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Old 12-27-2013, 07:11 PM  
mlyonsd mlyonsd is online now
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Democrats choose to fund illegal tax refunds instead of military pensions

Here's a new topic for Direckshun...

Senate GOP fails in final bid to block military pension cuts in budget bill

A final effort by Senate Republicans to halt cuts to pensions of military retirees failed late Tuesday, after Democrats blocked an amendment to the controversial budget bill.

The two-year budget agreement, which cleared a key test vote earlier in the day, was expected to get a final vote no later than Wednesday.

Ahead of the final vote, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., tried unsuccessfully to use a parliamentary tactic to force a vote on the amendment, which he wrote to undo the cuts for military retirees.

A provision in the already House-passed bill would cut retirement benefits for military retirees by $6 billion over 10 years.

Sessions wanted to instead eliminate an estimated $4.2 billion in annual spending by reining in an IRS credit that illegal immigrants have claimed.

He and fellow senators argued the bill unfairly sticks veterans and other military retirees with the cost of new spending.

“It’s not correct, and it should not happen,” Sessions said on the floor.

"By blocking my amendment, they voted to cut pensions for wounded warriors," he said afterwards. "Senators in this chamber have many valid ideas for replacing these pension cuts, including my proposal to close the tax welfare loophole for illegal filers, and all deserved a fair and open hearing. But they were denied.”

Sessions’ office claimed the vote Tuesday to block the amendment was a vote to "cut military pensions instead of cutting welfare for illegal immigrants."

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash.,who brokered the budget deal with House counterpart Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., argued the GOP effort was really an attempt to kill the entire bill.

The Republican-led House passed the bill last week in an effort to avoid another stalemate leading to a potential government shutdown, like the one in October that polls showed was largely unpopular with voters.

The two-year budget deal would ease for two years some of the harshest cuts to agency budgets required under automatic spending curbs commonly known as sequestration. It would replace $45 billion in scheduled cuts for the 2014 budget year already underway, easing about half of the scheduled cuts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013...o-budget-bill/

There's something inherently wrong with a system where senators aren't drug out and clubbed to death like baby seals when they choose to give tax dollars to illegal instead of wounded veterans.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by mlyonsd View Post
There isn't two lines in the thread title.
Second line of the OP, not the title you (ostensibly) gave the thread.
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Old 12-29-2013, 10:59 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Again I agree, but the waste that should be eliminated from the DoD budget is not being eliminated. Instead it is benefits given to those who either currently serve or have served. The wrong things are being thrown into the volcano.
Completely agree~
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Old 12-29-2013, 03:54 PM   #63
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Turns out they don't want people with epilepsy or congenital heart defects. Not that I didn't try.
Thank you then for at least trying and I sincerely appreciate it. Too many will never even consider going that route even if they were fully qualified. But I have to ask, hypothetically if you had been physically qualified for service and did serve and stayed for 20 years would you still have been so eager to support initiatives that cut your pension benefits. And yes in government speak a reduction in increases is considered a cut.
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Old 12-29-2013, 04:03 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Thank you then for at least trying and I sincerely appreciate it. Too many will never even consider going that route even if they were fully qualified. But I have to ask, hypothetically if you had been physically qualified for service and did serve and stayed for 20 years would you still have been so eager to support initiatives that cut your pension benefits. And yes in government speak a reduction in increases is considered a cut.
I can honestly say I would have no problem with it had I gone Air Force as planned. I just don't see a reason why a person in their 40s who is able to work should expect that massive of a pension. I certainly wouldn't agree with a MAJOR cut though. Simply because at that point you are getting screwed out of something that you were promised when you signed up.

Failure to adjust for cost of living is one thing, actually CUTTING the pension is another. In my perfect world I would allow what is happening here but any further cuts should not affect those who have already signed up. Though I certainly WOULD cut the pension outlays for the future. If that means we have fewer people willing to sign up, so be it. We have too many troops as it is and it lends itself to abuse where the powers that be feel free to put them in harms way far too often.

Oh, and don't get me wrong. I'm a HAWK. I just don't think we have to risk our soldiers (as much as we do) to have a strong military.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:21 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Thank you then for at least trying and I sincerely appreciate it. Too many will never even consider going that route even if they were fully qualified. But I have to ask, hypothetically if you had been physically qualified for service and did serve and stayed for 20 years would you still have been so eager to support initiatives that cut your pension benefits. And yes in government speak a reduction in increases is considered a cut.
I can't speak for a hypothetical 20 year career, nor what my feelings would be about not getting an annual cost of living increase.

All I'm saying is if you want to keep a cut, cut from the same department. Military cuts should be offset with other military cuts. That 1 percent cost of living decrease could very easily be offset by not purchasing more equipment.

I do think that the tax refunds given to illegals is stupid and that loophole should be closed. I also think that should come with a comprehensive tax reform and not a budget bill.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:37 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
I can't speak for a hypothetical 20 year career, nor what my feelings would be about not getting an annual cost of living increase.

All I'm saying is if you want to keep a cut, cut from the same department. Military cuts should be offset with other military cuts. That 1 percent cost of living decrease could very easily be offset by not purchasing more equipment.

I do think that the tax refunds given to illegals is stupid and that loophole should be closed. I also think that should come with a comprehensive tax reform and not a budget bill.
I agree with that 100%. There are cuts that could easily be made without having to mess with the benefits of those who currently serve or have served.
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Old 12-31-2013, 07:55 AM   #67
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"Keep your promise" was the theme of a lobbying effort by the Military Officers Association of America.
The principle of grandfathering these reductions is what is different from previous changes. Military folks signed a contract or series of contracts (reenlistments) based upon the retirement system in place at their first enlistment or commission. These reductions do not honor that contract. The cumulative effect over 20 plus years is substantial.
This
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:03 AM   #68
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I agree that this is something that should be much lower on the list of things to cut. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be cut.

I know this won't be popular but let's be honest, military pensions are outrageous. Retiring with 50% pay after only 20 years is ludicrous.
That's fine, but any changes to the military retirement scheme should take place for new recruits, not for people who have invested years into a career with the expectation of receiving the promised pot of gold at the end of the often-less-than-luxurious (to say the least) slog.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:17 AM   #69
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I agree with all of this except the bolded statement. The problem is, what if we paid every retired military member $1 million/year? Would that be acceptable to cut? At some point you have to look at the actual FIGURES dispassionately. You can't simply say that military pay is off the table.

I feel the current pension plan is ridiculous. I also feel that there should still be a pension plan and it should be better than the standard pension to somewhat reflect the danger inherent to the job.
The cumulative promise we make to new recruits, including the pension, should be enough to attract the number and the quality of recruits and achieve the retention that we need. It shouldn't be more and it shouldn't be less. And it shouldn't be changed after the fact, particularly after a decade of war (when the military personnel have been pushed to the limits of THEIR commitment) and particularly if we aren't facing enough of an emergency to start making serious cuts to all the other programs that you say you would support cutting before going after this particular military cut. This is the dispassionate analysis.

Where we should have been more frugal is when politicians, primarily democrats, were pushing for expanded veteran benefits (beyond the extent of the original promises made) as a demagogic way of making up for their less than full support of the war effort.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:30 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
Thank you then for at least trying and I sincerely appreciate it. Too many will never even consider going that route even if they were fully qualified. But I have to ask, hypothetically if you had been physically qualified for service and did serve and stayed for 20 years would you still have been so eager to support initiatives that cut your pension benefits. And yes in government speak a reduction in increases is considered a cut.
People who choose to go into the military are neither more nor less virtuous than people who choose a different path in life. We have saints and sinners who join the military and likewise for those who don't.
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