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  1. #1
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    Default Advisory panels say military benefits unsustainable

    Time to bend over boys and girls. Dear Leader has to pay for our new socialist "Utopia"

    http://www.sunherald.com/2010/08/07/...-benefits.html

    A consensus is building among current and former military leaders and defense industry executives that rising military personnel costs threaten the viability of the all-volunteer force.

    In July, two separate advisory groups reached the same general conclusions regarding what needs to be done to sustain the force. In the nearer term, they say, one step that must be taken is to make military retirees pay more out of pocket for their health care benefit.

    “Unless retirees contribute more for their Tricare insurance, medical costs will not be brought under control and the national defense they served, and for which they fought and sacrificed, will be harmed,” says the final report of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel.

    The panel is co-chaired by former Defense Secretary William J. Perry from the Clinton administration and Stephen J. Hadley who was national security advisor through President George W. Bush’s second term.

    Longer term, and for the future force, panelists say, work must begin on designing new retirement, compensation and promotion systems to replace inefficient and rigid systems adopted after World War II. The situation is so critical that the Hadley-Perry panel asks Congress to establish a new National Commission on Military Personnel to lead the reform effort.

    Arnold Punaro, a defense industry executive and retired Marine Corps Reserve major general, chairs a task force for the Defense Business Board that will deliver its final report to Defense Secretary Robert Gates in October.

    Task force “initial observations” for cutting defense costs through best business practices, briefed to the board July 22, reinforces the notion that personnel accounts must be brought under control by modernizing retirement, pay, health benefits and the “up-or-out” promotion systems.

    Both studies deal with a far wider range of initiatives to restructure forces and streamline organizations. The Hadley-Perry report can be read online at www.usip.org/files/qdr/qdrreport.pdf and task force observations are at dbb.defense.gov/meetings.html

    What both conclude on the need to control health costs and modernize compensation systems, Punaro said, is consistent with findings of the 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation and the 2006 Defense Advisory Commission on Military Compensation. But now, with Defense Secretary Gates’ leadership and a new awareness among military leaders to the burden of mounting personnel costs, there’s a fresh groundswell for change, he said.



    Read more: http://www.sunherald.com/2010/08/07/...#ixzz0xXTsibcR
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    But the lazy fat ass who has done nothing to contribute to society gets their medical care free of charge?
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    Sarge you'd know this better than I but out of curiosity what is the minimum years of service to collect va benefit, retirement etc. and do you know how those amounts increase. And do you believe that fraud exists in va disability cases like it does in our other wonderful government programs. If so, could cleaning up the fraud also help this issue?
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    All of government has fraud and goldbrickers.

    Basically to get a pension one has to serve at least 20 years. The amount of your pension is dependent on your grade at retirement and number of years served. Part of your pay can be tax free if you have a VA approved disability.

    Personally, I'm at 60%. That's due to jacking up my shoulder in Afghanistan, blowing out an ankle during PT and a few other minor issues. And while I don't have any symptoms except for an aversion to certain mods on another site, I got the Post Tramatic/Delayed Combat dealio put in there as well.


    Thing we have here is a true blue Democrat eyeing the military budget to pay for their domestic programs, in this case Obamacare.

    Klinton did the same thing to the military in the 90's to "balance the budget".Except there wasn't a war going on
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    ought to do wonders for recruiting!
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    Default

    Time to bend over boys and girls. Dear Leader has to pay for our new socialist "Utopia"
    That's not what the article says. Here, the first sentence:

    A consensus is building among current and former military leaders and defense industry executives that rising military personnel costs threaten the viability of the all-volunteer force.
    Are rising personnel costs the result of a socialist utopia?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    Thing we have here is a true blue Democrat eyeing the military budget to pay for their domestic programs, in this case Obamacare.

    Weird. It says here that defense spending rose 12.7% this year, up to $663 billion or so. That makes it the second largest single expenditure in the federal budget, after Social Security. And a larger growing expenditure than Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Un...federal_budget


    Sarge, I have to ask, do you think it's ok that the second largest expense in our budget is growing at an alarmingly fast rate? Are you a proponent of cutting expenses and attempting to balance the budget or not?

    What I find disturbing is that the first thing these expert panels want to cut is veterans' benefits. I would like to think there might be other ways to cut defense spending than to reneg on our promise to people who have already done their bit for king and country.
    Last edited by Henry; 09-24-10 at 11:00 PM.
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    Got to go with Henry on this one and we usually don't agree on politics. Besides, no politician is going to cut military retirement pay. It would be political suicide.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Weird. It says here that defense spending rose 12.7% this year, up to $663 billion or so. That makes it the second largest single expenditure in the federal budget, after Social Security. And a larger growing expenditure than Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.
    War costs basically. It's not like that money is going to grow the end force numbers, it's just the cost of doing business, so to speak



    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Sarge, I have to ask, do you think it's ok that the second largest expense in our budget is growing at an alarmingly fast rate? Are you a proponent of cutting expenses and attempting to balance the budget or not?
    People cost money. That's the bottom line. One of the enticements for people to come into the military is the old recruiter pitch of "We'll take care of you for the rest of your life"

    Now, they used to really mean that. The old timers are really pissed over the backtracking of that little promise. Even I, when I went in in 84, was told, "We'll take care of you and your family for the rest of your lives", although they really weren't suppooed to be throwing that out there then. But even back in 84, it was pitched as "free".

    Not so much the case anymore.

    "Free" healthcare is one of the bennies that gets people to come in and go to Afghanistan while making 25,000 a year.

    Start taking that away, see what happens


    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Are you a proponent of cutting expenses and attempting to balance the budget or not?
    Of course, but do it on someone else's back, not on the backs of people that have actually contributed something to the country. Before vet bennies are cut, we'd better stop spending EVERY DIME on illegals and other crap overseas, like re-building mosques





    What I find disturbing is that the first thing these expert panels want to cut is veterans' benefits. I would like to think there might be other ways to cut defense spending than to reneg on our promise to people who have already done their bit for king and country
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    That's not what the article says. Here, the first sentence:



    Are rising personnel costs the result of a socialist utopia?
    nope...but cutting back on them will probably severely reduce the government's ability to hire talented people who have options elsewhere. that's why the costs got to be where they are in the first place.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    War costs basically. It's not like that money is going to grow the end force numbers, it's just the cost of doing business, so to speak





    People cost money. That's the bottom line. One of the enticements for people to come into the military is the old recruiter pitch of "We'll take care of you for the rest of your life"

    Now, they used to really mean that. The old timers are really pissed over the backtracking of that little promise. Even I, when I went in in 84, was told, "We'll take care of you and your family for the rest of your lives", although they really weren't suppooed to be throwing that out there then. But even back in 84, it was pitched as "free".

    Not so much the case anymore.

    "Free" healthcare is one of the bennies that gets people to come in and go to Afghanistan while making 25,000 a year.

    Start taking that away, see what happens




    Of course, but do it on someone else's back, not on the backs of people that have actually contributed something to the country. Before vet bennies are cut, we'd better stop spending EVERY DIME on illegals and other crap overseas, like re-building mosques





    What I find disturbing is that the first thing these expert panels want to cut is veterans' benefits. I would like to think there might be other ways to cut defense spending than to reneg on our promise to people who have already done their bit for king and country
    henry is completely avoiding the whole dimension of unfunded entitlements - sure to swamp the entire system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    Weird. It says here that defense spending rose 12.7% this year, up to $663 billion or so. That makes it the second largest single expenditure in the federal budget, after Social Security. And a larger growing expenditure than Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Un...federal_budget


    Sarge, I have to ask, do you think it's ok that the second largest expense in our budget is growing at an alarmingly fast rate? Are you a proponent of cutting expenses and attempting to balance the budget or not?

    What I find disturbing is that the first thing these expert panels want to cut is veterans' benefits. I would like to think there might be other ways to cut defense spending than to reneg on our promise to people who have already done their bit for king and country.
    cmon now...you can do better Henry. defense expenditures as a % of the budget have declined over the last half century. entitlement programs have moved in one direction only - inexorably up - and overwhelmingly dominate the budget.

    Sarge is right. The people in power have to fund their huge income transfer programs and political payoffs. it's a sidebar that they are ideologically disposed to dismantling the military-industrial complex. anyone involved with DoD right now will tell you just about everything is being slow rolled. and the Dem leadership on the Hill? disgusting how they wanted to use the defense appropriations bill to graft n completely unrelated initiatives for starkly partisan political reasons.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    henry is completely avoiding the whole dimension of unfunded entitlements - sure to swamp the entire system.
    I'm not avoiding them. They're a problem. That doesn't make our defense spending not a problem.

    If I read an article on some independent commission that thought we should raise the retirement age, I wouldn't automatically extrapolate that to mean that it was a result of warmongers in Congress scheming increase the defense budget.

    Some of you think entitlement cuts should be part of the equation as well? Fine, I agree.

    But I don't think that article Sarge posted has anything to do with that.

    Like I said earlier, either we want to balance the budget or we don't. Picking and choosing is a luxury we no longer have.
    Last edited by Henry; 09-27-10 at 11:52 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    I'm not avoiding them. They're a problem. That doesn't make our defense spending not a problem.

    If I read an article on some independent commission that thought we should raise the retirement age, I wouldn't automatically extrapolate that to mean that it was a result of warmongers in Congress scheming increase the defense budget.

    Some of you think entitlement cuts should be part of the equation as well? Fine, I agree.

    But I don't think that article Sarge posted has anything to do with that.

    Like I said earlier, either we want to balance the budget or we don't. Picking and choosing is a luxury we no longer have.

    I have several problems with the argument adavanced in these articles:

    - they duplicitously argue that the current structure of emoluments and benefits is a legacy artifact of wars fought over 60 years ago. not quite the case. one reason personnel costs escalated so much, post all volunteer force, is that the government couldn't compete with private industry during a period of escalating economic growth unless it offered increased base pay, better benefits and incentive payments. I might also add...it is precisely people like Hillary Clinton who have tried to curry favor with the military by advocating people intensive expenditures such as child care facilities, housing, etc., who have pushed increases in personnel related expenses.

    - while we are in a self-induced economic downturn presently that the current administration is doing everything in its power to exacerbate, the economy will eventually turn-around. at this point, how will the government compete for volunteer forces in a situation of declining benefits? where is the statistical analysis that accounts for these costs?

    - as Sarge notes, folks like he had I had an implied contract. we took much greater risks during the course of our professional lives in part because of these benefits. the government now wants to change the terms of the implied contract? fine. share the pain. but that decision will have disastrous consequences in the long-run once vets react and start speaking one on one with the pool of individuals considering service. count on it.

    - why not pair back the total manpool through retirement and reduced new "hires"? that will assuredly lower overall personnel costs. sure..that means the National Defense Strategy has to be wickered back and we expose the country to greater risk. tough *hit. you get what you pay for. let the politicians be accountable for that.

    - the argument needs to be located in the greater context of DoD funding/spending. we all know where many of the inefficiencies lie:

    ...congresspersons who continue to fund unneeded programs in their districts

    ...hugely inefficient, wasteful major programs that should be targets for verticle cuts

    ...too many layers of "management" that serve to delay decision-making and increase cost

    ...lack of a defined, empowered governance structure that contains duplicative and sometimes conflicting acquisition efforts for the same functions. you'd be surprised how often senior decion-makers are ignored simply because they either don't bring money to the table or can't play the political games in Congress with dexterity.

    ...a civilian leadership that engages in wars that drive expenditures from R&D/modernization to sustainment bow-waving costs when the moment arrives to replace and advance

    ...requirements creep

    lots of other things I can speak to. What's going on now is not some virtuous exercise seeking the best and most noble way to defend the country. this is cold, hard politics. decisions about who has to be gored to fund HUGE wealth/income transfers needed for our wonderfully ameliorative stiumulous payoffs, motor company bailouts, Health Care socialization, union payoffs, pension plan bailouts, subprime blackmail tactics, Wall Street greed, government and personal debt excess...etc...etc. this administration took a bad situation...and on the basis of rhetoric and ideology proceeded to make things 10 times worse. now comes the time to pay the bills and some of the folks who did the heavy lifting are being asked to shoulder the burden. the results are going to be entierly predictable.

    we can get to the argument about what might really be going on - the systematic deconstruction of the military-industrial complex as a matter of ideology rather than security in another thread....
    Last edited by fansince62; 09-28-10 at 07:24 AM.
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    You know what? Nevermind.

    You guys are on a roll and I just don't care that much.
    Last edited by Henry; 09-28-10 at 04:29 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    You know what? Nevermind.

    You guys are on a roll and I just don't care that much.
    ok!

    anywho.....we agree on decreasing the deficit. we agree on defense shouldering its share. we disagree on what the per centages ought to be on the DoD sheets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    You know what? Nevermind.

    You guys are on a roll and I just don't care that much.
    Face it Henry, they're all communists
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    We love ya Henry and speaking for myself only, it's an honor to side with you for an issue. I'm sure we agree on a few things and this is one of them.

    I can see what everyone is saying, but all of us know that cutting retirement benefits to vets is not going to happen.

    I love this place. We argue a bit here and there, but nothing goes to the personal side. How cool is that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarge View Post
    Face it Henry, they're all communists


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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgundy Burner View Post
    I can see what everyone is saying, but all of us know that cutting retirement benefits to vets is not going to happen.
    In a way, it already has begun. They don't come in cuts per say, but in cost increases. My TRICARE is a prime example. It used to be free. Now it costs me $125 per quarter.

    Yeeeees, I know, it's a hell of a lot more than civilains pay, but he point of the matter is that's a $125 out of my pocket per quart that I was promised I wasn't going to have to pay
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