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Paul Ryan vs. the Military


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:http://www.americanthinker.com

 

Posted by:Elise Cooper

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have wrongly and outrageously cut the budget on the backs of the U.S. military.

On December 26 President Obama signed a new bipartisan bill that includes a $6 billion cut from military members’ retirement. These cuts to COLA (cost-of-living adjustments) also affect medically retired veterans, including those wounded in combat. American Thinker interviewed those who are directly affected.

Amongst Congress and the president there is always the talk of how those serving, past and present need to be admired for their sacrifices. Michael Hall, a former Ranger Command Sergeant Major who served thirty-four years, felt that on December 26th President Obama could have “done the right thing” by refusing to sign the bill unless this provision was taken out. He lost a chance to be the supportive commander-in-chief, missing an opportunity to be the hero and protector to those who have served in the military.

Paul Ryan still insists that the cuts are necessary because military compensation growth is out of hand. With this new budget he obviously did not throw grandma off the cliff, but instead has thrown those in the military. The former and current defenders of America were transformed into sacrificial lambs in an attempt to make Republicans more appealing to the left. Ryan did not balance the budget, pay off the debt, or reform entitlements. Instead he, along with Senator Murray, broke a promise when they changed the contract signed by having the annual cost-of-living adjustments cut by one percent for military retirees 62 or younger.

Iraqi and Afghanistan veteran Pete Hegseth is surprised that it was as much Paul Ryan’s idea as Patty Murray. “I felt he should have known better. Never has a Paul Ryan budget included these kinds of cuts. I understand that the military personnel part is eating up the DOD budget and we need to figure out how to reform it. However, it must be addressed without slashing the budget of current retirees. There are better ways of coming up with reform instead of this arbitrary manner.”

Many wonder, as Jennifer Haefner has, if the politicians really understand the sacrifices made since it appears, “They look at the money side without looking at the sacrifice side. Many military families move around for the different deployments and have to start their careers over again. That means no buildup of a career or a financial cushion. My husband, a Marine officer, has missed birthdays, anniversaries, watching his children grow, and has seen his friends killed. He has had to work in horrible environments sometimes 7 days a week for 24-hour periods. Shame on those politicians for not understanding that military men and women have sacrificed their lives, limbs, and families.

These politicians do not understand us because they have never lived our culture.”

Army retired Colonel Jack Jacobs noted to American Thinker, “Let’s remember this money was paid to people that are doing a job that no one else wants to do. If it is such a great deal how come everyone who is complaining about the military compensation doesn’t immediately sign up and put on the uniform? By all means we should be seeing millions and millions of people clawing their way to get this job. People who sign up for the military do it for G-d, country, and family.”

Joyce Wessel Raezer, the Executive Director of the National Military Family Association, wants Americans to understand that a number of promises were broken. “They changed the rules in the middle of the game. In 2012 Congress established the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to examine the entire military-compensation system. At the time the Commission was established it was promised that none of the changes would affect currently serving members and retirees. It would be a proposal only for future military members. Effectively this new budget deal hamstrings the commission before it finished its work and made its recommendations. Other promises broken are that active duty people will be getting smaller pay raises in 2014 then they should have under the law. Congress set the raise to what is the private sector average (ECI), 1.8%; yet, in 2014 military members will only be getting a 1% raise, the lowest since 1962. The military people feel singled out because no one else receiving a government payment is getting hit.” She seems to make a good point since CNN reported that any federally funded program that directly serves the needy “could benefit from Murray-Ryan.”

Congressman Ryan, who has never served in the military, tries to spin this provision by explaining, “all this reform does is make a small adjustment for those younger retirees.” Not true, says those who were interviewed. Americans always hear Ryan quoting numbers — maybe he should consider these: Joyce cites the Military Officers Association who estimates that the average enlisted retiree will lose about $300 per month; Jennifer, whose husband is an officer, will lose approximately $500 per month; and Michael Hall wants Americans to understand that he only gets $50,000 per year which will be reduced. In addition, former SEAL Jason Redman says Tricare health premiums are rising substantially, as high as 300%, and wonders how a child tax credit of $4.3 billion could be granted to illegal immigrants while “breaking a promise to the one group of Americans who have actually sacrificed and earned the benefits they are receiving as part of a contract signed.”

Retired Colonel Jack Jacobs is utterly frustrated since he believes that in the big scheme of things $6 billion is not a lot of money. “This basically has no overall fiscal effect on the budget; yet, has a negative effect on the people that served. The politicians have no interest in saving money regarding their districts because that affects them personally. There are a lot of other places it can be saved including getting rid of a lot of the waste in government. No one should be persuaded by those people who say the reductions are not a lot of money.”

Ryan also stated in an op-ed that these “younger military retirees [in their] late 30s and early 40s [in their] are prime working years, and most of these younger retirees go on to second careers.” A current Army Master Sergeant who has served over twenty-four years, vehemently disagrees. “Many of the soldiers who retire do not have a skill. There are also those who have health issues, such as PTSD, back and knee problems, which put limitations on the type of job they can find. Unemployment is still high so jobs are not readily available. I am fifty and if I retire I will have to fight age discrimination, making it harder to find a job. This means for twelve years I will have to suffer with lower pay. I ask Mr. Ryan how many of those retirees will be able to find a job? This bill was a slap in the face.”

Why do they think the politicians voted for these proposals? Everyone interviewed agrees with Michael Hall that there is no lobbyist for the soldiers who jumps up and down saying military benefits cannot be cut. He feels that they do not have a voting bloc since the contingency is spread throughout the country. “They cut the military benefits because it is the easy way out. The lawmakers have the notion it does not matter what they do to us. Even though we in the military were taught that a person’s word and integrity are really important the politicians do not live by this rule. They refuse to ask other Americans to make the sacrifices, and because we are an easy target we were singled out.”

Debbie Lee, a spokesperson on military matters, is frustrated with this “government attack on our troops. They honored their contract and did what was required. If any changes are to be made it should be spelled out for future enlistees. As Americans we should remember that military families live in constant fear of getting that knock on the door as I did when I was informed my Navy SEAL son Marc was killed. Politicians forget the dangers because they work in a safe environment with guaranteed benefits.”

Not all politicians are of the attitude that they want to take advantage of the silent warriors. Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) told American Thinker he voted against the 2013 Budget Act for a number of reasons, including “cutting military staff benefits, while not addressing the fraud and waste in the military procurement process, something I find offensive. This budget uses the same old tactics of placing the financial burden on the backs of our brave soldiers and their families. I will continue to focus on eliminating the rampant fraud and abuse in our federal system, so legitimate spending such as military pay is not jeopardized.”

One Congresswoman who does understand the military members’ plight is Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FLA). Her husband is a combat veteran and her children were Marine officers in Iraq. She is cosponsoring a bill to remove any reduction in COLA and commented, “Our veterans are owed the highest protection, care, and service by our grateful nation, and I will continue to work to ensure that we take care of America’s heroes.”
Former SEAL
Jason Redman summarized it best when he quoted Calvin Coolidge, “The nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.” Americans need to remember that these brave men and women already sacrificed for their country and should not be asked to sacrifice anymore. They stepped up to defend Americans because they thought it their obligation to serve. As Colonel Jacobs stated,

“Lets hope this broken promise is not a commentary on how this country deals with people who serve because if that is the case the answer is not well.”

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/01/paul_ryan_vs_the_military.html#ixzz2pmkQpSPL

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Obama to Force Military Families Away From Tricare …By Tripling Their Fees.


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from: conservativeinfidel.com

 

Posted by: Benjamin Franklin

 

Military-families-181x300

via ijreview

President Barack Obama has said on multiple occasions that he stands by the troops, and lauds their selflessness in fighting the Iraq war and the conflict in Afghanistan. During a time when our bravest in uniform have been in a state of war for more than a decade, one would think that our fearless leaders should reward their efforts by making life a bit easier at home.

Instead, Obama simply insists on tripling their fees on the military health insuranceprogram called Tricare.

What is the administration’s reasoning on this? Well, they actually admit that Obama would rather the troops partake in ‘alternatives’ that were established in the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare). In a report from the FreeBeacon.com, Bill Gertz states:

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.”

This is quite a telling move by the Obama administration, due to the transparency in a letter written to congress, as the FreeBeacon.com further reports:

The Administration is disappointed that the Congress did not incorporate the requested TRICARE fee initiatives into either the appropriation or authorization legislation,” the White House wrote in an official policy statement expressing opposition to the bill, which the House approved in May.”

So, what are these ‘fee initiatives’? The Bill Gertz goes on to say,

Significantly, the plan calls for increases between 30 percent to 78 percent in Tricare annual premiums for the first year. After that, the plan will impose five-year increases ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

The new plan hits active duty personnel by increasing co-payments for pharmaceuticals and eliminating incentives for using generic drugs.”

Essentially, Barack Hussein Obama would rather force military families to partake in Obamacare welfare-backed programs rather than using Tricare, and he had hoped to do this by tripling their premiums in just 5 years.

All the while, the report states that Obama leaves his true friends, the ‘unionized civilian defense workers’, unscathed by tax and premium hikes:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.”

The sad part of this tale is that Barack Obama clearly has no loyalty to his country, his ‘friends’, and most certainly the troops that would carry out his commands without question for the love of their home. It is clearly only profit and power that pulls him out of bed in the morning, and lulls him to sleep at night. How so?

We already know that upon the passage of Obamacare that the market reacted by tanking 1%, while certain public sector insurance companies, hospital firms, and pharmaceutical manufacturers significantly increased in share prices. We already know from leaked Pfizer lobbyist memos that they were going to pledge $80 billion to Obama’s reelection efforts if he were to pass the ACA. So, essentially, the fact that Obama’s action of forcing military families away from Tricare and towards these public sector insurance ‘alternatives’, shows who he really serves. …just a hint, it’s not you or anyone in the military.

That’s correct, he serves the unionized defense contractors (as long as they serve him in return), and he serves public sector companies and Wall Street-owned major medical companies, like Pfizer (also… as long as they serve him in return).

In the closing, Patricia Campion of Yahoo News writes these insightful words:

As commander-in-chief, I want every veteran to know that America will always honor your service and your sacrifice — not just today, but every day,” the president said in November. “And just as you fought for us, we’re going to keep fighting for you — for more jobs, for more security, for the opportunity to keep your families strong and America competitive in the 21st century.”

Of course, he forgot to warn them he was about to kick their existing health care insurance plan so far out of reach that they’d be forced to grab the plan that 53 percent of Americans want repealed for survival.”

Thanks for selling our bravest down the river, Mr. President …you’re a great guy

 

Obama Urges Congress to Support Tricare Fees


Welcome and thank you for stopping by. Please be aware and advised, this is a CONSERVATIVE BLOG.

 

Here is some information and my rules:

 1) I do not like Liberal Ideology;

 

 2) Conservatives have the voice of reason on my blog;

 

 3) I will delete any comments that are abusive, non-related to the “blog theme” and not debated in a civil manner;

 

 4) I welcome input from all walks of life.

 

However, this is my blog and I will make the “ultimate” decision on any/all comments.

I encourage “civil” discussion. We may not agree on “ideology”.

 

However, we can agree on “respect” and at least listening to different perspectives.

 

Thank you for visiting!

 

Reblogged from:Military.com

 

Posted by:Richard Sisk

Retiree Health Fair 600x400

On Monday the White House pressed the Pentagon to rein in Tricare costs and begin a new round of base closings as the Senate took up the National Defense Authorization Act on the military’s 2014 budget.

There are a number of areas of agreement with the initial markup of the Senate Armed Services Committee on the NDAA, but the administration “has serious concerns with certain provisions,” Office of Management and Budget officials said in a lengthy response to the markup.

OMB called on SASC to control Tricare costs at the Department of Defense “while keeping retired beneficiaries’ share of these costs well below the levels experienced when the Tricare program was implemented in the mid-1990s.”

Slowing the growth of Tricare costs would result in savings of $902 million in fiscal year 2014 and $9.3 billion through fiscal year 2018. Those savings were needed to offset projected increases in personnel costs, OMB said.

President Obama has proposed slowing this growth by introducing a new set of enrollment fees and higher co-pays to retirees under the age of 65.

The Pentagon proposed an annual enrollment fee based on a percentage of retired pay for Medicare-eligible retirees in the Tricare For Life Program. Working age retirees in the Tricare Standard and Tricare Extra programs also would face new annual enrollment fees phased in over five years.

The White House also proposed an increase to the current enrollment fee for working age retirees in the Tricare Prime program phased in over the next four years.

As for co-pays, the White House has proposed increasing Tricare Prime co-pays for retirees and their beneficiaries by $4 for medical visits not related to mental health.

Pentagon leaders have said that spiral personnel costs to include healthcare are eating up too much of the military’s annual budgets and putting training and readiness missions at risk.

“Without serious attempts to achieve significant savings in this area, which consumes roughly half of the DoD budget and is increasing every year, we risk becoming an unbalanced force,” Hagel said.

The official Statement of Administration Policy in response to the initial Senate markup wasn’t limited to Tricare. OMB officials also “strongly objected” to the markup’s proposal for a major review of the infrastructure at overseas facilities before considering another round of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission procedure for bases in the U.S.

“Without authorization for a new round of BRAC, DoD may not properly align the military’s infrastructure with the needs of the evolving force structure, which is critical to ensuring that limited resources are available for the highest priorities of the Armed Forces,” the OMB statement said.

The administration objected to several other provisions in the markup while commending the Committee for working to offer stronger protections for sexual assault victims in the ranks.

The SASC markup would amend Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to limit the authority of a convening authority to modify the findings of a court-martial on specified sexual offenses, and also require automatic higher-level review of any decision by a commander not to prosecute a sexual assault allegation.

However, the markup would not take sexual assault cases and other major crimes out of the chain of command as proposed by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. Gillibrand’s proposed amendment to the NDAA on stripping commanders of their courts martial authority was expected to be debated later this week.

In introducing the markup, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the SASC chairman, said the “bipartisan bill provides for our nation’s defense and upholds our obligations to our men and women in uniform and their families.”

Levin, who opposes the Gillibrand amendment, said “an important part of keeping faith with service members is addressing the plague of sexual assaults in our military, and the bill includes the strongest, most effective approach to combating sexual assault.”

The SASC markup authorizes an FY2014 active duty end strength for the Army of 520,000; the Navy, 323,600; the Marine Corps, 190,200; and the Air Force, 327,600.

The Committee also authorized a one percent across-the-board pay raise for all members of the uniformed services in fiscal year 2014, a proposal backed by OMB.

 

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