Letters to the Editor

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MILITARY: Politicians betray veterans

Letter by Norman J. Campbell, DuPont on June 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm with 40 Comments »
June 15, 2011 1:37 pm

The budget axes are out, and the pay and benefits earned by military personnel and military retirees are the first targets. Cut pay and allowances, raise health care fees, change the retirement system and save millions. Military personnel are an easy target, at the mercy of a Congress that hides behind the myth of the phrase “this grateful nation.”

It is politically expedient for them to continue to waste trillions of dollars funding the Energy Department that for the past 40 years has overseen a crisis in energy develop into a disaster; a Department of Education that has overseen the downward spiral from the pinnacle of excellence to near Third World status; an illegal alien population eating our social services alive; and foreign aid to nations that threaten this county’s very existence.

Words from the past come back to haunt military retirees. “We know your pay is substandard, but you must not forget you are earning as a form of delayed pay, free health care for you and your dependents as long as you live.” They had no choice but to believe for that promise came from the highest levels of the military hierarchy.

From Rudyard Kipling: “For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Chuck him out the brute!’ But it’s ‘Savior of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot; An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please; An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!”

Today, military retirees also see.

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Leave a comment Comments → 40
  1. Misunderestimated says:

    What a sad country we are to speak of cutting military pay even as they are currently fighting at least four wars at the direction of our politicians.
    Why isn’t congress talking of cutting its own pay and benefits?
    Of congressional staffers pay and benefits?
    What a disgrace

  2. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The “ignorant electorate” that put the anti-American marxist/socialist “OH-Bummer” into the White House is seeing many of the results of that national error in good judgement!!

    Wake up citizens and get that marxist/socialist and the socialist democrats out of government at all levels!!

  3. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Don’t worry, dim bulb patty, red nose dicks and obummer will take care of the vets. Just ask them.

  4. Roncella says:

    Norman, Your so right to be upset about the way the Military is being treated.

    Our current resident in the Whitehouse has no Military experience, no business experience, little to no experience in dealing with either our alllies or our adversaries.

    This President has his priorities mixed up. His golfing and basketball time and vacations traveling all over the World even checking on his Irish ancestors etc. seem to keep him very busy.

    The folks are losing their homes, the price of a gallon of gas keeps going up and up food prices are going up and up, utility bills going up, property taxes going up, and what does President Obama concern himself with, its simple, getting re-elected for 4 more years of the same or worse, God Help Us All.

  5. dallasow says:

    Norman, there are no bills before congress that propose to cut military/retiree pay, change military retirement or increase the cost of military health care. You are epressing an opinion, without too much thought, and the righties are taking it as the gospel truth. I’m throwing the BS flag at you and the rest of the righties that believed your truth stretching rant.

  6. newscrap says:

    I think that the military started getting scr*wed under the right wing poster bohy Shrub. Also, don’t the Repubikons now have a majority in the House? But of course it is all obamas faut.

  7. theglovesRoff says:

    Hey sue, how many jobs does the DOD spending support? Your guy is all for shovel ready jobs, although he admitted that they weren’t as shovel ready as he thought they would be, so why would you want to put hundreds of thousands of people out of work?

    So that they can get a government handout from the DNCCULT that you clearly support?

  8. LarryFine says:

    Well newscrap, we are still operating under the former majority’s last budget (that would be Nancy, Harry, and Barry) … AND we all know it takes more than a few months to fix what the other party screwed up… right ? I mean, it’s alot worse than they (the republican majority) ever could imagine… right ? Sound familiar ? Shoe/foot… LOL.

  9. Okay children, Listen Up!

    The President has proposed budget cuts for DOD totaling $400 billion over the next 12 years.

    It is Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs that are saying cuts will be focused on pay and benefits rather than cutting hardware – as in weapons systems the Pentagon does not want or need.

    http://www.military.com/news/article/mullen-says-pay-benefit-cuts-on-the-table.html

    IMO what we have here is another example of cutting working pay so the big corporations (defense contractors etc) can continue to get richer at the public trough.

  10. LarryFine says:

    … yea, and Obama is a-ok with it…

  11. L_F,
    The President is OK with the cuts

    Focusing the cuts on pay and benifits rather than hardware is pure right wing GOP.

  12. alindasue says:

    This from the military.com article xring linked to:
    “In May, President Obama proposed sweeping budget cuts totaling $400 billion over the next 12 years — a fiscal hit experts say will largely come from the DoD. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said health care costs are “eating the Department of Defense alive” — with nearly 10 percent of the budget going to health benefits for active and retired servicemembers.”

    So, President Obama proposed cutting $400 billion over a twelve year span.

    “Experts”, not President Obama, speculate that the cuts will largely come from the Department of Defense.

    Former General, now Secretary Gates and the Joint Chiefs are now saying that a constant supply of new jets are more important than paying soldiers and retirees decently and giving them the full medical benefits promised (read the rest of the article).

    It’s nice to see the upper echelon showing the same care and respect for the rank and file soldiers that they did when my husband was in the Army.

    Yeah, I’m being sarcastic. It was this same “care” that led to my husband deciding after his first re-enlistment finished that he didn’t want to be a career soldier after all.

    Looking at this article, it appears some things never change.

  13. tacomascene says:

    Maybe a little off topic, but I just read that Pakistan’s LEADING military general is about to get his butt kicked from his position for being too chummy with the United States over the Bin Laden hit.

    In essence, what I’m saying is that the United States CANNOT remake the world in its own image; and that image is pretty crappy at the moment and has been ever since the Viet Nam fiasco.

    Slowly but surely, this “great” county is turning itself into a pile of dog poop. And in the meantime, countries that have NOTHING to do with other country’s problems are prospering.

    May the gods watch out and protect the Veterans of this sad county from malignant thought.

  14. Sroldguy says:

    Cut pay and benefits for active and retired military and make sure they don’t sneak in some extra money for important things…

    Amendments_to_the_Defense_Appropriations_Bill_FY_2012.pdf

    Ms. McCollum of Minnesota

    “…Not more than $200,000,000 of the funds made available by this Act may be expended for military musical units (as definied in section 974 of title 10, United States Code…”

  15. NWflyfisher says:

    Norman Campbell: Obama landed at Osan Air Base in Seoul South Korea 3:19 p.m. Eastern Time on November 19, 2009. He was dressed in a blue suit, white shirt and red tie. He stood before a large American Flag and 1500 American Servicemen and Women as a backdrop. He told the troops he was raising military pay which got a round of applause and then turned to them and said “You guys make a pretty good photo op”. He boarded Air Force One and took off for the trip home at 4:11 p.m. Eastern Time, less than an hour after landing. Adding to your comment, today’s military retiree also remembers.

  16. “Robert Gates has said health care costs are “eating the Department of Defense alive” — with nearly 10 percent of the budget going to health benefits for active and retired servicemembers”

    And, again, the elephant in the room is the obscene costs for health care in America.

    Single payer is a necessary component to fixing budget woes.

  17. Dave98373 says:

    As a member of the military, I understand the impact this will have on DoD members especially the retirees. Most Americans realize the challenges facing the future of America and its budget quandry. Most folks understand the fact that we will all have to make unpopular cuts to services be that the military, local transit, or local teachers. Yet, somehow most Amercians incredibly don’t care about where that budget cut comes from just so long as it does not impact themselves personally. But to use the word “betray” to describe a fiscal decision in desperate times is a bit too much.
    Norman-we are all suffering and some worse than others…stop being a victim and be grateful for what you have.

  18. scott0962 says:

    re. alindasue says:
    June 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm
    This from the military.com article xring linked to:
    “In May, President Obama proposed sweeping budget cuts totaling $400 billion over the next 12 years — a fiscal hit experts say will largely come from the DoD. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said health care costs are “eating the Department of Defense alive” — with nearly 10 percent of the budget going to health benefits for active and retired servicemembers.”

    Wait a moment, Obama and his merry band of medical planners can’t contain costs in the military health care system where they have control over the personnel, pay, policies, procurement and infrastructure? That does not bode well for cost containment under Obamacare does it?

  19. Dave,
    Some of us do care were the cuts are made.

    Progressives oppose cuts targeting the poor, the elderly, and the working and middle classes.

    Conservacons and Rpots oppose any cuts that do not target these groups.

    Historical Note: Following WWI US military pay was cut at least twice by Republican Presidents working with Republican dominated Congresses.

  20. Norman Campbell says:

    What appears to be missed by some in reading the letter is that while military retiree families are the target for cuts that will save the budget MILLIONS of dollars nothing is being done to cut funds from the Departments of Energy and Education (both total failures), or trying to curtail the unearned social expenditures that support illegal aliens that would save the budget TRILLIONS of dollars.

  21. GHTaxPayer says:

    You could always claim to be an illegal alien and get great freebies from this state, Oregon and California.

    Screw the vets and give cadillac benefits to the illegals – the Democrat way of gaining voters.

  22. Another phony letter from the far right meant to stir up the mindless lemmings?
    Getting to be a lot of those lately, the GOP must be failing at everything again.
    You always know when things are going poorly for the right, they drum up phony outrage for their blind partisans to scream and whine about.

  23. “You could always claim to be an illegal alien and get great freebies from this state”

    ‘Never tell the truth’ seems to be the motto for the rightists.

  24. Misunderestimated says:

    Interesting that the military, specifically mentioned in the Constitution as a Federal expenditure, is slated for cuts in pay and benefits; while, the Dept of Education, and hundreds of $billions of social expenditures not supported in the Constitution are somehow never cut.
    Interesting where we put our priorities.
    Maybe we can let the bureaucrats fight the next war while the rest of us begin learning Chinese language and culture so help adapt to our coming new masters.
    We either learn from history and reign in the madness in federal spending, or we doom our children and grand children to a life of pennury and servitude.

  25. Not exactly sure how the Depts of Energy and Education have anything to do with this letter about Veterans’ benefits…..

  26. concernedtacoma7 says:

    BB- read the post above yours. Lays out in the Constitution where federal priorities are.

    And this post is indirectly about the entire federal budget, so DOE and DOEd are on the table.

  27. the administration’s 2012 budget request for the Department of Education is $48.8 billion

    President Obama’s plan would boost the Energy Department’s budget to $29.5 billion

    The president’s proposed fiscal 2012 budget requests $553 billion for the Defense Department’s base spending and another $118 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq for a total of $671 billion.

    $671 billion compared to $29.5 billion or $48.8 billion. Yep, you are right ct7 – a look at the budget request does show where the priorities lie.

  28. Not only that but the GOP, the party of NO and the party of cut cut cut wants to increase the defence budget!

    Spending is really bad unless a republican is doing it, then it doesn’t matter.

  29. Scott0,
    What part of ‘Gates says’ do you not understand?

    The Pentagon has a long standing tradition of not being able to manage the assets.

    To reiterate, the Pentagon wants to cut or eliminate several weapons systems but Congress won’t let them.

  30. xring – your last two sentences seem to contradict each other…..the Pentagon is proven to not be able to manage a budget but it is Congress’ fault?

  31. LarryFine says:

    No government entity manages it’s “assets” very well…

  32. bBoy,
    Both are true. The Pentagon has problems accounting for all the funds the currently have. And Congress makes matters worse by continuing to funds projects that the Pentagon wants to drop.

    Thank of Lucille Ball trying to pack boxes of chocolate.

    L_F,
    Some agencies do better than others.

  33. LarryFine says:

    … yet none do it very well.

  34. Its America that our politicians have betrayed. BTW are not the members of the military all volunteers now. They must have known what they were getting into and known the rewards received for getting shot at. Those I have talked with did not join for patriotic reasons, rather out of a need for a job. The Pat Tillman’s are few and far between. It’s different today than it was 30 years ago.

  35. iput,
    The Draft was a great impediment to American interventionism.

  36. The “cutting pay of military” started on Facebook. Anyone with google can find that out.

  37. “LarryFine says:
    June 17, 2011 at 7:21 am
    No government entity manages it’s “assets” very well…”

    GREAT!!! Let’s privatize the military for efficiency! Who in hell do you think charges outrageous prices to provide the military with their “assets”????

  38. “LarryFine says:
    June 17, 2011 at 7:21 am
    No government entity manages it’s “assets” very well…”

    Well, by all means, let’s just write the Pentagon – the biggest mismanaging entity – a blank check! Better yet, let them send pallets full of cash into a war zone without any effort to account for the money!

  39. LarryFine says:

    As I said… and yes, that includes the military. So your point is ?

  40. Cut military funding.

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