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Sunday, November 4, 2012

SOROS Think tank recommends big benefits cuts


Think tank recommends big benefits cuts


By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 1, 2012 11:36:21 EDT
A new report by a liberal-leaning think tank (SOROS) recommends a dramatic overhaul of military pay, retirement and health care benefits as part of a $1 trillion cut in defense spending over 10 years.
The Center for American Progress calls for capping pay raises, eliminating military health benefits for many retirees who are covered by an employer-provided plan, and reducing the value of military retired pay as well as making retirees wait until age 60 to start receiving it.
Recommendations are included in a report, Rebalancing Our National Security, released Oct. 31 by the progressive think tank and advocacy group. The report opposes across-the-board cuts in defense spending that could occur beginning in January under sequestration but still calls for major reductions in defense spending.
Capping pay raises, the report says, could save $16.5 billion over the next five years. Reducing retiree health care benefits, through a combination of restricting care and raising fees, could save $15 billion a year. Reforming military retired pay could save, in the short term, up to $13 billion a year, and over time could save up to $70 billion a year off the current plan.
In addition to cutting compensation and benefits, the report also recommends cutting the number of active-duty troops permanently based in Europe and Asia, saving $10 billion a year. It recommends withdrawing 33,000 troops from Europe and about 17,000 from Asia.
In calling for less spending on military pay raises, the report basically endorses a plan proposed, but not yet executed, by the Defense Department. Under the Pentagon plan, pay raises beginning in 2015 would be capped at less than the average increase in private sector pay, a move that responds to a belief that military members are being paid more than civilians with comparable jobs and experience. This happened because Congress, over Pentagon objections, has regularly provided the military with raises that were slightly larger than the average private-sector raise to eliminate what had been perceived as a pay gap. The end result, says the report, is that the average service member is receiving $5,400 more in annual compensation than a comparable civilian.
The Defense Department plan calls for a 0.5 percent raise in 2015, a 1 percent raise in 2016 and a 1.5 percent raise in 2017 to bring pay levels back in line, which the CAP report endorses.
“To its credit, the Department of Defense has attempted to tackle this problem in its FY 2013 budget request, outlining a plan that would gradually bring military pay back in line with the Employment Cost Index without cutting any service member’s pay,” the report says. “Congress should demonstrate political courage and allow the Department of Defense to execute this long-term plan.”
Similarly, the report endorses many of the Defense Department’s proposals for cutting health care costs by raising fees, mostly on retirees and their families. But the report goes a step further: “To truly restore the Tricare program to stable financial footing, the Defense Department should enact measures to reduce the overutilization of medical services and limit double coverage of working-age military retirees,” the report says.
One idea would be to modify Tricare for Life benefits for Medicare-eligible retirees so that the program would not cover the first $500 of costs per year and would cover only 50 percent of the next $5,000.
Another idea would be to mandate that working-age retirees could only have Tricare benefits if they or their spouses do not have access to employer-provided health benefits. The report suggests this would be an income-based restriction but does not say what the cutoff should be.
The report also recommends modifying military retirement benefits. For anyone currently in the military with fewer than 10 years of service, benefits could be cut: Instead of receiving 50 percent of basic pay after 20 years of service, with immediate benefits, the report says the benefits would be 40 percent of base pay with payments not beginning until age 60. For people not yet in the military, there would be no fixed retired pay in the future, only a pre-tax retirement savings plan based on contributions from the service member.


3 comments:

  1. I think Glenn Beck may have been right....

    Obama as the false messiah!!

    Taking away Military benefits to fit a new world awakening is criminal!


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  2. Soros ...you dirty rotten scumbag piece of C R A P my think tank says you should give back A L L the money you have stolen. We are coming for you, you NAZI scumbag...

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  3. Here's an idea. Why not cut out the congressional pork. They get NO MORE raises. In fact, they get a huge paycut. They have to pay for their retirement out of their own pockets. They have to purchase the same insurance plans we are being forced to buy. They have to fly on the same airlines and get the same frisking the rest of us do. They have to pay for their own personal security out of their own pocket. Congress is not royalty. They are servants of the people. Time they start behaving that way. I'm confident that if the American people were to be polled about how they feel regarding our members of congress, it would come up that most of them are corrupt criminal scumbags. I do not hear the same opinion about the military. We love our military and do not want to see them cheated.

    Time to stop forcing our military to commit crimes against humanity like spraying chemtrails over us. There are great men in the military. Doing criminal acts is against their nature. Why to you think they suffer so much stress and PTSD when they are forced to do things against their honorable nature.

    It takes a very special person to stand up and join any branch of the armed forces. They deserve very appropriate compensation for the risks they are taking with their lives, and the extensive service they provide our country. And quite frankly, I think they are horribly underpaid. Better to eliminate welfare to those who contribute absolutely nothing to our society than to strip our military.

    As a regular citizen, I am not in favor of cutting military budget anything except for the funding of criminal activities againt their own people.

    No one elected George Soros to run this country--get the hell out and take your puppets with you!

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