Service members should be better informed

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Editor’s note: Military Update will move to Tuesdays beginning next week. Many service members are not well informed about their hodgepodge of pays, allowances, benefits and tax breaks and therefore don’t recognize and appreciate the real worth of their compensation packages. The observation is made in a Government Accountability Office […]

Plan adopted to study retirement changes

By Tom Philpott: Military Update The Defense Advisory Committee on Military Compensation has adopted an “action plan” to study private-sector-like changes to military pay and retirement, the kind that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has endorsed for several years. The committee of seven “eminent authorities in the fields of compensation,” as described by the department, adopted […]

Flaws discovered in disability benefits

By Tom Philpott: Military Update A commission conducting the first major review of veterans’ disability benefits in 50 years was warned at its inaugural meeting that perhaps too many veterans have been deemed “unemployable,” which raises their compensation to the level of 100-percent disabled veterans. Renee L. Szybala, director for operations of VA’s Compensation and […]

Misdeeds of few shouldn’t tarnish all

By Walter Williams In the wake of the Enron and WorldCom corporate scandals, the purveyors of envy have found another opportunity to preach about what they consider the evils of high CEO salaries, retirements and bonuses. After all, according to them, evil must be afoot when a corporate executive earns more in a week than […]

Endangered species listing needs regulation

CNJ staff The proposed removal from the endangered species list of the rodent formerly known as the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse is obviously something to cheer. But it likely won’t happen without a protracted battle against those who are exploiting the Endangered Species Act to dictate land use decisions everywhere in the country. More than […]

Oregon law reins in liberal land-use policies

Freedom Newspapers One shouldn’t put too much stock in the blue state vs. red state phenomenon described by political analysts. One of the most significant victories of the Nov. 2 election for believers in limited government came in the heart of blue country. Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 37, which reins in some of the […]

Location could affect disability claims

Tom Phillpot: Military Update More than two years after congressional auditors scored it as a problem, the Department of Veterans Affairs still has no way to assess whether its 57 regional offices are consistent in deciding disability claims for veterans suffering from the same type and severity of impairment. The Government Accountability Office, in recent […]

Agreement means more money for vets

Tom Philpott Congress and the Bush administration have agreed to a $22.1 billion deal over 10 years that will dramatically pare back a century-old ban on “concurrent receipt” of both military retired pay and tax-free disability compensation for injuries or illnesses traced to time in service. Up to 200,000 disabled retirees with 20 or more […]

New plan in works for offset retired pay

Tom Philpott With fewer strings attached this time to avoid the ire of veterans’ groups, House leaders are nearing a new deal with the Bush administration to end for many military retirees the offset in retired pay that occurs when they draw disability pay from the Department of Veterans Affairs. The deal would cost an […]

Volume is cause of wait for applications

By Tom Philpott Tens of thousands of military retirees still intend to apply for the new Combat-Related Special Compensation. Though the first CRSC applications were filed in early June, only about 1,000 were reviewed and 100 approved in time for payments to begin July 1. Given the volume of applications, waits of two to three […]