Monday, January 06, 2014

Letter to the Editor: Cost of Living increases for military retirees under 62 are gone.

 The essay reflects views and opinions not necessarily shared by the Insider staff, and is published as a courtesy to readers.

Cost of Living increases for military retirees under 62 are gone.

Where is a matching provision for former members of congress?  Will they
still get cost-of-living increases when they retire?
Where is a matching provision for federal civilian employees?  Will they
still get cost-of-living increases when they retire?

This is shameful.  The members of congress who voted for this are
self-serving hypocrites.  They know there's a problem, but they are
unwilling to share in the cuts themselves.  I, for one, am sick and tired of
the hand-wringing, ever-so-sorry-I-have-to-do-this act by the individuals
who serve in elected office.  They are very willing to have others sacrifice
in order to balance the budget.  Where is the shared sacrifice?  The
congress has set things up so that they automatically receive salary
increases, so that there's no public vote.  Congress and the President need
to start showing some leadership.  Lead by Example!  That is one of the
first principles taught to every officer and non-commissioned officer in the
military services of the United States.  There has been very little of that
when congress and the president have discussed the budget.  There has not
been a single proposal aimed at cutting salaries or pensions of elected
officials or what is spent in maintaining the congress.  Their excuse is
that 'they need to attract qualified people'.  Well, think about it!  If
congress needs to attract qualified people, doesn't the military need to do
the same?  Or, is congress suggesting that the military doesn't need
highly-trained, highly-skilled, qualified individuals to serve in uniform?
Are they suggesting that the military can make do with whatever they can
scrape up?

I could go on this rant for a long time.  This is about more than just a
cost-of-living increase.  This is about the way this president and this
congress are running this country.  The basic idea of reducing pensions for
working age individuals is actually a good idea, but, it should be across
the board.  It should start with elected officials and civilian employees,
NOT with the military.  Write to your congressman.  Tell them to quit
playing around.  If they are serious about running this country, show some
backbone and leadership.  They need to set the example by cutting their own
spending.  If they want to cut salaries, start with their own.  Once they do
that, I'll be willing to start sharing in the sacrifice and I'll start
trusting that they actually put the interest of this country ahead of

Ken McClellan, Middletown CT

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their elected representatives.
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