December 22, 2013

JUST ANOTHER SPECIAL INTEREST:

First shots fired on military compensation (Jeremy Herb, 12/21/13, The Hill)

The battle over military retirement benefits in the budget deal was the first skirmish in a larger compensation war, and next year's outcome could determine the fate of long-protected military compensation programs.

Budget experts and veterans groups say the retirement benefits fight will serve as a test case to see what appetite there is on Capitol Hill to actually cut military compensation costs -- and how much blowback will come from those efforts.

"There's no doubt that this is a little bit of a weather vane, a litmus test as to what the veterans and military communities' tolerance is going to be for this, and what types of cuts we're going to be willing to tolerate and what types of cuts we're going to fight on," said Alex Nicholson, legislative director for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

"And what you saw I think from us was an absolute tip of the iceberg," he said.

Compensation costs had long been off limits for budget cutters, but military leaders have begun calling for reforms to retirement benefits, TRICARE and more after dealing with the dual problems of budget squeezes from sequestration and ballooning personnel costs. 
Posted by at December 22, 2013 11:51 AM
  
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