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Don’t look to veteran benefits for savings

To the editor:

After reading the Sept. 16 article headlined “Military retirement changes cause worry,” I felt compelled to respond. I also felt several other emotions that you couldn’t print.

The proposal to phase out lifetime pensions should have never gotten off the drawing board. The Pentagon advisory board members who came up with this recommendation should be demoted or fired and the House subcommittee members who think that this is a good idea should be voted out of office.

This is a slap in the face to all our brave men and women of our armed forces who chose to make the military their career, and whom in a moment’s notice can find their lives placed in harm’s way. That this is now their government’s way of finding budget savings is just beyond me.

I have a better recommendation. How about all our senators and representatives change their federal pensions to 401(k) accounts? Since about half of these elected officials are millionaires, I don’t see a problem. Do you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer?

The current salary for a member of Congress is around $174,000 plus “special allowances.” And let’s not forget, lifetime premium health benefits for only five years of service. Try finding that in the private sector.

The good news is that we as citizens have a recourse to this example of yet more disgusting behavior by our elected officials. Vote them out of office.



Personal coffers

To the editor:

So Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., says she didn’t use her influence to help her husband’s nephrology practice and pad her own personal fortune. Hmm.

If that is the case, why does she go by Berkley instead of her husband’s name, Lehrner? Hiding her connection to her husband so the public doesn’t put two and two together? Why did she target nephrology specifically in her successful bid to stop possible Medicare cuts? There are plenty of other diseases such as cancer, heart disease, etc., that she could have specifically supported.

Oh, I forgot, her husband is not an oncologist or cardiologist.

Why didn’t she work to stop attempts to cut dollars from our veterans’ medical programs? They have served, protected and defended our freedom, and now our government is trying to take away the benefits they have earned.

How stupid does she think the public is?

Since she claims that she didn’t do this for her personal benefit, I’d like to suggest that Rep. Berkley and her husband reimburse the Treasury for every penny that came their way via her back-room shenanigans.

After she has done that, then and only then would I even listen to her campaign rhetoric about how she should be elected senator, with even more power to direct American tax dollars into her own personal coffers.



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