Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hands Off The United States Military

Where would we be without the United States Military?  For all we know, had it not been for the U.S. Military, we might all be speaking German today, and Hawaii would be a Japanese tropical paradise.  Where would civil aviation be? Would we still enjoy the freedoms that made this nation great? 


It seems to us that too many Americans focus on the cost of recent wars, and not on the service to the USA provided by the men and women who have served her devotedly and well in years past, and in the present.  It is disturbing to read articles about the changes planned for the United States Military.  A recent article stated that the current administration plans to use the USAF in a "green" project which has nothing to do with national defense. 


In all our years, our nation has never been as vulnerable to attack than it is today.  Although the Obama administration tried to erase the words "terrorism" "war on terror" and "Islamofacism", the administration itself has had to resort to using that terminology to describe our present state of security.  Even Obama himself has raised the question of fear of a "lone wolf" attacking the Memorial Ceremonies at the Dedication of The Ground Zero monument.  Surely the NYPD will be on high alert -  so will the United States Military.


We Two Sisters are proud of all the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces.  We are particularly proud of the thousands of veterans who devoted a lifetime to any one of the military services.  Those veterans have been hurt once too many times when promises that were made to them regarding their  retirement and health care insurance were changed at a moment's notice, altering and disrupting their lives and that of their families.

Sharyl Attkinson,  is a CBS News investigative correspondent based in Washington  she has written an extremely informative report on the changes planned for the United States Military  retirement in the future.  This is today's feature story.




(CBS News)
WASHINGTON - The military retirement system has long been considered untouchable - along with Social Security and Medicare. But in these days of soaring deficits, it seems everything is a potential target for budget cutters. A Pentagon-sponsored study says military pensions are no longer untouchable - they're unaffordable.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports high-level, closely-held meetings are taking place at the Pentagon regarding a radical proposal to overhaul retirement for the nation's 1.4 million service members - a bedrock guarantee of military service.

The proposal comes from an influential panel of military advisors called the Defense Business Board. Their plan, laid out in a 24-page presentation "Modernizing the Military Retirement System," would  eliminate the familiar system under which anyone who serves 20 years is eligible for retirement at half their salary. Instead, they'd get a 401k-style plan with government contributions.

They'd have to wait until normal retirement age. It would save $250 billion dollars over 20 years.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office says it's very important that the military attack its retirement issues. "We're talking about an underfunding that starts to look like hundreds of billions of dollars in the next 20 years. And if you want to maintain the core mission which is to defend the nation and have the strategic capabilities we need, we can't have all their money tied up in retirement programs."

Advocates say the new system would not only save money -- but would also be fairer. It would give benefits to those who serve less than 20 years. Right now, they walk away with nothing. And it would give more money to those in combat or high risk situations.

The proposal leaves a lot of blanks to be filled in, including whether to exempt current service members so their plans won't change.

CBS News spoke to some active duty troops who agreed costs must be cut - but worry the number of experienced soldiers will dwindle with no incentive to stay enlisted for 20 years.

The proposal is in early stages and would require Congressional approval. But it's clear that military retirement is no longer untouchable. A Pentagon spokesman said the military retirement system "is a fair subject of review" but no changes will be made "without careful consideration."

© 2011 CBS Interactive Inc.
Here at Two Sisters From The Right our mission is to inform. We need to think about these proposals very carefully, as well as to talk to those serving in the military to ask their opinion on these proposed changes. We need to hear from veterans as well.   We agree that it will take away the incentive to re-enlist for a 20 year period.  As citizens, once these plans begin  to take shape and are made public, it is our duty to write and call our Senators and Representatives to make our opinions known.  Military personnel are not highly paid.  They are however the one profession that puts lives in harm's way to protect Americans. 
TWO SISTERS

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10 Comments:

At August 17, 2011 at 10:35 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

During recent weeks it's become evident that when cuts need to be made, Mr. Obama (and apparently a willing Congress) target the military and seniors first. I thought it despicable when he threatened not to pay the military and then not to send out social security checks. A more equitable proposal should have been to cut or even suspend Congressional salaries, since their job performance doesn't begin to meet the expectations of the American people. There are PLENTY of wasteful federal programs that can and should be shut down without any significant impact on the national welfare. And -- if only out of respect for the dire conditions faced by many of his constituents -- Mr. Obama could have and should have canceled his endless trips and family vacations.

Medicare cuts are bad enough, but to undermine the benefits that our military men have earned is absolutely unconscionable. The fact that they put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us should make them exempt from any planned cuts. Using euphemisms like "modernization of the retirement system" doesn't alter the fact that what they're doing is cheating our military men and women out of the benefits they so richly deserve.

 
At August 17, 2011 at 10:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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