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MILITARY OFFICER


JANUARY 2014 $4.75 THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF MOAA | ONE POWERFUL VOICE® WWW.MOAA.ORG Budget Game


As 2014 kicks off, where do MOAA’s legislative goals fit on the political game board? 42


Budget Cut Reaction I was very pleasantly surprised to see [MOAA President Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., USN (Ret)] on PBS NewsHour discussing the cuts to retirement pay in the latest defense budget. I was especially pleased that he pointed out that the per- sons that will be most affected by this are enlisted personnel. His arguments were logical, rational, and based on the facts. I was also shocked and offended by


very pleasantly surprised


“ I was


USN (Ret)] on PBS NewsHour discussing the cuts to retirement pay in the


to see [MOAA President Vice Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr.,


latest defense budget.


—Lt. Peter D.


Eikenberry Sr., USCG (Ret)





Lawrence Korb’s aggressive, rude be- havior. He did not present any rational argument for these cuts, [which] single out military personnel, while no cuts are being made for anyone else. All he did was get louder and interrupt continually. Of course, this type of crude behavior has be- come all too prevalent in our political dis- course. Bravo Zulu to Admiral Ryan and to MOAA for taking a stand on this. —Lt. Peter D. Eikenberry Sr., USCG (Ret) via email


It was with some surprise, and disgust, that I read that one of the options for reducing the deficit, as outlined in a recent [Congres- sional Budget Office] report, is to eliminate the concurrent receipt of military retired pay and VA disability compensation. Aside from the multiyear battle that fi-


nally allowed this concurrent receipt only a few years ago, I can’t believe that anyone would actually mention this. If they want to reduce the deficit, how about Congress just not spending so much money on crap? Or do more to eliminate waste and fraud? I haven’t been able to work since the late 1990s, when I should have been in my peak earning years. I have a service- connected disability; I think I have earned concurrent receipt. Eliminating it would cut my income by about half. These things have a tendency never


to go away. This is the kind of thing that used to result in the writer’s being chal-


16 MILITARY OFFICER MARCH 2014


lenged to a duel. Absent that, I hope this receives the consideration it deserves, that is to say, none. —Lt. Col. Ernest Lane, USA (Ret) Life Member, Suncoast Chapter Trinity, Fla.


I am a retired Air Force reservist. I am extremely proud of my 26 years of active/ reserve service, and I am tremendously grateful for my retired pay and TRICARE For Life benefits. I enjoy reading every issue of Military Officer. I have a special inter- est in keeping up-to-date on budget issues, both federal and DoD. I greatly appreciate MOAA’s efforts to maintain the military benefits for all active duty, Reserve, National Guard, and retired members. In the January 2014 issue of Military


Officer, pages 35-49 [Washington Scene] discussed MOAA’s position on numerous budget items. MOAA seems to indicate maintaining (and perhaps increasing) every single item. I, myself, certainly do not have all the


answers for prioritizing budget items. However, if MOAA is proposing to spend the American citizens’ tax dollars, it needs to offer a mechanism to pay for these items. When a problem is brought up for dis- cussion, several different solutions should be brought up at the same time. —Lt. Col. Thomas J. Rothschild, USAFR (Ret) Portland, Ore.


Director of Government Relations Col. Mike Hayden, USAF (Ret), responds: Thank you for your comments. Coming to the table with solutions is something MOAA believes in too. When exorbitant TRICARE pharmacy fee increases were proposed two years ago, MOAA proposed a one-year maintenance medication mail-order pilot for TRICARE For Life beneficiaries in exchange for more modest increases. Possible solutions will always be a part of our battle plan.


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