The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them. – Ernest Hemingway
Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm.
This week’s topics include the bipartisan budget deal, NBA teams, unemployment, Berlin Wall, the winter Olympics, military service academies and sexual assaults, acceptance of gays and lesbians in the U.S, REO Speedwagon and Chicago, Nancy Pelosi speaks and speaks, and much more!
Late Monday evening, I happened to catch the story from The Hill about senior White House officials and congressional leaders striking a deal to raise the debt limit and set the federal budget for the next two years.
We’ll see how this “deal” works out. These are not really “deals.” What they do is give everyone enough stuff they want so they can get enough votes to pass it. Then it’s out of sight so they can work on what’s most important: The next election.
It will also give them more time to impeach the head of the IRS – because who doesn’t want to stick it to the IRS – it’s a good way to raise money and get more votes!
The “next” election is where they promise to stop doing things like they just did if we send enough of their like-minded people to Washington to fight.
That’s the big lie.
Military retirees are getting the short end of the stick in the budget deal struck by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).
According to the Associated Press, the budget deal:
Reduces retirement benefits for working-age military retirees, including those who retire early because of disability. Starting Dec. 1, 2015, the cost-of-living adjustment for pensions received by people under 62 would be modified to equal inflation minus 1 percent. Upon reaching 62, retirees would receive a “catch-up” increase that would restore their pensions to levels as if the cost-of-living adjustment had been the full consumer price index in all previous years. The change would save $6 billion.
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) put it this way:
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) today joined U.S. Senators and other leading military and veterans groups calling on Congress to reject a key component of the Congressional budget agreement that would reduce the annual cost-of-living adjustment for military retirees and survivors, leading to a 20 percent cut to retirement benefits over the course of their lives.
According to Military.com, “The cumulative effect would be to cut the lifetime value of military retirement by roughly $83,000 for a typical enlisted member who retires at age 40 after 20 years’ service. The typical officer retiring at age 42 after 20 would lose about $124,000.”