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CBSNews: Radical overhaul of military retirement eyed


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http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/15/eveningnews/main20092652.shtml

(CBS News)

WASHINGTON - The military retirement system has long been considered untouchable - along with Social Security and Medicare. But in these days of soaring deficits, it seems everything is a potential target for budget cutters. A Pentagon-sponsored study says military pensions are no longer untouchable - they're unaffordable.

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports high-level, closely-held meetings are taking place at the Pentagon regarding a radical proposal to overhaul retirement for the nation's 1.4 million service members - a bedrock guarantee of military service.

The proposal comes from an influential panel of military advisors called the Defense Business Board. Their plan, laid out in a 24-page presentation "Modernizing the Military Retirement System," would eliminate the familiar system under which anyone who serves 20 years is eligible for retirement at half their salary. Instead, they'd get a 401k-style plan with government contributions.

They'd have to wait until normal retirement age. It would save $250 billion dollars over 20 years.

*Click Link For More*

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they can change it however they like as long as they do not change contracts that people signed up for. I think its a bad move though, at a time when we are downsizing and jobs are becoming more technical, you need something to attract the best talent. Might not hurt as much at the enlisted level, but it will kill the officer ranks.

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That's right folks, we can ask our countries finest to sacrifice after they put their lives on the line for the country, BUT DON'T YOU DARE ASK THE ULTRA RICH TO PAY A PENNY MORE IN TAXES. ******* morons.

This country is so ****** up right now I cant stand it. Every time I think I cant get more pissed off something new comes along to put me over the edge again.

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I'm in agreement that something needs to be done with out outrageous military spending (among other non-discretionary spending). All options should be on the table.

If I'm recalling correctly, Bush 2 proposed to change SS to a 401k style system as well. I suppose it saves government money because the money is invested and will have a chance to mature. The government won't have to pay as much into the system because [ideally] the accounts will progress with the market. I personally, was against the supposed changes to SS because there is a much larger amount of risk involved in a 401k style plan. Ask anyone who's seen their 401k drop by 25-50% over the last year.

I didn't like Bush 2's supposed changes to SS back then because of the inherent risk involved with money that I should be receiving in the future. I would assume that military personnel would see this supposed change in the same respect.

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WTF are you talking about now. Is this some kind of idiotic joke? Are you trying to bait me or are you just that stupid?

any thing important enough to be funded should be funded by all,we already have a very progressive tax structure with deductions for basic costs of living.

Yeah I guess I am stupid to believe everyone that can afford it should share the burden

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Also, a question for the R's in the thread...

I would assume that you are for some sort of SS reform. Were you for Bush 2's 401k style reform of SS? If so, why wouldn't you also be in favor of military pension reform in the same fashion?

Me would think that there were a lot of conservatives who were pro Bush SS reform, but are anti military pension reform that effectively uses the same plan. Just a hunch.

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That's right folks, we can ask our countries finest to sacrifice after they put their lives on the line for the country, BUT DON'T YOU DARE ASK THE ULTRA RICH TO PAY A PENNY MORE IN TAXES. ******* morons.

Why can't the Bush era tax breaks be eliminated for everyone? Why should the middle class continue to get Bush's tax breaks?

My dad is retired military and both my parent's are very concerned about the national debt. They would be proud to take a retirement pay cut as long as it came with a balanced budget amendment. If the government breaks their contractually agreed upon compensation without making drastic cuts in spending, my parents will blow a gasket.

This is fire they're playing with. Handle it well and it can be very useful. But if congress isn't careful, they'll burn the whole house down.

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Why can't the Bush era tax breaks be eliminated for everyone? Why should the middle class continue to get Bush's tax breaks?

Because the income increases in the middle class are lagging well behind the top 1%. The income of the top 1% is rising faster than others, even when you don't take into account capital gains (according to a graph that was posted here a few days ago that nobody disagreed with the figures).

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After reading the article, it's a bad idea to make a milestone age at which a retiree can start to collect. Do that, and good luck finding willing and competent young leaders to stick around for O-4 to O-6. I can't even imagine the stress of being a young CPT in an actual warzone with a bunch of kids lives in your hands. I'm sure being a company commander sucks ass. Not to mention the stress of long and frequent deployments. Yeah, after 8 or so years, they'll leave the service and build their own 401k...

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Because the income increases in the middle class are lagging well behind the top 1%. The income of the top 1% is rising faster than others, even when you don't take into account capital gains (according to a graph that was posted here a few days ago that nobody disagreed with the figures).

If you repeal all the Bush era tax cuts, I assume that middle class families will be at about where they were under Clinton. It wasn't an onerous burden then and I don't think it would be a massive burden now. Are you saying that the growing income gap makes a return to Clinton era taxes harder for a middle class family now than it was then?

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I agree, but cuts should be made to massive procurement contracts, not comp. for the troops.

That makes a lot more sense to me.

I always had a problem with Blackwater, not because of all the "bad press" that they got but because they were performing jobs that we could have used our soldiers to perform. Blackwater got paid tons and tons of money (assuming that's out of the defense budget) to be over there. To me, that's not a wise way to spend our money... on no bid contracts for mercenaries that are performing tasks that could be performed by American soldiers.

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The rich pay less now than they did 20 years ago and everyone else in the country is asked to sacrifice more. The stupidity of it all is only surpassed by the evil it represents.

I wonder if that is true in reality?....certainly the rate changed,but what is the total amount paid and share of the total taxes collected?

I seem to recall tax collections rising when the 70% rate was reduced

Springfield, I would need more details to see if I object to the proposed plan....I had no problem with W's

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Why can't the Bush era tax breaks be eliminated for everyone? Why should the middle class continue to get Bush's tax breaks?

The middle class are sacrificing in other ways. Sacrificing hell... they are suffering. Good hard working Americans are losing their jobs and homes. They get less medicaid, less medicare, less SS. This has been happening at the same time the ultra rich are making more money than ever and paying less taxes. Now we are going to ask the same people, middle to lower class Americans who put their lives on the line for us to accept less for *their* sacrifice?

Not asking more from the richest, most capable demographic is pure ideological stupidity and insanity. It is beyond wrong. It is EVIL.

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Sigh. A number of threads presently or recently dealing with everything under the sun when it comes to taxes and this is the one you guys want to debate about them? Really? Something that was,until now,considered a "sacred cow",is being looked at for change and could have some very long reaching consequences,(depending on what they decide to do),and you guys want to talk about the rich,middle class taxes. :doh:

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Springfield, I would need more details to see if I object to the proposed plan....I had no problem with W's

What I based that on was this statement in the article:

The proposal comes from an influential panel of military advisors called the Defense Business Board. Their plan, laid out in a 24-page presentation "Modernizing the Military Retirement System," would eliminate the familiar system under which anyone who serves 20 years is eligible for retirement at half their salary. Instead, they'd get a 401k-style plan with government contributions.

I didn't look too far into W's plan, but I thought that was the essence of the plan. The government would pay into a 401k style plan and expect the market to give returns that would equate to approximately the retirement amount that a soldier should receive. That's the way I figured W's plan would work out with SS. My issue is, as we all know, the market is a completely unpredictable beast. It is expected to give a moderate return over time, but that is far from a guarantee. The good thing about SS and military pensions is that each person is guaranteed a precise amount of money. That amount of money is documented and disclosed to the recipient. The uncertainty of a market dependent 401k style plan is what worries me.

Say I had a Bush 2 style 401k retirement plan... I'm ready to retire and have an account with $2M vested. Then, in an unfortunate event, the market tanks 6 months prior to my planned retirement. All the sudden my retirement plan plummets 20%. Now all I have is $1.6M to retire on. That is what worries me.

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ANY economist will tell you that raising or lowering taxes will is not directly correlated to total tax collections.

Now, posters in the tailgate seemed to believe otherwise.

eliminating excessive loopholes and deductions,as well as non-profit abuse would generate a bit of funds....taxing PAC's would be nice as well :evilg:

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