Sep 19, 2011

GOP demands benefits for the military be on chopping block

Cutting through it

Military pensions and health care for active and retired troops cost the government about $100 billion a year to the disapproval of Republicans; GOP wants pensions and health care on the chopping budget block. Modernizing the Military Retirement System privatization plan in the news again.

As President Obama in August pledged to protect Veterans programs from budget cuts, the GOP in Congress and bureaucrats in the DoD are still pushing for cuts in pensions and health care for active and retired troops.

News of a radical overhaul of the Military Retirement system being in the works; with the anti-public language of GOP, first broken by CBS News, was followed by assurances by President Obama days later to protect veterans programs.

A New York Times follow-up piece today coded the political support for the pensions and health care cuts as existing in "Washington" and "Congress" though the only calls for cuts are coming from bureaucrats, thinktanks and Republicans, under the cloud of the Super Committee that the Times piece claims would force a deep cuts in pensions and health care. Wrong.

Actually, deep cuts in the Pentagon budget can be achieved by halting military adventurism and wars of choice over the world that dwarf the costs of pensions and health care of the people who fight these wars, based on lies and pushed by GOP chicken hawks and too many cowardly Democrats.

Questions remains: Will President Obama, putting aside his vague assurance made in August, make specific commitments to our serving troops, Marines and veterans that pensions and health care cuts are OFF the table.

As suggested here before and above, President Obama ought to take this Modernizing the Military Retirement System privatization plan and very publicly gives it the Deep Six.

One propaganda arm of the Pentagon, American Forces Press Service, knocked the CBS report down in August. The Times report today quotes Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta saying recently: "We’ve got to put everything on the table."

No, you don't. Mr. Secretary. Another question is whether the president will straighten out his secretary of defense.

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