Public sector must do its part, just like vets
By Col. Tyrus W. Cobb
A USA Today op-ed published in the RGJ argued that planned cuts to military pensions in the bipartisan budget proposals are defensible [Another View, Jan. 3].
Specifically, the reductions would decrease cost-of-living adjustments by one percentage point a year and impose higher co-payments for health coverage. The piece stressed that costs to the Pentagon incurred by continuing the present system are unsustainable and will necessitate severe reductions in weapons acquisitions and operational readiness.
Although I am an Army veteran with 26 years of service, including two combat tours in Vietnam, I can understand the Pentagon’s rationale for containing personnel costs, which now account for 55% of the defense budget and are rising rapidly. I can support the planned reductions if — and this is a big if — other government entities first rein in their public employee compensation, which is rising so fast it threatens to overwhelm budgets from the federal to the state and especially at the local level.
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