DoD’s Call to Reduce Pay Seems Ironically ‘Hollow’

August 08, 2013 | Terry Howell

The battle over the 2014 Defense Budget wages on with the same threats and warnings about readiness and compensation. But this seemed to take on a bit of an ironic twist last week.

During his testimony before the House Armed Services Committee last week Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, warned that if congress didn’t cut the current rate of growth in personnel costs the training and modernization budgets would be squeezed, “resulting in a ‘hollowing out’ of the force.”

In his latest Military Update column, Tom Philpott points out the irony in that statement; it was the DoD (namely the Joint Chiefs)who claimed (back in the 1970′s) that the U.S. military was almost a “hollow force,” in part because of low pay, housing allowances set far below off-base rents, and anemic travel reimbursements that put service families in financial holes with every move to a new duty station.

Now the Joint Chiefs say that Congress should not be protecting military pay and compensation from the effects 2011 Budget Control Act while the overall defense budget is in danger of taking such a big hit. The argument is that force levels, recruiting and retention are all strong, while the money to train and support reasonable the force, operate ships and aircraft, maintain facilities and equipment, is being hit hard.

On the other hand some would argue that reducing pay and compensation may quickly erode troop levels and the quality of the force, like it did in the 70’s and early 80’s.

The fact is that there is no easy answer for the DoD, but, pitting compensation against training and modernization is not the answer. Maintaining both is the price of keeping a highly effective, motivated, well-trained voluntary military force. Maybe it’s time for our elected officials to face that fact, before it’s too late.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. Mark Wynn says:

    This is the same Congress that exempted itself from costly Obamacare … which the elitist Democrats apparently believe is only for the vast unwashed.

    • Mark Wynn,

      None exempted them. Like me and my Health Insurance Company (Tricare), I can keep my insurance I have, or I can move to Obama Care.

      Really, why would/should a Federal Employee with good Health Coverage cancel what he has to move to another plan unless it is better all the way around than what he/she already has.

      I think some of you folks out there really have no idea the way Obama Care works or even how your own Health Insurance Company works!

      This downsizing happens after every Conflict, Congress and DOD just needs to deal with it. One thing is for sure, if DOD/Congress doesn't do something, DOD is going to become, let me quote "Today we're on a path in the Department of Defense to turn it into a benefits company that may occasionally kill a terrorist."

      PS: This is what happened to General Motors, they ended up paying out more in Benefits than they were paying out in Wages.

      • The benifits and compensation a retiring veteran recieves is a Percentage. A taxable percentage that is well short of what they earned while active. While the same people who want to cut the military do not recieve a percentage of there retirment they receive 100%. Huge difference. Just an example of the type of cuts the military are facing and congress is looking at cutting. Here is one question why do we freeze federal raises and pay but continue to give pay raises to congress and senate without question?
        Maybe the military is not where we need to cut and make pay compensations.
        The President has been clear on his position to cut the military to an active Police Force versus a forward presence. So yes folks need to educate themselves and vote.

        • retired cpo says:

          Maybe you don't realize how this works …
          WE don't freeze pay or give pay! CONGRESS freezes federal pay and CONGRESS gives pay raises to themselves! WE have nothing to say about it. WE only get to vote these people into office so they can make the laws that they benefit from. No matter who WE vote for, WE get the same return on our investment … the good old boys club does whatever they want .

        • Thomas P,

          Not true, they can't recieve more than 80% of what they earned.

          "The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary."

          Source: http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

          Item number 2 is also not true. We DO NOT continue to give Congress = (House and Senate) pay raises. Congress has voted down their pay raises since 2009.

          So, armed with the these new and improved facts, what is your argument now?????

      • Independence 1776 says:

        The percentage of DOD budget that goes to personnel compensation is not anywhere near the percentage that covers the frivolous spending, budget padding, etc. Compare wages of private sector equivalents to military jobs. Then factor the life or death risks and family separation – while living and working on anti-American soil – then tell me military personnel are over compensated.

  2. We need a new congress, senate and administration, they just don't have a clue how to run this nation. So many things are just wrong!!!!!!!!

    • Bob,

      We the people have a choice at the voting booth, and we get what we vote for!

    • Bob truer words have never been spoken. Did you know also that our congressmen and senators are able to draw social security and not have to pay a dime into the fund. What is wrong with that picture? If each state taxed their people a representative tax….and that was the only pay that representative received, and pay raises were left to the people of that state, we would be better off.

  3. Mary Kelly says:

    My husband was in the service in 1970. The amount of pay as an E% we almost starve. He go and scavenger for bottles on the highway to get milk money for the baby. We almost starved to death.

    • The pay was $50 every two weeks and it you were married another 25 plus for each child it was $25. Housing was 100 in Beeville TX and rats were around 60. Add it up we all staved and had to get second jobs and plus working 16-hour days. I love my country but hate the politics–1975 congress gave them a 17% pay raise and we got three percent. But we voted them in but no one wants to vote them out.

      • I was in the Army in the mid seventies, I remember making a little bit more than fifty dollars, try about $245. And actually it was doubled during that time(I don't remember the exact year), but Carter was President. It was proposed by Carter and signed by Regan(Carter lost the election). Now Regan did start the annual pay raise for the Military, if I memory serve me correctly.

    • Mary Kelly,

      Why is it the Military's fault you had a baby before you could afford to?????

  4. tjruffian says:

    The move to reduce pay and other military benefits is nothing new. If you review past history, every time there is downsizing or no wars to fight, Congress looks at cutting military benefits. What they are saying in essence is "Thank you for your service – now we need to cut your benefits for the good of the country." We hope you understand." "Congressional pay/benefits will remain intact along with annual increases." Have a nice day."

    Now this will only change if either one of the following occur: we vote these people out of office or the U.S. gets involved in a new war. CHECK YOUR HISTORY AND YOU WILL FIND THIS TO BE TRUE!

  5. Lets cut congresses pay and benefits. They certainly do not earn it and are undermining our security. You can bet nothing of theirs will take a cut. They will even get a pay raise for the nothing they do. If there was a way to fire them all right now I would agree with it. We homemakers and laborers know how to do with what we have they need to also.

    • O concur

    • Linda,

      Sorry, but you can't cut their pay and benefits. By the way, they have voted against a pay raise since 2009.

    • John Boga says:

      its called turm limits one or two years and you are out with no pay raises and if you are found guilty of any wrong doings they you pay back all the money you thought you earned!!

      • US Army MAJ says:

        This is the best way to go. Lets limit the politians terms, no pay raises, no life long health care or retirement funded by the government. The congress was meant to be a part time job not a career, lets get back to this. Fire them all and start fresh.

      • Better yet throw them in jail!

    • Midterm elections are next year. Just ensure that the incumbent officeholder, regardless of party or record, is replaced. That should shake them up a bit.

    • BillR:

      I agree with Linda, let the congressman take a pay cut. She is correct they doing nothing to earn their pay, if they continue the same path, they we the people have the power to not reelect them when their time for re-election comes. If we start this then maybe they will get it.

      • Actually, Congress and the Senate should be paid more. They are two of the most important jobs in the world. Unfortunately, the system has created a situation where there is no limit to the amount of money a politician can raise and/or spend on an election. To get this money they need to sell their votes to those highest bidders. We call it "campaign donations" but they are simple bribes. The Super PACs funded by Koch, Adelson, allies of Gingrich, and Dems Eychaner, George Soros, etc are all buying influence at our expense. They spent close to a billion last election.
        The suggestion for term limits seems to be the only escape since the elected office would then become a service instead of a manipulated career as it is now. Give the elected official a salary commensurate with a Fortune 500 CEO but limit that time in office. No retirement other than a 401k and Social Security and great health care when in office but none there after.
        When a politician or party calls me for money I tell them "not a penny until you endorse term limits". Stop giving them money to run with and they might wake up to the general discontent we share.

    • the policy makers wouldn't care if their pay is cut…they are all already millionaires…part of the one percent. for the last three decades our government has been taken over by big business and lobbyists! it's no wonder they are considering getting rid of our current retirement system and replacing it with the 401k plan…follow the money…who benefits? wall street does!!!

    • Let Them CUT congresses Pay and Cut the travel for everybody

      • Well, that "them" you're talking about is Congress. Only Congress can cut their own pay, because they voted to give it.

        • I almost forgot, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely" …Congress has the power to do what they want, but not if they are voted out of office.

    • YOU HAVE HIT THE MARK. CUTTING CONGRESS PAY IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THE POINT ACROSS.

    • The congressional factions remind me of two organized crime families battling for a piece of the action at the expense of the military.

  6. Linda USN(Ret) says:

    I am 20 years retired Navy. I am not getting what they promised me in 1975 when I enlisted. I've seen pay raises and benefits go up and down. I'm not even sure I'll be getting my retirement pay (which isn't a whole lot) for the rest of my life. Let's just screw the military! They can take it! Sure, we can take it, but we shouldn't have to. Do what you promised because we did what we were required to do and took low pay and stayed in and served our country.

    • Linda,

      LMAO, you either are or aren't getting your benefits you were promised when you signed up, what is it????? I know I am getting everything I was promised, and have been since I retired. My father, sister and brother have gotten everything they were promised when they retired also.

  7. Congress did not exempt them selves from Obama care. What they did was get the tax payer to pay the difference it cost to keep their existing insurance plan. In other words they are receiving Tax payer Subsidy so their ins cost do not increase.

  8. Whats new. The Democrats are in charge.

    • thosewhoserve says:

      The Democrats may be in charge, but it is the Republicans in the House that brought us the sequester that is decimating the Department of Defense budget.

      • Wrong…Sequestration was Barry's idea…not the House of Representatives. Do your research.

        • thosewhoserve says:

          Bill, you are correct. I remember the Democrat and Republican leaders in the House and Senate telling us repeatingly that the sequester would never come to pass.

          The House could resolve it in ten minutes, if they weren't on a five-week vacation, if they had any interest in doing so because the House has the authority to initiate any budgetary legislation they like and send it to the Senate.

        • Yes, because he thought it was too onerous for a functioning congress to allow to come into being. The Tea-Baggers proved him wrong.

      • Another Jack who believe in the Dems and what they are selling. I served 20 years and I've seen a lot under Republican and Democrats, but this is the worsert or the worst.

      • Wrong! President Obama submitted this idea himself, do your research.

    • Democrats in charge? Let me review (and by all means correct me if I'm wrong), some of the worst benefit cuts in military history came during the Reagan Administration and his Congress (Contract with America). That's why as a retired E-8, I retire at about $200.00 less per month than the Final Base Pay retirees. Check it out bro, I did before I retired. Not complaining, but get your facts straight about which political party does what. TRICARE cuts, that idea actually started way back during the George W Administration.

    • DenisLaCrosse says:

      Short memory. Neither Obama, not any Democrat started both of the wars we expect our defensive armed forces to fight.

      Can you name the last war we won? Think hard- it may have been before you were born.

    • funny you should say that when the GOP is all about cutting Vet benefits while writing checks to pay for the Iraqi War for Oil.

      The GOP House cut funding for Veterans organizations that help vets return to civilian life and get jobs. GW Bush instituted a co-pay system for veterans needing VA medical care. But they were OK to spend over $1 Trillion on Bush's war for oil? WTF? Reagan created the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission that closed down 97 bases. http://tinyurl.com/9upo62p costing tens of thousands to lose their jobs that support the military, but he gave the rich a tax cut from 70% to 50% (trickle down anyone?). So why the F does the military vote GOP?

    • like I said it;s both party's they retire and get jobs on K street and work for big business. Unless we change the laws kicking out one bad person and get another is not fixing anything

  9. What we need is Senior Military Officers that protect there men that are warriers and know the need of keeping a ready military force. Not the Libreral Office Managers that are entrenched in the upper ecelon of our military forces. The Constitution requires the citizens be protected and with the crew we have running the armed forces they are not being protected. What a laugh to see them at the congressional hearings, definetly not warriors.

    • I got out after 8 years because of the politics necessary once you reach a certain rank. I hated politics at 27. I hate it even more at 48. I also believe that the best way to express our discontent is by voting them out–in essence, fire their hindends (ALL OF THEM) as well as enacting term limits. Until they're hit in the pocketbook, them won't understand.

    • Joe,

      First of all, and not having anything to do with my post to you, is that I think everyone should get rid of the notion of calling all soldiers "warriers" and/or "hero's".

      Now, as far as Senior Officers protecting soldier, just standing back and looking at the big picture, I think that has been and is still being done. I'm not sure I understand why you think I'm not being protected. I surely don't feel unprotected and I don't see anything that would make me cower in a closet and wimpering like a dog that's been kicked around for years.

      I will agree that Congressmen aren't warrories, but then again, there are millions out there that aren't worries also.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        Let's see, what was that oath again? I remember now except yours was different? Did yours go something like this? I ______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; unless I have to risk my life, because I need a job and am not willing to die for anybody or anything, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, unless I could die and I get retirement, and will only go to foreign countries for the extra pay, BUT, not to defend the constitution because i'm really not defending anything, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

        • idmedic,

          My DD Form 214/215 is located here, where is yours?????

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            What does that have to do with your statements about not willing to die for anything or anybody? It was a job? The outcome of any conflict did not matter in regards to your constitutional rights? 911 ring a bell? Japan didn't attack us. It wasn't a nation that attacked us. In your mind doing nothing would have ensured your constitutional rights, regardless of what we did in response? According to your logic, our military has done nothing to defend the constitution while fighting in foreign lands right? Certainly wasn't part of that oath you took was it? All the soldiers that have DIED aren't defending this nation?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            No response?

        • idmedic,

          This blog is about "DoD’s Call to Reduce Pay Seems Ironically ‘Hollow’". Remember?, the reason I started the below message board/blog, was because you've kept making these military.com blogs personnel.

          So once again, I remind you of my blog specifically started for you, by me to discuss the personnel things about me you continually post about here on the military.com blog.

          So please, take your constant bickering post over to the message board I started for you.

          My DD Form 214/215 is located here, where is yours?????

          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MyMilitaryHistory/?…

          • Idmtmedic says:

            I'm only posting what YOU are stating. Would you like to clarify your statements? Perhaps quote your statements? What's personal about that? The topic is certainly about pay being cut is ironically hollow in reference to other stated issues yet your "personal" views on warriors is not related to the "topic". So let's get back to the topic.
            So, cut pay and put the money to upgrade systems and weaponry at the expense of keeping those personnel to operate those upgraded systems? Tell us, what are the non-warriors to do?

  10. There is not enough people who want to protect us so they give us a flack jacket to stop bullets and congress abuse.
    We must unite to vote them out and find people who care about this country, the military, and our civilian families.
    Shipmates the ball is in your court

  11. I served from 1943 to 1970. When budget time comes cutting military pay and allowances seemed the easiest for Congressmen/women politically to cut. Raising their pay seemed not so problematical.

  12. You can have the greatest weapons systems in the world, but if you don't have the right people operating those systems, they're just a pile of junk. Are we going the way of the Romans where eventually we'll have to hire mercenaries from other countries to defend our borders? Oh, wait, mercenaries expect to be PAID, don't they? Well, I guess we can use all of those unmanned vehicles that seem to be cropping up, as long as they don't "accidentally" take out the wrong targets. I went through the late 1970s as a junior enlisted, it wasn't easy, I didn't have a lot of money for the things I needed, and when I finally started getting paid better, I decided to stay in past my initial 6 years. What are the senior leaders and our heroes in Congress (tell me again just how many of THEM served in the military) going to do when we no longer have sufficient incentives for recruitment and retention?

      • What happened to the days when Soldiers guarded army posts and fed the troops and other work details? If we had adraft the regulars wouldnt have had to serve 2 or 3 tours in Iraqui and Afganistan. We had a hell of a bunch of good Soldiers in WW2,kOREA and Vietnam and we worked a whole lot cheaper and didnt get full college educations.

        BigMo—Korea 1952—Heartbreak RIidge

  13. I think the joint chiefs should start with flag rank cuts in pay and benefits and go down the ranks top to bottom and not bottom to top….. also, leave people who have already "earned" their benefits alone like retired, vets, disabled, etc. you get the drift. If cuts in benefits are required, start fresh with new people and let them know before they enlisted what the deal is, not after the fact like like our retired and vets.

    • How about starting with the Senate and Congress pay cuts, full retirement no matter how long they have been in and full lifetime care oh and by the way that isn't ObamaCare that applies to them. Let's take away their ability to give themselves raises. How about cutting the president from taking extravagant and costly vacations and last but not least we force them to get a buget before they take any breaks? Remember they work for the people, the people do not work for them!

    • jmbr25APR says:

      They have been kicking that notion around at least since 1964 when they actually kept promoting the "stay in the Military for 20+ years and never worry about your medical benefits and enjoy retirement pay". However the fact wasn't mentioned to those whom voluntarily joined the military that that was going to go by the wayside. My husband retired in 1970 and when you are forced to Medicare (Tricare/Champus goes away) You had to buy the medigap policies, so much for free medical benefits in three short years the medigap policy went from $57 per month to $119 a month. Thankfully Tricare for life came to be and finally kept that promise to provide the medical benefits to retired Military. So the question is they know that medical rates are soring why don't the powers to be say ok Starting January 1, 20?? limited or no medical benefits for staying in the military, start a medical savings plan now upon join the military or some such thing. They just don't act in DC they raid in all sorts of manners. It would be cruel to change what was promised…….too bad it wasn't in writing with your name on it, just the I Want You posters.

      • What is really amazing is that we are constantly told that the promise of free health care and retirement was never made. Well how come so many people remember and know about it and even more amazingly, that it happened at about the same time, 1964. I can well understand why a lot of congressmen don't remember it because they weren't even born yet and by the way, a lot of them have never served in the military. And yet, here they are making decisions for those of us who have. What a bunch of pompass asses they are.

      • A verbal contract is as legal and binding as a written contract.

        • jmbr25APR says:

          I'm very well aware of that fact. So the Question is Why did the military/congress/senate/president Commander-in-chief, not keep their end of the bargain? Speaking of benefits I have read that they are going to close commissaries. Well that was a benefit also. I also read that benefits are able to be withdrawn. So we are faced with a lot of questions. Nevertheless benefits have been being withdrawn for years of we the people not congress or the senate or the president for that matter.

  14. Young Army wife says:

    My husband was young when he joined the Army and did not notice they left off a zero on his insurance. He called DOD and they refused to change it. After he retired he died of brain cancer and I received $1,000 in insurance instead of the $ 10,000 of much needed insurance. His salary while in service was $50.00 a month for quite awhile. He retired a Sgt/Major E9. That is how fair they are to their service men. and women.

    • Young Army wife,

      LOL, that isn't the way the system or any system works, you don't just call DOD. Back then, you would go to your PAC, fill out a simple form, get your copy and the others are sent forward.

  15. THE MILITARY HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE WHIPPING POST. I THINK CONGRESS IS WHIPPED OR NEEDS A WAKEUP WHIP. ANY VET KNOWS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONSERVITIVE GOVERNMENT AND A DEMACRAT RUN GOVERNMENT, CONSERVITIVES BUILD MOST OF THE TIME AND DEMS TEAR IT DOWN, EVERY POLITICAL CYCLE HAS THE SAME PATTERN. WE HAVEN'T HAD A TRUE CONSERVITIVE GOVERNMENT FOR A LONG TIME.

    • Maybe you should learn to spell before you criticize.

      • Now Darryl, why would you say a thing like that? Are you in with the new breed that's taking part in bringing our nation down?

    • heskibluski says:

      I always hear what the ineffective Congress and Administration are wanting to take away from us to cover up their own incompetent and ill conceived ideas to cover up their own errors in judgement. I never hear what they and military command are giving up.
      When they cut too much they will have to do the defending our country. I have a sign on both sides of my Jeep, "I love My Country, Don't Trust The Government" .

    • oh please they are all to blame get a clue my family lived through the 1970's and 1980's and they all keep us so poor we could have got food stamps if my husband would have asked his commander and recked his army carrier because we would have shamed the US gov It was both the dem's and the GOP and the president was your great Reagan even he did not care

  16. CHARLES REINITZ says:

    I SERVED FROM FEB 1947 TO SEP 1969. NOW MY RETIREMENT AND SS ARE SUFFICIENT. ALTHOUGH FINANCES ARE NOW ENOUGH ;IF PRESENT BUNCH OF NINCOMPOOPS HANDLING THE PAY ARE NOT EDUCATED IN COST OF LIVING/INCOME WE ARE IN FOR A HEAP OF TROUBLE..SICKENING!

  17. The draftee military was a better military, we all know why we have this volunteer military today. All you sorry haters can express what blame you want to throw out there, you should look at your own sorry selves blaming others. What is,is you can be negative until the cows come home and nothing is going to change and you will be sorry until you leave here, and it still will be all you hate. Get a life and be happy. The world is changing, remember you were not promised anything for you service, it was your duty, so shut up and stop crying, it only shows your character or lack thereof.

    • Independence 1776 says:

      That is about the most un-American attitude I've heard.

    • Dear Frank

      Obviously you have not served. You have not had to live with your compensation consistently below the rate of inflation. Your ignorance – yes, we were promised things for our service – is clear from your comments. It is easy to pontificate if you have never given, if you have never served. It is easy to castigate those who served so you can enjoy the life you have. Yes, it was our duty, but it is a duty we volunteered for, not a duty that was required of us. It is just sad that someone like yourself can find fault with those who volunteer so you can enjoy the freedoms you have.

    • Wow, Frank…you need to get a life!!!! First make sure you have your facts straight before you go spouting off a bunch of BS! Love how some people think they know it all…walk in an Airman, Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Coastguardsmen's shoes before you pass judgment…

    • Too bad you can't face us face to face.

    • Frank, shut the hell up. What have you done for your country?

    • Frank I think you are wrong in many ways, my husband served 30 years in the UNITED STATES ARMY and boy do I love and respect this soldier husband of mine being married 50 years and we still love and respect each other. My husband did 2 tours in Vietnam and each time he had to go to Vietnam he had to complete 6 months of duty at Ft. Irwin and Fort Bragg before he went to Vietnam. He never complained and today we thank God for his retirement check and his social security check. You had better believed we are concerned about our young soldiers of today, the US government as turned their backs on them and their families. Our Military should be the greatest in the world and at one time it was. If I I could and had the power I would throw every one in our government positions out and make whomever was voted back in to tell the truth and make sure that this government could be cleaned up. Frank you can lay down at night in peace and know that our military are out there taken care of us. so if you hadn't walked in their shoes, SHUT UP. a faithful military wife of 70 years old who loves her 76 old husband. what a soldier I have.

    • Redleg retired says:

      Frank you never stated if you served. From the jist of your comment if you did you were either an extremely sorry POS or someone who kissed up enough to make rank. Someone besides an idiot like you is reading these comments. Maybe they will make a change and maybe not. Who knows? Your comment also shows a lack of character but it also shows your ignorance. I did retire as a 1sg from the United States Army and I am proud to have served. I would never have made a comment like yours because of that pride. God bless those who did serve with honor and pride so that moron's like you can continue to reap the benefits.

    • Frank,
      Please let us know if you have ever had a job let alone served in the military. The draftee military was far from quality of the present volunteer military. Next, let us know when have told your present employer (if you are not on welfare) that you are more than happy to have your present wages and benefits cut. Lets see your character by responding in a civil manner, that you have asked for and are now receiving less compensation for your employment. Preferably in a more cogent and less grammatically challenged response.

  18. Navy Corpsman says:

    I would like to make a comment, however your disclaimer is not effective at all (Military.com) because the first comment I read is racially motivated and slanderous (Sam Schipman) and it was repeated twice! This is not what respectable servicemen and women condone no matter what the issue and more importantly we all volunteered and were not forced to enlist and fight like does I witnessed in Desert Storm while serving as a enemy-prisoner-of-war guard. If the government is defaulting on their blank check to us then join a service organization and become a Veteran Service Officer and make your case with honor and distinction this is what respectable veterans do!

    • R.S. Webber says:

      I agree with you on the racial connotations. I know a lot of Vets who think like that and its disrespectful of the Commander-in-Chief. Im disable too but it didn't affect my brain. I guess being 100% also affected his brain gray matter. What a bigot. He must be from Kentucky.

  19. How about starting with the Senate and Congress pay cuts, full retirement no matter how long they have been in and full lifetime care oh and by the way that isn't ObamaCare that applies to them. Let's take away their ability to give themselves raises. How about cutting the president from taking extravagant and costly vacations and last but not least we force them to get a buget before they take any breaks? Remember they work for the people, the people do not work for them!
    I am the wife of a retired Navy man, who served during our last president who made these cuts to our military, Clinton. I became the major breadwinner in our family because is was not possible to raise a family and live in a house where my husband served. That was horrible on his self esteem but we had to get past that in order to survive. He now works Civil Service who has been going through the furloughs. We have to stand up make it known to our government that this isn't a free ride for them. They too need to start working for their salary. I don't know they sleep with themselves at night?

  20. We know that the congress men and women and those who serve in the White House and at the pleasure of the president politician disrespect our military ranks. It is part of their attitude that allows congress to vote themselves pay raises without accountability and give themselves benefits above and beyond the military personnel and way beyond what they deserve

    • A. Prusaczyk says:

      You are so RIGHT Sherry, I'm a disabled U.S. Army veteran living on only $826.00 a month disability pay.

  21. jmbr25APR says:

    Why do we the American People pay for the Cadillac Plans for Retirement AND Medical benefits for Congressmen & Woman and Senators. I haven't seen any cuts to THEIR benefits, Makes you want to say HUMMMMMMMM!

    Then there is we the people's retirement, Not congress or Senate……..Social Security, they aren't in SS Medicare they have the Cadillac Plans remember.
    your employer put in half you put in the other half. But SS has become those in DC's honey pot. Starting with JFK who knows maybe even earlier to Carter & Clinton and Obama raiding it IT ISN'T THEIR MONEY to Take. They were just suppose to administer it as a retirement net for we the people. They act like they put all that money into it.
    Between cutting benefits and raiding our retirement fund we are heading down real fast!

    Mark my words when they start pink slipping our Military unemployment will soar and our country will be vulnerable.
    I do not know about you but this situation is looking mighty Grave. TIME START LOOKING AFTER OUR COUNTRY and halt a lot of the aid to Other Countries. We have our tired our hungry and our poor to look after right now! Children are starving and no one is looking.

    • jmbr25APR,

      What Cadillac Plans and Retirement AND Medical Benefits????? If what you are saying is true, then you're speaking of all Federal Workers, not just those in Congress.

      Remember, unlike us retiree's, they pay into their retirement plans and they pay into their Health Care hundreds of dollars every 2 weeks, unlike me which I pay $22.44 per month for Tricare.

      Yes, they pay into Social Security and into Medicare, and they do go on Medicare when they turn 65.

      I'll tell you, we retirees need to learn the truth about their Retirement and Health Care Plans, or we might end up on what you call "Cadillac Plans".

      Source:Health Benefits for Members of Congress
      Ada S. Cornell
      Information Research Specialist
      May 3, 2012

      http://waxman.house.gov/sites/waxman.house.gov/fi

      Source: Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress
      Katelin P. Isaacs
      Analyst in Income Security
      August 9, 2013

      http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?…

    • J. Chemycz says:

      You seem to name every Democratic President, but you obviously ignore every republican't President since 1980, who has not only raided the trust fund, but pushed to PRIVATIZE the Soc Sec system and push all those assets to the greedy bastards on Wall Street !!! You guys made fun of Al Gore, who campaigned on placing Soc Sec receipts in a "lockbox"… away from the clutches of politicians and co-mingling $$$'s with the general funds.

  22. I agree with one of the previous comments……… If you are going to cut anything then it must be TOP > DOWN. With the salary and perks of senior officers way out of touch with the rest of organizations it would help to show some good faith to start cutting there. Also it wouldn't hurt to do a very, very closely "line by line" analysis of items on the various budgets. With government and large corporations budgets are made every year by trying the match the prior year's budget and go forward. So every department, with NO INCENTIVE TO SAVE MONEY" will spend all the money in their budgets to insure funds for next year even thou they really don't need to spend the funds sometimes. If you spend under budget this year, you will not get next year. So what happens, we spend or "blow away" money so we have some in the future. A very terrible policy. Also, how much money is paid to "outside, civilian contractors" at inflated rates to do work because it is for the government knowing the private sector would never pay these over, inflated rates.

  23. ridnfences says:

    lets, again, pick on the person who works, defends, gives, goes without, and was always there. take their medical, retirement, medications, etc., etc. but no one in washington is doing without. even their children go to college on our dime. dont give us some bull about you voted for them, might have, on a false plan that will never happen. 3 wars that should not have happened, men, women, lost their lives, others crippled, and the rest left with no jobs, and no where to go and you are concerned about a 'hollow military'? lets stop all the perks for those in washington, sending money to every country but ours, and last correct the system that a president put in place that did, or will never work. as before in this country, those who fought for our freedom must suffer. yes its not right, but i look in the mirror everyday and say, ' i am alive, served my country, and i am a veteran.' has those in washington looked in the mirror this morning?

    • Sickofthiscrap says:

      What do you expect from a bunch of @ss-kissing Generals who are looking for their next star. Politicians and Generals are the same when it comes to looking out for themselves. Both make promises and renege on them and could care less about the fall-out from the people they are supposed to serve. Now, I read that they want to revamp the whole retirement system by screwing both current retirees and future retirees with cutting compensation. They want to ram the old 401K crap down our throats, again! Yeah, like I really trust the stock market with my retirement to invest in a volatile market.

      Here is my recommendation for there sorry @sses, next war you go fight it by yourself you POS.

  24. Independence1776 says:

    I didn't realize there were so many people who think that our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines are overpaid. Military life is nothing like the private sector where your biggest threat is an irate customer; where you can plant roots and not have to pick up and move every three to five years; where you can simply go to work, do your job, and go home to your family. There are so many factors that civilians never have to consider.

    Military compensation is not going to turn anyone into a “1-percenter.” The U.S. military is an equal opportunity employer. If you want to try your hand at earning the king’s ransom that military members rake in (as some imply) you are free to do so. If you don’t qualify due to age or some physical limitation then too bad. Even private sector employers have requirements.

    Joining our military is voluntary. Why would anyone choose to risk his or her life if not for some sort of compensation? “Patriotism,” you say. Then step up and show your patriotism by signing up and forfeiting the compensation that comes in the form of basic pay, allowances, and benefits. Why would a man or woman agree to sign a contract knowing that he or she will spend months or years on anti-American soil apart from his or her family if not for compensation? To suggest that a man should endure the real threat of death or disfigurement by IED or bullet for fast-food wages is absurd. To suggest that a woman at sea for six to ten months facing the threat of a terrorist attack similar to the USS Cole bombing should be compensated no more than your grocer's cashier is revolting.

    If you want to be drafted; if you want your children or grandchildren to be drafted; then, by all means continue to protest the pay, allowances, and benefits of the men and women who surrender some of their civilian freedoms, risk their lives, suffer the anguish of prolonged family separations, and subject themselves to future psychological torment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and protect your American way of life.

    If you're concerned about spending within the DoD there are practices that, if cut or properly executed will result in greater monetary gain without seeing a mass exodus of personnel and without resulting in the need to reinstate the draft.

    • (applauding) Well said. I agree with you 100%!!!

    • I couldn't have said it better. A Congressperson makes $174.000 plus benefits to acquire power and prestige while we are required make sacrifices while they work about three days a week with several weeks of vacation. The wrong people are getting the pay increases.

    • CPO (RET) says:

      Well said! I agree with 100%!!!

    • Idmtmedic says:

      Yessir!!!!!!! Of course common sense isn't part of the issue..

    • This should be sent to McCain. He has fallen into the politicians trap. Very disappointed in the man.

    • Very well spoken Why is always our best young people, have to do all the hard work. While the rest sit back and wait for a free hand out,or mom and dad to suport them.So our elected officals take away guestfrom the best we have servings. Reminds me of what happen when we came back from NAM. Wake up America before it is to late

    • Why is that everyone SCREAMS when we spend too much, now they SCREAM if we spends too little?!? The cost of our defense annually amounts to the TOP 20 COUNTRIES COMBINED! We spend a whopping 680 Billion, where the next highest country China spends a puny 1,6 Billion. DO THE MATH, our defense needs to go on a major DIET. Nuff Said

      • Independence 1776 says:

        Yes, Lynn, but to call for cutting compensation to military personnel as your solution is like a diet that targets muscle instead of fat. There is a lot of fat. Let's target that first then reassess.

      • Independence1776 says:

        Lynn, the goal is to have military superiority not to keep up with the Joneses.

        As I stated before, the goal of a diet is to reduce or eliminate fat; not to cut muscle. Take a look at the DoD budget. There is fat to be cut, and that should always be the first consideration in any budget reduction plan.

      • DirtyJokerE,

        Do you realize that since the Viet Nam Conflict, there has been 94 U.S. Interventions, and this doesn't include those in 2012. If I include Nam in with those 94, I can't think of any of them allowing me to spout off or gave me any freedoms. I guess what I'm saying, is that if you or me going or not going to and fighting in any of these Interventions doesn't give me anything, the Constitution is what gives me my freedoms.

        The only time I can think of where someone could say they were fighting for my freedoms, what if they fought in the War with Japan after they attacked us.

        All these other saying Vets say about how I owe them just because the went to Nam, Iraq or Aghanistan is bullchit. Once again, its the Constitution gives me my freedoms, and whether we won/win in Nam, Iraq or Aghanistan not going to change any of that.

        Later

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Really? So what is it that we as soldiers are doing? I want you to take a stroll at any VETERANS graves and make your case to the families and the nation on your views regarding our DEAD, WOUNDED, ABLE BODIED VETERANS that they were not defending the constitution! Not defending our nation? I have got to breaaaaaaathe. Insert as many __________________________________________________________________________________#%%#######|€£¥ as I can think of and you have my answer.

      • Compare our way of life against China's…. Aging population, gender disparity, low-tech economy and "one child ban" (which is being looked at)….Do you still stand by your statement?? Really??

    • I agree with you totally. I risked volunteering for the service and paid dearly medically and mentally, permanently disabled for life. But until now, I never complained about it to the people. Now the people want to cut away at the compensation that we receive to help us have a roof over our heads, food, water, and heat to live with. It makes me ill at how our country is becoming. Take from the mid-lower class and keep for the wealthy. That's what it feels like.

    • James Vaughan says:

      Please don't lump everyone who is in the military into the group of underpaid/undercompensated patriots. I'm a veteran who served across different services and ranks from E1-O3. The fact is that our military is compensated very very well…and some of them much to well. The ones who really make bank are those field grade and higher officers who get paid much much better than their civilian counterparts. Their compensation is unbelievably high! And when they retire after only 20 years of work they will be burdening society as we will continue to pay them generous monthly checks until they reach the very end of their long-life expectancy. You have to look at the entire picture…their 'basic' pay is just one part of their compensation…they also get quite of bit of extras with housing allowances, and other types of pay like flight pay! The military needs to go on a financial diet. The ridiculous retirement system of 20yrs and then a pay check the rest of your life has come to an end. And don't you go on about the poor 18 year old solder who only makes x amount of dollars…please….high school grads earn what they bring to the market. I'm a retired military vet who receives $0 / month in retirement pay…and I'm fine with it. Knowing that I served, that I was decorated for it, that I had experiences that others can only dream about is enough. This country is in serious financial trouble, we are BROKE. It's time to cut federal spending everywhere-no program is that sacred that it can't be cut. I hate it when people use military service as an excuse to call for blanket over-the-top compensation for vets. We don't need handouts, you paid me when I was serving, and you thanked me for my service, that means a lot.

      • Idmtmedic says:

        That is BS. Don't call yourself retired military vet if your getting NO retirement pay. If you didn't do 20 then stop using that term. You may be retired but 20 years in the military gives you the DISTINGUISHED term of retired VETERAN!

        • idmedic,

          Here you go again attacking someone that doesn't agree with your opinion.

        • idmedic,

          He never called himself a retired military vet, he called himself a Veteran only. Please stop making chit up in order to get a rise out of someone.

          Thank you,

          Charles Bryant

        • James Vaughan says:

          Well yes and no. 20 years of service gives you the status of retired veteran. However 20 yrs of service does not allow all service members to begin collecting retirement pay when they separate from service. Do your homework on military retirement pay classes before pretending to know what you are commenting about.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            I've done my homework, it's called twenty years and many lives. Are you receiving a retirement check? You and Charles can be the first to begin sending your checks back because of those lavish lifestyles that we are burdening this country with!!!!!! My gut tells me your one of the desk flyers? Able bodied after 20 years of service should not get retirement because you say so? Lmfao. Well great which veterans organization do you and Charles belong too? Are you getting 3 checks also without a JOB?????

          • idmedic,

            Here you go again attacking someone that doesn't agree with your opinion, and now you've added me to your bitching and crying. You know the pay scale for an E-6 begins under 2 years and you retired an E-6. Maybe if you would have spent your time in service working, you might have made 1SG like did. You don't hear me complaining about my retirement.

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Awww Charles your hurting my feelings lmao. So ur check is how much more than mine? LOLOL. The one complaining about retirement is your buddy James. You know the retired Veteran that isn't getting a check yet you agree with him while your drawing a check? Mmmmm. By the way I'd argue the lives I have saved would consider that " working" but that's just me.

      • You sound bitter because you couldn't stomach serving a full career. If our government truly wanted to do something about the deficit, we'd be talking about more than defense cuts. You're fine with it because it's not your retirement being cut.
        http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-09-30/bus

      • You sound bitter and emit some form of hatred for the military. Maybe you were discharged for some reason. You were in the military and obviously it didn't work out for you, but how dare you undermine the ones that sacrifice everyday. 20 years is a long time. They earned that retirement. Not like politicians that don't have to work anywhere near that amount of time and get full pay for retirement for the rest of their lives. The vast majority of the military only recieve 50% of their pay or less for retirement. Numbers don't lie, It's not the military they should be looking at.

      • Independence 1776 says:

        Who said anything about handouts? It's only considered a handout if it isn't earned, Mr. Vaughan. I'm certainly not calling for handouts.

      • Independence1776 says:

        Dear Mr. Vaughan,

        It sounds to me like you are advocating an end to the military retirement system. I commend you for your work ethic. You decided to serve for 20 years across different services and ranks from E1-O3 for nothing but a paycheck and a "thank you." I’ll add another one; Thank you for your service.

        The fact of the matter is that the retirement incentive is a major factor in keeping service members beyond the 10-yr mark. In my experience that is usually the point at which a young man or woman makes the decision to go a full 20 (or more) or to make a move to the private sector. We service members aren't blind to the options. Depending on a person's rate/MOS and experience he or she could potentially earn much more money in the private sector equivalent.

        Would that be a viable plan for military strength; fewer experienced service members, and recruiting that can't keep up with attrition?

        • James Vaughan says:

          Hello Independence1776 you make a good point. Retirement benefits do serve to attract and keep talent in the force. At the same time I can tell you from personal observation that the lavish military retirement system also keeps many, who wouldn't be all that successful on the outside, staying in the military to reach 20 years.
          The full picture has to be discussed. Do you realize how good the people at the Field Grade level and above do in pay and compensation? It's much better than most of their options in the civilian world. Trust me I saw it first hand from both sides. I wasn't even a field grade officer and I was doing very well. And I tell you what…I'm ok with the military earning a decent paycheck. The retirement system is the problem. Nobody works for 20 years for a company and lives comfortably for the rest of their life…we certainly shouldn't expect that from military members (unless they have a serious disability then yes by all means.)

          • Independence1776 says:

            I agree that there are some who wouldn't be successful on the outside just as there are some in the private sector who wouldn’t succeed in the military, but I certainly don't view that as a consequence of any particular retirement system.

            The incentive offered in exchange for one to consistently submit oneself to the extreme risks and hardships unique to a military career is not a true incentive if its delivery hinges on the condition of disability. …. “Thanks for following through with your commitment for 20 years. Just think – if you had gotten seriously disfigured or disabled you’d be receiving that retirement incentive we offered you. …maybe you shouldn't have tried so hard to not become disabled.”

          • Mr Vaughan, it sounds to me like you have a chip on your shoulder. I am one of those retired field grade officers you continue to whine about, but I too started at the bottom as an E1. I spent over 20 years serving my country as an officer and enlisted. I had over 13 PCS moves, served in The middle east during peacetime and war, and have seen enough blood and guts to last me a lifetime. I missed seeing my cherished nieces and nephews (9 of them) growing up, was not there for my family during major illnesses and death, and due to frequent traveling missed out on the opportunity to have children (didn't meet my spouse until close to retirement). I did not make as much as an 04 as my civilian counterparts did, but I chose to serve and loved every minute of it. For someone like you to come along and say that I was way overpaid and somehow now, don't deserve to be paid retirement makes me sick to my stomach. You say this only because you're not being affected by it. You don't sound like the type that would truly sacrifice anything for the good of others. You probably got passed over for promotion and thus the chip on your shoulder. No one in my peer group can live on retirement pay. It's not a lavish lifestyle. I wasn't opposed to paying more for my tricare benefit, and my spouse is still on active duty (just came back from his 7th deployment) and is not opposed to some of his special pay (I.e. language pay etc) being cut back, so we're all willing to give some. To say however, that we don't deserve to be paid for 20 years of service is unbeleivable. Even our civilian counterparts get retirement. They may not get to claim it as soon as we do, but then they haven't made the sacrifices we have. I could give multiple examples of friends of mine who are on their 8th and 9th deployment, some still serving with TBI's, but you obviously dont get it. If you want to whine about who gets paid too much for what they do, then start with our elected officials. Have you looked at their benefits package? Seriously?

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Micky DAMMMMMMMMM that was good. Now if only those that call Veterans whiners could get an epiphany? In one case I know why that won't happen. Only those that consider it a job and not take the oath seriously would even SPOUT NONSENSE in regards to military retirement and it not being paid for by patriots blood and sacrifice. Our rights were given to us by the constitution? Well somebody sure as hell died to get us where we are. The fact it was given to us on a silver platter? The veterans before us paved our way. Thank YOU for your service and all veterans to exclude a few not to mentions.

          • Ret. Twice says:

            Do you call $1080 a month living in comformt or maybe less in some cases. How about rent,car expenses,groceries,ect, for an enlisted person it's peanuts for what a military individual goes through. Some on social securty get a lot more,I stayed in 21yrs. and worked another 24yrs to support my family, yes I stayed in for the retirement and medical.

          • Ret. Twice,

            Retirement pay was never meant to replace your paycheck or be a living wage when you did work, it was meant to supplement what you yourself put away for your retirement.

          • Independence1776 says:

            CharlesBryant,

            I think the comment that Ret. Twice made was in response to the following statement from Mr. Vaughan:

            – "Nobody works for 20 years for a company and lives comfortably for the rest of their life…"

            Your response to Ret. Twice does not support Mr. Vaughan's implication that military retirees live comfortably off of their retirement check alone. I certainly have not suggested, and I don't think anyone else within this discussion has suggested, that military retirement pay should be a "living wage." That's simply ridiculous.

            Each individual has the right to plan his retirement as he sees fit. A realistic expectation, however, is exactly as you said, supplimental income.

          • Independence1776,

            Ok, gotcha. As for people not saying "living wage", you are correct. I've read numorous posts from Vets and Wifes about how they are barely making it on the military retirement pay, and then they proceed to blame the Government because they served their country and now the Government needs to do something.

            I would be interesed in seeing a comparison of Veterans and Civilians when it comes to a 20 year retirement.

            Later

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Tell us Charles? Your getting one of three. How much is your civilian retirement as compared to the military retirement? No need for a study. You put the time in and are receiving it. Share with us. No shame in that. You paid into it.

        • Independence,

          "Depending on a person's rate/MOS and experience he or she could potentially earn much more money in the private sector equivalent."

          I would say that pertains to a few, and then only after the Military trained them and paid them during that trainining. As it stands now the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the regular civilian population.

          • Independence1776 says:

            CharlesBryant,

            I'd say it pertains to a significant number of service members, but given that I don't know that for a fact, I won't argue that point any further.

            You are right that it pertains to people that were trained and paid by the military, but I don’t think that makes it any less of a factor. One signs a contract to serve in the military for a specified length of time – we'll say four years. It is explicit in that contract, agreed to by both parties, that the member will be paid during that four years. It is inevitable that the member will receive training while getting paid during that four year period.

            When that four years is over the member is free to separate from the military and seek employment elsewhere. Maybe at that point, the military is still the best option for the member or he/she has other reasons to reenlist. Suppose the member reenlists for another six years, receives more pay, more training, more experience, more education, and more maturity. Now he/she has more options. …. Continued in next post ….

          • Independence1776,

            It's good being able to talk to someone smarter than me and not blaming the Goverment for everything negative that has happen to them after the got out of the service.

            I'm just going to add to what you've posted. Believe it or not, I didn't know you can draw unemployment after voluntarily getting out of the Service. This is the way it is, and I think some Vets aren't employed, because they really aren't looking for a job and just waiting until that unemployment check stops coming.

            Worst, is getting out knowing you don't have job. If your single, that isn't a problem, but all those others that have a wife and kids. I just don't know what it is these Soldier are thinking.

          • Independence1776 says:

            …continued… I realize I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. I'm merely attempting to illustrate how this plays out and results in options. Currently, the main incentive to retain these individuals is the 20yr military retirement system. Some people claim retirement needs to go, but what would they recommend replace it? Nothing?

            To your third point about the unemployment rate – You're right the veteran unemployment has been reported as higher than the non-veteran rate for quite some time now although recent numbers indicate improvement. The statistics I've seen compare veterans of a certain age group to non-veterans of that age group. There are a couple of factors that those statistics don't show. How long did the veteran serve, and how long has the veteran been out of the military? Would that indicate a trend of any kind, i.e., mostly single enlistment vets, mostly >10yr vets, <10yrs, etc? I don’t know the answer, but it might prove to be interesting.

      • Independence1776 says:

        If a country cannot keep its military strength with men and women who take an oath, by their own volition, to support and defend it, then it deserves the weak military it will have as a result.

        You clearly have a lot of passion for the financial state of the U.S. Why don't you attack the federal spending that brings negative value to this country? Why don't you focus that passion where it will do more good than harm. If you strongly believe that cutting pay, benefits, and allowances to our military personnel is what is going to save this country then create and propose a better way to keep a dominant volitional military.

        • James Vaughan says:

          Absolutely, federal spending is a mess. The problem is that when we exclude any one segment of the budget from needed cuts then every segment will clamor to keep their budget intact and growing as well. The lavish military retirement system needs serious overhaul. We cannot continue to pay able-bodied, fully capable adults just to get up in the morning. I suppose that if we had zero debt and massive yearly budget surpluses the idea to continue the current system could be entertained.

          • How about we look at the things that are not in the Federal Governements mandate first?? Once we cut all the fat out of those programs or even the program itself(duplicate processes). Then we revisit the Government required Programs.

          • James Vaughan says:

            Agreed! We need to start somewhere and get serious about finances in this country. We are absolutely headed for financial disaster with a government that spends us into oblivion.

          • Independence1776 says:

            I don’t know all of the proposals on the table regarding an overhaul of the military retirement system, so I cannot claim that a just and ethical proposal does not exist. However, I believe that incentivizing service members, with options that are worthy of the risks and hardships they endure, is both necessary and moral.

            I advocate cutting the enormous amounts of outrageously unjust, and immoral federal spending that abounds.

            Unjustly funded programs are not justified by proxy to a just program, regardless of how much clamoring takes place. As well the obverse, cutting a just program is unjustifiable; especially when done to prevent unjust segments from clamoring.

        • Independence1776,

          You might be interested in this article I read in the Stars and Stripes

          Possible Army downsizing pales in comparison to previous cuts

          http://www.stripes.com/blogs/stripes-central/stri

      • James Vaughan,

        Yep, you stated exactly how I feel. What is unfortunate, is that most people know this, but they just keep on asking for more and more.

        • James Vaughan says:

          Hello Charles,

          It's natural to want money…I want it…you want it…everyone wants more money. But there are consequences for runaway govt spending. I see the entitlements in this country as a real problem and military retirement pay needs review.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          So you want a fourth check?

      • Let me be blunt. What did you do in the military that placed you in different services . You sound a little like you had an MOS (s) that never put you danger. Don't belittle those that have given their all. I am glad you don't get any military retirement, perhaps you never deserved it.
        I am an eighty- three year old retired Marine, also a Mustang from 01 to 04. I am totally disabled from serving my great country. I served in Korea and Vietnam and I dam well earned my retirement, at that time $494.00/month. Don't belittle the rest of us. I came into the service at age 17 and was in war at age 19 pay was $75.00 per month.

        Washington is broke because of poor management in Congress and by our President, not because of the men and women in the military services. The same thing happened in 1948 when the Secretary of Defense reduced the Marine Corps to 50,000 troops and wanted do away with them. Yep they paid me for my service and now they are paying for the damage to my body. I would do it all over again, what say you..

        • James Vaughan says:

          Lodge you are a real American hero! You gave everything while serving. People like you deserve to have government benefits to take care of you. Please reread my previous as I had stated that those who were disabled such as you deserve retirement.
          The issue i have is that fully 100% able bodied vets who have long life expectancy's remaining will be living off the rest of us at a substantial rate of benefit….40% of base bay. That's wrong. Vets, like myself, already have a whole host of other worthwhile benefits to include GI Bill and VA Home loans, and VA medical services.
          Washington is broke…well the reasons for that are many. It doesn't help that military retirement for those who don't need it plays into our spending problem.

        • Lodge,

          LMMFAO, maybe he didn't retire, because he didn't stay in long enough to do so. I guess to me, that's evident.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Lodge……..loveeeeeeee that response!!!!!!! One thing he got right. You are a hero!!!!

    • Thank you Mary for putting everything in perspective

    • Debra poe says:

      Amen, this was nicely stated! I'd like to see the President and all elected officials serve their Country for the same pay that our military members have done and then face the constant "Threat" of no pay raises, loss of benefits and the constant "Threat" of changes to our "Promised" Lifetime benefits. Why is it that whenever the budget needs more money the 1st considerations for cuts are the people that have the least, seniors, military, retired veterans and the poor struggling to make ends meet day to day! Why can't we start balancing the budget with pay cuts from the top down where there will be more bang for our buck!

      • Debra poe,

        Trust me, you're just like me and got everything promised you by our Government when you got out.

        And why should they get the same pay as you????? You made you choice to go into the service, and they made a different choice. What you should be complaining about, is the choice you made, not the choice they made.

      • James Vaughan says:

        Totally agree with you that the entire congressional compensation system needs overhaul…but who would do it? Not the congress, not in any serious fashion. Republicans, democrats they are all the same really. They aren't looking out for the long term success of the country.
        By the way, retired veterans are some of the people who have the most in terms retirement pay and compensation.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Lmao………then run for CON-gress!!!!!! How many years does it take for a veterans retirement pay to reach 1 years salary of Congress? How many congressman are millionaires without the base pay of 174,000 AND a TAXPAYER subsidized retirement?

          • idmedic,

            It doesn't matter, not one iota. I'm not a Congressmen, and never expected to get paid as a Congressmen. I knew when I went in the service what the pay was. The only reason you make as little as you do, is because you stated an E-6 for 20 years and never moved up. Now that you retired, you're whining because you don't make what a Congressmen does. Hello

          • Idmtmedic says:

            Like I said Charles who is complaining about a retirement check? You know like the THREE your getting….lmao. Who said I was making so little? Very happy with my check ;). In fact I'm sooooo dam happy I'd love to send a copy to James. If your lifestyle is sooooo lavish as an E-8 retired why you need two more….cough cough.

    • Bring back the draft!

    • Navyvet72-79 says:

      Navyvet1972-1979
      Your right in everything you've just said, I served from Jun 1972 until Oct 1979, and if not for the compensations, benefits and allowances, I would've have never been able to have made it or taken care of my wife and daughters. Even with what I was getting it wasn't enough to take care of everything from rent to food, laundry or paying for clothing for everyone. I had to have foodstamps, medical state aid for those things that weren't covered by the military for my family, and second hand furniture from the Goodwill just so there were beds to sleep on. Its no way to live and the basic pay was less than if I'd been working as a civilian.
      Time for those in Washington D.C. to live as the military personal they so very much want to cut out of what little they do get to take their places in the military and sit in harms way of loosing their lives or come back minus an arm, a leg or both arms and a leg.

    • The defense of our nation, the men and women who are providing this defense and the freedoms WE enjoy, is where our tax dollars should be spent. Yes I am a retired service member. I have seen abuses in the supply chain both in war time and in peace time. I have seen money diverted from one pot to the other because some big head general wants something special. This is wrong.

      I agree with the person that said cut social programs. Yes cut out the well fare. Here is how. A five year plan would be if your receiving welfare, you can go to school and learn a trade at government expense. If it takes you more than four years to achieve your degree or certificate you loose all welfare, if you drop out you loose all welfare. Once you have received your degree, diploma, certificate or what ever your trade gives out, you now have one year to find a job because after that year you are on your own.

      By cutting out a lot of social programs to non US citizens you will save trillions of dollars. This money could be used to beef up our military and provide the training our troops need. Upon retirement, retirees should enter an 80/20 Plan for insurance with 80% being paid by the government and 20% being paid by the retiree.

      At the rank of E-4 make it mandatory that the military member put 2% of their base pay into a secured retirement plan. This can not be touched unless they retire or separate. However if they separate and take out their retirement, it should be taxed and they should be denied re-entry into any other branch of military service.

  25. Let me get this right. Congress gets Obama to petition the Office of Personnel Management to issue new regulations allowing govt to pay for most of the Obamacare premiums because of the $5K to $11K hit to their paychecks. (Of course, the ordinary taxpayer does not enjoy this reprieve). Now, that same Congress is being told that the people who do the fighting and dying for this country need to suck it up, tighten their belts, and take a cut in pay and benefits. They wouldn't do that, would they?

    • How about we start with cutting the perks for Congress. Then we do what reasonable governments should do: not pay for the R&D on new toys. Let the defense contractors come to us with new stuff that works and then we buy. I don't care what anyone says, it is not more expensive in the long run. This could not only give the Govt a huge place to cut the budget, it would give the defense contractors less pull with Congress and the pentagon. If we need to cut defense, cut the R&D that feeds the KBRs, Halliburton, Lockheed and General Dynamics from the government nipple.
      Then stop wasting money on a failed program of using defense contractors(like Snowden) to do the jobs that prior to 2003 were done by GS employees. These contractors cost more (because the contractors make a profit by hiring cheap) and those workers do not have a vested interest in their position.
      FYI: Recently retired. Army. DS, IFOR, OIF, OEF vet.

  26. While let’s see, first our retirement benefits and next the social security benefits. Maybe Obama care will take care of us. Yell Right!!

  27. I'm easy to get along with…I'll take what the average Union employee gets.

  28. MSG Mike Ret USARMY says:

    Isn't it strange how the ones who really make the money want to cut the ones who don't? The ones who are in the rear, the ones who work in a office that don't see the enlisted man trying to make ends meet. The retiree trying to keeps things together. We feel abandoned by our president and the Generals.

  29. Gregory Benn says:

    I am so sick of our elected officials that call themselves running this what used to be great country. If I'm not mistaken did any of these people participate in the furloughs by having money taken from their families. You have screwed up of retirement pay, dental, tri-care and not the pay the men and women are actually protecting this country. You all need to get your acts together or maybe we should allow you to just serve one term, and hopefully you do right.

    Gunny B

  30. All I know is the elimination of TriCare Prime in the State of Oregon,will cost my wife $1,000's in the next 2 years. The increase in co-pays for her prescriptions will cost her $100's. The cap on my retirement pay will cost us plenty.

    I was a recruiter for 12 yrs and now years later the government wants to make me a lair to all of the young men and women I put in boots. The government lied to me and now it is turning me into a liar to others. I apologize to all of the men and women I put in boots. I just want them to know I am in the same situation.

  31. thosewhoserve says:

    I always love it when a professional neo-con who deliberately opted to not volunteer to serve in the Armed Fores and makes his living talking about defending the country in various civil service appointee positions in DoD, universities, think tanks, and the media decides that toys are more important to the makers and shakers than the men and women who operate and use the toys in defense of Liberty and at the possible loss of their own lives and limbs.

    In short, Mr. Ashton should try serving before denigrating the men and women who do atually serve.

  32. When working in civilian life, I had to turn in an expense account whenever I entertained or traveled.
    I asked my congress person where I could review their expense reports.
    I was told "that is none of your business"!
    Hmmm! Congress has an "unaccountable" bottomless money pot to promote themselves.
    If it was not for the GI's we would have either a British style government, be speaking German or Japanese, or be under Sharia law!
    Low pay, low Bennies, poor health care Etc… = unskilled, uneducated Etc… military!
    Does Congress leave home for a year+? Heck no! They are home every week end on our dime! Plus a pay increase every year.

    If they make cuts, they will get what they pay for!!!

  33. It's pretty clear that DOD and JCS are trying to set Congress up – to get them to consider cutting military benefits and compensation. There is no indication at all that Congress will fall for this trap!

  34. I retired1983 for a total of take home pay of. $850.00 per month now after 30 years my monthly ck is now $1900.00 per month.omg where will I spend all this money??.??ps I retired the army as first sergeant e/8 my God has been good to my wife of 46 years

  35. robert brewster says:

    how much did it cost tax payers to transport the presidents mutt to marthas vineyard for the mutts vacation? Lets start cutting at the very top with the outlandish use of the presidents numerious trips to africa and elsewere with his family.. In the meantime I have yet to get all my disibability pay for service without my retired pay being offset.

    • i lost over 100k on this bullshit disabled tax the crooks hit on the backs of the military retirees that are disabled and collect the va comp but offset our retirement checks to pay for our own disability pay,, cut off foriegn aid, cut the congressional staffers free schooling, etc,etc not on the back of elderly n disabled,,,,

    • I agree Robert. I am a retired Air Force vet with 21 years during the cold war. We need another Reagon era!

  36. If you pay peanuts, all you will have working for you is monkeys.

    • Very well put. I served for 10 years, most of it in Special Forces, and only left because my body was way too banged up to stay in the military, in any MOS.

      One of the proposals that I saw dusted off is to change retirement so that you can still retire early, but you won't get paid until you're 60+. If you've spent 20 years in the military in some MOSes, your body is too beat up to stick around any longer, and all of the training that you had doesn't exactly carry over to the civilian world. Sure, you can go to school for 2 or 4 years, or whatever, but how are you going to live during that time?!

      There are a metric ton of other problems with what is likely to happen to military now that obama has decided to lose the war in Afghanistan, and is sticking to that position. Such as, what are you going to do with the extra 4 battalions of SF guys that were brought into existence? What about the other extra combat brigades that a number of divisions developed?

      Cut pay, cut benefits, and make the serviceman even poorer than they already are and you're going to lose the best and keep the rest.

  37. Ben retired military says:

    Entitlement cuts or adjustments should never occur, except as a last resort. Last resort to means that all other benefits and compensations no longer exists. This includes congressional, judicial, as well as executive pay and benefits.

  38. Alexander says:
  39. I am a veteran and I love this country and the people who make good decisions for it. Congress and the rest of you hippos that is in it for yourselves are ruining the name and reputation of the United States of America. Once was looked up to and now laughed at, it's not what is good for We the People, but We the Party, no matter which party it is. Our History Father's that created this country would be ashamed of what it is now and a lot of Americans are also.

  40. Walter Stolpa says:

    The pay of Senators, Congressmen and other government officials should be cut before they take a dime from the military men and women who protect this nation.

    • i agree 100% come election time American People need to clean house..get rid of these congress reps that just have made it a home up in Wa.

  41. Frank I hold strong emotion to your response. If you were in a career for a amount of years, paying in your retirement, and so on, just to have it dwindle before your eyes. How would this make you feel. I know the American people are all feeling this pain. I feel the only people not feeling the pain are the ones not earning the government funding and the ones making the choices. I have a life! As do my three children and my wife. I work hard for my earnings. The same work outside of the military would pay twice as much. So Shut Your Damn Mouth about a life you apparently know nothing about. Sit on your bean bag and enjoy your comments. It is people like you that this country doesn't need.

    • right on Mike. I served during Vietnam through Desert Storm. Had part-time jobs most of my career when I could work it with my schedule. The year I retired I made less than 26K. And my housing allowance was less than 500 a month, and rent was 1000 plus utilities near Fort Sheridan IL. There's room for cuts, but let's make them at the top, and get rid of the duplication, and the high number of GO's and field grade officers. You have to go through 3 or 4 to get an answer if you're lucky. I work now, and will work as you said to support family.

  42. Tom Washington says:

    I served from 1955 until 1986 with time out for college, bot h enlisted and officer. I saw rationing of toilet paper, funds available for purchase of new equipment, but none for repair parts. I saw WWII barracks beng used well past their intended lifetime. I saw the post-VietNam RIF when first marginal officers, then good AUS officers were released. I saw legislation passed which allowed Regular Army officers who were “tenured” see their tenure removed so that they could be part of the RIF as well. For all intents an purposes, nothng has really changed when it comes to th end of a war. Too many people on active duty, so we reduce the size of the force. Pet projects brought into various congressional districts kept active so there will be no job loss which might affect electability. The list goes on and on. There several realities that are out there. One-If you can’t increase income (taxes), then you must cut expnditures. Two-Things haven’t changed since the days of Rudyard Kipling: “For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”

    But it’s “Saviour 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!” (Tommy)

    • Denis LaCrosse says:

      Thank you for repeating one of my favorite lines.

      My other favorite is:
      "You get what you pay for"

      Another fact: if we want an all-volunteer force, it can only be defensive. We cannot expect such a force to be used for wars that we start, without extreme provocation. The last time that occurred was in 1941.

      Time for a history lesson for those in Congress, and in the Executive department.

      .

    • Gene Hays says:

      Excellent analysis. With the reduction in force after Vietnam, we did not see a corresponding decrease in aircraft and ground combat equipment. The result was fewer people to maintain inventory levels with no spare parts and same continued operational requirements for combat readiness. Congress has never really understood that if we can't afford to maintain combat readiness with the world-wide threats that exist today including compensating our armed forces, what's the point of having a military?

      Gene Hays, USMC Retired, 1965-1986.

  43. . Blackcoat says:

    I have been retired for 38 years with 22 years of service. The attempts by the politicians, today, are the same as they have been for the past 50-60 years in taking from the military weapons and manpower. We do not have a democrat or republican problem. We believe that it is always the other party that has all the shortcomings in supporting the military. And as long as we have the attitude of protecting our political party the problem has only gotten worse. We have allowed these political creatures to shit on us because we the people are so busy bad mouthing the other political party. If each of us would send the comments that we post here to the politicians that are supposed to represent each of us then maybe changes would be forthcoming. Most of us expect the other citizen to do it. Politicians shit on us because we allow them to shit on us. Where would this nation be if it was not for our military men and women. Stand up, write an attention getting message to your favorite politicians. Semper Fidelis. Blackckout.

  44. We need an American Government before anything can get fixed right.

    • d. bentley says:

      Why doesn't Congress set the example and not get a raise every year, unless it is voted down by themselves? Congress is always tightening up all budgets, except for themselves! We need to hold all of them accountable when election time comes! We need to balance our upgrades with benefits for the troops who are putting there lives at stake to protect the lives of all Americans, to include Congress!

    • L.Lachance, says:

      Could not agree more Rbrown! People forget the other well known progressives:Stalin,Mussolini and Hitler. Uninformed voting is keeping us on the present and wrong path.

  45. djatgmial says:

    So the politicians, opportunists and the sort F*** away the tax dollars they are given the manage the costs of government and we all pay fr their incompetence…GREAT PLAN

    Wonder what the (former) Soviets are thinking ?

  46. Now that our latest foreign adventures are ended or winding down I think it is reasonable to expect that garrison soldiers out of harms way should expect a pay freeze or cut. Those with families who want a better life can try it as a civilian and those who prefer the military lifestyle will persist as they always have. As a combat grunt in Vietnam I don't think I ever saw $200 a month, and that for sleeping in the mud and eating WWII C-rations. Guys would volunteer for combat for the extra 30 dollars a month. Then as daftees sevice was really a sacrifice and no way considered by any a lucrative lifestyle. The smaller military force of the future will find as they always have those suited to that spartan lifestyle and be better for it.

    • DenisLaCrosse says:

      $200./mo in the sixties or seventies?

      I earned that much as a junior Petty Officer in the Navy, well before Viet Nam.

      • actualy I think maybe it was more like $120 at best a month including combat pay

        • Joe,
          Be serious about it for a minute, there is no way that you were only paid $120.00 per month including combat pay during the Vietnam war. Me thinks your mind and memories are faded. lol Nice try though! Also, just because the pay 40-50 years ago was what you consider "too low" doesn't mean that the current pay structure is too much. Just because you or your era got cheated out of money in your thought process doesn't mean that it should continue forward. Also, I was in The Army from 87-95 and my daughter is now in THe Air Force, and trust me when I say, the pay scale hasn't increased that much in the last 20 years. I know this for a fact as I still have many of my LES's and have compared such to my daughters.

    • JUST A FEW FACTS. SINCE MODERN DRAFT STARTED (1948) TO NOW WE HAVE HAD 11 PRESIDENTS.THREE OF WHO SERVED IN THE ACTIVE MILITARY, SIX IN THE RESERVES (PROBABLY TO BEAT THE DRAFT) AND TWO WHO HAVE DONE NO MILITARY SERVICE AT ALL. ONLY 20 + YR. MAN DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER. FREELOADERS WERE OBAMA AND CLINTON . AGAIN IT'S PEOPLE MAKING THE RULES, WHO HAVE NO IDEA OF WHAT A SACRIFICE OF 20 YRS IN THE MILITARY IS OR EVEN WHAT ACTIVE MILITARY SERVICE IS. IT'S A SHAME !!! WOULD BE REALLY INTERESTING TO SEE HOW MANY CONGRESSMEN HAVE ANY SERVICE AT ALL !!!

  47. eper090643 says:

    I wonder How many on the JCS would take a PAY CUT back to the 1970 level of pay.
    Its always the little that does ALL the work and ALWAYS gets the shaft. You don't have TRAINED people to do make the ship run, then you DON'T go anywhere.

  48. Belchfire V-8 says:

    I did 4 years in the 474 TFW, and 21 years in the Air Guard in a unit that is part of AFSOC. I was activated a number of times, went to various wars and real world deployments. I am expecting to hear that my retirement pay and benefits that are supposed to start next year at 60, won't happen. This "President" and Congress love to waste funds on everything, but defense, and therefore, the troops and vets.

  49. same pagano says:

    Why don't all gongres take a cut in pay? I'm sure that they have money in the bank?
    Why don't all the senitors take a cut also.
    I'm sure if they love thes country like us veterans
    they would do it.
    BUT!I don't think tey have the b–ls to do it.They like to take money fron the veterans,it's easer.

  50. I suggest we stop putting all the illegal aliens, swamping the border, up in hotels and providing them with a new life, see today's headlines. Take that money and reinvest it into the Department of Defense and close the border. I served, and now my son serves in the finest Navy in the world, but it won't be for long at this rate.
    When China is putting to sea a forward projecting force around the world, and we are talking about mothballing 3 carriers, trouble will be just over the horizon.

  51. A big part of the problem starts at grass roots. How many times have you had a civilian remark, "But, you get all your food free at the Commissary!"
    Until that sort of thinking is gone, there will be problems.
    And thanks a LOT for your service.
    AZ1, USNR, Ret.

  52. Congress and the Senate made sure they got their pay raises in December 2012. Then they decide to pay for Africa to have electricity. Then of course there are all of the taxes paid for their vacations and other perks of office. Only 1% of the American people ever go into the Military. How much money do they waste on their vacations and perks that could go to the miliitary?

  53. The people in DC have no brains! They want to cut the Military back but they keep putting us in other countries troubles, claiming National security! Hagle wants 10 – 15 year retirements (but they would not get payed till they hit 55 years of age)…all he is doing with this idea is delaying another brick wall, plus losing a lot of experience! I don't know the percentages of troops that stay till 20 years or more, but if retirement is offered at 10 or 15 years look out!!! Until our elected officials in DC take meaningful pay cuts they should shut the H… up!!!!!

  54. s. Battle says:

    Absolutely no more foreign aid
    Flat tax
    No amnesty for illegal immigrants and tighten borders. To come live you must have a job, sponsor,
    limits on food stamps anfter the birth of your 2nd child you are on yur own no more aid.

  55. The fact is that there is no easy answer for the DoD,

    Read more: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2013/08/dod
    MilitaryAdvantage.Military.com
    Bull, I say, there is an easy answer. Stop the foreign aid, stop the lucrative pay raises that congress and representatives give themselves, and stop all the wasted money that our president waste on his personal vacations, and you'll find that there is enough money to put back into the military. I believe that our elected officials do not have any loyalty to our country and military.

  56. Want to reduce the budget? Fire all the civilians doing the same jobs the military are doing. Instead of paying some sandcrab $50,000 a year, fire them and let one or two military personnel fill the gap. It used to really irritate me to watch the sandcrabs sitting around laughing at us while we went out in the rain, snow, heat and did our jobs. Fire the security guards and let the military police man the gates.

    • DOD civilian fed up says:

      Mr. Old Salt
      I dis agree. I work at a base. They are doing three to one ratio now. What three people did now one person try's to do.
      We have four slots and two techs because every person that shows up can't handle the 200 plus work order back log in the other slot. Now they have taken 20 percent of my pay each month since July. As for the military there aren't enough of them plus they have workout three times a week then show up at 930 plus additional military requirements the rest of the day.
      If you hate civilians that badly come walk a mile in our shoes. But soon you won't have to worry people are leaving in droves. Why work your heart out for people like yourself that just don't care about anyone.

      • DOD civilian fed up. It is a two way street when walking in ones shoes. I've work for/with civilians while on active duty and many on them were only their for the paycheck. They would do no more than the minimum. They would not go out of the way to help a service member. So when you want to complain understand that many military have a dislike for civilians because of attitude and lack of respect for the other side.

        • Idmtmedic says:

          Yea sucks to have to have your pay cut huh? As others have said PLENTY of times, you VOLUNTEERED for that civilian job right? Then QUIT! Use your vacation time, sick lv and your reps to complain. Find another job. Military have that option? Apparently that DOD job isn't as lucrative without the sacrifice? I have an option, join the military? Ohhhh wait we are having the same issues but yours is more important?

    • Hey old Salt
      Remember one of this days you will be a civilian…..I work on a base where military are getting trained by who not military but civilians. and its true military have to do other things PT three times a week …..they dont come in until 830 or 900……yes their are certain civilians that might not earn their pay but then again there are certain military members that shouldnt even be in the military.

    • Illuminated999 says:

      lol its funny to watch the over paid civilian contractors squirm when you mention getting rid of them.

      • Mr. English says:

        Illuminated999,
        Just remember you may one day need the same job you are wanting to LOL about. That squirm you speak of is because we to still have familes that depend on us just as you do. I say simply do your jobs in the most effective and efficient manner and let the chips fall where they may. Also you may want to pray for the elected ones to find solutions, instead of tossing stones from the glass house you live in.

    • Roger That says:

      Service military did all the work in my career 60s-80s. Paying contractors is expensive and redundant, often wasteful and arrogant. The "draft" ended mid 70s and military had to be paid well to volunteer. Now, thanks to that in part, they are taken for granted. really? Well, almost NONE of congress has members in the military and few have served is ONE big reason, NO idea of the routine and cannot relate, nor adequately respect members. Smacking our service members with the " taken for granted"
      scenario will affect espirit des corp and effectiveness , plus their families
      well being at home or abroad. THINK, be consistent and remember we all talked about20-30 years later and TRUST in the "promise" of a career and service to our nation. For one thing, you alter that promise and those retired will be in YOUR FACE. Current members deserve respect and
      commitments. KEEP THEM !! The OATH applies BOTH directions. Got that?!

    • You need to calm your ASS DOWN. I am a former military veteran that served 2 tours in IRAQ. Your Ass is going to need a government job when you get out. Don't burn the bridges. You can't stay in the military FOREVER!

    • Ex AR cook says:

      As a former Army cook I could not agree more.

  57. The sad part is that our representatives were never intended to be paid, that is not supposed to be a part time job in which they gave to the country as an opportunity to give and help shape this great country. The politicians then came in and made it so that they would be taken care of for life. Our government of the people is now gone and there are professional liars (politicians) in their place and they have no idea about the people any longer. As long as this continues our government will continue into decline. I love my country and have never asked for anything but to be allowed to serve, I would have stayed for 30 or more years except I don't want to move any more, I want to stay in my home and live with my wife. Civilians can't seem to grasp the concept of working 16 to 18 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year or more at a time and think that I get paid too much. They have never sacrificed in this way and will never understand.

  58. L.S Breiman says:

    God fobid we cut Congress's pay or benefits!! Or cut the general staff's expenses and the perks paid to civilain contactors ( remember the $110 hammer or the several hundred dollar toilet seats, etc). Nobody was ever punished or held accountable for these fiascos.

    The waste is not in the military's personnel and benefits. But its in all the others getting paid under the table from the government trough. That means not Republican or Democrat but the entire government and their "pork barrel politics"!! Enter text right here!

  59. The real issue is the President and Congress want to balance the budget on the backs of the militay when they should really look at the nondiscretionary budget items like social security or medicare/medicaid. The military is the easiest part of the budget to cut the proverbial "low hanging fruit". I am deeply saddened by the lack of senior leadership in this country. All our politicians are concerned with is posturing and relection.

    • Air Force says:

      Michael, I'm 75 years old and retired military. Social security and medicare I have earned through service and work. I've paid into the system. You feel that I don't deserve this? Suggest you wake up, mature and study the facts before making statements as you just have.

      • Totally agree. Social security is not an "entitlement". We paid into it. It was in surplus mode under Clinton. Sure, let's get rid of the benefits to those who are powerless to fight back.

    • Katherine says:

      If it wasn,t for ss and did a lo of us would be striving and out on the streets the people they should cut in half is all he people in the political sector then we can all rest easer

  60. Idmtmedic says:

    Great article!!!!!! Can't see the Forest for the trees? Robbing Peter to pay Paul? "Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel" – John Quinton…lmao. "Members of Congress should be compelled to wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers, so we could identify their corporate sponsors" Caroline Baum. Ok last one…….my Favorite. "The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and time again that they have the management skills of celery. They're the kind of people who'd stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn't bother to stop because they'd want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club – Dave Barry.

  61. Hmmmm…?? Let me see, how many millions spent on Obama phone cheaters (I mean potential Dem voter bribes); how much $$$ the Congressional Vacation Tab is; the total taxpayer subsidy for Congress's "Obama Care"; the total insider trading profits racked up by the "Professional Politicians"; … to start with, would ease the budget burden? (albeit it a smoke screen) … hmmmmmm?!

  62. Simple solution.
    Never vote for an incumbent .

  63. I hear all of you and generally agree. However, there has been a major change in thinking in this country, and we are reaping its effects right now. Two wars going away and Obamacare coming on line – with a majority of Americans wanting these goodies. The republicans still have no answer when democrats say they want to starve old people and let other people die without health insurance. The American values of self-sufficiency and independence from government give-aways are now in the minority. For those of you who are serving and thinking about serving…think hard about what you are giving up to defend…like Kenny Rogers said, "You got to know when to hold 'em, and know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run…."…it is still your call right now.

    • setting this problem to the tune of a Kenny Rogers song sounds a little jerky to me. The answer is simple . Moneys are needed , and as long as the republican congress insist on not blocking tax loop holes for the rich (and themselves we will be faced with this . you have a choice , vote these aholes out and watch things start to roll

  64. Oklahoman says:

    None of what we say matters in the long run. We have a President who thumbs his nose at the Constitution and his oath of office. we have a Congress full of people (not all) that are more interested in getting re-elected than actually taking care of what is right. Now we will likely end up with a vast majority of people living off government hand-outs that will "never" vote for someone who will take it away from them. Our government has become the biggest welfare dealer the world has known and all the addicts will keep them in office. I feel the country will have to bottom out before the people will vote for a self-imposed INTERVENTION. In the mean time we have to keep Congress gridlocked just to keep either side from messing things up even more.

  65. Bella the cat says:

    How about taking Hagel out. How about taking Obama's million dollar vacations. Our men oversea's no longer have hot meals now. Obama is taking down the military as fast as he can. He is being backed by Hagel, Brennan and the Pentagon. They don't have to do this. There is so much waste they could do away with. Instead they are taking down our military serving now and retired veterans. I know because I am spouse of one now. I lost a Navy husband back in the 80's. My family has Marine, Navy, Army, Coast Guard. Proud American fighting for our military.

    • Agree! O'Bama's vacations are getting out of hand. He just had one in Africa, now another one and what about his dog flying on our taxpayers. This is getting ridiculous. Get rid of this stuff. We all need a vacation and so does our dog. Is anybody listening to what is going on??

    • Hagel spoke at the VFW National Convention in Louisville KY…Same old BS. Rand Paul rocked the house. Why are we continuing to fund the muslim brotherhood, and why do we continue to fund nations that burn our flag. He hit the Obama administration in the nuts…Great speaker, great speech

  66. 0311 Marine says:

    Ok, let's think about this budget issue and the military. When you sign up your signing a blank check payable to the government which includes up to your life. You agree to live under possible sub human conditions. You agree that you will move any where any time at the drop of a hat. You agree to leave your family for what at times are undefined time frames. You agree that your family may have to use food stamps to survive while your off in some God forshaken place. You agree to live in daily fear of our life being taken at any moment. Etc, etc………

    So can anyone, anyone tell me how congress especially this do nothing low life group has earned the right to decide what our military can or can't do? The only thing they care is what is good for them.

    Folks the SYSTEM is broken.

    Signed
    A pissed off Vietnam combat Marine

    • OK that's what happens to anyone who takes the Oath to serve our Country.
      But is it right to send our Men and Women to Hell expect them to put out the fires that light up around the world doing a job that when it comes down to it. No Politician would want their kids to do, Then Crap on them, pay them Squat! and then take away as much as they can with their benefits?
      Base their pay like a Congress person or Senatorial Person receives.

      Another Pissed off Vietnam Army Combatant!

      • 0311 Marine says:

        Agree and that is exactly my point, pay and benefits are far and away not in line with the level of expectation we have of those who serve and now our government wants to take away even more.

        Wondering who they will count on when those who serve get feed up and leave?

        Thanks for your service and welcome home Army!

  67. Vacations for O'Bama and his dog, and we are cutting military and retiree benefits. I wish I could have all those vacations and the country paying for them while I cry about the economy,

    • Georgia Girl says:

      I totally agree !!!! His lavish vacations will continue for his entire family on our dime.With so many Americans and service members just trying to keep food on their table his family should feel nothing but guilt while having their lavish dinners.Budget cuts should start at home Mr. President !!!!!!
      Cutting the military and veterans benefits is just WRONG !!!!

      • Yes thats wrong .Cut congres pay or send them to war . We dont get enough now I gusse we are second class people.

    • do you even know what you're saying? I'm guessing you are probaly a Republican. Refer to Bush 1, bush 2 and Reagan vacations if you really want to see waste.

  68. Cutting military budget would reduce the effectiveness of military readiness and put the United States in harm way. And troops would have lower moral.

  69. Georgia Girl says:

    Our main problem is we have a president that does not give a flip.It doesn't matter how our country goes to hell in a hand basket.He will walk away after his term and be taken care of the rest of his life.Without our military to keep us all safe his life may not be so great.All of those who are making the cuts could offer part of their salary to help the budget Yeah right, that won't happen.
    While our military already have to pinch pennies to just feed their family and a great many of our veterans are homeless and starving the ones in the Whitehouse are eating high on the hog.What do we spend each week for food to feed them and their brood and their lavish vacations?Punishing our military and veterans is just wrong !!!! Pray for mercy for our American people. God help us !!!!!

  70. Delay the full retirement of the House and Congress until they reach full social security age. Secondly, cut MAP to countries which can't afford to purchase our military systems; and raise the cost of FMS to countries that can afford to buy our military systems. There should be no early retirement for those we have elected to represent us in Washington!

  71. The Devil's Advocate says:

    It's so funny how many of us have this fighting spirit on this site, yet have not one shred of gumption to take that fight to the town hall, or to a place that actually matters. We spew rhetoric and racist code, not realizing every side you fight is still going to effect you regardless of who sits in the Presidential seat. You are and always will be a lowly pawn. If you don't get off your quister and be apart of what makes American great. Why are there chains on the feet of the Statue of Liberty? You know the answer, you just don't see that you are the huddled masses, the sick, and poor the four fathers spoke of. Slaves to your laziness and televisions. being fed what you think. Doesn't it feel great to be free. Then do something about it. If you don't have the mental capacity to participate, what gives you an inkling of a right to pass judgement and speak on things you have no understanding of? Learn before you speak. Do something. Not cackle like a bunch of old woman.

  72. It will take another terrorist attack or seizing of an embassy,etc., in other words, some innocent blood spilled, to make people (including politicians) angry enough to demand adequate funding of the military – to include compensation. Problem is the blood spilled will probably be some unprepared soldier/sailor/marine/airman. Same old story!
    "For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;"

  73. ABO

    We can solve the problem if we all resign from the Military..Isn't that what the pptb desire, small unarmed military..

  74. Fed up vet says:

    Let us look back and see what happened:
    9/11
    No draft
    No tax increase
    No bid contracts
    58% pay increase for military
    Hiring of civilians to do military jobs
    An endless war
    Unaccounted for true cost of war
    VA benefits at 75 billion and growing
    Worn out equipment
    Worn out reservists, national guard and regular army
    Ever larger bonuses to retain soldiers
    A pentagon bigger than when there were 14 million service members…

    Conclusion:
    It is unsustainable

    If you want to go to war or have to go to war do the following:
    Draft
    Raise taxes
    Impose ratiionig

    • If there is a single veteran out there that votes democrat,, they must me Al Qaida in disguise…. The democrats always hurt the military. The reason we had to call up the reserves and guard was because the democrats gutted the military. The only thing the constitution originally authorized raising taxes for was to raise an army to protect the nation. Cut the democrat welfare state, and put people back to work, and rebuild the military.

    • geezergary says:

      You got that right!

  75. tjruffian says:

    Stop blaming the Democrats! You think pay cuts did not occur when the Republicans were in charge? This is not about Republicans vs. Democrats. This is about right and wrong! We in the military voluntarily signed a contract to protect America and the freedoms we enjoy today.

    It is Congress who is trying to take away our benefits! Last I heard Congress is made up of Republicans and Democrats. You can bet the power hungry politicians in Congress will continue to enjoy their pay raises and health care benefits.

    And while they stuff their mouths with the benefits that were promised to our brave men and women in the military, we remain apathetic and fight amongst ourselves for the scraps thrown from the dinner table.

    Quote from the movie "Sin City":
    "Power don't come from a badge or a gun." Power comes from lying."Lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you." Once you've got everybody agreeing what they know in their hearts ain't true…you've got em by the balls."

    VOTE!!! If you're not helping to write the menu then you are on the menu! VOTE!!!

  76. OverthehillOT says:

    Actually it took a few minutes to remember why I joined the Navy. It was during Nam in 73. I was sort of trying to avoid the draft by volunteering for something I wanted to do. They made lots of promises to me, some on paper…compensation may have been one of those. I was able to keep my contractual agreements and stayed for 20. In exchange I was allowed to retire. You know it wasn't much of a retirement in the beginning, but things started to improve thanks to disability compensation and improvements at the VA. I was really thinking everything was OK, I really thought the nation appreciated my sacrifices. Guess we will find out. You know going back to the beginning I really wish the military could pick and choose which American they want to save based on how they support us.

  77. Old Grunt says:

    I think the "committee" plan for revamping military retirement involves liberal application of KY. If they want to revamp it I purpose that they do away with BAQ and BAS, and incorporate them into the base pay. Special pays i.e. flight, jump and medical should also be rolled into the base pay.

    Service members should have the same retirement as Federal Employees.

    Oh yeah military will become hourly employees and receive 1.5X for each hour of overtime and 2X for Holiday hours. So when was the last time you pulled a forty hour work week? What about hours per week during deployment?

    Just an Old Grunt with a case of the hips.

    • Military pay and benefits are better than those of civil servants. I'm the civilian equivalent of a Major, and their base pay is higher than mine. Then add BOQ and they make far more than I do.

    • I hear what you're saying Old Grunt, but if they made BAQ and BAS apart of regular pay, that would mean it would be taxed as earned income, that might not set too well with a lot of active duty. And flintstone, it don't take all that, we are quite capable of understanding things the first time we hear it.

  78. I have the answer, cut the benefits and pay of the Congress, Senators, and the allowed expenses of the VP, First Lady, once again Congress and Senate members, and reduce the Whitehouse staff, and First Lady's non essential staff. I am not making this statement as a harangue of comedy, it is a statement of fact.

    The First Lady has no Political Purpose, NOne, She was not elected to dleve into politics, She is simply the Presidents wife. Politicians, Senators, should not be paid expenses except for one thing. The pay they make form their territories, no Special Interest, if they are found to accept, thn it is plain out Bribery, forget Special Interest. Our Soldiers , Airmen, Sailors Marines and Coast Guards come first, our readiness comes first. Our security comes first, so they need to get real. What kind of Generals do we have that would tell Congress to cut the troops pay ?
    Ken Hatley
    A Proud Veteran.

  79. teddy roosevelt, a great president, said. when referring to the security of our great country….."walk softly, but carry a big stick." when people leave their homes each day, they lock the doors and windows, set alarms and video cameras also….they are protecting their homes. this is the purpose of the military to protect our homes, their homes, our country, their country. if the politicians continue to cut miliary costs & expenses that pay our military and their medical benefits, etc….then they are leaving the doors and windows of this great country wide open for home invasion. our military put their lives on the line to protect us, and whether they are active or retirees ..they have all sacrificed greatly for our freedom. they deserve not only great respect, but the best of pay, benefits etc..as they greatly deserve this. to all politicians out there if you read this, please consider the needs of
    all military personnel & their families and give them what they deserve. thank you.

  80. Retrogirl says:

    Sad!! The solution is obvious, send the senators and congress to fight our wars. They're full of enough hot air that they ought to be right at home over there. That you would dare to consider cutting pay or any other benefits that our military and their families sacrifice their lives and normalcy for is ludicrous. This is how you honor our military men and women? That our government has mismanaged the budget should not fall on the shoulders of our military. However, look at the cushy pay and retirement packages the senate and congress have….how bout you give up some of your pay and bennies boys and girls. I will never understand how you can put yourselves above our military, you have truly forgotten that YOU SERVE THE PEOPLE and you do a crappy job. Let your wives (or hubbies) try to survive on what our military families do!!! You sicken me. And this game you are playing with the reserve and Guard personnel to save a few bucks because you can't budget properly. CONGRESS AND SENATE NEED PAY CUTS! When are people going to wake up? I love my COUNTRY and my MILITARY BROTHERS AND SISTERS!! I am angry at those who are ready to sacrifice those that should be honored. Let's see our senators and congress put their money where their mouth is……oh, I guess that would be a little difficult considering where their noses are. You could take a lesson from our military about dedication, service, and sacrifice if you'd only get your heads out of your ass!

  81. Stop supporting foreigners and you would have plenty of money for the Military. Other countries don't suppport the American people. But then their heads of government aren't as stupid as ours.

  82. the shame of it is that there are 4,300,000 people on welfare and if they would cut 15.00 from everyone that is receiving this pay it would amount to over 7 billion per year. yet these morons think that the military is always an easy target. this is Obama's dream, cut the military and increase his brown shirt army. but yet no one will question him on this issue, they are all afraid to, all the politicians are.

    • wayne ortego says:

      you are so right,when I went in the army back in the 60's we were promise free medical for the rest of my life that remains to be seen,John Mc Cain is a vetran and I don't see him fighting for the vet.,he is more worried about taking care of his big money buddies for his relection campayne so sad I feel sorry for the young men going in the service now,

      • John McCain has never done anything for those in the military, even when he was still on active duty after being promoted to USN Captain based on his POW status instead of leadership. I have met him and he is a nice person, but a leader – NO. I do not get medical for life either thanks to congress.
        We could solve this problem by making the armed forces smaller but keeping the pay, benefits, etc. as good as they are or even better while keeping the equipment we must have to remain strong in exceptional working condition with exceptional training. That would mean getting rid of at least 50% of our leaders from B.Gen to Gen – especially those like the current Commandment of the Marine Corps and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who are both being "Politically Correct" in order to save their asses – instead of leading and telling it like it is!

    • Vietnam Vet says:

      I'm just wondering who is going to have guts and pick up a weapon
      and stand at the fence line to protect our as!$#65 so we can go to work
      so we can buy all our toys,eat our steaks,go camping in 100000 dollar RV's.The illegals we give free medical,health,food stamps,welfare.Write your Politicians remember WE can vote them out.

  83. We veterans must remain ever vigilant against the forces that would take away the benefits we have earned through our blood sweat and tears.

  84. Really?…the ol' bait and switch? I was part of the underpaid force in the early 80's, I stuck with it, partly because of my desire to serve my country, and also because of the promises the government made to me…well, I've done my part, I don't have to tell anyone reading this the sacrifices we've all made…now, if they take away what I've earned, isn't that criminal? Can they give me a rebate on the lost years ( and I mean years!) I've given? No…this cannot stand!

  85. E.A. Mulkey says:

    So many have given 20-35years of their life to serve in the military. Now the Joint Chief of Staff wants to cut our Retirement Checks. Many of us will not be able to make it financially. How can you even think of duing this. We worked hard, left our families for months. We protected you and your familiesToo, and now you want to cut our pay.Why don't you stop Obama from SPENDING OUR MONEY on vacations.Just think, you can get MILLIONS. Stop obama giving BILLIONS to his Muslins,Stop giving a MILLION to some women in AL. for studying women in her country( not America)who smoke. This was not a joke. Maybe you can order ALL the Congress and Senate to give up some of their pay. I think the Joint Chief and CONGRESS should THINK Twice about this. You are just helping obama to destroy us! E.A. Mulkey (My Husband is Ret. Navy)

  86. 1.STOP GIVING MONEY TO OTHERS COUNTRIES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2.TAKE A LOOK AT HOW GERMANY LIVES OFF OUR MILITARY.
    3.BRING SOME OF OUR TROOPS HOME.
    4.TAKE A LOOK AT THE (LQA) THEY RECEIVE FOR FAMILY HOUSING,AND SOLDIERS,ANDCIVILIAN PAYING UP TO 1,000 EURO A MONTH OR MORE.
    THE NEW COMMISSARY BEING BUILT NOW ON RAMSTEIN,GERMANY FOR $38 MILLION IS A WASTE OF MONEY.

  87. Don't worry about the military. Just stick a stupid plastic ribbon on your tree or a dumb-ass bumper sticker on your car. That will fix everything. There, you support the military. Happy now?
    Don't think about the vet that can't get a job, can't get a mortgage, can't get groceries or clothes for their children. Don't give a damn about the wounded and amputees, the disfigured and those with invisible injuries. Name a bridge after them. That will shut them up. Good-bye U.S.A. You were great while you lasted.

  88. SteveH Capt USMC Ret says:

    Perhaps the best way to resolve this issue – even though it should not be an issue! Is to stop funding other countries unless such funding actually protects the United States of America, its Culture and its Citizens. Then use the money saved to keep our military forces strong and ready. What a simple solution!
    There are many more reasonable financial solutions too! For example, reduce the money given to those who do not work, but have no reason why they don't. Make the tax system simple and the same for everyone, including companies.
    And on and on.

    • Rick USMC-Ret says:

      Do you know pres obama sent $100 million to the palestinian govt last week? We have reduction in military spending so he can give it to someone who doesn't even like us. How dis-ingenius???

    • and who would make the decision as to the people that have no reason why they don't work. thanks for my working with JP4 I had 2 disabled girls and 8 babies lost and to this day I have never found out why this happened and my kids would love to work but because there sick no one will let them so they get to live in poverty

  89. arnold Bell says:

    ITS A SHAME AND DISGRACE THAT CONGRESS ALWAYS WANTS TO TAKE AWAY FROM THE VETERANS LIKE THE VIETNAM VETS AND THE WAY WE WERE DONE WHEN WE CAME BACK HOME, BUT THEY DON'T HAVE A PROBLEM AT ALL GOING IN THE BACK ROOM AND GIVING THEIR OWN SELF A RAISE WHEN THEY WANT ONE.CLEAN THEM OUT AND START OVER,AND MAYBE THE U.S. WILL BE OK. GOD BLESS AMERICA. A VET FROM THE 60'S &70'S

  90. E.J. Santiago says:

    So,the erosion of this country continues, while the 1% continues to get rich and the middle class, the poor, and now the freedom fighters that were up all night keeping this country safe from harm are being strip from their way of life as well. How much can the people take? I tell you we are living in destructive times and if we continue on this path, we will all be doomed. Follow vets this puzzle is easy to figure out. Divide and conquer (The haves and the have not's)

  91. It is corporate welfare. there are corporations that pay little or no taxes.We have off shore accounts, we subsidize big oil.. If the neocons in the congress would amend the tax code (increase the taxes for the boys by 3 percent) we would have the funds. But the neocons refuse to do so. Why? Grover Norquist. Quid pro quo.

  92. I hate to say they do not care about the military until things happen on american soil , They don't want to give us raises . All they are thinking about how to make their selves richer . They're downsizing making the military weaker. What are they thinking about. . I pray that they wake up, and get a clue .

  93. my sympathy goes out to the wounded vets coming home ,they have a long road at home to get what is owed to them.it took my husband 20 years to get his full disability,and he is no different today than the day he got out of the military .good luck veterans

  94. Born to Fish says:

    If the 1% is maintaining 35% of the wealth, it seems only fair that they pay 35% of the taxes and that ain't happening. They are at the 13% tax bracket with their receiving tax breaks at a corporate level. That's a little more than a 3rd of what they should be paying. The total U.SA wealth was $48.5 trillion in 2009. It rose 1.3% to $54.2 trillion by May 2012 and is still climbing. With the 1% which equals apprx 32,000 people they hold apprx $17,500,000,000,000.00 or $546,875,000.00 each.
    You want to know what really amazing?
    That total amount they hold comes to almost exactly what the national debt come to.

  95. after waiting 14 months now for some answer as to our claim for agent orange and some kind of compensation , we now realize the tactic of the VA and congress is for these Vets to die …………. time is running out for him and thousands like him, as he dies in pieces I now realize the extent of the lies told to out Vets, the shame is a disgrace on this nation……… my husband has been labeled a "Blue Water Vet" other countries have long ago compensated these Vets for their life long suffering , the US prolongs. drags, and waits it out , while 10,000's of them die suffering more then any of them in congress can fathom .US shame for over 40 years !!

    • I work at a VA Regional office and I feel the same way. Some claims are more than 18 months and two years old. Most beneficiaries die before they get to collect any benefits. Also there are more non-vets working to help vets and beneficiaries. You should see there work effort. Most of the civilian employees on care about themselves and how much money they earn. It was sad that the president had to enforce to the federal agencies to hire vets. I beleive our problem starts at the top. Me and my other veteran co- workers feel the same.

    • I have been waiting for 44 years to get a rating for bring disabled they always have a lame brain excuse for why you dont qualify..Iam still waiting for some person to tell me why i have canser now and hope i die so they dont have to pay the poor vetern that put it all on the line foe his or hera country and this what you solders have to look foward to a bunch of bs all the money put aswide for social sucurity went to the war in the far east who took this money?? and every vet now has nothing to look foward to they earned it and now try to find it!!!

  96. Former President Reagan while slapping the Military on the back picked the pockets of Veterans when he was in Office and he was rewarded by getting all sorts of things named after him. Its time that this do nothing Congress paid the toll. Lets cut their salary and benefits to the part time job it is hey $7.50 an hour is good enough for McDonalds workers who actually work it should be good for professional politicians who as we know become high powered Lobbyists when they leave office anyway. Let the companies they represent pay them not the people they don't represent anymore.

  97. So they said one thing in the "70's", now they are saying the exact opposite in 2013. Who was President in the 70's?….it don't matter, the author of this article didn't give an exact year. As things change, adjustments must be made, we have House of Rep's now(controlled be teapublicans), for some reason can't figure that out…talk about tunnel vision!….Well that tunnel vision have brought this Country to the very brink of extinction. I have a warning for ya, if Congress don't pull their heads out of their duffle bags, in about ten or fifteen years, America as we know her today will no longer exist. It's going take a combined effort by all three branches of Government to solve this problem, so stop pointing fingers at each and do your job….congress. And we as voters need to do our jobs also, by stop putting fools in the Hourse of Rep's.

  98. Bring back the draft and this way members of congress will have a stake in the system. There family members will now be part the system and no work around getting from the draft. Once drafted its your duty to serve for state and country.I served more than 20 plus years for my country and would do it again.

    • Agee Burnet ! We need all personell involved with the VA To have a military service BACKGROUND not one of I had a friend or family member serve and one whom has spent more than a few months or years 10 yrs pluss !
      Not ones who is there for a check ! Too many unenployed &homeless vets needing a hand not a hand out Let us help ourselves with dignaty !
      Bringing back the DRAFT is good for our country no exceptions from family or political back grounds!

  99. Gertieguy says:

    We all complain -say this and that…BUT !!!!! We keep putting these "nuts" back in office. Regardless of your race, service, etc……these next election – vote them out…if they have Micky Mouse running..vote for him. If you would not re-elect anyone in office ..they would get the message. I heard this same "wine" about benefits, VA, pay cuts, Tricare, BUT the same folks got re-elected. Let's face it : the Vet, REtired, and active duty is millions…lets be like the unions..do it our way we vote for you…if not -YOU ARE GONE. SO these next elections…vote them all out, then you will save this country and see a change.

    • cave man usaf says:

      I agree with you Gertieguy ! We complaine but never follow through ,I often wonder how our votes are really counted ? I have grave suspitions on this and the electoral vote ! We need to have a military backgound requirement before they can be considered too run for any STATE ,FEDERAL offices Not a good ole boy background as i see now elected by his family background as a son or daughter or relative of an elected official ! Give the the people a say in the pay raises and cuts take the ability too vote them selves an increase ,Lets put a stop too our goverment spending by CLEANING HOUSE AT THE TOP ! …..GOD PLEASE GIVE US THE STRENGH TOO REUNITE OUR FREEDOME BEFORE ITS TO LATE , as we are heading with this run away goverment WE THE PEOPLE should mean something too all ! people we have the means through this Use the WEB ,

  100. Congress continues to cut pay, retirement pay, hours and benefits for our Service Members and Civil Service workers, including my FireFighter husband (20 + service member), YET it is going to PAY $65.8 BILLION FOR 99 OSPRAYS for the NAVY. DO we really need 99 Osprays!!!???
    MORE Equipment for MORE WARS…..
    CUT THE EQUIPMENT!!! Save the Service Members!!! Why is not this part of the discussion?

  101. Maybe our Representatives should take another look at it… Here is the beginning…. Go to the original and read the rest you current criminals……
    We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    • Ed American says:

      These documents are nothing but scratch paper to Obama and Holder, Nepoliotano and Lerner. When you are governed by those who have no ethics or principles, this is what you get!!

  102. Joe Snuffy says:

    Hey congress, I would just like to point out that $100K is alot of money- your salaries are well above that- and I'm sure many of you have Masters degrees (if not multiple), and I'm also willing to bet that your retirement funds are SOARING, and I'll also bet (what little money I make) to say that the majority your families have been well off for a couple of generations, and I'm also pretty sure you're all American citizens like the rest of us, and I've also read that 71 of you don't qualify for a credit card because your credit is so bad, 117 of you have bankrupt 2 or more businesses, 84 have been arrested for DUI, 7 have been arrested for fraud, 14 have been arrested on drug related charges, and the list goes on. Now that my 'run-on sentence' is complete, I would like to respectfully ask you to think about the country for a change and not your bank accounts.Serving in Congress should be a privilage and honor, not made a mockery of and taken advantage of.

  103. Joe Snuffy says:

    What makes a congressman/congresswoman better than the rest of the citizens? Why do you get to make laws that protect you and force everyone else? In what world is that an ok thing to do? I'm a firm believer in "if it ain't broke don't fix it" THIS IS BROKEN! There are families in this country and in America's armed forces who are struggling to make ends meet as it stands- before these proposed BULLSH*T cuts! You're on the brink of making things more difficult for those families while additionally causing making a living to be a "scraping by" affair. Do what's right! Stop accepting lobbiest money, start making choices for a better AMERICA! Live the values that our founding fathers set for this country!! On the current path we're headed for a downward spiral that may never be fixed!!!!!

    • jmbr25APR says:

      Joe, I seem to recall Candidate Obama saying if he was put into the White House He would do away with “ALL” the lobbyist in Washington DC, some campaign promise huh?
      Oh I think our Founding Fathers took $1.00 a year as a salary for Serving in congress. My, salary has increased. Then we have the Boondoggles to “meet with Constituents’” in some far away land all at our expense. The powers to be have to start living within their means, we just can’t keep printing money to pay for things it has to be backed by something other than China.

  104. David Parent says:

    If you look at Great Britain and its decline after world War II you can see that its decline was caused from getting involved in too many wars in too short a time. The participation was necessary but its freedom came at a great cost.

    Since 1990 the country has been engaged in some sort of war or another. Think of it. For more that 23 years every serviceman has been VFW eligible. The wars were not as dramatic as our previous wars but over the the course of time the wars have drained and will be draining for long into the future our resources.

    The fact that we are coming to that part where we cannot sustain the people who do the fighting and sacrificing is inevitable.

    Next time we have an election, be sure to vote against those who have gotten us in this mess. It mayh take some time but eventually we will have a president and congress who will run the country honestly and fairly.

  105. Think of it this way, an E-3 with a spouse and a child, qualifies for Food Stamps. Is this really what we want for the new generation entering the military?

    • In the late 1970"s an E-4 with a spouse and a child qualified for Food Stamps in the Chicago metro area.

      • E3s and 4s will always qualify for food stamps as do most unskilled entry level jobs. When I was drafted in 1967 I think my pay was about $89/month, combat pay in VN was an extra $65/month.
        With all the flag waving by Bush and Obama about our military we have managed to rack up another gigantic unfunded retirement and health care commitment.
        Paying more for an unskilled kid to enter the military makes no sense. If that kid is married and has children that makes even less sense.

  106. Dennis Ryan says:

    If you want to cut us AFTER we served then you shouldn't have STARTED any Wars…STOP being the police for the world and mind your own business for once..we told YOU, no boots on the ground in Iraq and Afganastan but you did what you wanted with our troops ( young and old ) and now you have to take care of them…YOU elected this Admin…soooo now deal with THERE decisions..case closed…..SIR.

  107. STOP THE DAMN CORRUPTION, FIX THE COUNTRY PERIOD!!!! NO MORE SALARY FOR THE PREIDENT, HE LIVES FOR FREE ANYWAY! NO MORE SELF ELECTED PAY RAISES ON THE HILL, CUT THEIR FRIVILOUS SPENDING, NO MORE POLICING THE WORLD WHERE OUR SECURITY IS NOT AN ISSUE, CUT CONGRESS/SENATE/HILL SALARIES BEFORE THE AVERAGE AMERICANS, STOP SELLING OUR OIL TO COMMUNIST CHINA, STOP BUYING OIL FROM EVIL ARABS FOR AN INSANE PRICE!!! USE OUR OIL, MAKE GAS CHEAP, PPL WILL SPEND MONEY ON GOODS.STOP PUNISHING VETS AND FEDERAL WORKERS WHO ARE REGULAR JOE'S SUPPORTING FAMILIES. STOP THIS G-DAMN INSANITY NOW OR THERE WILL BE NO AMERICA LEFT TO SAVE. REMOVE THE ILLEGALS AND VOTE ALL DEMS OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MSG (RET) Thompson says:

      I agree VET. AND stop giving my hard earned money to the crack head, low life, thugs (of all races) who choose not to work because it is easier to lay around doing drugs and making babies!

    • Paul Stratton says:

      You state "Vote all DEMs Out" That's not the Answer !! Well I spent 30 plus years in the Army Jun 1950 -1951 Korea 1953-54 Korea, 1965 – 66 VN 1968-69 VN. and I am a Dem and it appears to that the problem is the REP. They block ever thing that is good for Vets , active duty , and common people.

  108. "The Bull" says:

    I am an eight+ year veteran myself. I served from 1970-1979 and thus, during Vietnam. As I recall, during that time,we received two small COLA's. All the while, the Congress and Senate voted for raises for the Executive Branches for themselves. BAQ and COMRATS never got raised during that time. Well before my service and for some time after, the Hazardous Duty/Combat pay was $55.00 per month. We often had to share that with others. I'm not sure about the pay and benefits these days. I do know that many of those are now paid into by the individual, which is wrong, especially when those who make these decisions continue to get raises in both pay and benefits. Lets get with it people!

  109. Carey, its sad the Constitution no longers applies under Obama!
    Old Grunt, I hear ya!

  110. Obama, never served, how can he be a commander in chief!? He hates vets and America, its obvious. and he also SHOULD be impeached for bowing to arabs and killing our ambassador in Benghazi! He is a villain!

  111. It seems to me that every time capitol hill gets it self in a crunch it looks to erode the hard earned and well deserved benefits that our military and veterans receive in the past doing away with the promised lifetime health care at no cost etc. At present looking to cut the pay and compensation that the troops and veterans have earned with their bodies health both physical and mental. The possible elimination of the commissary system putting both retirees and active military personnel and disabled veterans further in a financial hole and yet at the same time congress and the senate get raises regardless of the situation for doing nothing more than sitting there running our country into the ground and selling it off to overseas countries. There is a huge waste of money also by building a library for every president every time he leaves office these papers and other records could be kept in any cities libraries or other historical buildings already existing thus freeing up other monies which are being wasted on things not really needed. It is time for a wake up call or this country will be flying another flag other than the stars and stripes

  112. "The Bull" says:

    It just come to me that, Military and V.A. Disability Compensation is in no better shape. I recently read that the last actual raise to V.A. Compensation was around 1949, with several COLAs since. Further the claims process can take up to a year. I recently had surgery at the V.A. Hospital in Birmingham, Al. The surgery was for a Service Connected disability for which I received a 30% compensation rating. Due to the type of surgery along with the fact that it was for a service connected injury, my percentage was supposed to be increased to 100% for up to a year. This is a convalescence increase that I am not supposed to even have to apply for. The surgery was in June of this year and I have yet to see one penny of it. I checked with the V.A. and received a run around. I checked my status on ebenefits, only to find that they need to examine the evidence and can expect a decision sometime next year. In the mean time, I haven't been able to make it to physical therapy. All the while, Congress and Joe Biden get pay raises of over $100,00. Voters; stop voting for race, looks or for those who want to take from those who earned their larger incomes in order to give it to the poor, and start voting the issues!

  113. geoff DeVore says:

    A Battlefield: Where soldiers ( hero's) gather

    Washington: Where Lawmaker's ( zero's) gather

  114. geoff DeVore says:

    Some of the greatest threat soldiers, sailors and airmen face aren't always on the battlefield!! Yes I realize times are tough, and there is a certain amount of sacrifice needs to be made, but this is silly, asking all this from the military!!

    What about people that create and pop out little babies like a assembly line, who have never work or who work low paying jobs just to stay on the rolls!!!

  115. Thomas G. Engler says:

    Want to take care of our money problems? Cut all foreign aid for at least six months !

  116. well said last sentence Bull and jmbr25
    guys write everyday!!! whitehouse.gov – bombard them, im also send THEM this link!

  117. so sad CONGRESS spends our hard earned money to do things that don't benefit us, then want to cut our pay to make up for their corruption!

    • Diana Gricus says:

      I think we can offset these budgets bt cutting the pay, COLA's and all the other perks that are received by our Congress Personnel including life time insurance regardless of how long their in office.

  118. SCPO Truax says:

    I remember the pay raise our government took but neglected to give the military even a cost of living increase. (Vietnam era) Great job guys. You greedy bastards don't think of anyone but yourselves. What can I get for me. What if the military couldn't come to an agreement on anything and just sat on their asses,collecting paychecks all the while, like you idiots in Washington do? Lets send these pork-ass nothings to war and let our military get the job done. Switch places with us. How but them bennies ? You can get better care in 4 years service than I get with 22 years in the Navy. Retirement pay is insane. We trusted you, elected you, and what do we get for it. Scraps. When John M. jumped off the refueling probe I was there!!! We lost almost 200 plus personnel to explosions,fire and what else!!! Your right, you greedy bunch of idiots.. Do you know what so sad about a lawyer on the bottom of the ocean? There was only 1……………….

  119. VeteranUSNRet says:

    I agree that Congress needs a budget cut, term limits and back to part time. They need to make their own insurance premiums as does any other government employee. Tax payers need to stop carrying the load. Congress should not approve their own pay raises or COLA's. Pay raises should be based on performance and the approval by the voters. These guys think their invincible and they need to be publicly monitored and rated according to their job performance online via the whitehouse.org

  120. Did I miss something. Seems to me it's the DOD Civilian and Uniformed leadership that is calling for cuts in mititary pay and compensation. Shouldn't the criticism be directed at them as well? I'm not a big fan of our congressional community, but I would fully support any effort they make "….protecting militray pay and compesation from the effects 2011Budget Control Act…." As pointed out in many of the other comments, there's a target rich environment out there for major spending cuts before we gut the military.

  121. Tom McCann says:

    Until Americans wake up and call for a reduction in Government so there's a more streamlined and focused group at the helm we're in deep crap. There are far too many agencies, unproductive "focus groups", and special interest committees for th efolks we send to Washington to maintain attention on immediate problems. It's not only time for a "House" cleaning, it's time Americans demand what's expected and dctate by vote what means is measured th eworth of our public servants before they receive more for doing less.

  122. Hay!
    I have an idea, ya, well, maybe, YUP i have one!

    Lets vote to make it law that when these congressional weenies get elected, they are the first ones to put on a uniform and deploy during conflict! Give them a staff job in theater. I am so tired of these PEOPLE flying in to the combat (safe) zone, taking their tours and coming back only seeing "dog and pony" show. Maybe we can get back to the post WWII era political slice of Americans that actually SERVED THEIR COUNTRY. oh ya,,,,,,,Many would not qualify for military service (without waiver(s)) will all of their scandalous affairs and such!

  123. jack Mattachione says:

    The DOD, congress and our commander and chief are failures and violate the new law of stolen valor. The get exceptions to their laws they implement and take paid vacations and take brides and the list could go on. I agree time to reduce the congressional budget. Obama care cuts promise we could keep our health insurance. The bug lie once again.

    • jack Mattachione,

      You can keep your own health insurance, but the President is responsible for your Health Care Company going out of buisness, or your Doctor retiring.

  124. When will we read about the loafers on welfare taking a cu, or illegal aliens taking a cut? Never because they are democrats!

    • Francisco Hernandez says:

      Congress should look in to this matter; The honest true on this matter is; Here is where we are over expending and the biggest part of our budget goes , MAINTAINING the free loaders and what ever comes in to the United States from different countries around the word, What ever they want, is provided by us, Yet we keep cutting down those legally earned benefits and retirement pay. {WE PUT OURSELVES IN THE FRONT LINE AND DEFENDED OUR NATION FROM THE ENEMY FORCES, YET THEY ARE TREATED BETTER THAN US SERVICE MEMBERS] It is about time congress, the Chief of staff White house and all the different Veterans organizations should step up and defend our defendable.

      US Navy ret. CPO, Purple Heart Recipient. [Wounded 6 Sept. 1969 during Rocket attack to U. S. Naval support Activity DaNang, Vietnam.

  125. Correction; Because of poor proof reading!
    Coho 38 • 1 minute ago
    When will we read about the loafers on welfare taking a cut, or illegal aliens taking a cut? Never because they are democrats!

    • i had no idea that there are no republicans on welfare. i think that welfare should go away and we will see exactly who needs it. Just kidding.

      • GenerWeiner says:

        Welfare has a place in society. What doesn't is the thinking that recepients should not be asked to contribute some kind of service or, heaven forbid, work. It has been proven that self-image is improved when one does their fair share.
        I have observed that military personnel with the best attitudes are those who are not afraid to do their part.

        1SG USArmy (ret) 29 years &frac12; active, &frac12; guard and reserve. Proud of all of it. Also proud of my #3 daughter's husband, who joined a year ago.

  126. Charles Wells says:

    I served in The Air Force from 1975-1979. Les Aspin was Defense Secretary. I loved the Air Force, but several years of 1% raises with 14% inflation made me say no to re-enlistment.

  127. sdnative1964 says:

    Of course the JCOS have no problem with the current compensation package. Their PAY is capped at roughly $10K/mo. Mind you this doesn't include all the the allowances and MAJOR perks they collect (housing, entertainment, travel and transportation, clothing, full time staff, drivers, hot and cold running hookers (ok I might have made up the last one), etc. They are completely out of touch with the front line warrior's needs. I'll save millions of $$/yr right now. Cut the number of flag officers (and their worthless staffs as well) in half immediately and put the savings toward real defense needs. Don't do it at the expense of the of the man/woman at the tip of the spear.

  128. sdnative1964 says:

    How many programs has the pentagon told congress that DOD doesn't want or need only to be told by the ass-clown stuffed shirt pols that you'll take them anyway because these jobs, as useless as they may be, are in so and so's district and therefore sacrosanct? Mark my words, American's love and support of the military will shrivel and die as soon as there is no war being fought. I saw this in the early '80s. Moral sucked. Drug use was rampant. Equipment was in disrepair but it didn't matter because there weren't enough qualified people to operate it even if it did work. It took a decade to dig out of Jimmy Carter's military crater, and we are on the verge of repeating that asinine behavior.

  129. I have lived both lives….as a regular person living from pay check to pay check and now I am a military wife living from pay check to pay check, I am on WIC only cause they provide the necessities. My husband gets up early everyday and goes to a job that he can no longer do, his body is aging faster then he is. People are all talking about the commissaries and the health care and the housing allowance and everything else that we get…..its not a whole heck of allot. We where stationed in Fort Bliss ,TX before Hawaii, and the BAH and BAS that we got barely covered rent and utilities, if we are getting so mush then why do I have to coupon to make my food budget work, why do I have to buy the off brand of something instead of the really thing? More would be nice but if not then just leave it the freak alone and stop sending more overseas to countries that hate us and use it buy weapons to use against us, use it to help the ones here. Our economy is dieing and they don't want to look like the bad guys. We have become the door mat country……..and we don't seem to want to change it.

  130. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security

  131. As usual Rupert Murdachs paid for brains, repeat on cue what they have been programed to, by Fox News. When a serious issue about the budget and economy comes up, shout your ignorance by saying the problem is the welfare people (welfare ended as they think of it in 1993 by Bill Clinton). Or immigrants (economists say they add billions to the economy) or the President taking a vacation once in awhile. (when president always a "working vacation"). I remember presidents who rarely took vacations, (Johnson, Nixon for two) and who were proud about working around the clock, they made some poor decisions that hurt many. Give me a president that is rested has peace of mind and thus can think clearly and make good decisions. If he has to fly a couple hours to get to a place where he might be able to find some brief moments of refreshing relaxation then paying for that is money well spent.

    • @Joe. Maybe I read a different article than you, but I saw absolutely nothing about welfare recipients in the one I read, by the way the welfare rolls have increased dramatically over the last few years, I don't blame Obama, Bush or Clinton it's just the way things are.

  132. If they want to talk about pay cuts, maybe they should start here. Those of you that have not seen this you may want to take a look. Look at the Annual Allowances and see what each member of congress is authorized to spend for expenses related to carrying out their congressional duties, including "official office expenses, including staff, mail, travel between a Member's district or state and Washington, DC, and other goods and services." http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congre

  133. Independence1776 says:

    The following video (see URL) features Vice Adm. Norb Ryan, USN (Ret), President of the Military Officers Association of America, debunking the false claims that the costs of military personnel and health care are skyrocketing.
    http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2013/08/deb
    – Courtesy of Terry Howell – Thank you, Terry and Thank you Vice Adm. Norb Ryan

  134. What is really, truthfully needed is for our Elected Officials to take pay cuts, and it is time for our Elected Officials to develop a pay scale for all members of The Federal Government and reduce the starting salaries for Senators and Congressional members. Then we need them to develop a logical way of awarding contracts to civilian personnel such as contractors and sub-contractors. Let's trim the fat where the fat truly lies. Our State and Federal Governments are way too top heavy with too many employees and too large of a pay scale. IT is absolutely ridiculous that eery time there is talk of the Federal Budget it is our Active Duty Military and our sacred Veterans that are always at risk of loosing a benefit or having to pay for a benefit that was once free. Our men and women have in the past and currently put their very lives on the line and do what is commanded of them for pennies on the dollar compared to what freshman Senators and Congress members get paid. There is definitely something wrong with this picture!

  135. Bill Andrus says:

    I'd like to take every member of congress to "test depth" in a Trident Sub. Then put "DasBoat" on in the crews lounge as I describe what the sea pressure will do to them if just one valve, nut, or bolt should give way. Then I'd want to Launch a 63K Lb. Missile into low orbit so I could see them all pee their pants as the sub flexes and beds while still under water.
    But why would they do that when they can fail at their jobs, shut the government down, and still get paid without ever putting life and limb on the line to protect the USA. Our politicians would rather text nude pics of themselves, cheat on their wives, steel money from the gov., take bribes, and on and on. If you feel this post is not acceptable, please tell me, why can our "leaders" do what they do and say what they say in ways that offend me far more than my post will offend them? I've been far more "politicly correct" than most of them are capable of!