Recent Budget Compromise Hurts a Large Number of Military Retirees

This is a good news and bad news situation. We should all be pleased that finally Congressional leaders were able to actually sit down together and reach a compromise regarding the budget which avoids another crises and potential government shutdown. As with any compromise the parties at the table have to give and take and as a result, nobody gets everything they want. If you read any of my 55 Blogs to date, then you will know that I’m a huge advocate of compromise. Our system of divided government demands compromise to get anything done. However, it’s no secret that for quite some time now, the White House and Congress have been unable to put the best interests of our Nation above partisan politics. The good news is that a few of our leaders in Congress put aside their bickering long enough to put together a modest budget plan. I personally applaud their efforts and support passing this budget bill and like millions of other Americans, I hope this is the start of compromises and progress on a wide range of issues that have stalled because our leaders have forgotten that they are Americans first and Republicans and Democrats second.
Once this bill is passed, then we must readdress its glaring problem regarding how it proposes to cut benefits for our military retirees. As reported in USA Today, it specifically cuts pension cost of living raises by one percentage point for military retirees who are not disabled and not yet 62 years old. Cost of living raises are needed to keep pace with inflation. Luckily this portion of the bill will not take effect immediately so there is time to correct this provision. As Americans, we must ensure that our military retirees receive their full cost of living raises. The benefits and care for our military men and women must not be a target for budget cutting. We owe them a huge debt for their defense of our country and our way of life.
Paul Okum has 40 years’ experience with the Federal Government in the Departments of Transportation, Interior, Army, and Defense in leadership positions, including being a US Army officer. Mr. Okum has written “Leadership DNA,” a guide book about identifying, selecting, and developing natural born leaders. This book describes the art of leadership including how to deal with poor managers.
For more information about Paul Okum and “Leadership DNA,” visit

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