The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Military Pay Overhaul

Posted on | June 7, 2011 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

Angley at Big Peace links an Air Force times article about overhauling military pay.

This writer is both a fiscal conservative and a military retiree, so I am torn over the issue, but this article is not about advocating for anything. Instead, I will make a prediction. Military members will accept whatever retirement overhaul the DoD and Congress make, and they will do it without grumbling. The United States military member is the ultimate public-sector employee, but unlike public-sector unionized employees who recently have faced pay and benefit cuts, military members will not stage mass protests, legislative sit-ins, and self-indulgent pity parties. 

I got into a lengthy discussion with an Air Force Major of about a dozen years active duty the other evening. While holding the corresponding Navy rank, I’ve spent half my twenty years in the Reserve. He was adamant that he get the full pension when he retires. “They can’t take that away,” he said.
Fine, I countered, but here we are, sitting in Afghanistan, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice if necessary. Why is the wallet so dear? I allowed that, if losing my Reserve retirement (which I explicitly do not include in retirement planning) was necessary to preserve the long-term economic health of the country, then the Reserve retirement is not too important. Whatever I do receive will essentially be a discount on my income taxes, anyway.
Now, that is a subjective assessment. In no way am I speaking for anyone be little ol’ me. Veterans who are wounded, or survivors of those who paid ultimately, will be completely protected, I hope.
Nevertheless, my purpose in sacrificing some amount of liberty, especially in the form of time, is to defend and expand liberty. I hope the people of Afghanistan experience some net increase in liberty as a result of the efforts here. And I hope that I will enjoy increased economic liberty at home. It makes no sense for any retirement system, military or otherwise, to crash the U.S. economy. Those of us who can should consider cheerfully stepping up and make the necessary sacrifices. Won’t be my first short haircut, if it comes to that.
Hopefully that godforsaken Social Security system will get whacked, too, anti-liberty beast that it is.


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