With hundreds of billions of dollars in defense budget cuts expected over the next 10 years, officials have been looking for places to slash expenses. A new report from The Center for American Progress offers some recommendations, but it may not go over too well with military personnel. The think tank suggests capping pay raises, eliminating health benefits for vets on employer-based plans and lowering retirement pay, according to Military Times.
The proposed changes were outlined in the October 31 report, Rebalancing Our National Security, and though certainly drastic, they could have a significant impact on Pentagon spending. In fact, capping pay raises could cut about $16.5 billion in the next five years.
Rethinking military pay raises has been a focus of the Pentagon as well. Officials have proposed just a 0.5 percent bump in 2015, 1 percent raise in 2016 and 1.5 in 2017. The small increases will offset recent raises that have been much higher than the general workforce.
"Congress should demonstrate political courage and allow the Department of Defense to execute this long-term plan," the report states, according to the publication.
Whether any of the recommended changes get implemented remains to be seen, as the amount that needs to be cut from the budget may change. However, if Congress fails to reach a deal by the end of the year, there would be across-the-board reductions, known as sequestration, which could cut an additional $500 billion over the next 10 years.