Letters to the Editor

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MILITARY: Defense cuts will hurt state economy

Letter by Norman J. Campbell, DuPont on Sep. 28, 2011 at 1:13 pm with 3 Comments »
September 28, 2011 2:25 pm

Re: “Specter of big defense cuts prompts big worries” (TNT, 9-25).

Federal Transfer Funds (FTF) – monies entering the state to pay for federal commitments – represent a good portion of the economy of Washington state due to its several military installations and large military retiree population.

In the 2010 fiscal year, $3.737 billion was paid to fulfill commitments to 70,983 military retirees, their dependents and 8,373 retiree widows in this state. More than $1 billion of this is retiree retention pay. With most of this spent in the state boosting businesses, creating new jobs and reducing unemployment, it has a major impact on the state’s economic well-being.

The state will suffer a huge decrease in FTF with the proposed cutbacks in the defense budget. The proposed revamping of the military retirement system to an IRA-type retirement over time would negatively affect the state’s economy by billions of dollars plus military retiree retention pay now entering the state each year. Every facet of the state’s economy will be negatively affected.

This “penny wise, pound foolish” proposal will cost the Defense Department more in recruiting/training costs as it must continually recruit and train new troops to replace the trained career troops who will leave the service in droves as they refuse to put their lives on the line without the added incentives of the present retirement system.

The politicians are forgetting that the preamble to the Constitution requires the government to provide for the common defense of the United States. It can’t be done by shorting our career military.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. Love the “conservative” “logic”…..Government doesn’t create jobs but defense cuts will cost jobs…..

  2. how is this a conservative or for that matter, a liberal point of view..?

    And governments don’t “create” jobs, he is talking about the income that is spent in the community in this case a retiree.

    I actually disagree with the writer, I don’t think retirees incomes create a demand but maintain what was already being spent in the community.

  3. gerry0416 says:

    The Department of Defense is tasked with defending the nation from our enemies. They are in no way responsible for creating jobs or pumping money into the local economy. Hopefully, the decisions that are being made will be for the welfare of the entire country and not for the financial benefit of the local areas. If that means that we end up with fewer bases (fewer federal dollars) here in Pierce County, so be it. I am tired of the constant whining by some individuals who are only worried about their personal financial well-being.

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