Essentially, Pentagon staffers have not figured out how to tally costs and meet expenditures for these precious retirement plans, which is indeed a model of planning and is, by consensus, one of the great retirement plans. Maybe someone at the Armed Forces Committee in Congress should take a look.
Under the current plan, military personnel, who retire after 20 years of service, receive at least 50 percent of their salaries for the rest of their lives, which is warranted for their service. There is a 2 percent benefit levied for more than 20 years of service, and all is indexed to inflation increases. Finally, retired military members receive TRICARE, a military-funded HMO plan whose current annual fee for families is $520, according to the Washington Post. Retirees deserve the above benefits, and it should be noted that some 80 percent who join the military never receive any of the above.
Retired soldiers deserve better accounting. We must maintain better bookkeeping now, and keep a lockbox on funding in the future. We now have 2.4 million military retirees and 1.4 million active duty troops, according to Punaro in the Washington Post story. We need some accounting and some methodology or another Congressional oversight agency to solve this mess before it falls apart and impacts the retirees. They gave their all, and it remains to us to push for solvency.
No easy fix for post office
One of the biggest employers in America is crashing, and everything the federal government is doing to fix the U.S. Postal Service is just making it worse.
The post office lost $15.9 billion last year. This is hardly a surprise: losses at the post office have been predictable and inexorable for five years. They know what is wrong: Too many post offices. Not enough mail. Too many workers making too much money.
The unions say not to worry: They can fix the post office, all they need is more money. All the while denying the post office has a problem.
After five years, numerous commissions, pounds of reports and endless hearings, the only thing to change are the losses. They tripled. Sure they closed a few branches and consolidated a few distribution centers, but that is about it.
Think about how FedEx or UPS would have approached the prospect of an endless series of $15.9 billion losses. What the Post Office did not do in five years, they would have done in five weeks. Or five days.
The day of reckoning is at hand for the post office. It can be postponed, but not cancelled.
San Diego, Calif.