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Military Pension Cuts Could Save The Budget

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Military Pension Cuts Could Save The Budget
[ Politics]

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a 20 percent cut in “burgeoning military personnel costs” in an effort to slim down the military costs plaguing the country.

“We all know that we need to slow cost growth in military compensation,” Hagel told a Pentagon press conference. “We know that many proposals will be controversial and unpopular. … Tough decisions will have to be made.”

But this decision is met with some pretty outraged veterans, their spouses and veteran groups. The fight is to hold onto their retirement pay and possibly curb the pension increases slated for military retirees that are under age 62. This is all part of a new deal passed by congress – awaiting the presidents signature.

Retirees want the belt-tightening done elsewhere.

Apparently – and according to military analysts, military compensation is competitive with the civilian pay, and well above it when comparing people with similar education and experience.

For example, an Army private with fewer than two years of service and no dependents earns on average about $40,400 annually, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman.

Christensen went on to explain that only a small portion of that amount is base pay. The rest is allocated to a housing and food allowance, both tax-free. An Army captain with six years of service and no dependents averages $93,800 annually.

And what hasn’t been addressed is the fact that all military members have access to free health insurance, including their families.

If dependents use a private doctor, dentist or pharmacy, they get the care through the department’s TRICARE system, paying no premiums and no co-pays, said Austin Camacho, a system spokesman.

They also receive “quality of life” benefits, which encompass things like help paying for continuing education, separate schools in some cases, commissaries where food is 30 percent below retail prices and exchanges where clothing and gear is highly discounted.

Also noted is that they receive a highly discounted day care system, which is used now by more than half of the 1.4 million-member force and their estimated 1.2 million children.

The hitch though is there is no retirement pension if you aren’t in service for 20 years. And for those who are in 20 years, they get it as they are getting out, instead of having to wait – like the rest of the country – until age 62.

Critics say 40 years of pension for 20 years of work is overly generous, but retirees say they deserve it for doing risky jobs that are tough on them and their families and that the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t volunteer for.

There are nearly 2 million retirees currently getting military pensions at an annual cost to the Defense Department of $4.5 billion. Of those, 840,000 are under 62 — and more than 80 percent of those were enlisted, as opposed to higher-paid officers.

Authorities feel that this 100-year-old pension was designed when people didn’t live as long, and are looking at options such as lump sum payouts at departure, and basically modernizing the system.

The challenge for the commission is to reform programs so they’re more affordable and sustainable and yet offer benefits attractive enough to keep drawing people to volunteer for the nation’s armed forces.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Military Pension Cuts Could Save The Budget
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  • Dumb America

    So let me get this straight. The Pentagon loses 2.3 Trillion dollars and the FED loses 9 Trillion dollars, yet we won’t go find out where that money is but we will go after military pensions?

    Face it America, you are all getting screwed. You have been fighting useless wars for the past 12 years and literally nothing has changed. Now, they are going to screw you after the wars.

    Rest assured though that the Bush family and Cheney family made a killing off of 9/11.

    • @Dumb America

      9/11 was an inside job and the world knows it. The only people dumb enough to believe the official story are brainwashed Americans and now 37% of them don’t even believe it. Sooner or later they are all going to wake up, but by then it will be too late.

      Follow the money. That will shed light on everything in America. From whoever did 9/11 to why Americans incarcerate the most people in the world. Follow the money and who owns what.

      Most Americans are good people. It is those who are in charge that are the criminals. Not the people they have in prisons.

      • Reaspm

        911 was not an inside job. That is absolutely ridiculous.
        And Obama was born in Hawaii.
        And that makes you a conspiracy theorist.
        And probably from the South or a Red State.

        • @Resprm

          Prove to me that it was NOT an inside job and why is it so ridiculous to think that people go to war for oil, power, and money? All wars are fought over these things.

          The history books are full of true conspiracies. Calling me a conspiracy theorist is not an insult. In fact, the history books are full of admissions by the government that they lied, so people that constantly believe the “official” stories are actually fools. Do you really need me to list all the lies? Everything from the Gulf of Tonkin to the Fast and Furious to Watergate to Iran Contra. The list is long.

          On 9/11, all you saw was planes hitting the towers —— the rest you were told by a government that consistently lies. A government that spend more investigating Monica Lewinsky’s blowjob than they did on the worst terrorist incident in American history that killed 3,000 American citizens.

        • @Resprm

          Prove to me that it was NOT an inside job and why is it so ridiculous to think that people go to war for oil, power, and money? All wars are fought over these things.

          The history books are full of true conspiracies. Calling me a conspiracy theorist is not an insult. In fact, the history books are full of admissions by the government that they lied, so people that constantly believe the “official” stories are actually fools. Do you really need me to list all the lies? Everything from the Gulf of Tonkin to the Fast and Furious to Watergate to Iran Contra. The list is long.

          On 9/11, all you saw was planes hitting the towers —— the rest you were told by a government that consistently lies. A government that spend more investigating Monica Lewinsky’s blowjob than they did on the worst terrorist incident in American history that killed 3,000 American citizens.

        • shelly

          You probably have no idea 3 buildings fell on 9/11. Building 7 fell at 5:20 PM the new leaseholder Larry Silverstein has admitted on video it was a controlled demolition. Open your eyes dear!

          • rick cosmo

            it certainly appeared to be a demo job..i saw a video before it was removed with multiple small explosions..there is no reasonable explanation to why buildings constructed of steel would fall..it’s never happened before and it won’t happen again

          • I Used to Think

            I used to think it was a demo job but I could never wrap my mind around the 1,400 hundred melted cars that they towed away. A building that collapses from fires doesn’t melt cars. A controlled demolition doesn’t melt cars. I then watched the Ventura show about wave weapons based on Tesla’s theories. Telsa was every bit as smart as Einstein and half the world’s power is based on his designs. In that show, a scientist put forth that a wave weapon was used on the buildings and she was very convincing. A wave weapon could melt cars.

            In my personal life, I have seen high rise fires. They don’t collapse buildings. Those planes were not enough to take those buildings down. Not even close.

            Watch the Ventura episode on Death Rays. It was either a pulse weapon or a controlled demolition or a combination of both. No, way in hell did the planes alone bring those buildings down. It is impossible.

            Frankly, if only 1/10th of what Ventura says is true —– we all have problems. Major problems.

      • @ @Dumb America

        You are right. Ever try to get a person who believes the official story and have them sit through the documentary Loose Change or even something as short as Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy theory show.

        They can’t do it. They don’t want to accept anything other than what they are told. The funny thing is that they are like children that cover their ears when they don’t want to hear the truth.

        Just sit a person who believes the official story in front of a TV and start asking questions. Simple logical questions. Show them pictures of plane crashes from around the world and then pictures of Shanksville. Show them pictures of buildings burning from around the world and show them the towers. Show them the lawn at the Pentagon. Show them the comments the firefighters were making at the towers. Show them everything the mainstream media won’t eve talk about let alone televise. Ask questions.

        Everyone knows deep inside that something is very wrong about what we are being told about 9/11.

        • rick cosmo

          exactly…steel building DO NOT collapse, even in a fire from the heat from aircraft fuel..why were guard dogs removed from that building..what role did Bush’s brother play there, since he was security chief of the WTC? unbelievable that the gov’t has ignored what scientists and ordinary citizens recognize to be true..

          • I Used to Think

            The government spent more money investigating Monica sucking a dick than they did on 9/11.

            Think about that. Really think about what that is saying to America.

          • BEILLY

            OBAMA SUCKS DICKS

      • Herman D. German

        What about cutting the pensions for Congressmen, Senators, and former presidents ? A congressman can receive a lifetime pension after serving only a two year term ! And that pension is much larger than an enlisted man/woman that served in the military for 20 years or more.

        • Bill

          The reason is that congress is the one that votes on the cuts and raises. Let the people vote on who should get a cut on their pension.

      • BEILLY

        CUT OBAMA PAY AND THEN CUT HIS HEAD OFF AND BURY HIM IN A SHALLOW GRAVE

    • @Dumb America

      Oh yeah, by the way most Americans should look up the Bush connection to Nazi money and their connection to the Carlyle group. Cheney made millions off of Halliburton after 9/11 and during the BP oil spill. Funny thing is that I think Bush Jr. was in the freaking dark about most everything. It is Bush senior and Cheney that I would look squarely at.

      Look at what happened on Wall Street before 9/11 and before the BP oil spill. Unheard of activity. But hey, why would BP align with Halliburton and by an entire oil clean up company literally weeks before the spill. The same company that got billions in clean up money.

      It all makes me sick.

      • Reaspm

        Well said. Well said.
        Now lets take money from our Military.
        Lets see how that works out when they mess with the people with the real weapons.
        What happens is, they quit, because, why give your life if you are not sure your family is taken care of if you die, for if they can cut this, they can cut the benefits your kids get if you die, like college benefits.
        If they cut now, I would not be willing to die for my country, because I am not sure if my family will be taken care of, if some right wing person cuts all their benefits I died in goof faith for them to be entitled to.
        As I fought to keep my country safe.

      • Bush Family

        The Bush family is even buying up water around the world. Water that people need. Look this up as well as T. Boone Pickens and water. It is all true. People have no idea what the wealthy are doing.

        People need water and they will have to come to these families to get it.

        By the way, Pickens bought up politicians in Texas to do all this. It is all corruption America and you are being played.

    • s

      Military budget SHOULD NOT be touched.
      Government Congressmen and Senate payroll should be cut.All government personnel in Washington D.C. payroll,benefits that is what expenses should be cut. Including the president and staff, plus presidential security staff.

    • I agree

      Yes, we lost TRILLIONS. Not billions but TRILLIONS. The reality is that government waste is what is killing America. We lost over $11 TRILLION dollars — that is half our national debt. That money just “vanished”, but of course we know it hasn’t vanished — it goes into the black OPS world and into pockets of people connected to the government

      People talk about cutting welfare but there really are a lot of poor. People need help. If you cut out all the secrecy and corruption in government we could take care of both the poor and the veterans.

      The problem is that America is corrupt to the core and Americans are too blind to see this for themselves.

    • Reaspm

      You spend 20 years, every day risking your life. Not sitting in an office. You fight fires, explosions, your friends die, you are usually shattered with PTS by the time you are 38. So, let me get this straight. Make someone work another job until they are 65…..Give me a good reason to go fight? I could not work after that anyway, so I would just be on SS Disability.

      Lets also take away food stamps, head start,

      BUT lets give the bankers special treats, big oil, big coal, farm subsidies, etc etc.
      Lets take away from those whom served.

      That is a good way to destabilize this country.

      • @Resprm

        Government is corrupt. The rich send the poor to die for them. They don’t give a damn.

        That is why 9/11 could easily be an inside job. Easily. The rich will do anything to maintain and expand power.

        You and me … they don’t care about. Soldiers are just meant to die and follow orders. They are pawns in a chess game. Pawns are always the first to go.

    • http://yahoo hr thomnpson

      we need to cut fed employees payroll by at least 50% let them pay their own medical and that icludeswashington.who the hell are you people kidding.the military has saved your usless asses. washington is nothing but a bunch of thieves.HOW DARE THEY TOUCH THE PEOPLE DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY.THEY HAVE ALREADY CUT BACB ON OUR RETIREMENT BENEFITS TO SAVE THEIR PAYROLL.WE NEEN TO GET RID OF ALL POLITICANS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.THEY ARE DESPICABLE ILOATH ALL OF THEM.TIME TO REARANGE OUR SYSTEM.

      • http://yahoo.com Nin

        YYEEHHAA!!!!!

    • Lynn

      We would not allow a civilian company to redo a pension plan for existing employees. New employees can be offered a lesser plan but they cannot take away benefits from current employees.

      Suggest the military design a new plan and begin it in 5 years or so. To change it now and affect the current pensioners and current service members would be dishonest and probably would not hold up in a law suit.

      We need a well trained military. We also need a complete one. Our country needs to be protected by professionals.

      How about updating the congressional and presidential pensions to reflect the current market? Would like to see the stats on that. And would also like to see how many were in the military.

      Also cut off the boondoggles. Check into the amount of trips take by congress and the presidents family. Bet we would save a bundle there.

    • David

      How about CUTTING THE PENSIONS OF CONGRESS????? They do nothing to earn it.

    • Yep

      Everyone knows 9/11 was an inside job. The evidence is everywhere.

      It really is kind of simple to stop all the conspiracy theories though. Take the Pentagon for example. Just release a security tape. It is that simple. Show the plane. There is no reason not to show the plane. We continually see the planes hit the towers. How is the Pentagon any different? Don’t tell me the tapes don’t exist. The Pentagon is covered with cameras and so is every business surrounding the Pentagon. The only time you withhold something that crucial is when you are lying.

      If your spouse comes home from a Christmas party with lipstick all over his face and he has video of the party on his cellphone but he will not show it to you — what do you think really happened? He cheated. It is that simple. He is withholding the video because it incriminates him.

      They won’t show a tape because a plane did not hit the Pentagon. It is that simple. A plane may have flown over the Pentagon but a plane did not hit the Pentagon. A tape would show this.

    • http://none Jerome E. Goodwin Sr.

      If the President does not use his line item veto as Commander in Chief to change this, After the CUTS my wife and I will have 29 dollars after recurring bills for food,fuel and misc..

  • http://Yahoo John Livingston

    Let me see if I can get this straight. With soooo many foreign countries receiving sooo much unwarranted foreign aid, soooo many deadbeats receiving all kinds of subsidies that they don’t deserve, sooooo much other stupid federal spending and you want to cut the benefits of our military have put their lives on the line for our country? Boy does that make a lot of sense. If you want to make cuts start with congress and work your way down. The budget will be balanced and the federal debt will be abolished in no time.

    • Ken

      I believe this is true, So take a moment and read this. Then if you like please leave a comment.

      TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
      HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
      IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
      PLASTER AND STONE.

      I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
      WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
      AND TO SEE JUST WHO
      IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

      I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
      A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
      NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
      NOT EVEN A TREE.

      NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
      JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
      ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
      OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

      WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
      AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
      A SOBER THOUGHT
      CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

      FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
      IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
      I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
      ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

      THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
      SILENT, ALONE,
      CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
      IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

      THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
      THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
      NOT HOW I PICTURED
      A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

      WAS THIS THE HERO
      OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
      CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
      THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

      I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
      THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
      OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
      WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

      SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
      THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
      AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
      A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

      THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
      EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
      BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
      LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

      I COULDN’T HELP WONDER
      HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
      ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
      IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

      THE VERY THOUGHT
      BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
      I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
      AND STARTED TO CRY.

      THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
      AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
      “SANTA DON’T CRY,
      THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

      I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
      I DON’T ASK FOR MORE,
      MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
      MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.”

      THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
      AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
      I COULDN’T CONTROL IT,
      I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

      I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
      SO SILENT AND STILL
      AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
      FROM THE COLD NIGHT’S CHILL.

      I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE
      ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
      THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
      SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

      THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
      WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
      WHISPERED, “CARRY ON SANTA,
      IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.”

      ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
      AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
      “MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
      AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.”

      This poem was written by a Marine stationed in Okinawa Japan. The
      following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

      PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

      Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

      • http://WebProNews Cathy

        Absolutely beautiful & so true. I don’t care what the budget is the military should NOT BE CUT. We are so lucky to have young men & women who VOLUNTEER to serve and to show our Countries & civilians gratitude should give them MORE than we do now. We/our Country do not do enough for our servicemen & women when you hear of the number of them committing suicide. It is a real shame especially all that was NOT DONE for the Vietnam Veterans. Leave the military benefits ALONE. Why don’t we give pay cuts to the President, Congress, the House, etc., and cut their retirement benefits. They all get paid to much anyway, but, NO we cut the elderly, children & military. TRULY SAD. God bless & protect our Military. Also God bless the Marine who wrote the beautiful poem above.

    • Reaspm

      Foreign aid, in relation to our budget is nil. Lets cut Military Hardware, Military Wars. Cut down some useless Military Bases, stop building useless ships and planes, and then work on what we are giving contractors.
      We should change all pay for NON LIFE THREATENING Federal workers.
      We should not touch Military pay, for putting your life on the line, tens of thousands wounded, close to a million wounded MENTALLY, and the ardent hard work, beyond comprehension for those whom have not done it for 20 years.
      It is like you lose or just give away 20 years of your life. You come home and you are “What is the show you guys call Seinfeld”. That is what it is like to be in the Military bubble with absolutely no life in your control, as they control your whole life, and after 20 years, yes, you earned your warrior pay, for your service, and we have plenty of places in the budget to cut. In fact, stimulus is what we need, proven lowering of debt, not cutting and giving the rich more, meaning trickle down to no one.

      • Jerry Carley

        Nah—how about let’s cut down ON FRICKIN WELFARE to leeches. First.

    • rick cosmo

      politicians spend like it’s someone else’s money…military waste is ridiculous…getting involved in issues in the World that aren’t our business is crazy expensive..look at Iraq…$18 BILLION unaccounted for..screw the gov’t..I’m an old man..I will no longer pay ANY f;n taxes..put me in the big house with 3 meals a day and free medical; although a veteran, I’ve had with how those we elect ignore the needs of their constituents while we spend and spend on NSA and trying to overthrow governments everywhere

  • Idris

    Where are you getting these figures from? $40,400 annually, for an army private with no dependents is definitely not correct. Private with no dependents lives in the barracks and their base pay is $1700 a month which is about $20,000 (they are underpaid) a year. The figures for a Captain is also wrong. Except if your calculations are different.

  • Clifford Spencer

    We have had ONE jailed Secretary of the Veteran’s Bureau, Charles Forbes!
    He was sentenced, to Leavenworth, because he absconded with vet money intended for hospitals!
    We have had ONE jailed Secretary of the Interior, Albert Fall!
    He let BIG OIL drill at the US NAVAL OIL RESERVE at Teapot Dome!
    We have had ONE president that ordered our troops to fire upon our vets!
    Hoover!
    Ever read about the BONUS MARCH?
    Remember the Walter Reed scandal?
    Who was president?
    Perfectly clear?

    • richard colonel

      You forgot to mention that not one of the last three U.S. Presidents served in any combat zone, they may have been in reserve status, but that does not qualify any of the three to have been called “Commander in Chief.”

  • Duane McGee

    So let me get this right…..we have a young man or woman who volunteers to defend our country..give their life for the freedom we have, but we dont want to pay them for that?? Let’s see…I go to college and I am 22 making $40,000 or I am 22 with no college making $40,000 defending the freedom the other 22 year old has to go get an education, spending months away from the country I am defending…..hmmmm something is wrong here….Let’s take congress and the senate and take back some of their pay and benefits….see how they like it!!!

  • Gram Reeper

    Face it, there are a ton of other BS things that can be cut including pork barrel spending and other things mentioned before this comment. Go after that crap! Shows what kind of as holes Hagel and his benefactors are!

  • mike

    Do Not Do This! These men have given everythng so that the rest of us can enjoy our freedom. If they want to cut someones pension, start with their own. Funny how you never hear that mentioned!

    • richard colonel

      I mentioned it once and got lambasted for it. It seems that many of the others present at that meeting were in complete agreement with the speaker who was one of our elected representatives in D.C. but who had no military service.

  • Brigadier General Hoggie Hogan ret

    pay my full military pension now please. Keep your promise with thank you note that thank you for your service, loyalty, & future loyalty

    mine is earmarked with senior citizen donations that help boost retirement incomes of Social Security seniors who live on poverty line

    that’s an order

    otherwise mutiny on the bounty & treason breeding grounds

  • Diana

    I would love to see congress,the house representatives and all elected officials get pension cuts for the 2 and 4 years in office that they serve. Why is it when budgets need to be cut….. its the military and elderly?

  • Hutchison

    I am the wife of an AF retiree. First, healthcare and co-pays are not free under Tricare. Nor is dental by the way which we pay out the @#$%^ for. Education after retirement is only available for a few years after the separation date, and is no longer able to be transferred to one dependent as it used to be. Some groceries are cheaper at the commissary, most are not. Likewise the BX for clothing and home essentials is not discounted by much, unless you are buying perfume or sunglasses etc. The only thing about the BX is that it is duty free, meaning no tax.
    All of that being said, when my husband enlisted, the contract that he signed was FREE healthcare etc. for LIFE. The government has already gone back on this and many other promises to honorably discharged retirees. Men and women serving have to stay in longer than 20 years to be considered for retirement now.
    See the thing is, a private citizen cannot sue the government for breach of contract or anything else. Retirees and their families really have no way of fighting back to injustices done to them. That’s why the government is using this as a short cut to saving. No talk of cutting political officials pensions.
    How about when the president is out of office–he stops getting paid. My husband’s retirement pay is $15k annually, out of that we pay for our medical, dental, and co-pays. There is no vision allowance whatsoever. The president will make at lease $200k annually after seperation. He will get health, dental, etc. This will not include the cost of security etc. that he gets for LIFE. He serves a maximum of 6 years, our retirees have served at least 20. And all without the perks of being a president. Seems to me that better monetary savings should come from other places besides military retirees FIRST.

  • Hutchison

    **typo–8 years served by president.

  • Cindy Noel

    The salaries that they mentioned are for uneducated service men. I believe $40,000 plus benefits is ridiculous for our soliders to make. People who serve for 40 years shouldn’t be getting the salaries as pensions they should get what people in the market place are getting as pensions.

  • John Melus

    I want to know who the hell this Navy LCDR is that says an E-3 with 2 years of service and no dependents makes 40,000 a year? 1900.00 x 12 = 22800.00, one helluva long way from 40,000. now i am sure he is also talking about allowances, but I have to say most of the Army privates i knew lived on base, ate at the mess hall and didnt most of the available allowances.
    also what is this about not paying for medical care. I just retired after 27 years of service, I pay for TRICARE, not a lot, $200.00 a year, but I have co-pays all over the place. in the last 3 months I paid 400-500 in co-pays.
    i am lucky enough to live near an Exchange, not everyone is.
    Exchanges are decent, they do NOT offer that great of a discount, small savings and no sales tax, if I were to buy all clothing, house hold goods, etc thru the Exchange I might, MIGHT save 400.00 a year.

    EVERY OTHER JOB, that is high risk offers the same kind of retirement system, check out your local PD or FD. Also, if you retire at 20 you are not getting that great of a pension, you cant live on it, you WILL NEED to get another job.

    So to all those critics out there BITE ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Debbie

    Cut the budget to welfare since there are so many on it that sit on their butts all day not working. Don’t cut the pay for those who have fought for this country. I would like to know where the author of the article got the information about our benifits because our prices at the BX and commisary were not 30% cheaper than civilian stores. The first place cuts should be is in the governement, they don’t fight and die for their country most of them haven’t even been in the military, president included.

  • http://yahoo Phil King

    I think Chuck Hagle and the rest of congress and upper levels of government should take a hit and leave the retired military alone. Congress already has violated the Constitution everytime they pass a law that affects them and them alone and they seem to do that quite often better healthcare pensions after only one term even if they are convicted of a felony and this is just a tip of the ice berg. Please tell me how many of them have serve their country and deserve a pension at all so its time past time actually we take a stand and say enough is enough already or maybe we should just let them go in harms way and defend themselves oh what a scary thought where would our country be then

  • Frank

    So, let me see if I got this. A soldier makes $40,000 a year…a Congressman makes $200,000 a year. Both get free medical, dental, eye, and housing. But you want to cut the pensions on the soldier? even though the congressman gets these benefits for the rest of his life? MAKES PEFECT SENSE!!

  • BOB

    why not cut his pay 20% and all the elected folks? quit starting wars,the vets are the only ones that should not be cut,in this screwed up gov

  • Don

    Shouldn’t we start the cuts with congressmen, senators, and presidents pensions? The week they opted not to perform their duties should cover the trivial 1%. Most of them have never a day of military service. How do we stop the madness. Vote these people out of office. Air Force Ret.

  • Not uninformed

    Writer- before you try to cut spending based on the sacrifices of our veterans, do some actual homework as to Tricare…

    There is an annual premium paid for family members as well as co-pays for visits to civilian medical care and medications filled at your local CVS.

    You are like so many of the MSM and only reporting what would get the entitlement demanding members of our society to overlook the fact that the fighting men and women of our nation go where the welfare crowds won’t, and do the jobs they would refuse to. They live in worse conditions than our prisoners or gov’t subsidized housing. If you want to trim budgetary fat, cut the welfare, housing subsidies, foreign aid, and fold the tent on DHS.

    • Nick Barton

      Yeah, I like how they make it sound like someone off the street is making $40,000 a year with all these benefits when the reality is far from that picture.

  • Ellis

    The retired Congress members should have their retirement cut as well as the present Congress and Senate. I know it’s not enough to make up the difference by maybe they will feel it a little bit.

  • JohnJ

    Story admits that base pay is only a small part of the military pay. Retirement pay is based on base pay only. So 40 years of pension for 20 years of work is overly generous? Than why is the military the only ones targeted in these cuts, why do many congressman get a lifetime pension for only one term in office?

  • sam mack

    They fail to mention in this article. that the Military never gets a full pension. They get half of their basic pay which is very low. So when a Vet retires he basically gets only 25 percent of his normal pay. Already lower than the average.

  • ken

    so a congressman can retire on full sallery and benefits and someone who riskes there lives gets to loose 20 percent ..WTF

  • http://Yahoo.com Ray

    What if we held a war and no one showed up and all we had to defend ourselves with were garden rakes and hoses. Sounds extreme, but people in the military are like people everywhere and there still has to be the donkey and the carrot approach. You may have those who are patriotic and willing to throw themselves under the bus but there are still rational people out there who need a little more assurance that should they live through conflicts and injuries that something a little better than an atta boy is waiting for them.

  • Dwayne Barrowq

    This is so ridiculous to even think! Why cut the pensions of the brave men and women that have given and sacraficed so much for our freedom, some of whom have even made the ultimate sacrafice. Why not cut the pensions, health care and salaries of politicians that don’t do enough to even know who they are!! The many many representatives and ex senators and even the ex presidents and vice presidents that served as little as 4 years but are covered by yhe most thorough health coverage and pension plans, hell even some are still being baby sat by hundreds of secret service personel that don’t just make minimum wage I guess you know. That is d–n ridiculous they weren’t worth a s__t when they were in office so why expect them to be worth a s__t now they are just a leach to our hard earned tax payers money, Think about that all you idiots that want to put a hardship on our faithful heroes that most of them still live daily with the flashbacks and scars of senseless conflicts egaged in just to try to prove what we already knew. That being that our country is the greatest there is, but cut the military and we are no better than the comunist leaders that we were fighting!!!! WAKE UP AKERICA!!!

  • PMD

    Let me set the record straight this article numbers are so out in left field I want to barf. Commissaries prices are not 30% lower than Safeway or Giant. When it comes to Post Exchange cloths are garbage and cost 40% more then JCP or Kohls.

    When it comes to Medical benefits yes TRICARE is pretty cheap and service is pretty good. But we earned that right and trust me this is the next benefit that are coming after.

    Hagle you are a yes man and will kiss Obama’s ass and gut services provided to our active duty and retirees.

    WHAT ABOUT THE BILLIONS LOST ON WALL STREET!!! NONE OF OUR ELECTED OFFICALS SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT. THEY ARE PAID OFF TO BE QUITE. MIGHT WANT TO STOP MESSING WITH YOUR RETIRED SERVICE MEMBERS AND ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY MEMBERS. WE ARE THE ONES THAT NO HOW TO LEAD, FIGHT AND BLEED FOR YOUR FREEDOM. WE ARE NOT A BUNCH OF CRY BABIES THAT WILL NOT FIGHT FOR OUR BENEFITS!!!! CONRESS AND SENATE HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SALE OUT THE VERY PEOPLE THAT FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOM? YOUR APPROVAL RATING IS 10% START LOOKING FOR A JOB YOU JUST PISSED OFF MILLIONS OF OLD SOLDIERS!!!!

    • Ken

      At least 1 person knows that this article is BS, thank you.

      1. Author comparing military retirement to SS is stupid, a person that retires after 20 years at any company or government entity starts drawing it immediately.
      2. The fake numbers quoted for a private are made up government figures. That private most of the time will never use the commisary or exchange and if they do there is not much savings. The medical benefit is something young people hardly use unless they are injured due to the job most of the time. Food is counted as well and in many cases it is because they are in remote areas or it is easier to keep them on base so that they have slave labor on tap at all times. I was lucky to only have to work an 8 hour day when I was doing 12-24 hours 7 days a week with little sleep I never got overtime so it is not a regular job.
      Nice that the government wants to change the rules after service was provided. Wonder if they will have a problem when military members decide when they want to change the rules too?

  • Bob

    As the article says, the cuts are necessary to save the budget. America wastes too much money on the military now, and private sector workers have been suffering from benefit cuts for years. It’s way past their turn.

  • beautiful

    what would save the budget is the pay of our two-faced politicians getting cut.

  • thomas

    To the politicians who wish to cut the military pension benefits remember George Orwell’s statement : People sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would do them harm.Most of the politicians don’t feel the problems or the effects that the many of people experience just to live day to day. As a retired soldier the pension is an entitlement that was earned night given . All service members believed in their country and gave their all to defend it. To reduce their benefits is not fair to them and their families. The benefits have been downsized enough with further cuts without reason isn’t honoring or appreciating their sacrifice.The politicians get a pension for 1 term in office that is larger than most service members.

  • Ian Keane

    So a Congressman that serves 4 years retires with a 6 digit retirement and full benefits. Guarantee those will never be touched. Easier for them to attack the people that lay their lives on the line for their country, not those who sit back every night under the blanket of protection the brave men and women of the armed forces provide.

  • Larry (Ret) SSG U.S. Army

    This Makes me sick. Are you people in congress that s
    STUPID!! Wouldn’t surprise me at all if some morning you woke up and found 2 million pissed off veterans on the front lawn of the Capital each one carrying a lynching rope. Wake up congress, and clean up your own yard first. You guys waste more mony than the entire military pension fund. Get real!!

  • dave

    No other country in the world offers such generous benefits and retirement packages to it’s military personnel. The vast majority of benefits our military personnel receive don’t directly benefit them, but rather their dependents. Free family housing, dependent schools, youth activities, medical care, the list goes on and on. Asking the tax payer to fund benefits for our men and women in uniform is one thing, but their dependents, really? It’s ironic that the institution that is charged with defending our freedom and democracy is perhaps the purest form of socialism in existence today. Nearly every aspect of an active duty member and their dependents lives are taken care of by the DoD….job security, housing, food, medical, dental, education, entertainment. I don’t know of any functioning adult who isn’t held responsible for taking care of these things for their own family, except in the U.S. military. And let’s face it, the vast majority of military personnel do not perform dangerous or demanding jobs. There are many civilian jobs that serve the public and are much more dangerous than what the majority of military personnel do every day. Where’s the free housing, free medical, free education, discounted groceries, for those public servants? It is about time we reform the ridiculous benefits package the military has. They have lived high on the hog at at expense of the American tax payer for far too long.

  • richard colonel

    The toughest decision for all of our Representatives and Senators is who to cut away from but they don’t dare touch their own salaries which are in the thousands, while we who were in the front lines have to give up a little of the very little that we get each month.

    • roy r dixon

      all i can say congress is asking for a war with the amercia people the buck need to start at the top when a military person gets out of service they already stole from them by not giving them part of their insurance money where all that money goes so they need to cut their on sarley from the president on down then we can balance the budget all of these mega church pastor getting rich while getting free money by paying no tax and we send our sons and daughter to war and they all live good while you want to steal from the little fish think about this you want get my vote i will remember when time to vote.

  • Governator

    Military costs are out of control and the military is going to have to accept cuts in salary and services like everyone else is. This is not sustainable. Give them their full pensions, but at age 62 like everyone else. Also, they should not draw pensions based on their salary at retirement (or the last 36 months before retirement). That’s preposterous. It should be based on the earnings over a person entire career.

  • Daryl

    What they fail to mention is that the quality of medical service that the military gets sucks. Compared to civilian life, they d not get to pick or choose their Drs. They have no choices as to the treatment; they cannot sue for mis or mal treatment. They cannot refuse to take certain medications, even experimental. But you do hear about the amazing break thus for all the Vets injured or maimed in hostile service, the reporting in one sided.

  • Veteran Vince 13B

    What’s next, take away our disability checks?
    If this nation let’s this happen to it’s veterans, then it no longer deserves it’s “freedoms”.

    REMEMBER what we combat veterans understand…freedom is never free. We paid our share of freedoms price with our blood and our lives.

    BRING BACK THE DRAFT AND LET ALL UNDERSTAND, AND PAY, WHAT THE COST OF “FREEDOM” DEMANDS.

    Want to thank me for my service?
    Then get Congress off of what I (and my brothers and sisters in arms) EARNED IN GOOD FAITH!

    We are 1% of the nations populace, and yet we take on the whole load, 100% of it, for it’s defense. We kept our faith…our word…our commitment.
    Isn’t it fair then, that the other 99% who enjoy the fruits of “freedom” that we paid for in red, keep the faith WITH US and come up with the green?

    SHAME for even thinking this up.
    SHAME!

  • SliderA06

    I have been in service for almost 18 years, and I am sick and tired of someone with similar education and job training. there is no one else minus Police SWAT teams that receive the amount of training we receive, those whom go face first into danger, Police, Firemen, Paramedics, and EMTs. Also may I remind the public we choose to serve, that our service men and women have been serving, just in the last 18 years in the likes of Somalia, Haiti (more than once) Bosnia, Kosovo, Philippines (assisting in their war on terror), Afghanistan and Iraq, that is the few, we have other service members in small numbers in South America and Africa today. Most of the time in these places we have to carry our weapons and wear cumbersome body armor to prevent the lost of life. We had several members in uniform injured in Sudan. I like to AGAIN know what makes us the same as some one with the same education and skill set equivalent to again? There is no comparison to our job that requires our selfless service, (minus EMT, Rescue, Fire, and Police work) where and individual does a job and still trained to protect life with the USE OF DEADLY FORCE. I have done four combat tours, three other short peace-keeping tours in the Army, countless training to keep ourselves and allies prepared for wars. I am conduct physical training every day, and am graded on a Physical Test to ensure I am physically fit, whom out there requires that same level of being fit? Those whom actually served and their families know the sacrifices we have to make, everyone else just strap hangs,(same exceptions here).
    I would also say that I do pay a small, very small amount to my Tricare plan, and for my family. I joined the service to serve my country, that at that time this country said it would take care of me, and if I have or acquired a family take care of them. I am about to make it to my twenty years, and am looking at only receiving half of my pension, my base pay that does not include all those other benefits that I had when I served. I would also point out that in the military only a hand full can make to the age of 62, we have a system that maintains a limited number of personnel based on rank in each Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), you are review for promotion in the Army, if you can not achieve a rank by a certain time, you are what is termed Retention Control Point (RCP) and released from service. At this time only Staff Sergeants and above can at least reach 20 years of service and receive a pension. Unlike a civilian job, you can not just sit in the same position for 40 years, you have to achieve promotion to be retained. There is a pyramid system in the service that only a few can achieve. So every time I hear a civilian or an elected official, whom never served, or some that have served and forgot what it was like to wear a uniform, what it is to actually SERVE, I honestly get the feeling I have wasted a service to this country just to be caste aside and THROWN under a bus. I appreciate others whom have never served, that raise the call, why are you throwing these people out to the curb they actually did something for this Nation.
    I see people on welfare all the time that are healthy people, that are just being lazy, taking what I pay in taxes to buy cell phones and pay for gas to eat MacDonald’s…. Those whom should receive Welfare are those whom are physically, mentally impaired from doing so and our elderly whom can not do so for themselves.
    I would also make this point I am not person whom is of the entitlements, I served for the benefits of the service of this Nation. These entitlements people are making me sick, they ask what are you going to do for me versus, doing something for someone else or their Nation, these are the people that make me sick. However I believe in what I have fought for, at least they can sleep at night and have the freedom of thinking and demanding all these entitlements.
    On closing, stop sending the billions of aid money to nations we know are harboring terrorists, your feeding the wrong mouths… and we will have to fight those whom you just paid to receive that nice terrorism training. Just point.

  • Scamuel Jones

    Obumma bin Lying “dun bin lying agin!”

  • Frank

    when the hell are the congress going to cut there own pay and benefits, this is for sure a waste, most should be cut to 0 as they have done nothing. Im really sick of there ways something has to give here, before they take every right and benefit that we have. Military that have put there lives on the line for senless wars over and over should not be the victums of these greedy people when will it ever end

  • Bill Durknam

    Wouldn’t more money be saved if the tax cuts for the wealthy were rolled back? Were not these tax cuts promised to be rolled back by now? Were not these tax cuts supposed to create jobs -and if so, what happened to those jobs? Were those tax cuts used to create jobs for Audi, Mercedes and BMW?

  • Tyler Grey

    14 Year Veteran here 13 in Special Forces. To the writer Tina Volpe: This topic will become a firestorm in the next couple years and the idea that your article could ever enter into the disscussion is an embarrassment. Ive read all the comments and Im glad this writer has already been crushed for her lack of research. Tricare, commissary prices, the amount of money a 6 year Captain makes…all wrong. I’m insulted by this article for a lot of reasons but here’s the point I want to make:
    Just so I have it right- The government sends 2.5 million soldiers into harms way for 12 continuous years, the longest sustained combat in American history, longer than the Revolution, longer than Vietnam and all other conflicts. These soldiers live in the worst possible conditions- the brutal middle eastern summers, freezing himalayan winters- in the mud, the dust, the rain… the misery. These men claw out thier survival in far away lands, they bury their friends and they come home to families who can no longer recognize them. These are hardened soldiers who long for the day when they can play with their children on their front lawn while enjoying a well earned retirement.
    Now, You’re telling me that the plan to fix bloated American budget is to cut the pension these men have been longing for all the years? We need to ask a very serious serious question early in this discussion-how do you think these combat hardened veterans are going to respond when they realized they’ve been bamboozled. I have an idea of how it’ll play out and I can promise you they won’t be carrying pickets.

  • Terri

    Disgusting.

  • jmor

    It is apparent the idiot that wrote this article has never served in the military. They must have read the comparison earning report that the military provides every year. As a retire Marine, I never saw anything near the money that this article stated. Furthermore as a retiree, there is no free medical, depending on the try-to-get care plan that we choose, we either pay a premium and get stuck with a lesser doctor or go the standard route where we are responsible to cover whatever Tricare decides not to pay. They say that they want to cut the benefits to save money, look at the job market where low pay and benefits exist, low quality of work is done. Reduce the benefits to the military, I going to exercise my 2nd amendment to protect myself, family and friends.

  • MSgt E Lothrie

    After serving honorably and voluntarily, I retired. Combat, grueling deployments and separation from family many times over my career. A decision I made when I took the oath of enlistment. Health care and 50% base pay to be my benefit if retirement was attained. I’d do it all over again, I regret nothing.

    I work full time, the pay is certainly not enough to actually support a family, but does help. I maintain my health and my uniforms, that retirement pay is like a ‘retention’ in the event of a reactivation while I serve another 10 years on ‘inactive reserve’.

    I’ll take my punches and another hit on these earned benefits. But that plate would best be served to me by also seeing cuts everywhere, starting with our leaders. Defensor Fortis!

  • http://verizon ken

    those crooks and idiots in Washington who voted for this all need to be replaced as soon as possible I am going to volunteer to go anywhere im requested to speak to all veterans groups and believe me I have some things to tell the American public that will blow their minds ill start with the IRS all veterans their families should band together and vote all of them out who approves this I don’t guess those idiots in Washington understand veterans put their lives in danger for 20 years vote them out and let them know you are goingo do that

  • Sandra

    Way to go. Take it from those who likely can least afford it.

  • CENTURION

    MILITARY PENSION CUTS? How about SENATE AND CONGRESSIONAL pension cuts? Presidential pension cuts? Why does the US Taxpayer have to pay for Jimmy Carter, Billy Clinton and soon this idiot Obama?

    How about the USA cut military death benefits too. Eliminate the burial costs too. Soldiers die, let the families pay or just let Al Qaeda chope them into little pieces and feed the goats and pigs in Afghanistan. Why stop there, cut the military budget more. Send soldiers into Syria with SLINGSHOTS.

    Remember America…YOU VOTED FOR THEM!

  • http://Yahoo NightMoves

    The oldest trick in budgetary grandstanding: threaten to cut expense items that cause the most outrage. If the Defense Department cut military contracts, the general public would yawn. If they sent all troops home and saved billions, you could hear the applause from the Space Station. But, cut retirement for people who signed on to risk their lives for freedom? The people will be outraged and they (Defense Department) know it. Only the World Wrestling Federation could compete with their drama.

  • dog

    Thats real low of the gov never can get enough keep digging …..

  • John

    So we have government employees getting free health care. Union employees are way overpaid, free health care, taxpayers paid pensions, and are busting the nation’s states budget. But we go after the military who have despicable low pay. health Benefits? If they can get it without hassles. And so little retirement for the risk they take. Is there something I’m missing?

    • Yes sire

      Unions are paid for by corporations and their customers. Government employees are paid for by EVERYONE.

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