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05 August 2011


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Patrick Lang

The Moar you Know

"Tricare for life" I think this part of tricare only applies to people old enough to also have medicare Part A&B, like me. your 40 year old grunt NCO would at present be eleigible for a different part of Tricare. I agree that they are going to try to "game" the system. they will raise co-pays for old people and do similar thins to younger ones. SS will experience a dely in benefits and medicare will take a big hit. i am probably in good shape because they know the actuarial odds. pl

Patrick Lang


I agree that my fellow Southerners will be more and more "restive." pl

Medicine Man

I remember Republican pols (Gingrich?) musing about this recently too.

I really get the impression that the Washington establishment has been spinning their "who can we screw over to get out of this mess"-roulette wheel a whole bunch lately.


it is still being taught that way in first semester lectures, and as a principle it reflects civil law in Germany, but is embodied in the various sections of the German civil code, BGB, and is not a civil law maxim in its own right in Germany.

Pacta sunt servanda is primarily a maxim of international law.

I wanted to tell you that when you mentioned it the last time. Alas, I missed the opportunity then, but not now :>

And I agree, it is shameful to renege on the promises made to soldiers when luring them into service.


I'd generally find it very odd that the moneyed are going after the people who'd keep them from the pitchforks and torches when the mob finally assembles.

Then I realise that there's zero forethough among our chattering and beltway classes. When the police and military end up leading the mobs because they too are tired of getting screwed, all the money in the world isn't going to stop the bankers from being hoisted by the neck.


Bth, wrong Ayn Rand book, it's the Virtue of Selfishness:


The Moar You Know ,
So your company is willing to invest zero of its own resources in training and developing employees to be more productive and thus lower cost and generate more profit for the firm?
"retirees", at least ones with pensions, have a different price point that a person expecting to start a career.


confusedponderer, I am aware it is civil law or more precisely in German Vertragsrecht.

But still it feels a US equivalent must apply. I doubt it is only shameful to "renege on ... promises" made but that the "promises" somehow must have the legal quality of a contract. No?


Does Washington really want to create a Veterans organisation made up of disaffected retirees and medically discharged?

You think the Tea party was an effective pressure group? Just wait.

It is not a good idea for ruling elites to annoy the average soldier.


Tyler and Walrus,
You both make good points and expressed my thoughts exactly.

Soldiers paid for these benefits with their time and efforts on behalf of the USA.

The American people have paid into Social Security and it isn't an entitlement. They paid for it.

Ken Halliwell

NGOs cut or eliminate promised pensions and health care benefits when money gets tight; so, why should the USG be any different?

I recall that my company's "loaded salary" included the cost of pension, health care, and SS/Medicare taxes; i.e., part of my unrealized earnings funded the company's pension and health care insurance plans, as well as the government's "entitlement" plans. Regardless, this didn't stop the company from "adjusting" the pension formula and requiring new retirees to pay part of their health care insurance cost out of their pension, a few years before I retired.

It's a hard bullet to bite, but that's all one may be left with when money gets tight: one bullet.

Anyway, I find it difficult to believe that there is not a lot of "pork" that can be cut from the USG's budget before it becomes necessary to cut pensions and benefits, but it's not clear to me that members of Congress are willing to kill pet pigs to feed the USG's dependents.


There's a lot of turning over in a WHOLE lot of graves that the mere thoughts of things like this could ever happen.A rhetorical question:Have some really sank this low?

R Whitman

An important maxim:

Always make sure you pay the people with the guns.



For 'pork', all the Congress and White House need do is look into their own reflection in the mirror. Alas, I fear they would rather seek scapegoats instead of going on a self-imposed diet to clean out their own Congressional/White House pork.


Sadly, there is nothing new about this. Recall that Belisarius was blinded by Justinian, impoverished and obliged to beg for a few coins outside the entry to Santa Sophia. Queen Elizabeth abandoned the sailors who confronted the Spanish Armada who for years prowled the streets of port towns on England's Southern coast. Richard Nixon cut back health benefits for Vietnam veterans. Obama forgot his pledge made as a Senator to ensure that PTSD victims received up to date (and expensive) care that was fought tooth and nail by the Pentagon bureaucrats. Now, as Commander in Chief, he could order that change. He hasn't. (In this, they are not alone).

Let's be frank. America's political/media/ celebrity/financial class has studiously insulated itself from 90% of Americans. Few give a damn. That's our post-modern democracy.

Patrick Lang


Unfortunately, there is no Belisarius now. The Bucellari and Ye Tai are led by men who seem to care only for themselves. pl


"It is not a good idea for ruling elites to annoy the average soldier."

Tell it to the Bonus Marchers flattened by MacArthur and Patton.


I'm offering an unadorned opinion here... I'm deeply suspicious on an "intuitive" level that this might be a first step toward entirely privatizing the military services.


I agree. It is IMO a maxim that has to apply universally. It is as valid today as when the Romans formulated it so concisely two millennia ago.

john in the boro

The cited articles go hand-in-hand with an earlier article in the Army Times (http:///http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/07/military-dod-panel-calls-for-radical-retirement-overhaul-072511/)">http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/07/military-dod-panel-calls-for-radical-retirement-overhaul-072511/)">http:///http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/07/military-dod-panel-calls-for-radical-retirement-overhaul-072511/) that floats the idea of instituting a new military retirement system. Numbers are found on the DoD Office of the Actuary website (actuary.defense.gov, see "Military Retirement Fund"). Sad to say that our elected officials are caught between the rock of promises to the public and the hard place of obeisance to their benefactors. I, for one, hope this reprehensible idea gets swatted down quickly.

"I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk." (Chief Joseph: Nez Perce 1840-1904, Nez Percéé Indian chief)


@ W Reks...he wrote: "Both these members of the 'liberal intelligensia' were supporters of the Iraq invasion."

To be more precise, I would argue it should have read Neoliberal....because these guys are two fine specimens of that ilk.

Patrick Lang


"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Too-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." Chief Joseph

His words seem appropriate. pl


One has to wonder how soon we'll start seeing the ordinary citizenry flying their U.S. flags upside down as a sign of national distress?


Jacob Weisburg expresses the current mess well:


Byron Raum

Tyler & Colonel:

>I'd say if you were going to spark
>the powder of a civil war, this is
>the way to go about it.

Under ordinary circumstances, yes. But when you have certain news media helping to either carefully diffuse the anger or to re-direct it at those who are on your side, I'd think civil war can be put off indefinitely.

Green Zone Cafe

John in the boro covered this, but this post by Tom Ricks provides a PowerPoint by the "Defense Business Board" which advocates cuts:

To me, it's just a simple struggle between personnel and the procurers that the Defense Business Board represents, along with their hirelings like O'Hanlon. The Defense Business Board wants more of the money to go to hardware and consulting services.

I also read FZ as pointing out the essentially socialist nature of military life to "conservatives," so I absolve him.

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