Monday, October 10, 2011

NY Times Criticizes Social Welfare!

OK.  That headline was just a trick to draw you in.  The Toilet Paper of Record was really criticizing veterans:
“As Washington looks to squeeze savings from once-sacrosanct entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, another big social welfare system is growing as rapidly, but with far less scrutiny: the health and pension benefits of military retirees.”
Can the editors at the Toilet Paper of Record really be so stupid? Military retirement is social welfare? I think the tittering, bed-wetting liberals wrote that on purpose just to piss off veterans.

The New York Times spouting off about the US Military is like a kindergartner trying to discuss the Copernican Model. Such attempts by The Senile Old Lady are shot through with language that reveals their ignorance of military culture and the disdain they have for it.




Military Retirement is not about Fairness

The editors attempted to lay down some facts about the military retirement system and to discuss proposed changes to it.  They ably explained why those who get out before 20 years get nothing, and it all made too much non-controversial sense, so they reached for a liberal’s favorite tool, the “fairness” argument.
“Why should we ask somebody to sustain a system that’s unfair by any other measure in our society?”
Because, you moron, it was in the contract the US Government signed with each veteran, that’s why. Why do postal workers and teachers get a better deal than defense contractors or state department employees? Shall we continue throwing apples and oranges at each other?

Military Benefits are Earned, not "Deserved"

Even while trying to ingratiate themselves, they come off grating...
“And having volunteered to put their lives at risk, those people deserve higher-quality benefits, supporters argue.”
No. We don’t “deserve” those benefits. We earned them! As a service member, you go where they tell you to go and do what they tell you to do, for as long as they tell you to do it. No punching a clock or deciding you're too tired to go into work today or that you don't want to go to Korea for a year.  

The deal is, you work 20 or more years serving your country at a lower average salary than the private sector, and you get a lifetime half-pay pension in return. People who serve give their country the prime of their life. Upon retirement, you are a 40-something newcomer to the job market.

Washington, We have a Fiscal Problem...

I’m not trying to engender sympathy for veterans, we don’t want or need it.  We've got to drastically cut back the federal government, and nothing should be held sacrosanct, including the Department of Defense and its benefits program, much of which is still geared for an earlier era.

But as Socrates would say, let’s first define our terms. That’s something the smirking monkeys on the New York Times editorial board are incapable of honestly doing. We need an honest debate on the role of government, and the New York times has over and over again proven itself incapable.

To see the Defense Business Board's proposal for overhauling military veterans benefits, go here:  DBB – Modernizing Military Retirement

59 comments:

Mark Adams said...

I've got to admit, the headline did catch my eye and I thought 'No freaken WAY'... I was right. :)
As far as governments role, it clearly says a number of times in the constitution "Provide for the common defense" Our federal budgets should be set with a top priority of the common defense in mind. And supporting those who defended the nation.

Jack Camwell said...

People who agree to be potential meat shields for 20 years should get something to show for it after all of that sacrifice.

People at my job now look at me funny because I never call in sick and I rarely take time off, except around the holidays. They ask me why, and I tell them "it's a military thing."

Ducky's here said...

Of course there are always those who then leave to join some small town police force. Around here that means no heavy lifting, pension and all the paid details you can work (a Massachusetts thing).

Of course you'll get the "risking my life every time I put on the uniform" line when here it's more likely to be a civilian killed by a high speed pursuit.

If it's mortality on the job that's a determinant we should pay cab drivers a hell of a lot more.

Good and bad in everything and a lot of military will find a way to triple dip. I went to school with one who worked the disability scam pretty well after dropping a filing cabinet on his foot.

conservativesonfire said...

To compare the unearned benefits of local, state and federal bureaucrats to that earned by the military is sick and dishonest. The NYT really isn't even worthy of being held equal to toilette paper

-FJ said...

As a service member, you go where they tell you to go and do what they tell you to do, for as long as they tell you to do it.

Not exactly. That only applies to "draftee's". Everyone else can "opt out" the moment "Monte Carlo" is no longer the oversea's assignment.

-FJ said...

My dad was career Air Force. "He" DIDN'T go to Vietnam. "We" went to Venezuela ('66-70) for four years, instead. Lesser of two weevils.

-FJ said...

btw - My dad was 43 when he retired in '70. He's been retired at half pay for 41 years now. With G-d's Grace, he'll be retired for another 10.

The system is broken. It's a hammock.

Silverfiddle said...

@ FJ: Not exactly. That only applies to "draftee's". Everyone else can "opt out" the moment "Monte Carlo" is no longer the oversea's assignment.

That's not correct, and we no longer have draftees.

Depending on where you are in your current enlistment, you could have no choice. Also, wartime stopgaps prevent people from simply bailing, and often will end up involuntarily extending you.

I know. I served.

So do you equate military retirement with food stamps and "social welfare" like the New York Times?

Z said...

A dear friend's nephew married about five weeks ago, he was deployed three weeks ago, and arrived this last Saturday at Bethesda with "parts of both legs and the left arm amputated."
The government paid for his new wife and family to be by his side. May we never stop doing that.
It's hard for me to read this post and some of these comments.

To hear a soldier compared to a cab driver goes beyond the pale.....and says so much about the writer. I wonder if that cab driver would put his own life on the line to save the cab driver next to him. I wonder if that cab driver would die for his salary like our guys die for our country.

My friend's nephew had a Navy SEAL with him on patrol who was blown to bits when the IED hit. Please pray for Chris, the dead SEAL and his family, and Andrew and Lindsay. They're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

And people criticize Ron Paul's anti-War stance!

PHOOEY!

We owe the guys who get shot up, maimed and psychologically damaged -- and their families -- EVERYTHING. It isn't their fault their lives have been shattered for the primary purpose of lining the pockets of war profiteers with unconscionable amounts of geld.

Since the end of WWII, "war" has become little more than a cynical RACKET. It's both disgusting and terrifying to think we routinely put young lives at risk both for PROFIT and to appease certain powerful lobbies who "own" what-is-supposed-to-be OUR government.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

As far as "double dipping" is concerned I can't see any reason why, if someone has earned the legal right to a pension in one sector and been "retired" at a young age, he shouldn't begin a second career and continue to earn as much money as he possibly can as long as he wants to work.

This bizarre attitude that earning profits and accumulating even the most modest amount of wealth is somehow reprehensible is not nly absurd it's downright evil.

God bless anyone and everyone who can earn, save, invest, inherit or collect money from any and every legitimate source. The unhampered pursuit of self-interest is what his country is all about -- as long as it doesn't involve, murder, theft, graft or extortion.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Z: It's an all too common story you've told. They will indeed be in my prayers

FT: For the reasons you cite, I caution those cheering on the neocons to beware people beating war drums who have never been to war. There is always a cost.

We The Taxpayer have a right to chime on on what the remuneration should be for our veterans. My post is to simply get us to clarify the terms of the debate.

Paying someone as promised in a contract is not the same as handing out social welfare. It is a grotesque comparison.

Finntann said...

Jobs by Mortality Rate per 100,000:

Taxi Drivers and Chauffers: 24.2

http://money.cnn.com/2005/08/26/pf/jobs_jeopardy/

service members in combat-related occupations had death rates ranging from 212 to 262 per 100,000from 2004 to 2007.

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/06/military_deaths_active_duty_061609w/

Just sayin...

Combat Comm... Hooah!

-FJ said...

So do you equate military retirement with food stamps and "social welfare" like the New York Times?

Those that aren't paid for, I do. And not all military retiree's have "earned" their pensions. 90% were simply logistics for the 10% that earned them.

How many merchant mariners died in WWII as compared to those in the "armed" services? How many civilian ships were sunk, whilst the government shrugged their shoulders and declared no need to go to war?

I don't cry for members of the "armed services"... plenty of others died for their country and got not nothing close to a "How'd'ya do, thanks" for it.

-FJ said...

Acta non Verba.

Now kwitcherbitchin.

-FJ said...

...and stop crying for her, Argentina...

Speedy G said...

Very few servicemen earn this. And those that are wounded, deserve their medical benefits... the rest are just "welfare cases" imho.

Anonymous said...

"Paying someone as promised in a contract is not the same as handing out social welfare. It is a grotesque comparison."

Absolutely! No question! How any intelligent person could disagree with that is beyond my comprehension, SF.

I guess I've been thinking more about taking the very best care of those who've been wounded, maimed or mentally impaired in battle. In my never humble opinion we do owe those men -- and their dependents -- not only the very best medical care, but good housing, a good income for life and free college tuition for their children -- if the kids are college material -- decent jobs if they're not.

No doubt I have a 'liberal" streak in me after all, because I believe victims of crimes should be generously compensated for their losses, and no one in this or any other country should be allowed to live on the streets.

With all the vast sums we waste on frippery and self-destructive pursuits some of it ought to be diverted to those who are truly in desperate need.

If only the "bureaus" could be made to operate honestly and efficiently!!!

That said, those who live at the public's expense should be expected to give up their freedom of choice, and accept what's given them with good grace.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

@ FJ: Those that aren't paid for, I do. And not all military retiree's have "earned" their pensions. 90% were simply logistics for the 10% that earned them.

An interesting distinction... But not stipulated in the enlistment contract, so it's just your opinion, not a fact that contributes to the discussion.

As for the merchant marines, that is not the topic of the discussion and I do not denigrate their service.

So, to summarize your contribution today, FJ, you've...

...provided false data ( a service member can just quit if he doesn't get his "Monte Carlo" assignment, and the "draftee" comment was hilarious),

... an opinion (90% of the military doesn't "earn" it's benefits),

... irrelevant information (merchant marine history),

And you summed it up by telling people who are not bitching to "kwitcherbitchin," and telling people who are not crying to "stop crying."

Do you work for the New York Times?

Speedy G said...

Awww, I didn't make a contribution to the conversation. That's soooo sad.

And no, I don't work for the Times. I just have "opinions" substantiated by FACTS.

Speedy G said...

Well sf, do the boys who were wounded working for Blackwater deserve pensions? Veterans medical benefits? The thanks of a grateful nation? How about the hundreds of thousands of civilians working in Iraq Afghanistan? Are they NOT in "harm's way"? Nobody gives a flying 'f about them. So why should I cry for people too stupid to demand an adequate salary to offset the personal risks? I don't.

Speedy G said...

It's a brave new world... and it's long PAST time to kill off onsolete sacred cows like early "military pensions."

Silverfiddle said...

Well sf, do the boys who were wounded working for Blackwater deserve pensions? Veterans medical benefits? The thanks of a grateful nation? How about the hundreds of thousands of civilians working in Iraq Afghanistan? Are they NOT in "harm's way"? Nobody gives a flying 'f about them. So why should I cry for people too stupid to demand an adequate salary to offset the personal risks? I don't.

Again, you obfuscate by introducing irrelevant information.

And again, no one is asking you to cry for anyone. You seem to have a problem paying attention.

I also said in my post that nothing should be sacrosanct as we cut our government, and I include "onsolete sacred cows."

So you've done an excellent and irrelevant job arguing with straw men. You should write speeches for Obama.

Jersey McJones said...

If you took all benefits away for military service tomorrow, recruitment would grind to a halt.

Military benefits are very expensive. There are two things we could do to constrain those costs: 1. end the military empire and pare the military way down, and 2. a national healthcare system that covers everyone and can negotiate prices just as the VA does.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey,

There are other things we could do as well. If you read the DBB's report, you'll see what they are recommending, and it involves members paying more for benefits and abandoning the pension system for a more 401K-like system.

And it also weighs benefits based upon factors like duties, location and combat time, which should make the little rodents infesting this blog happy as well.

Speedy G said...

Because, you moron, it was in the contract the US Government signed with each veteran, that’s why.

lol! And only the LETTER of the CURRENT law/contract is important, the "spirit" behind it and a need for future changes is "irrelevant".

Keep telling yourself that... and don't be a hypocrite and complain when people compare military benefits to welfare, as welfare cases "earn" THEIR benefits as well.

Upon retirement, you are a 40-something newcomer to the job market.

Right...and there are no jobs in the defense industry that you might be qualified for after being an Electronics Tech or COmbat Engineer in the Army... for 20 years, everyone today goes into the "infantry". So much for the be all you can be "Recruitment" ads. Military enlistee's must be amongst the stupidest people on the planet, according to you.

Speedy G said...

For nearly fifty years, the US military has been a used as a government funded social program aimed at becoming the "employer of last resort" providing job opportunities for the terminally unemployed and unemployable. THAT era is thankfully "coming to an end."

We can thank defense contractors for keeping the US ahead of the rest of the world.... NOT the US military. And in the future, using private contractors is PRECISELY what we should do more of. No more Second-class Americans for canon fodder... whilst the 1st class citizens sit in their gold-armoured Humvees deciding who should get air support. Let everyone become a privateer. ;)

Speedy G said...

Its LONG PAST time America's military got back to the FOUNDERS conception of it. In fact, it's LONG PAST time when the military's responsibilities were RETURNED to the STATES.

The temptation otherwise to delve in "foreign intrigues" is too great. The "progressive" president, Woodrow Wilson ruined the US military for a century.

Speedy G said...

...ensuring the votes of greedy self-serving military retirees for decades... ;)

Speedy G said...

Caesar once bought the support of his pretorians... and over two millenia, nothing has changed.

Anonymous said...

BALDERDASH!

~ FT

Anonymous said...

Speedy, my friend! GADZOOKS! You're beginning to sound a lot like the guy at another blog, that shall remain nameless, who repeatedly categorizes the Tea Partiers as a bunch of left wing loons, and aged recipients of Social Security as worthless parasites.

You're making me feel like Alice in Wonderland.

~ FreeThinke

Speedy G said...

I was a commissioned unrestricted line officer in the US Naval Reserve. I don't take kindly to being told that my opinions are "irrelevant" as they weren't directly pertinent to the nature of some idiot's enlistment contract.

Speedy G said...

I spent more time overseas deployed as a civilian family member than most full pension retirees will ever see... and I did it before the age of 14. My "opinions" are not "irrelevant".

Speedy G said...

I have an Honorable Discharge certificate signed by the President of the United States, thanking me for my service. My opinions on this subject are not irrelevant.

Speedy G said...

I may never have gotten a "Death before Dishonor" tattoo, but I never before this day thought that I was "irrelevant" w/o one.

Speedy G said...

The next time America goes to war, tell the "Navy" to carry their OWN damn equipment over there. The irrelevant merchant marine no longer cares to "Damn the torpedoes."

And the Marines are wrong... they no longer ride in Navy Equipment. They travel in theatre on jets and crews supplied by American Airlines.

The nature of war has changed. But evidently a government benefit, once conferred, can NEVER be altered on the basis that any discussion of changed circumstances of warfare is "irrelevant."

Speedy G said...

sf,

The only way you can ever atone for this vulgar display of inter-service insensitivity is to watch Action in the North Atlantic and then post an explanation to your readers as to why the Navy gun crews in merchant ships "deserved" their veterans benefits and those that manned the merchant ships did not.

Only Merchant Marine Academy cadets are permitted to carry a Battle Standard... yet THEY are not considered "veterans". The Navy's ugly sister is tired of suffering the indignity of being denied "veteran" status, yet entitled to carry a banner that the Naval Academy and West Point cadets cannot.

Finntann said...

Who pissed in your wheaties speedy?

Probably the same guy who knocked you stupid.

From your rabid rantings, I'd guess it was some Navy guy in a port bar.

Speedy G said...

I was that Navy guy, Finntann. And I had the stripes on my sleeve to prove it.

Speedy G said...

Many Americans serve in many ways. It's insulting to ignore them. It's insulting to deny them honors and recognition... especially when they "deserve" them. And it's especially insulting to be told that "others" deserve, while they, who sacrificed more, do not.

Speedy G said...

...and THAT goes for all the in-theatre civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are hundreds of thousands of them. They are "as deserving" as every REMF pulling a full pension after 25 years driving a desk.

Silverfiddle said...

Speedy: I rarely engage in ad hominem, but there is apparently something wrong with you.

"The only way you can ever atone for this vulgar display of inter-service insensitivity..."

You are incapable of following an argument and you read things in that are not there. I said nothing of the merchant marines.

You're equating welfare to military benefits is sick and torpid, since your rants are devoid of supporting facts.

But I did enjoy this:

"I spent more time overseas deployed as a civilian family member than most full pension retirees will ever see... and I did it before the age of 14."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

The US military does not "deploy" civilians!

Did you get the Good Child Commendation Medal?

So, to recap, I'll repeat myself since you appear to dense to read words and understand what they convey:

So, to summarize your contribution today, FJ, you've...

...provided false data ( a service member can just quit if he doesn't get his "Monte Carlo" assignment, and the "draftee" comment was hilarious),

... an opinion (90% of the military doesn't "earn" it's benefits),

... irrelevant information (merchant marine history),

I didn't say your stupid, poorly-worded, vapid comments were irrelevant, I said your bringing up the merchant marines was.

I'll ask you get whatever other stupidity out on this subject and then gather up your schizophrenic legion and begone. Please don't come back. Go haunt some other blog.

We like to discuss and disagree here, but you are an illogical, commentarrhea-riddled time-waster.

Begone.

Speedy G said...

I am.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

The liberal dolts don't want retirees from the military to receive the retirement benefits they EARNED, but they do want people to to receive freebies that they themselves have not earned, just so long as the money to pay for them is taken away from those who earned it.

Bd said...

As usual Rev. you're out to lunch.

Rob said...

No, veterans don’t need sympathy. They deserve respect and for their contract to be honored.

I've said before and it bears repeating that if many more of Congress had immediate family members in the military, they'd be singing a much different tune. But they're too far removed from these constituents (and reality in general) to give a crap.

We need to clean house in Congress to show these bastards that we're not going to continue to accept being treated like disposable diapers. Sadly, I suspect that the public's apathy will keep most of Congress firmly in place.

Jersey McJones said...

Working age, healthy, retired military should not be receiving full benefits unless they really need it - not automatically. It's redundant and expensive.

JMJ

98ZJUSMC said...

Bd said...
As usual Rev. you're out to lunch.



No. No, he's not.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Jersey: Working age, healthy, retired military should not be receiving full benefits unless they really need it - not automatically. It's redundant and expensive.


Expensive I get, but redundant?

Hugh Farnham said...

Jersey Sez:

Working age, healthy, retired military should not be receiving full benefits unless they really need it - not automatically. It's redundant and expensive.


Did you spend your youthful years on some sweaty, god-forsaken island like I did? And I had it easy compared to many vets who spend their youthful years missing limbs or in Arlington National Cemetery.

This argument about military retirement pay is soon to be moot. As I have said before, I don't expect to get any Socialist Security checks in the mail and only a portion of my military retirement.

To my fellow veterans:

Q. How much do you think they will cut military retirements due to this unfolding fiscal crisis?

A. To the point veterans almost, but don't, revolt. Like in Russia with their retired soviet soldiers. $50 a month - enough for potatoes, and the other potato product, Vodka. Read about the Bonus Army of the 1930's.

Bear in mind the cut may be by stealth - due to massive inflation and pathetic yearly COLA adjustments.

Karen Howes said...

It's always the vets who get screwed.

I should have known that headline wasn't true... wouldn't expect anything close to the truth from the Slimes.

Always On Watch said...

The double dipper issue is a valid one, IMO.

I do not begrudge retired veterans one single cent of their military retirement. As Silverfiddle has already pointed out, they EARNED that retirement.

However, the worst school principal I ever had was a retired veteran. He was of no help to the teachers and sent women into the halls to break up brawls between students. Some of those brawls included switchblades and razors. I kid you not.

He also ordered me to pass a student who was a football player. I refused. Yes, I wasn't hired for the following year. We all knew why.

And he got a big retirement from the local school system as well. On the taxpayers' backs.

Now, I also know many retired veterans who work for private industry and are earning pensions there. I have not problem with that at all. Of course, many of these retired veterans (double dippers) live in luxury. I have no problem with that either. They earned one retirement that is on the taxpayers' backs, but another retirement that isn't.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

I love the NY Times. It works well under my kitty litter box

Bd said...

It's been a regular position of the GOP to cut anything they can from veterans.

MK said...

I wonder if they'd be as irritated about the veterans benefits if they were gay.

Someone should ask them, just so it's on the record.

Randy said...

Healthy or non-healthy, wealthy or poor, if you have served in the military for 20+ years, then blast it, you have earned a full pension.

It is not up to anyone to judge or determine the need of another adult who has committed no violent crime. I shall decide what I do or do not need; and I will tolerate no other attempting to do so.

SF - great post as always. And if I may, I thank you, and if ever we meet, I've got a handshake I owe you as well.

Silverfiddle said...

Thank you, Randy!