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Winston Shaffer  
Floresville, TX  
March 13, 2012 9:24am
 
Prairie Grouch until 2007 the law was your retirement was capped at 75% before that you had to be the senior enlisted person or a general. I am not sure if you are taking offense with me personally or whether you truly believe that military members should continue to pay a disproportionate cost for medical care and taxes. I am stating military service costs should be a greater priority over all the free handouts to people who don’t work and the corporations that don’t pay taxes and the political handouts to friends of politicians (See stimulus).

The initial comment was $80-85k for twenty years of service and no discussion of tax benefits. The scenario you presented was for 29 years of service, does not include the 3 year salary averaging required by law but included tax benefits on retirement benefits which does not normally occur. The number you presented was $78k which is still 5% less than the range given. In addition, by law unless you are prior enlisted your service is capped for a Lt Col at 28 years. In the last 5 years, I know of no one in my careerfield except me retiring after 24 years of service. So, I would be willing to bet if someone did the research, the majority of Lt Col’s retiring today will make less than $55k/year in retirement and would have been in the same financial situation if they had decided to pursue a civilian career. Just curious, would you not want to pay your military, the greatest in the world, good wages? One other thing, when I joined the service I was making 20% less than my fellow graduates. Military officers are paid less in the beginning of the career as the military uses the retirement and medical carrot (promised as free for life by recruiters) to keep people in. There is a great deal more than the dollars and cents looking at the end of one’s career. The ride to military retirement is not a “sweetheart deal.” I would like some apple to apple comparison when folks make their accusations; not me having to educate folks on the fallacy of their apple to orange statements that occur quite regularly on the comments. For example, who pays social society (SS) taxes on a retirement income? In fact, there is a cap on SS taxes for people working. So, why would someone add that tax saving on a retired pay discussion? If I would have put the equivalent amount of the money in a 401k, do I pay SS taxes on it when I retire? There is no doubt my qualifications, work ethic and job performance would have easily sustained my current financial situations. So, why are you begrudging me? I worked hard to get where I am at. Do I not deserve to be paid a fair wage for what I have accomplished? A sweetheart deal is when you don’t earn what you received. I earned every penny of it. I have paid for my education, paid all my creditors and taxes (unlike some politicians), have always given to others in there need, and have never taken a handout. I raised 7 children and have been a good citizen. My father did not even have a high school diploma but he told me get an education. I worked my way up the ladder, but I got a sweetheart deal? Solyndra might have got a sweetheart deal, but I didn’t? None of this is the point anyhow. We are getting wrapped around my situation. It was my choice, but it was no "Sweetheart" deal. I am not the majority of people who retire from the military so focusing the discussion on one person instead of the whole makes no sense. If you look at the whole which includes enlisted members (the majority) where a number of them have my same qualifications, the compensation for military is adequate but not a sweetheart deal. They will have a greater portion of their income impacted. My point is and continues to be that if the Federal budget needs cut there are a great deal more areas more viable and deserving of being cut.

Prairie Grouch thanks for your service. I am sure you had to endured a great deal. “But we in it shall be remember'd; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother;” Shakespeare’s Henry V
     
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