Friday, January 17, 2014


There was this lil blurb earlier this week from the Usual USAF Source:
Fiscal 2014 Omnibus Spending Bill Unveiled

Lawmakers on Monday released the Fiscal 2014 omnibus appropriations bill, the legislation that would provide discretionary funding for the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year and supersede the continuing resolution that expires on Jan. 15. Among the 12 regular appropriations bills included in the $1.012 trillion spending package is defense legislation that allocates $486.9 billion for base defense activities and $85.2 billion for overseas contingency operations, according to the House Appropriations Committee's defense summary. "This meets spending caps set in the Ryan-Murray budget agreement and denies the extreme cuts that would have occurred under the next round of sequestration, which would have had dire repercussions for our national defense," states the summary. The defense funding supports "a high level of military readiness," states the summary. The omnibus would also partially rescind language in the 2013 Bipartisan Budget Act that reduced military retiree benefits. It would "exempt medically retired personnel and survivor benefit plan recipients from having their cost-of-living benefits temporarily reduced," states the summary. "This will ensure disabled veterans and surviving families receive the full benefits they are due," it states. (See Rogers release, Mikulski release, Senate bill summary.) (See also Triggering Another Sequester.)
What this REALLY means...
Under the current military retirement system, members of our armed forces can receive pension payments and health care benefits after serving for at least 20 years, regardless of their age.  In the case of a service member who retires at age 38, pension payments and health coverage could easily continue for more than 40 years, totaling over 60 years of pay and benefits for 20 years of service, a very unusual – and expensive – benefit. Currently, military retirees of all ages receive annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), which increase these payments according to the consumer price index (CPI), a common measure of inflation. Beginning in 2016, the BBA provision will reduce this COLA by one percentage point (i.e., to CPI minus one percentage point), for working-age military retirees only. When those retirees reach age 62, their pension payments going forward will bump up as if the lower COLA had never applied, and from then on, they will receive a higher annual COLA based on the full CPI. This modest and reasonable reform would reduce lifetime retirement pay by about 6 percent—from $1.7 million to $1.6 million—for an Army sergeant first class retiring at age 38. Senator Patty Murray and Representative Paul Ryan have pledged to make a technical adjustment to exempt military retirees with disabilities from the change.
That's an excerpt from an op-ed in The Hill written by retired general/flag officers from three of the four uniformed services*.  I'm with the generals on this issue; the COLA cuts going into effect are quite small and are only temporary.  Full disclosure requires me to mention that MY ox isn't the one getting gored, however, seein' as how I'm well over 62 years of age and will get the full COLA... this year it's a whopping one percent raise, or about 15 Yankee Dollars**.  I'll have to give some thought about how I'm gonna spend this windfall.  I'll prolly wind up spending it all in one place, as is my wont.

* The men are Gen. James L. Jones (USMC, retired), Adm. Gregory Johnson (USNA, retired), Major Gen. Arnold Punaro (USMC, retired) and Gen. Charles Wald (USAF, retired).  You should read that whole op-ed, btw.  They make good sense.

** Those kind folks at the Social Security Administration are also giving me a raise this year, which, at just under 50 Yankee Dollars, is considerably more than what the Air Force is doling out.  In any event, you really SHOULD get back to work coz I need your tax dollars to keep flowing into the Federal coffers.  And thank you for supporting me in my dotage.  We are oh-so-grateful.


  1. I'm ok with the reduction (and i am getting gored). What I'm not ok with is they took this reduction instead of the $4.8B savings by closing the Tax Loophole allowing illegal aliens to receive tax rebates. To my mind, that's a no brainer. They're here illegally, don't pay taxes and yet get my money! YGBSM!

    1. Valid point about illegals. I really do NOT understand that, and a lot of other things having to do with the whole "immigration" flap.

  2. I have refrained from unloading on my two so called senators over this. I think the CHP suits would have paid me a visit.
    The wetbacks get a deal?
    I am glad for the clarification as I have been drawing retired pay for 20 years and 4 months now. I was a PO1(E6) at the time I retired. In late 1997, I began receiving 30% disability and the retired pay was adjusted accordingly. This past August, my disability rating was increased to 60% and now the retirement and disability are concurrent. Retirement is now $1,515 before taxes and the disability is $1,137 with spouse. Those are the monthly amounts. I am also working, in the Service of The Republic with the USAF at Edwards AFB. Heading toward 60 and still playing with airplanes. Missus ORPO and I are now able to enjoy some things that before were not possible.
    I really do not have much to complain about...............other than the wetbacks getting a break.......................................

    1. You make more money as a retired E-6 than I made as an active duty E-6. My base pay was $856.20, another 228.30 for quarters allowance, and 90 Yankee Dollars for separate rats... total of $1174.90. That's what I made as a TSgt in 1979.

      Just out of curiosity, is that $1137 in disability in addition to your retired pay, or is that a portion of your retired pay that's treated differently for tax purposes? Again... apropos o' not much... your retired pay is about equal to what I draw as an E-7, not counting the disability income (if that money is indeed income).

      Yup... I wouldn't complain if I were you, Glenn.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.