PDA

View Full Version : Congress repeals COLA reduction



Stalwart
02-15-2014, 12:59 PM
Military Times: http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140212/BENEFITS05/302120025/Congress-repeals-caps-military-retired-pay

The measure passed the House by a vote of 326-90 (H.J.Res 59 Ammendment 1)
The Senate vote was 95-3, attached as an amendment to S. 25 (South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act)
Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) were the only ones who voted against the bill.

The rollback of the military pension cuts – which, according to the Congressional Research Service, would strip the average military enlisted person of roughly $69,000 in lifetime retirement benefits – is expected to cost about $6 billion.

Absinthe Anecdote
02-15-2014, 01:42 PM
Military Times: http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140212/BENEFITS05/302120025/Congress-repeals-caps-military-retired-pay

The measure passed the House by a vote of 326-90 (H.J.Res 59 Ammendment 1)
The Senate vote was 95-3, attached as an amendment to S. 25 (South Utah Valley Electric Conveyance Act)
Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) were the only ones who voted against the bill.

The rollback of the military pension cuts – which, according to the Congressional Research Service, would strip the average military enlisted person of roughly $69,000 in lifetime retirement benefits – is expected to cost about $6 billion.

I've got to admit that I'm glad this was turned around for now.

Stalwart
02-15-2014, 02:12 PM
I am as well.

I have said before I would be willing to surrender some of my COLA or retirement if it was part of a plan that no-kidding was going to eliminate the deficit, hopefully the other parts of that plan would be reduced / smarter government spending, reduced / smarter levels of money appropriated for entitlement programs (but not eliminating them) etc. As long as it is done with advance notice, with enough time for people to adjust how they are paying the bills it is probably a necessary evil.

Getting the debt under control is going to involve cuts EVERYWHERE, to programs that impact EVERYONE. IMO, no one group should consider itself to be, or should be thought of as a 'sacred cow.'

imported_MERC8401
02-16-2014, 11:05 PM
I am as well.

Getting the debt under control is going to involve cuts EVERYWHERE, to programs that impact EVERYONE. IMO, no one group should consider itself to be, or should be thought of as a 'sacred cow.'

I couldn't agree with you more. Unfortunately the military is looking more and more like just another special interest group.

CYBERFX1024
02-16-2014, 11:22 PM
Getting the debt under control is going to involve cuts EVERYWHERE, to programs that impact EVERYONE. IMO, no one group should consider itself to be, or should be thought of as a 'sacred cow.'

I couldn't agree with you more. When we ACTUALLY stop pu$$yfooting around and start doing real cuts to EVERYTHING in order to reduce the deficit and remain solvent as a country. Only then will people understand what it means in order to cut back and reduce the debt. It is going to hurt and it's going to hurt bad and affect everyone.

I know I am a conspiracy theorist in some ways but the way things are going can't last for long before we fall like a house of cards. So we have to start doing critical thinking and come up with some ways to reduce the debt, or else chaos and hyper-inflation will take effect. I know I am sounding like a guy off of Doomsday Preppers but it's true.

Vrake
02-17-2014, 12:28 AM
Just like religion I don't get into politics in a huge way on the interweb. People will not change their inherent beliefs from words on a screen.

That being said how much do we give to foreign countries again? What makes me put on my tinfoil hat is the upcoming elections and the how "cheap" this came in the big scheme of things. One stroke of the almightys pen took away a lot of political fodder.

imported_MERC8401
02-17-2014, 03:23 AM
Which is why I say we (as in the military) have become a special interest group that politicians use to get votes. Hell, we grounded two or three flying squadrons last year to pay for TA because Congress forced us to pay out TA. And this was all done in the name of helping out our troops.

Stalwart
02-17-2014, 01:16 PM
So we have to start doing critical thinking and come up with some ways to reduce the debt, or else chaos and hyper-inflation will take effect. I know I am sounding like a guy off of Doomsday Preppers but it's true.

Agree that critical thinking and hard looks at what we spend money on, and how we have as an American society evolved what we think should be just part of living here should be looked at.

IMO legislators will make a hard, politically harmful decision in a crisis, but outside of that very few are willing to cast an unpopular vote for the long term (non-crisis) good. For example, if you live in an area with a lot of public amenities and tax revenue is not covering them, in lieu of a slight, incremental raise over five or ten years in either income tax, sales tax etc. could offset the loss and projected growth of expenses. However, that would be unpopular; instead the common decision is to borrow money or issue bonds until the costs can no longer be covered and then an instantaneous jump in 3 or 5% in the tax rate is now required -- and much more noticeable in the public's pocketbooks.

In the case of the cuts to COLA, it was used as a bargaining tool. The Democrats wanted an extension of other benefits, the Republicans did not want that. The compromise in the conference committee was "okay, we (Democrats) will settle for less of an extension than we want, but you have to acquiesce to a cut in military COLA." Even though it was put into legislation, it was never intended to take effect -- but then again neither was sequestration.

AJBIGJ
02-17-2014, 01:27 PM
Just like religion I don't get into politics in a huge way on the interweb. People will not change their inherent beliefs from words on a screen.


I don't know if that's necessarily the case, unlike religion, politics at least where economics is concerned can be addressed with a lot of no-nonsense pragmatism and people's views tend to "evolve" over their lifetimes. For some people let's face it, politics isn't a discussion of philosophy and ideology, elections are a mere Seahawks vs. Broncos Superbowl and tends to be driven more by emotion than intellect. In fact I would go as far as to say the latter is actually more commonly the case. For the ideologically driven however (or those who learn to become so, like myself a few years back), sometimes reason does actually win the argument when a person who is themselves a critical thinker encounters a concept they had "never really thought about that way."

Stalwart
02-17-2014, 01:39 PM
People will not change their inherent beliefs from words on a screen.

You are right, most people will not. Some people are very close-minded in what they think -- "if you do not think as I do you are wrong." Some people can acknowledge that there is more than one way to get to the same end-state (some ways easier than others etc.) There are also some people who can look at an opposing point of view and find merit in the points and change or alter their opinion. Granted, the last example is becoming harder and harder to find.

AJBIGJ
02-17-2014, 01:46 PM
Granted, the last example is becoming harder and harder to find. I'm not sure if it is/is not harder per se, but I will say the overabundance of "information" people have access to opens the floodgates of people being introduced to information that is simultaneously highly misleading and very emotionally provocative. For instance, all the evidence is there that the "mass shootings" like in Newtown are not really more/less common than previously, but boy does the phrase "Never let a good crisis go to waste" hold more true when it does happen! If there is any single contributor to what you're stating here, that would be the big one.

Stalwart
02-17-2014, 02:03 PM
... but I will say the overabundance of "information" people have access to opens the floodgates of people being introduced to information that is simultaneously highly misleading and very emotionally provocative.

Research 101: you can find just about any data to support any position .. . or that will oppose one.

AJBIGJ
02-17-2014, 02:15 PM
Research 101: you can find just about any data to support any position .. . or that will oppose one.

Precisely!

efmbman
02-17-2014, 03:20 PM
... Even though it was put into legislation, it was never intended to take effect -- but then again neither was sequestration.

This is the part that drives me nuts. Why waste time negotiating something that will never be allowed to happen? Honestly, when I read that The House and The Senate were repealing this and that POTUS was going to sign it.... my first thought was "Then why was this even written down anywhere?" Makes no sense.

Sadly, most voters will never research the legislative / voting record for their Congresscritter. They will vote solely on the name they see/hear most often and the sicking ship goes into deeper water.

Stalwart
02-17-2014, 03:43 PM
Why waste time negotiating something that will never be allowed to happen?

Leverage. both were unpopular with their respective 'sides', but which would get support to get fixed first -- get the most 'oomf'?

While the military COLA reduction has been repealed (what Republicans wanted), the extension of unemployment insurance / benefits (what Democrats wanted) has not, and that the COLA fix is paid for ($6 billion) by extending sequester for an additional year on Medicare (which was originally proposed by Democrats as a way to pay to extend unemployment insurance / benefits.) The original Republican plan in the Senate had the payment offset coming from preventing illegal immigrants from receiving the additional child tax credit on income taxes; however the fix only applies to current active duty and retires and does not impact future service members, so the Republicans didn't get everything they wanted either.