service men/women gave (and will continue to give) their lives and suffered horrible physical /mental injuries while their families suffered extreme hardships ------for us.

Now the government (most of whom never served) plans to cut military retirement benefits. Now you can do something for the services and stop this abomination!

1. forward this letter to all email addresses you have

2. ask them to do likewise--- so it rolls across country

3. send message to your congress that if they let this happen you will vote them out--after 4 years they get full retirement , etc.

list at link below
email/phone congress
http://www.conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm

more info
http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2011/07/senate-plan-would-cut-80b-...

All good health!
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Go to the guests

This is wrong, so wrong! Obama's Stimulus program watched millions/billions of dollars go nowhere after the companies filed bankruptcy and those CEOs of the same contributed millions, maybe billions to his election!

Now he is talking of actions in Syria but in the same breath cutting pay increases mandated by law and paying more for benefits!

I am 65 and have had school friends, relatives and co-workers over the years in the military. Some came home, some didn't. We need a change in the White House ASAP.

I am a Vietnam Vet, and like many GOOD soldiers, we get to go to our graves without our retirement we earned honestly. Many of us were kicked out of our career on chumped up charges. Our leaders claimed they couldn't give me my retirement because I was in Vietnam. That it was not a war but a conflict. Janet Collins was shafted because "they" said she was overweight. NOT! Another SP4 Female couldn't stay cause she was getting a divorce. When she was handed her entire board proceedings, it was all written in shorthand. Patrick Henry said, "When you take GOD out of your country, your country will be run by tyrants." We can fight & die for our country, but we do not get EQUAL rights, our government gets. Think about Hillary, people in congress that are not asked to pay their back taxes. That's why God said in the Bible to pray for your leaders. They are corrupt! Songs on youtube: Soldiers & Jesus, God Bless America Again, Save the Country, Deck of Cards by FLOM, Not for Sale .. Mike Combs ...EVEN HEAVEN CRIES FOR US (United States).

Mike, I am glad to read your piece, and I do reprint other Vet's opinions, etc., in my own humble Blog: TOM'S JOURNAL. My email: tschuckman@aol.com - --- I am also a Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70., Huey Helicopter 'door gunner.' Been to Germany before 'Nam, and now live in the U.P. of MI. Contact me. --Warm Regards, Tommy Schuckman. --Jesus is Lord.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.