Compensation attacks are misguided

Compensation attacks are misguided

Thursday, August 1, 2013

AUSA’s Institute of Land Warfare has recently released a new publication."Déjà Vu" (Torchbearer Issue Paper, June 2013) summarizes the latest round of attacks on the military compensation system – which could have serious implications for military retirees – and explores the reasons why these attacks are misguided.It is imperative in this environment for the nation to preserve the mechanisms that incentivize skilled volunteers to become experts in careers that differ qualitatively from any civilian experience.But these mechanisms are crumbling, one after another – threatening service members’ quality of life today even as they threaten the future of the force.The administration has again requested that Congress create massive fee hikes for military retirees’ access to TRICARE.A further concern is that health care providers might lose confidence in this time of federal budget uncertainty and limit the service they deliver to military patients.Congress is considering using a method different from that employed in the past to calculate annual cost-of-living adjustments for military retired pay and Social Security benefits.If enacted, this proposal could cost military retirees a significant percentage of their earned compensation over a lifetime.Even defense commissaries are under attack.In today’s uncertain budget climate, many stores are already struggling to keep operating; others face closure or severe cuts to employees’ hours.Service members – not even 1 percent of the population – and their families did not cause the nation’s fiscal problems and should not shoulder the burden of solving them.This and other ILW publications are available online at http://www.ausa.org/ilw and can also be obtained by calling (800) 336-4570, Ext. 4630, or by e-mailing a request to [email protected].