Friday, January 17, 2014

A Modest Proposal

A serious issue in the US military, one that has taken years to slowly percolate, has recently become a central point of concern and contention. It is one that most definitely needs to be addressed, as it affects military readiness. But finding a solution has been difficult as politicians and those representing service members butt heads over how best to define the issue and remedy the problem.

The issue: how to pay for all the things.

The solution, according to Congress, the President, and four gregarious taintgrenades, is "entitlement reform."

Which is a fun way of saying, "take away money earned from people who don't legally have the voices to complain and call it *fair*." It is the most popular solution according to most members of Congress and a whole lot of taintgrenades.

I would like to propose a modest solution that will solve many issues. It requires only three actions:

  1. Congresscritters earn extremely generous entitlements for a quarter of the time served of military personnel. Clearly, it's only fair that they, too, share in the pain as the country learns fiscal responsibility. Instead of earning a generous retirement when they come into their political positions after having already established a career, and able to resume that career after their political terms have ended, and since they also have a very clear ability to earn a living from speaking engagements after their terms are over, they don't really need that retirement. Instead, this money should be forfeited in order to ensure we can balance our budget.
  2. Retired generals and admirals have typically given thirty years of service or more when they retire. Those who go on to earn metric fucktons of cash through defense contractor work or "think tank" employment might have only ten years of retirement before they earn their full COLA. To be fair, they won't miss any of their retirement, as they were part of a minority (as officers of high rank) able to easily secure employment built on their military experience. For those ten years, until they reach age 62, their entire retirement could likewise be used to balance the budget. Extrapolating on the logic of Congress, service and earned entitlements are inversely proportional; therefore, those who've served longer deserve the entitlements less.
  3. The staff of USA Today, Reiham Salam, Michael Moffett, Senator Hagel, Rep. Paul Ryan, and their cohorts have a flavor reminiscent of tea and crumpets. We should eat them. They would provide excellent sustenance during the months of unemployment. Warning: they're not vegan.
This proposal, which I offer with all modesty, could either ensure service members might have the COLA they were promised when they agreed to serve...or it could be a show of solidarity from those who believe military personnel are greedy bastards who got into this fucked up shitshow of a career path for the money.