Blue Byline

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Tag: defense cuts


Congress: DO NOT mess with military retirement

In the last decade of war, most of us sat out and tuned out. Meanwhile, our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen deployed. And deployed. And deployed.

Occasionally we stopped tweeting and texting long enough to watch the news, mourn the dead, wave the flag or tie a yellow ribbon. Perhaps we took that extra step of approaching a uniformed serviceman or woman to say, “Thank you for your service.”

But the times have changed. And the times are tough.

Congress now faces the unpleasant task of hacking off sizeable chunks from the budget, including portions of our nation’s vast defense costs (Trib article 9/25). In addition to expensive weapon’s systems and nation-building initiatives, the retirement promised to veterans actually appears to be on the table.

That is, in a word, outrageous. Twenty years and half pay- that was the deal.

There are numerous examples of pensions lost or shrunk in the private sector. The difference is that the capitalism system has always carried the potential for great reward as well as great loss. Any comparison to military benefits would be comparing apples to oranges (or grenades).

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