Regarding Swans' Dossier on the US Military Budget for FY2003 (February 11, 2002)
To the Editor:
The article by Gilles d'Aymery, 9-11: Overheard on Main Street, was real good.
That said,when analyzing the "US Military Budget for FY2003" article in such minute detail I have to take leave with you and "all" other media outlets. Similar to Goebbels of Nazi Germany.
Up until 1984 the "military retirees" monthly or yearly pay came "off the top" of the Defense Budget.
In 1984 congress and the administration signed a law wherein retired pay comes from a Treasury fund known as the Department of Defense Military Retirement Fund. US Code, Title 10, Sections 1461-67 details the management and execution of the Treasury/Department or Defense Military Retirement Fund.
Congress directed a switching to an accrual method of funding retirement. Under this procedure, each year the services transfer into the fund the amount necessary to pay for retirements effective FY 85 and beyond.
So, for FY 2003, there will be a transferred to this fund of some $34,000,000,000.00 for retired pay alone. NOW THIS DOES NOT APPEAR IN THE MILITARY BUDGET.
Now, you have to add a new entitlement of 3.9 billions to the fund for the NEWLY established TRICARE health care for "retirees" over age 65 plus an added nine hundred million for the concurrently authorized pharmaceuticals.
In effect your "Proposed military budget: $396.1 billion ...." translates to something like $435.9 billions.
To get to the translation of the authorization go to URL http://www.rand.org/publications/RB/RB3005/
US Military Budget for FY2003 (February 11, 2002)