Deep Budget Cuts? Worrywart Meltdown Here!

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by kar57, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    On a very personal and specific level – these budget cuts could spell a lot of devastation for this family.

    Fact: 5/9 of my immediate family (actually 6/10 – Marine daughter married to Navy SEAL are parents-to-be) are tied to the military and so this is weighing heavily on the 6, and the remaining four of us, in this family!

    Here are the categories the 6 fit into:

    • WWII veteran (my 92 year old WAC mother) receiving VA Pension (reduction or elimination of pension?)
    • Marine Lt. in her fourth year Active Duty post-USNA graduation, stationed in Hawaii, pregnant with 1st baby, due late summer (forced early “release” from military obligation during maternity leave?)
    • Navy SEAL son-in-law – fifth year Active Duty post-USNA graduation, Dad to be
    • New Baby of Marine Mom and Navy Dad (well baby visits off base and out of work Mom?)
    • PLC Candidate – currently 2nd semester junior year at state university – to be heading off to Quantico in May for his 2nd Marine training course – and then degree May 2014 (but no commission?)
    • USNA Foundation Prep – currently 2nd semester at NMMI - successful completion in May (but no appointment for Class of 2017?)

    Reading the posts here in the Forum and listening to the news – I find myself in Worrywart-to-the-Extreme mode envisioning all kinds of rather devastating effects of deep budget cuts on these six individuals. :eek:
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I think you're over-reacting to some degree. I suppose anything is possible, but here's my own opinion (and certainly not expert) on the points you raised.

    - No one would have the brass (I wanted to use another b word) to cut pensions. Not politically viable to do that. Future pensions maybe, but not current pensions.
    - Again, no way they would cut the pregnant Mom during maternity leave. This one is more possible because of the 20,000 RIF, but there are PC considerations if not actual laws about cutting someone on maternity leave.
    - Navy SEAL - We're supposed to be leaning even more heavily on our special forces so I would think he'd be OK.
    - The other two are perhaps more likely. It's a little early to be worrying about the appointment still. I would think, at worse, the PLC kid would complete OCS and commission, but perhaps not be placed on AD but in the IRR.

    Anyway, that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
     
  3. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    For your PLC Candidate: If he is serious about commissioning in the Marine Corps, HE CANNOT DROP PLC. OCC spots for active duty are trickling down to slim/none.

    He can expect a long wait before TBS after commissioning. PLC guys are a low priority to start TBS (OCC, MECEP, and USNA have top priority since they have to be paid immediately following commissioning) and I've heard stories about Lieutenants waiting 9-13 months before getting orders to Quantico. Though obviously being a Marine Officer is/should be his number one priority, he should keep options open for internships/jobs post graduation just in case it looks like he's going to be in limbo before TBS.

    I can't speak intelligently on the other stuff because I don't know. Congrats to your daughter. That's going to be one intense grandchild.
     
  4. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    You are way overstressing. It's really pretty important to understand that the world doesn't end if you aren't in the military. 92 year old Dad isn't going to lose his pension. For the rest on the list- the vast , vast majority of folks in this country work in civilian jobs- all the people on this list will do the same. If you get riffed- so what? Other than a change to your plans and it may be disappointing but it's not a tragedy. These are all educated folks- they will find jobs. If you are not even in the force yet- double so what. He will be in exactly the same situation almost every other college kid graduating finds themself- in need of a job . Again- disappointment but not tragedy. It's not worth worrying yourself sleepless about- it will work out.

    If you want to really be sleepless- you should be losing more sleep over what the affect is on the country. Our idiot politicians never understand the impact of their actions. They will still expect their soldiers to be "johnny on the spot" for their favorite crisis-du jour. They will still send soldiers, hips & airplanes into harms way, but that equipment will very likely be marginally maintained, and the people will be much less well trained. Then when they get all those soldier boys into a situation in which people will die because of those shortfalls- the same fools who forced this issue will sound off with a resounding "This is unacceptable- how could this happen- blah blah blah". Count on it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  5. BigBear

    BigBear Class of 2015

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    I hear hips are getting hit especially hard by budget cuts :yllol:
     
  6. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    The military isn't everything which is why you need to forge your own career for post military endeavours. Don't expect the government or military to hold your hand for the rest of your life. Nothing will be handed to you in the civilian world, if you don't perform they let you go (Can't say the same about a lot of GS jobs sadly...).

    Yeah there will be budgets cuts, but it's nothing to stress yourself out about...

    As Bruno said, how do you think the 99% of the country exists without military benefits which includes my entire non-military family who are all very successful.
     
  7. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    "Devastating"? I know no polite way of responding to the use of that word in this case. I hesitate to even try because I know I can't and I have nothing but respect for your family members' service and aspirations.

    Devastation is a young woman or man in a cemetary holding a child with one hand a flag with the other...and a whole lot of other things.

    I am not singling you out. If nothing else, it made me look in the mirror.
     
  8. catchthefever

    catchthefever Member

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    EXACTLY!!!!!
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Or what the effects of not having serious cuts will have on the U.S. economy in the not-so-distant future.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Well, that percentage may be a little high. 1% of the population currently serves (AD or reserves, I can't recall). A number of those service members have one or more dependents.

    10% of the U.S. population are veterans. Not straight "military" but the VA is close. Anyway, not all of that 10% gets benefits. Some have some level of disability, but not all.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    True Lits, but many studies show that 1 in 6 jobs are tied to the military.

    I.E.
    Engines, is GE not hit?
    Who makes the computer chips? Not the military.
    Who makes the paint for the boats, planes, tanks?
    How about the nylon that parachutes?
    Lightbulbs, glass (windshields), plastics, etc...every little thing that goes into an airframe, carrier, or tank. Start remembering... mattress...some company had to make it...chairs...some company had to make it.

    These companies all rely on the DoD budget and contracts.

    I didn't touch upon the cleaners that take care of the squadrons/units. Plumbers, electricians, etc, which are all govt employees.

    Start cutting refurbishment of equipment or cancelling future hardware, you are not only hurting military strength, you are hurting the civilian economy too. They have profit and loss requirements, and now with Obamacare this is tightening the noose even more from an employment aspect as a sub-contractor.
     
  12. aseanag

    aseanag Eagle2013

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    New and soon to be Air Force officers.

    What could sequestration mean to new 2nd LT and soon to be 2nd LT?
     
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Right, I was actually commenting that more than 1% receive military benefits. The trickle down is worse, not only for the military but for any government agencies. Contracts will be put on hold or cut.

    My friend at Booz Allen is already worried they're going to have cuts. Contractors cuts positions as contracts are ended, cut, etc. Next, those contractors cut sub-contractors.

    If you're in the DC area this has some REAL buzz to it. I sometimes wonder how much focus is being given outside of DC though.

    And I can't say some of this shouldn't have been done a while ago.
     
  14. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    But 1 in 6 jobs being tied to the miltiary is the reason why we need to downsize the military. I will be more than happy to engage in a discussion on what threats our nationa faces and if our military is right size to handle the threat.

    It was a boring book, but The Collapse of the Soviet Military written by Gen Odom was a good reading.

    A section of the book discusses how the Soviet Union engaged in a unsustainable defense spending to counter the Western defense spending, that led to the eventual collapse of the Soviet military and Soviet Union.

    Why isn't Chinese spending more on its defense? Because they take a long view and they know it's better to have a stronger economy than a bigger military.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I am only saying there is a problem in the system, and part of it is political.

    In the end of the day politicians want to keep their jobs, constituents and lobbyist are going to impact their vote.

    Can anyone say that a voter over 55 or 60 would want SS or Medicare cut by 10% for 10 yrs?

    Would anyone on welfare want that budget cut?

    How about homeowners and cutting interest payments regarding the IRS.

    Everything impacts the overall budget. Cuts need to be made, not only for the DOD, but everywhere across the board if we want to balance a budget, but the problem is cut too hard, or raise taxes too high you will strangle the economy and may place the country into a double dip recession. Don't cut and our rating with Moody, S &P will go down.

    It is a very fine line we are walking, and IMPO there is no clear cut easy answer. What frightens me is this is more about a political power struggle than what is good for the country.

    Honestly, who here would not classify SS as a Ponzi? Yet, we still ignore it as voters. I think the same will be the same with the debt ceiling. Kick the can down the road, so we can pretend it doesn't exist.

    When was the last time the Hill passed a budget? I think it was over 3 yrs ago. We just keep kicking the can.
     
  16. kar57

    kar57 Member

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    Oh my! I apologize for my lack of clarity on my original post!! Yikes!!! I guess it boils down to this…after following the several threads on this topic, I thought I would throw in a micro view, a micro view of the looming budget cut effects, as relates to possible effects on various programs that are represented in my immediate family. I have never in a minute ignored, dismissed, or was otherwise small-mindedly concerned only with the personal effects of budget cuts! Goodness…

    Many posters on this forum have offered up a lot of speculation and some hard and fast information regarding this topic – my post was a reaction to all that in that it brought up questions on a, I’ll say it again, micro level. I did not mean to come off as small-minded and ignorant of the bigger picture regarding the budget cuts, yet I evidently did. And for that, I am deeply sorry.

    It seems my usage of the word “devastating” in my post has caused a rather strong reaction. I would like to change that word, for the record, to “messed up” – messed up on the MICRO level If one or more of those things I mentioned would come to pass, it would be "mess up" …for us, for the kid, for the 92 year old, yet the “mess upness” would reach only as far as our immediate family. We work hard, either individually or as a family, to find solutions, workarounds, a different path… without upsetting everyone else’s apple carts.


    Aglahad: “Don't expect the government or military to hold your hand for the rest of your life. Nothing will be handed to you in the civilian world, if you don't perform they let you go.”

    Believe me…I and my entire family know only to stand on our own and never ever expect or even desire someone to “hold our hands.” Of the six mentioned who are AD currently, formerly, or “only” on the journey towards it…nothing has come easy and nothing was handed to any of them…ever. And as for the rest of us in the family, the civilian side, no hand-outs here either…ever wanted or given. Including the two youngest, who have Down syndrome.

    I think that the more people there are in a family, the more chances of things going off the track for the family; they are a bigger target and there are more of them taking roads less traveled – and so even after much blood, sweat, tears, literally, and utilization of all kinds of research tools, including this Forum, there have been plenty of times where through absolutely no fault or oversight of the kid or the adult – but instead GLITCHES IN THE SYSTEM – glitches in several instances deemed very out of the ordinary by the SYSTEM, blame taken by the SYSTEM – have derailed the initial, the secondary, the tertiary, even the quad-whateverry plan. And what has happened in those because-we-are-a-large-family-and-big-target frequent instances? The kid sometimes with, sometimes without, help from the adult, finds a different way. There have been many derailments along the way, but never a surrender of the bigger goals – which is and has been for four of the older kids to serve their country first in the military and then in the civilian world someday. In some of my previous posts I have given details and asked guidance regarding only some of these “derailments.” And those I’ve shared here are only the very tip of the iceberg. Aglahad you probably have guessed by now that you have in fact found kar57’s wasp’s nest and given it a jab with your statement “Don't expect the government or military to hold your hand for the rest of your life. Nothing will be handed to you in the civilian world, if you don't perform they let you go.”

    Bruno: To clarify, you said, “92 year old Dad isn't going to lose his pension.”
    It’s my Mom – the 92 year old Army veteran having served in the WAC in WWII. And yes, she has indeed lost the VA pension before, not once but twice, and has only been receiving it for less than five years …on and off. Here’s the background. She and my Dad met while serving together (he, too, was enlisted Army in WWII) and married in 1945. They both were honorably discharged back when and he worked for Ford for many years and then followed his passion, not his pocketbook, into the world of newspaper journalism and for 30 years was the editor and publisher of a very small town weekly newspaper in the Midwest. While in his early 80’s he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Two years ago, at age 88, he passed away – Mom and Dad had been married for 65 years. A friend of theirs, an old Navy guy, had told them about VA benefits they could apply for – based on medical and financial need. That was about 7 years ago. I was the one who took it from there – researching, calling, writing, filling out form after form, being present for interviews and medical exams – at one point I was required to send in 1,000 pages of documentation – that is not a typo…one thousand pages – and then after almost 2 years of this “application process” – while Dad struggled mightily with his Alzheimer’s and still “cared” for Mom in their home 6 hours north of me, they were approved for Aid and Attendance pension. But it had taken too long and their situation became too precarious – financially and medically, and there was no end in sight to the requests for more information and for further review of the file, we had no choice to get them out of their house, somewhere safe, where they would receive the care and financial help they desperately needed – and so my husband and I built an addition on to our house and moved them in where I became their 24/7 caregiver – 4 ½ years ago. During their time here, the pension was first granted, then taken away, and then they were made to pay back what had been paid out to them, and then an “apology letter” came saying it was a glitch in the system. And after the arrival of the letter, months later, the pension was reinstated. “Hurry up and wait” with all kinds of extra “disappointment” and I’d say tragic results, the “pay this back” letter came two weeks before my father passed away and although he didn’t know anything about it or much else for that matter, my mother did –she was required to sign her name on one of the forms. It was nightmarish. At any rate, I don’t, my children don’t, we as a family DON’T trust/rely on the military/government for hand-holding, or hand-outs, or have expectations of automatically/indefinitely keeping what has already been hard-fought for.

    Thus,

    -I leave most of the VA pension money in Mom’s account, untouched, in the not-so-unusual event that the VA will ask for it all back.

    -My PLC son (former USNA candidate, former NROTC college programmer) will serve in the military and will put his Civil Engineering degree to use – somehow, some way. With the tightening of the budget belt in 2013 and drawdown in the military, PLC candidate with everything else good-to-go, not receiving a commission in 2014? After living life and observing life in this family, I see this as possible. And yes, that will be a messed up thing for him. But he is aware of this and making the smart decisions now.

    -The Foundation Prep son (high grades in top-rated high school in the state and now, again, high grades in prep program, making the Supe’s list first semester, receiving an additional academic scholarship and fitness scholarship in first semester…yet mediocre SAT/ACT tests in h.s. and now, again, in prep program – problematic? Don’t know. Will he be denied again for a USNA appointment in April? Reducing numbers at the Academy has been a popular topic on this Forum. Again, not out of the realm of possibility given my experiences, my kids’ experiences, with derailments. Messed up for him? Yes. But then, he, too, maintains his goal to serve in the military, one way or another, and get a college degree, one way or another.

    -Derailments for the married military couple (Marine and SEAL with baby on the way)? Personally and professionally? Common. Solutions and changes and work-arounds? Every time. Because of the nature of their jobs, I only mentioned in the original post some “mild” concerns as relates to the budget cuts regarding lives- but what weighs more heavily on me, our family, as Bruno pointed out is “the effect on the country. Our idiot politicians never understand the impact of their actions. They will still expect their soldiers to be "johnny on the spot" for their favorite crisis-du jour. They will still send soldiers, hips & airplanes into harms way, but that equipment will very likely be marginally maintained, and the people will be much less well trained. Then when they get all those soldier boys into a situation in which people will die because of those shortfalls.” Yes…that is the bigger picture that IS devastating on a national level. It IS what keeps ME up nights. In addition to the quite-possible-in-our-experience-so-far effects on folks close to me.

    I would apologize for the long post, but it seems my short post is what got this whole misunderstanding started.

    Bottom line, deep budget cuts concern many. My family and I included.
     
  17. falconfamily

    falconfamily Member

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    LG, I'm not quite sure your interpretation of China and it's spending on defense is correct. Quite to the contrary, China's military capacity is increasing as it's economy has grown. However, it is much less expensive for China to field military forces than the United States. i.e. No Tricare, no Pensions to speak of, rudimentary housing, etc. So it is not an apples to apples comparison to measure spending with regards to Chinese military aspirations. Rather, just look at what is happening to China's neighbors with respect to contested territories.

    http://articles.washingtonpost.com/..._1_chinese-diplomats-luo-yuan-military-growth
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    If the budget is cut, your kids may have to survive on their incomes alone. Terrifying.
     
  19. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I've likely misread the post, but I'm confused why she qualified for veterans benefits. Were they retired? Did she sustain an injury while on active duty? Being a veteran doesn't suddenly qualify you for care (as I found out as I left.)

    And don't worry there are PLENTY of people in the civilian world who are given much, which they have neither earn, nor paid for. And those who have earned their pay, and have done the work continue to prop them up.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    LITS,

    I think it is because her father and mother served AD in WWII.

    My Aunt went through a similar process back in the late 90's, and she collected a pension until she died at 89, 3 yrs ago. It was a unique aspect for WWII, and thus many people do not know of it these days.

    She actually got a huge check because of the yrs owed, plus they found that he had military death benefits, was also told she could live in Widows Enlisted Housing, but since she was from NJ and that was in TX, she didn't take them up on that part of the offer.

    As an AF wife of a retired officer, my bennies are very different. Bullet dies tomorrow, his retirement paycheck ends the same month. The same for spouses of members that die on AD if they re-marry. I know at least 5 women who will not re-marry because financially they will take a hit.

    Back in the late 80's survivor AD benefits were different, it was tied to rank, not the flat rate now.

    As you can see, even in 20 yrs it has changed a lot, imagine now going back 70 yrs to WWII.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2013

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