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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Military Supporters Uncertain Who to Root for in Deficit Reduction Battle

  • November 17, 2011
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Ardent supporters of the military, a group which includes many veterans and retirees, probably are torn over whether to root for the success of the congressional debt supercommittee, according to a column in Thursday’s Stars and Stripes.

Success in passing a deficit reduction plan could bring a variety of cuts, including higher out-of-pocket costs for retirees and an increase in co-payments on prescriptions filled through Tricare. Failure, on the other hand, flirts with the possibility that national defense will suffer gravely if automatic spending cuts approaching $600 billion are imposed on the Pentagon’s budget, according to the warning echoed by top defense officials.

According to one retired Marine Corps Reserve major general, however, retirees would accept reasonable fee increases, reports Stars and Stripes.

“Retirees get it,” said Arnold Punaro, a member of the Defense Business Board. “They say, ‘Look, if everybody is sacrificing, we’re willing to pay our fair share.’ They don’t want to see a weak military 20 years from now.”

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