MOAA Named “Top Lobbyist.” The Hill, the largest-circulation newspaper on Capitol Hill, has published its annual list of “Top Lobbyists.” Once again, MOAA is the only military service organization on the association list.
MOAA Boos CAP Halloween Report. On Halloween, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released another batty proposal for huge cuts to military pay, retirement, and health care benefits. Trick or treat? You don’t have to wonder witch.
MOAA Named “Top Lobbyist”
The Hill, the largest-circulation newspaper on Capitol Hill, has published its annual list of “Top Lobbyists” and, for the sixth straight year, MOAA made the list.
“[MOAA President VADM Norb] Ryan is leading the charge to protect military healthcare and veterans benefits from the deep budget cuts that are on tap for 2013,” The Hill stated.
“We’re very proud and humbled to be recognized by The Hill,” Ryan said. “We appreciate the recognition very much for our work on behalf of the military and veterans community. It is the entire MOAA team - our board of directors, our entire staff, led by Col Steve Strobridge and his Government Relations team, our strong chapter system, our partners and our terrific members who give us One Powerful Voice! We’ll need that entire team more than ever in the challenging months ahead.”
MOAA Boos CAP Halloween Report
On Halloween, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released yet another report that is anything but a Halloween treat -- calling for huge cuts to military pay, retirement, and health care benefits.
Titled “Rebalancing Our National Security,” the report’s task force opposes the across-the-board cuts of sequestration, but suggests shifting more spending from the Defense Department to the State Department and Homeland Security. In CAP’s terminology, the intent would be to move from “offense” to “prevention” (non-military international engagement) and “defense.”
As part of that process, CAP recommends capping military pay raises, cutting troops assigned permanently in Europe and Asia, and scaling back military retirement and health care benefits.
Their retirement reform proposal is a retention-killing combination of the Defense Business Board and 10th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation recommendations. It would put new recruits under a 401K-like retirement system, and would grandfather only part of the current force.
Troops with 10 or more years of service could choose the existing plan or opt-in to the new 401K. Those with less than 10 years would have to choose the new 401K plan or be converted to a much-reduced retirement benefit that would provide 40 percent of basis pay for 20 years’ service…with payments delayed until age 60.
As if this doorstep gift bag were not sufficiently aflame, CAP would also cut back dramatically on TRICARE for Life coverage, imposing a $500 deductible and capping TFL coverage at 50% of the next $5,000 in annual health costs.
MOAA believes such attacks on career service benefits are reckless and misguided in the extreme.
They ignore that the current package of retirement and health benefits is the primary incentive to induce top-quality people to endure the extraordinary demands and sacrifices inherent in a 20-30 year career in uniform.
They also ignore that a far less-drastic retirement change imposed on new service entrants after 1986 had to be repealed after the Joint Chiefs of Staff complained it was undermining retention and readiness.
These kinds of trick-or-treat proposals would be ludicrous if the threat they’d pose to readiness weren’t so serious.