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Soldiermedic
11/17/2010 5:27pm,
The current salary (2010) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year...These are the people that want to freeze all military benefits for three years...no pay raises...no housing alloawance raises...nothing for three years... Thanks....

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/11/military-debt-commission-recommendations-111010w/


From the article....

Panel calls for 3-year freeze on military pay




By Chuck Vinch ([email protected]?subject=Question from ArmyTimes.com reader) - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Nov 11, 2010 12:48:54 EST

A three-year freeze on basic pay and military housing and food allowances is among 58 recommendations contained in the draft report of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was released Wednesday.
The Debt Commission, as it is informally known, said Regular Military Compensation — basic pay, basic allowance for housing, and basic allowance for subsistence, as well as the tax advantage of those two tax-free allowances — is expected to grow by $9.2 billion from 2011 to 2015.
“A three-year freeze at 2011 levels for these compensation categories would save the federal government $7.6 billion in compensation and tax expenditures,” as well as another $1.6 billion in future retirement pay, for a total of $9.2 billion in savings in 2015.
More coverage

• Defense News: Deficit panel proposes steep military cuts (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=5026887)
• Federal Times: Fed salaries would be frozen through 2014 (http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20101110/BENEFITS01/11100302/1001)
• Discuss: 3-year pay freeze (http://www.militarytimes.com/forum/showthread.php?1588279-Panel-calls-for-3-year-freeze-on-military-pay&p=395855)

From the commission (links open PDF documents)

• Draft report by co-chairs (http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/debt_commission_co_chair_draft.pdf)
• Read the commission’s recommendations (http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/debt_commission_list.pdf)

Combined, the 58 recommendations would save $3.8 trillion through 2020, mainly by making cuts to Social Security and Medicare, reducing income-tax rates and eliminating tax breaks, including the mortgage-interest deduction.
But the commission’s co-chairs, Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff under President Clinton, and Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator from Wyoming, had plenty of other recommendations for savings within the Defense Department budget.
The proposed three-year freeze on military compensation is the most eye-opening military-related recommendation in the report, and it could prove politically untenable. But other defense-related recommendations pick up on ideas that have been discussed before at length, some for years.
For example, one recommendation calls for adjusting Tricare enrollment fees, co-pays and deductibles, an idea that the Pentagon has proposed — unsuccessfully — for three years running as a way to address its soaring medical budget.
The most recent Pentagon proposal called for allowing those beneficiary costs, which have not changed since Tricare was launched in the mid-1990s, to rise with inflation. The new Debt Commission recommendation would raise premiums and co-pays by smaller, unspecified amounts and would squeeze most of its cost savings from a new requirement that private-sector employers reimburse the government for the employer share of health care costs for working-age retirees who use Tricare instead of their employer-provided health plan.
“This would eliminate a subsidy by the government for what is a normal business expense, and provide the government with about $3 billion,” the commission report said.
A related recommendation would require all beneficiaries to pay a “modest” enrollment fee for each of the three Tricare plans, and designate whether they are using Tricare as their primary insurer or as a supplemental policy.
“To reduce higher-than-average usage of health care by families of service members, the option would also raise co-pays for office visits from their current low levels closer to national averages,” the report said.
Another recommendation would increase out-of-pocket costs for veterans in Priority Group 5 who are enrolled in the Veterans Affairs Department health care system. That category is for veterans who do not have service-connected disabilities and whose income is below a VA-defined threshold.
Those patients now pay no fees for inpatient or outpatient medical care. The commission calls for establishing co-pays for medical care provided by VA to those veterans.
The commission also suggests major changes to the Defense Department’s dependents education system, and morale, welfare and recreation activities.
The report calls for consolidating the Defense Department’s commissary and exchange systems, an idea that has been floating around Washington for years. The commission says consolidating the stores into one network over five years eventually would result in savings of $1.7 billion a year — if the new facilities “raised prices 5 percent on average.”
“It has been suggested that some of this savings could be returned to military families in the form of a $600 [monthly] grocery allowance, which would more than offset the 5 percent increase in prices. This would leave over $800 million in savings annually,” the report said. “One argument against the grocery allowance is that the exchanges would still be able to offer below-market prices for goods.”
The commission also recommends shutting down the military’s stateside school system, which operates mostly in the South as a legacy of the Jim Crow era, when the military was desegregated but civilian communities were not. Noting that most service members now live off base and send their children to private-sector schools, the report said it is “no longer clear why the system is still necessary, or why the Defense Department plans to spend $1.2 billion … to rebuild these schools” from 2011 through 2015.
The report suggests increasing federal funding to public school districts that would take in additional military children if the DoD schools closed.
Other military-related recommendations in the report:
• Reduce military personnel stationed at overseas bases in Europe and Asia by one-third.
• Cut spending on facilities maintenance.
• Apply the $100 billion in overhead savings that Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to squeeze out of the defense budget to deficit reduction, rather than reinvesting it in force structure and weapons modernization, as Gates would like to do.
• Freeze federal salaries, bonuses, and other compensation for the DoD civilian workforce for three years.
• Double the number of defense contractor positions scheduled for elimination from 10 percent of current staff augmentees to 20 percent.
• Reduce procurement by 15 percent, or $20 billion.
• Eliminate the V-22 Osprey program, the Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program, the Navy’s Future Maritime Prepositioning Force, new Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Ground Combat Vehicle, and the Joint Tactical Radio.
• Cut the planned number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in favor of more F-16s and F/A-18Es.
• Cancel the Marine Corps’ F-35 program.
Under Obama’s executive order last February that created the commission of 12 members of Congress and six private citizens, 14 of the 18 commissioners must agree in order to send any package to Congress for a vote in December.
The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who will remain the House speaker until January, have promised in writing that the Senate would vote first and, if it approves a plan, the House would vote as well.
If such a package falls short of the necessary 14 votes among commissioners, some of the recommendations could be developed piecemeal to reduce the federal deficit once the economy fully recovers.
Reacting to the report, a longtime expert on military pay and benefits said the recommendations will be the start of a prolonged battle.
“I take this as a serious threat, although not necessarily an imminent threat,” said Steve Strobridge of the Military Officers Association of America. “We face an era of national belt-tightening that is going to last a number of years. If they don’t cut military retired pay this year, or next year, that doesn’t mean they won’t do it the year after. Nothing is safe.”

3moose1
12/14/2010 7:35pm,
After reading that, I'd like to send a picture of my dick to every Air Force and Army airmen/soldier. Simply because:

IS ANY OF YOUR **** GETTING CANCELED? NO, BECAUSE GODDAMN FUCKING CONGRESS HAS A HARD ON FOR 12 YEAR OLD LOOKING BOYS IN THEIR ****** BLUE UNIFORMS. SURE, THE CHAIR FORCE SUCKS FUCKING DICK, HEY GUESS WHAT, WE CAN'T PUT ACCURATE ROUNDS ON TARGET SO NO ONE GETS AIR SUPPORT IN AFGHANILAND UNLESS YOU SUCK THE REGIMENTAL CO'S COCK FIRST. BUT NO, THEY DON'T GET SPENDING FOR THEIR RETARDEDLY ADVANCED AIRCRAFT, WHILE OUR **** GETS CUT AT THE FUCKING CYCLIC.


SERIOUSLY, AIR FORCE? EAT A FUCKING COCK. THE RED BARON WITH A CACHE OF MORTARS COULD FEASIBLY DO WHAT YOU GUYS DO BECAUSE HE'S NOT FUCKING FIGHTING ANYONE IN THE AIR. **** OFF AIR FORCE.

And army, too. Not because you guys suck, but because you guys have all the fancy new money/gear and we have nothing. Know when we'll see the xm-25? I'LL BE A GODDAMN SERGEANT MAJOR.

Lord Skeletor
12/14/2010 7:45pm,
Senators and House members should be PAID NOTHING. We should give them housing in a reasonable hotel, provide them with a fully-equipped office and a staff, and transportation while government is in session. We should provide them a round-trip airline ticket (coach) to and from DC while government is in session and set aside a reasonable per diem for meals. We SHOULD NOT pay pensions, health care, or any other ridiculous benefits. They are there to serve us as elected representatives...NOT HAVE A CAREER. Go there, review/pass laws, come home to your real job.

3moose1
12/14/2010 7:46pm,
Senators and House members should be PAID NOTHING. We should give them housing in a reasonable hotel, provide them with a fully-equipped office and a staff, and transportation while government is in session. We should provide them a round-trip airline ticket (coach) to and from DC while government is in session and set aside a reasonable per diem for meals. We SHOULD NOT pay pensions, health care, or any other ridiculous benefits. They are there to serve us as elected representatives...NOT HAVE A CAREER. Go there, review/pass laws, come home to your real job.

I'll say that I'd be OK paying them a reasonable salary, say...$30-40k a year. Plenty to live off of on top of everything you said.

wetware
12/14/2010 7:53pm,
Comparing the salary of a congressman to anyone's salary is misleading. Not because of some disparity but because their salaries are typically a drop in the bucket compared to the money they're making elsewhere. Do you really think these people have the same interests you do?
Moose, stop your crying. I always thought marines got new equipment by dumpster diving on army bases anyhow. :-P

Cassius
12/14/2010 7:54pm,
One of the happiest parts of injuring my neck was the realization that I'd never have to ride in another Osprey, ever again. Versatility my ass. Give me a Chinook.

Also: 3moose1, tone it down. Next warning is going to be painful.

Edit: In all honesty, I suspect I get paid too much. I wonder what officers do with all that money they don't deserve?

DerAuslander
12/14/2010 7:57pm,
After reading that, I'd like to send a picture of my dick to every Air Force and Army airmen/soldier. Simply because:

IS ANY OF YOUR **** GETTING CANCELED? NO, BECAUSE GODDAMN FUCKING CONGRESS HAS A HARD ON FOR 12 YEAR OLD LOOKING BOYS IN THEIR ****** BLUE UNIFORMS. SURE, THE CHAIR FORCE SUCKS FUCKING DICK, HEY GUESS WHAT, WE CAN'T PUT ACCURATE ROUNDS ON TARGET SO NO ONE GETS AIR SUPPORT IN AFGHANILAND UNLESS YOU SUCK THE REGIMENTAL CO'S COCK FIRST. BUT NO, THEY DON'T GET SPENDING FOR THEIR RETARDEDLY ADVANCED AIRCRAFT, WHILE OUR **** GETS CUT AT THE FUCKING CYCLIC.


SERIOUSLY, AIR FORCE? EAT A FUCKING COCK. THE RED BARON WITH A CACHE OF MORTARS COULD FEASIBLY DO WHAT YOU GUYS DO BECAUSE HE'S NOT FUCKING FIGHTING ANYONE IN THE AIR. **** OFF AIR FORCE.

And army, too. Not because you guys suck, but because you guys have all the fancy new money/gear and we have nothing. Know when we'll see the xm-25? I'LL BE A GODDAMN SERGEANT MAJOR.

Hey boot, did you read the article?

Lu Tze
12/14/2010 8:05pm,
Senators and House members should be PAID NOTHING. We should give them housing in a reasonable hotel, provide them with a fully-equipped office and a staff, and transportation while government is in session. We should provide them a round-trip airline ticket (coach) to and from DC while government is in session and set aside a reasonable per diem for meals. We SHOULD NOT pay pensions, health care, or any other ridiculous benefits. They are there to serve us as elected representatives...NOT HAVE A CAREER. Go there, review/pass laws, come home to your real job.I think you're probably underestimating how much work being an elected representative is...

Plus there's always the argument that if you don't pay politicians a reasonable recompense, then politics becomes (even more) the exclusive preserve of the rich. That's not good.

Although holy **** Moose's rant is awesome.

Cassius
12/14/2010 8:12pm,
As an aside, AC-130s are hilariously inaccurate. I vote congress puts the entire V-22 program budget into fixing that instead.

plasma
12/14/2010 8:54pm,
I'll say that I'd be OK paying them a reasonable salary, say...$30-40k a year. Plenty to live off of on top of everything you said.

Not to be a naysayer (remember this freeze is affecting the civilian workforce as well) but 30-40K in the DC area is poverty level. If you pay Senators less there is more of a chance of corruption through kick backs and bribes (I know you can point out examples of this still happening, but its the exception rather than the rule like in many countries.)

anthracite
12/14/2010 11:10pm,
http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/income/2010-08-10-1Afedpay10_ST_N.htm


http://images.usatoday.com/news/graphics/2010/2010-08-10-fedpay/fedpay.jpg


http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/federal-pay-continues-rapid-ascent/


http://www.cato.org/images/homepage/200909_blog_edwards14.jpg


Figure 2 shows that the federal advantage is even more pronounced when worker benefits are included. In 2008, federal worker compensation averaged a remarkable $119,982, which was more than double the private sector average of $59,909.http://www.cato.org/images/homepage/200908_edwards_blog2.jpg


What is going on here? Members of Congress who have large numbers of federal workers in their districts relentlessly push for expanding federal worker compensation. Also, the Bush administration had little interest in fiscal restraint, and it usually got rolled by the federal unions. The result has been an increasingly overpaid elite of government workers, who are insulated from the economic reality of recessions and from the tough competitive climate of the private sector.
It’s time to put a stop to this. Federal wages should be frozen for a period of years, at least until the private-sector economy has recovered and average workers start seeing some wage gains of their own. At the same time, gold-plated federal benefit packages should be scaled back as unaffordable given today’s massive budget deficits. There are many qualitative benefits of government work—such as extremely high job security (https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0605-35.pdf&embedded=true&chrome=true)—so taxpayers should not have to pay for such lavish government pay packages.
Used to be there was a trade off for being a "civil servant". A little less money on average, but a whole lot more job security.

Now the biggest rise is in the service unions at all levels and their increased benefits.

Unsustainable.

anthracite
12/14/2010 11:18pm,
If I remember correctly, Pvt (E-1) in 79 was about $560/mo w/$25k SGLI (life insurance).

GI benefits have come way up, SGLI is $250k and don't know what the pay is, but it damn sure hasn't kept up with the government civvies poking a keyboard or answering the phone.

Don't despair Moosey. Put in your time and then go make some real money as a contractor. Hell, you're not in it for the money anyway.

salutes troops

3moose1
12/14/2010 11:55pm,
If I remember correctly, Pvt (E-1) in 79 was about $560/mo w/$25k SGLI (life insurance).

GI benefits have come way up, SGLI is $250k and don't know what the pay is, but it damn sure hasn't kept up with the government civvies poking a keyboard or answering the phone.

Don't despair Moosey. Put in your time and then go make some real money as a contractor. Hell, you're not in it for the money anyway.

salutes troops


sgli is 400k, and an e1 makes around 1500 a month.

legomepanda
12/15/2010 12:23am,
Why do they want to freeze the pay of the people with all the guns?

I think per diem is a great idea and rather than breeding corruption it would attract people that cared less about being rich and more about the welfare of America.

elipson
12/15/2010 4:10am,
I think per diem is a great idea and rather than breeding corruption it would attract people that cared less about being rich and more about the welfare of America.

Caring about Welfare and being smart enough to get things done are two seperate things. It's nice to think that all elected officials are in office out of the goodness of their heart, but that's silly.

If you want to weed out corruption then bring in term limits and overhaul the laws governing campaign financing so that corporations can't just buy their way into favour.

I want the smartest, most experienced, and least corruptible guy running my government. And if that means paying him a good penny then so be it. I'd rather be living in that country than in the one run by well-intentioned but ultimately unqualified philanthropists. I don't want the guy calculating the federal budget to be the same guy who got C's in finance.

I'm also in favour of tieing their compensation to their performance. If the budget aint balanced, then neither is your paycheck and you lose 25% of it.

Public sector employees are a different argument and pay for them should be comparable to the Private sector.

DerAuslander
12/15/2010 11:20am,
I don't want the guy calculating the federal budget to be the same guy who got C's in finance.

Do you want the guy running the IRS to be a tax evader?

Cuz that's kind of like making a pedophile the principal of an elementary school...