“It cries out for some rationalization. Why should we ask somebody to sustain a system that’s unfair by any other measure in our society?”
-- Sylvester J. Schieber, former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board
This was the comment on military pensions. There were various comments this weekend that military pensions would have to be carved or changed drastically. Some actually want to change both healthcare and pensions for those who are already retired. Some want to just aim for the future military retirees only.
As for Mr Schieber? I doubt if he ever spent a week out on maneuvers....skipping a bath each day.....and eating MREs. This crowd who talks about the idea of pension cuts on GI's weren't there on Normandy's beaches or landing on hostile islands in the Pacific. They weren't there in Vietnam....carrying wounded buddies back to camp. And where is the unfairness?
This crowd probably doesn't include anyone who has filled a four thousand sandbags in their career. It probably doesn't include anyone who would put in seventy man-hours of physical effort in an average week. I doubt that the group has anyone in it that would readily volunteer to take a rifle and go defend against an attack of hostile enemy. And where is the unfairness?
So my advice to the group is simple. If you want to make cuts....just make the decision to pull back from every hostile area in the world. Bring all the troops back to comfortable areas of Georgia, Kentucky and Washington state. Return to the wonderful years of the 1920s when wars ended and troops were sent back home and you kept just twenty percent of what you really needed. Stock up on a lot less tanks, aircraft and ships. Make yourself believe that threats are imaginary and that you can negotiate out of bad situations.
The curious thing once you accomplish all of this.....a vast savings. Which you'd invest in discovering why a certain type of butterfly in Paraguay is green, or building a bridge over a vast swamp in Georgia, or fund the start-up of some solar panel operation. That all makes sense, in some odd way.