“What a deal,” eh?

Jerk Washington Post headline of the day:

What a deal: Work 20 years, get lifetime pension pay; still, military career not for everyone

Major media have begun to pick up the story of the Defense Business Board’s proposal to gut military retirements for current troops.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says he will grandfather in current troops, but can his words be taken at face value? The DBB proposal outlines the specific need for “changes” to help with a force in “transition,” i.e. a reduction in force. His words ring hollow.

From the WaPo article:

It sounds like a pretty good deal: Retire at age 38 after 20 years of work and get a monthly pension of half your salary for the rest of your life. All you have to do is join the military.

Dodge bullets and IEDs while you endure the desert while leaving your family for lengthy stretches of time from 8 to 15 months before preparing to do it again. Note to civilians: that can mean two Christmases, birthdays or anniversaries. That’s all. What a deal!

As the nation tightens its budget belt, the century-old military retirement system has come under attack as unaffordable, unfair to some who serve and overly generous compared with civilian benefits.

Not to disparage civilians, but there’s no comparison.

That very notion, laid out in a Pentagon-ordered study, sent a wave of fear and anger through the ranks of current and retired military members when it was reported in the news media this month.

On that wave of fear and anger: it’s a daily discussion with my husband. When he’s not in the field or out on the ranges, of course. And when it’s not a daily discussion with my husband, it is with my friends, fellow military wives, most of whom don’t work full-time because it’s pretty damn difficult to find a good job when employers know you’re leaving in a few years. Wives don’t end up with retirements of their own as a result. We’re never in a single place long enough. And oh, the kids. It’s even more difficult to single-parent effectively when your spouse deploys if you work. Because someone has to pick up the kids, stay home with sick kids, ferry kids, feed and care for the kids in addition to assuaging every daily fear of the kids that daddy won’t come home. While reassuring yourself of the same. You know, what a deal!

The Defense Department put out a statement this week stressing that it was only a proposal and no changes will be made anytime soon.

I try to explain to friends that this cannot happen sans Congressional approval, which means it wouldn’t happen now. But I also try to explain, delicately at times, that this is why the next election is so important. And why voting for a liberal–any liberal–means death to the military in myriad ways. What a win-win for liberals: destroy the military, break the back of the current force and say you’re saving money that you can then pump into endless social programs. What a deal!


How does a professional soldier differ from a civilian employee?

The flimflam man at the Pentagon

So “paying the military and their families for sixty years when they only serve 20″ is unsustainable, eh?

DOD recommends “radical” overhaul of military retirement

The military can take “significant” cuts but entitlements can’t?

Ah, now it makes sense: “radical” overhaul of military retirements necessary due to downsizing the force


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