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MILITARY OFFICER


NOVEMBER 2015 $4.75 THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF MOAA | NEVER STOP SERVINGTM WWW.MOAA.ORG


ReportCard State


2015


Find ratings of state-level programs and policies affecting military retirees, veterans, and family members XX





always money for nonmilitary purposes, but never money for military retirees?


—Lt. Cmdr. Rudy


Pasterczyk Jr., USN (Ret)


” Why is there


Retirement Changes I read with interest all the diff erent views of what is being done to our retirement benefi ts [Washington Scene, November 2015] and what we should do as an orga- nization to fi ght to retain our “promised” benefi ts. Most, if not all, of us were prom- ised a cash retirement (tax-free) for 20 years of service and “free” health care and dental. We also all know that our benefi ts are tied to the DoD budget. Well, Congress, in their infi nite wisdom,


now taxes our cash benefi ts. Our health and dental we now pay for. They want to close commissaries, which is yet another benefi t we enjoy. Closing of commissaries is in ef- fect a reduction of benefi ts once again. … Why is there always money for non- military purposes but never money for military retirees, one would ask? Our lobby should be for what is right. Our lobby should be to reinstate the promises made to so many of us. Our retirement benefi ts should not be tied to the DoD budget, any more than Congress should be tied to an unlimited supply of funds. We need a bigger and stronger voice to “do the right thing.”


— Lt. Cmdr. Rudy Pasterczyk Jr., USN (Ret)


Lower Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Chapter via email


VA Health Care, Taxation I got my copy of the November issue yesterday, and two comments before page 15 caught my eye. First was [then-MOAA President Vice


Adm. Norbert R. Ryan Jr., USN (Ret)]’s statement about the Mitre “assessment,” and his confi dence in Congress, the Com- mission on Care, and the VA working together is amazing [“VA Reform,” From the President]. In my 77 years, I have seen thousands of studies, commissions, as- sessments, etcetera. Usually they merely


18 MILITARY OFFICER JANUARY 2016


provide airtime for members of Congress to pontifi cate! Millions of dollars are spent and the report goes on the shelf and noth- ing is done to follow up. The VA, in my opinion, is a rogue organization, as proven by their offi cials taking the Fifth rather than testifying concerning the problems in the VA. Admiral Ryan has more confi - dence than I! Second was [Lt. Cmdr. Noel Holland,


USN (Ret)]’s statement that too many Americans are “growing up without ever having to give anything but taxes” [“Ser- vice, Not Slavery,” Your Views]. In my opinion, with so many staying in college until their mid-20s, living with their par- ents, etcetera, most young Americans are not even giving taxes, if we are thinking of the income tax. Other taxes are just part of the price they pay for goods, and they do not consider that as giving back to our country. Almost 50 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all. And I agree that most have a self-serving attitude. — Col. Ronald I. Pass, USAF (Ret) Life Member via email


Government Budgeting “The Other Shoe” [Lessons Learned, November 2015] provides a beautiful ex- ample of why the government should go to zero-based budgeting. Since the young captain didn’t use his allotted amount of fuel in 1950, he got a reduced allocation the next year. This causes expenditures that are wasteful and unnecessary. I remember once coming back from a


[temporary duty] at the end of the fi scal year and fi nding the entire latrine of our of- fi ce (which had been a World War II wood- en hospital complex) completely fi lled with toilet paper. When I asked what happened, I was told that we had funds left for things like toilet paper, and if we didn’t use them, we wouldn’t get the same funds next year.


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