Guest Author - Sherrie Knoller
Congress has to make budgets cuts since the debt ceiling has been raised and they are taking the military into account. The Military is one of Congress's biggest expenses. One of the changes they are proposing is to change the 20-year retirement system to a 401K like Private sector companies.
It is understandable that Congress needs to make the budget cuts but it seems that the military is always in their bullís eye. There have been many military members and civilians that are opposing this change. All public service and military should be on a retirement system. They risk their lives everyday to protect our country, our town, and to heal us when we are sick.
There have been many questions to how Congress will change it. Will current military member be grandfathered in and the 401k apply to new recruits? If they decide to change every member even new recruits how are they going to calculate the people that have already serving?
Due to the economy many military members are staying in and not retiring. When you look at the retirement of a military member they only get 50% of their basic pay and based on the rank that they retire as. Many of the veterans after they retire go on to higher paying jobs to supplement their income.
The military member is defiantly underpaid for what they do everyday. What some do in the military, civilians earn more in the private sector companies. If these changes take place it will defiantly be a blow to the military member. How will they serve knowing that they would have to contribute a portion of the pay to retirement? Some probably cannot afford to pay contributions. I remember when my husband was an E4 his take home pay was about $1400.00 a month and that was in 1997. You can image having to pay for an apartment, car, insurance, food, and gas.
What is happening to our economy is affecting everyone. The American people have been dealing with increased unemployment, social security having problems, and foreclosures on homes. The American people cannot afford it anymore.
There are things that Congress can do to help the budget. They can stop lending money out to other countries. Collect the debts from other countries that owe the US. Look at programs that don't work that congress is still funding. Congress needs to find solutions that don't hurt American people not just only the military.