Comments about ‘Fight over military pension cuts to continue’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 23 2013 2:37 p.m. MST

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

The sacrifice of putting your life in harms way for 20 years, never being stable any place to do things. I can only imagine it to being in limbo. The only objective is the promise of retirement. The disillusion and betrayal, The government better not mess with the Vet's.

worf
Mcallen, TX

I don't get it.

The commander in chief takes hundreds of millions for vacations, and campaign fund raising trips, but pensions are to be cut?

This is unpatriotic.

majmajor
Layton, UT

Nationwide, one average only 1% of the population serves in the military, but in Utah has just half that number, and just 17% of that number serves a career. This isn't about "saving money" otherwise, congress would reform Social Security. This is about taking action against a very small number of voters.

In the 1990s, Congress tried to reduce the retirement program for the military, and they found that the Services lost some of the "best and brightest" professional service members, because the short-term risks to their lives was no longer worth the diminished long-term security. This damaged the quality of the professional NCO and Officer Corps, and was reversed within a couple years.

Many of these retirees have been injured from combat or by hazardous duty, and have a difficult job finding a job that meets their military skills. The military members that serve in the combat arms have even more physical / job skill issues transitioning into the civilian employment.

This isn't about "fairness." We should continue to encourage a professional military. If we want really save money they would "reform" Social Security, but too many voters (that vote) will fight this move.

JWB
Kaysville, UT

The politicians have short changed the system as most of them now have never served in the military. Thanks for the generations of service for the men and women who sacrificed their all and potentially all for other people to have freedoms. The forked tongue of the politicians that have sworn to defend the nation and people from despots soon forget the power that got them into politics. If the opponents of WWI, WWII, Cold War and Korean wars had won their wars, these politicians would not be in power without the military stalwarts who work for the Commander-in-Chief's will.

Congress can pay out to the automobile and banker people in the billions if not effectively trillions through other benefits but not for the heritage of a "few good people". So soon or now at least for 40 years the military has been losing any prestige they might have had from the best generation.

Military generals and admirals are all appointed by their politicians and beckon to their call and will. The liberals at the academies have given into the rest of the world.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

The thought of taking away these pensions makes me sick!

Denverite
Centennial, CO

I an grateful for those who serve and have served--at least partly because it means I don't have to do it.

However, having been a civilian on 2 different Navy bases and worked with many brave military people, military pensions that can start at age 40 or before are ridiculous unless you get severely physically injured during your time of service (thus, PTSD sufferers should have therapy available -but PTSD wouldn't count for pension purposes IMO). A defined contribution per year would probably work better--especially for those not promoted after a certain point who have to leave but could then take with them what they've earned.

Congress should do what they've done with Social Security in the past: slowly ramp up the retirement age when pensions start and slowly cut the benefits over time. This will give people who are severely affected a chance to make adjustments as needed and let people thinking of joining up at age 18 know what they're in for. This would reduce some of the complaints from veteran groups who fear, especially with Democrats in charge at the moment, that money will be drastically cut without warning.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

I for one will not criticize ever the pay and benefits that our military men and women receive because it will never be enough. To have allowed this to happen is inexcusable. They stepped over a dollar of saving to save a nickel on the backs of our military is ridiculous. I personally do not see a problem with military personnel especially active duty personnel retiring at age 40. The stress that they are under the time away from family, it is the least that we can do for them.

omahahusker
Modesto, CA

Veterns pensions can be cut, while benefits for the takers not makers go on the rise. Just the cost of food stamps have gone up over 58% in the last three years. Now a whole class of non productive citizenry will get free health care. But the very people who answered the call of duty at all hours of the day and night, on our own soil and far away places that even snakes would dare not venture most sacrifice again. All at the likes of Chuck Hagel and a few lame senators make retirees lose out again. Broken promises once again!

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

For all the bean counters who claim military compensation is comparable to civilian jobs, they have failed to account for the fact military members have the chance of being shot at, and the certainty of being involuntarily deployed away from their families for extended periods, repeatedly. And, of being uprooted to new locations, not of their choosing, every few years.

Anyone who thinks this is such a good deal is welcome to march down to the local recruiting office and sign up today!

To cut ANY military benefits before cutting pure welfare, and the billions of bloated wasteful pork projects is nearly treasonous, and certainly short sighted.

But, since Bill Clinton "loathed the military" and Obama has proven he views them only as campaign props and likely Republican voters to be disenfranchised, we know that the Democrats view cuts to the military instead of freeloaders as good politics.

Remember, military members have taken an oath to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic." That may also disturb some Democrats.

AF_Aggie
North Las Vegas, NV

One minor inaccuracy in the article mentions military members can use military facilities for free, but can opt for off base care with no co-pays or costs. Incorrect, if you use off base care, you pay a co-pay and a percentage of the total cost. Not a huge deal, but just a clarification. I've been on active duty for years, and I don't feel (and most don't) that we are 'owed' anything for serving. Its a volunteer force, and we volunteered for whatever reason that might be. Minus 1% from inflation for retirees is not terrible, especially since most are working second careers after leaving. I think the frustration comes from, among many things, this is not what they were promised. And when we see a ridiculous amount of spending in other areas, this feels like a slap in the face. I'm planning my own savings and retirement, not counting on Uncle Sam. If we want a professional force, bottom line is there has to be a benefit for these guys to stay. Those benefits are slowly going away and people will, and are, going to start going elsewhere.

djc
Stansbury Park, Ut

AF Aggie pointed out one inaccuracy in this story and there were others, but the issue that I have with this action is one of honesty and moral compass. We (I am a military retiree) were made certain promises. Over the years the government has welched on many of those promises, because it was expedient and had little political cost to the politicians. I was promises "free" medical care for life - what I got is far from free. Believe me it is better than nothing, but the promise was "free". I was promised a retirement if I stayed in for 20 years. If I left after 19 years and 5 months I knew that I got nothing. That was the promise - 20 years retirement, less than 20 years nothing. The government which is in reality rich men and women who have no moral compass, ethics or honesty, has no problem lying to the military. They have no problem taking away promised benefits. Why in recent years has it become the norm for politicians to be amoral, unethical, and dishonest? Don't make promises you can't keep!

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

The SEAL Team Six Member who capped "UBL" recently "retired" short of his 20 years of Service too. He got a hand shake from Uncle Sam but no pension either. I understand his years of dealing out and cheating Death were very hard on his body. Much like Professional Athletes, one's body wears out before the 20 year clock runs out. Remember alot of our Servicemen and women have been nearly continously at war since 2001 (12 years) if not longer.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Before we go to war we need to start asking if we are willing to pay for it. Taking pay that has already been earned is wrong. Let congress give up its own retirement before cutting the retirement of those who have fought our wars. Let taxes be raised, yes taxes raised before we cut pay that veterans have already EARNED. Next time avoid war if you feel you can't afford it. What are we still doing in Afghanistan?

Vegas POV
Las Vegas, NV

How long must a member of congress serve before they get retirement?

How long must a President of the United States serve before he (pronoun carefully selected due to the gender of all past presidents)gets a retirment?

What percentage of their final pay do they get?

When does the retirement pension for them start?

Time for Congress and Presidents to lead from the front although it is much safer to lead from behind.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Keeping our promise to the veterans may mean we can't have all the toys in our arsenal we would otherwise wish to have. But that's okay, this can compensated for by being more cautious, less aggressive in our foreign policy. Measure twice cut once. We can't have it all. We don't deserve to take or to have what doesn't belong to us. We can make due.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

4.5 billlion dollars to support the current 2 million retired veterens. Really? That is Obamas petty cash stash for his vacation and golf outings. Our current annual budget is in the 3 trillion range. Our total military budget is in the 600 million range. And this disgrace of a Secretary of Defense is looking at the "retired" military for budget cuts? Democrats!!!!

And Don't tell me Hagal is a Republican. He is a sell out.

Viva la Migra
American Fork, UT

The Republicans in the Senate proposed a change to the budget which would had kept the military pensions untouched and instead cut welfare money given to people living illegally in the country. Every Democratin the Senate voted against that proposal. It's pretty sad when some politicians would make that choice.

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