When your loved one chose to enter the military, they entered as an E1. They agreed to a about $1491.00 per month base pay. Assuming that they only work 40 hours a week, their pay is only about $8.60 an hour. However, we know they work FAR more than 40 hours a week and we know they never receive overtime. We know that they're commitment will involve lengthy deployments that will cause them to miss family and the once in a lifetime events treasured by their civilian brothers and sisters.
While patriotism is certainly a component to their willingness to sacrifice, the benefits that the military offers in lieu of pay is a what made that sacrifice a little more attractive.
Now our government wants to renege on that commitment. They want to increase Tricare premiums.
This angers me. As a conservative leaning member of this forum, I am a HUGE proponent of HUGE spending cuts. In fact, you could get me to agree that the DOD is one of those areas where spending cuts are very warranted. I see know reason why we need more admirals than we have ships. I see no reason to pay for the defense of other nations with bases planted all over the globe. Nor do I see a problem with eliminating crony capitalism from defense contracts.
What I won't agree to is that we balance budgets on the backs of the defenseless. What I won't accept is that our way out of this economic disaster is to demand further sacrifice from a part of our population that arguably represents the best in the youth of America... among whom are over 6000 who have paid the ultimate price in the last decade.
Sailors, Solders, Airmen and Marines are rightfully handicapped in their ability to defend themselves from politicians. Indeed, that very tradition ought to be a source of national pride.
However we, as loved ones to members of the military, are not handicapped. Indeed, when I look at this forum, I see a very strong political force. I see moms, dads and spouses. I see every representation from nearly every congressional district.
I think its time for us to defend the defenseless.
Let the White House know that these young men and women are off limits to political crap. Let your congressman know as well.
The military retirees are really going to take in the rump on this, so include veterans in the discussion. You know who gets free healthcare? CONGRESS. They have th emeans to pay more, so let's require it of them!
I could understand an increase in premiums or co-pays as long as it was in line with any cost of living increases annually. No more than 3%. I have already seen changes in my off base prescriptions.
A minor off topic point: I do disagree about our overseas bases for the Navy, we need those secure ports to keep the sea lanes open to worldwide free trade. A restructuring may be in order, but we can't close up shop and stay home, not in today's world.