Clawback

what OurBetters™ think of US

This is what comes of The People not riding our elected representatives like rented, red-headed mules.

…nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers have been ordered to repay huge enlistment bonuses a decade after signing up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The Pentagon demanded the money back after audits revealed overpayments by the California Guard under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals. If soldiers refuse, they could face interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens

The LATimes broke this story but they have a pay-wall. Guess they don’t need eyeballs/clicks.

How did this happen?

money improperly doled out by a California National Guard official who gamed the Army’s incentive system and distributed about $100 million in unwarranted bonuses between 2005 and 2010…

…Retired Master Sgt. Toni Jaffe in 2012 was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and required to repay $15.2 million after pleading guilty to fraud. Several other officers also later pleaded guilty to misusing the funds.

Yeah. I’m sure Retired Master Sgt. Toni Jaffe has the $15.2 million and will pay it back real soon, now.

Meanwhile…

In the past four years, the Army has collected $22 million from soldiers who should not have received retention or re-enlistment bonuses.

It’s not like this came a sudden surprise to military beancounters nor legislators.

Past efforts to help the soldiers have failed, including a measure that state military officials submitted to the defense budget two years ago that would have more quickly resolved complaints from soldiers. [Congressman John Garamendi, D-Solano], a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said the proposal did not win support from his peers. He called it “half baked.”

So now — two years later — after a big LAT article and media bugle — Garamendi has decided he can do something about it. Good for you. Way to run out in front of a parade.

”Bottom line: our veterans should not pay the price for mistakes that were made by recruiters. I am authoring legislation today to prevent the Department of Defense from seeking to force our veterans to pay back these bonuses, and I am publicly urging the National Guard Bureau, the Department of Defense, and Office of Management and Budget to get a head start by granting waivers on any erroneously paid enlistment bonuses that fall within their authority,” Garamendi continued.

…Garamendi’s first legislative fix involves amending the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 as follows:

“None of the funds authorized to be appropriated in this act may be used to recoup any monetary incentive or associated interest issued for the purpose of recruitment or reenlistment given to any member of the National Guard of any state between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008.”

well…. It’s a start.

This language would put a halt to the recoupment of incentive payments until a permanent solution can be implemented. Garamendi is continuing to investigate the legal barriers and mechanisms which led to what he believes is a misguided policy and will pursue every avenue to ensure that Guardsmen are better protected in such matters going forward.

We shall see what happens when the media spotlight moves on…

Still, what better way to insure a country will have no fighting force available than to betray them time and again with broken promises [V.A. medicine] and demands of repayment.

5 Comments!

  1. JimB
    Posted October 25, 2016 at 10:56 am |

    What if they had a war and nobody came????

  2. DougM (not as deplorable as one might think)
    Posted October 25, 2016 at 11:13 am |

    “None of the funds authorized to be appropriated in this act ….”
    However, the lawyer said, don’t say nuthin’ ’bout the funds collected in this effort bein’ used to collect other funds in this effort.

  3. Paul Moore
    Posted October 26, 2016 at 5:21 am |

    My history is a bit hazy, didn’t Wilson do something like this to the WW1 vets?

  4. The_Invisible_Hand
    Posted October 30, 2016 at 9:45 am |

    Back in the day, before elections decided Insurance Commissioner, Garamemdi appointed to role by Gov Moonbeam, I believe. As a principal in an ins co at time, he was rather embarrassing. Always working on his JFK syntax while scouring his horizon for a better office. Simply a hack.

    I am very interested in having our govt go after the $15m mistaken payment you reference in post. Military, or not, taking money you know not yours entirely unacceptable. I originally thought errors under a few thousand dollars per soldier. If anyone received more than $5k, or somesuch similar number, in error they’d better be willing to work out a payment plan.

  5. The_Invisible_Hand
    Posted October 30, 2016 at 9:54 am |

    Oooops, we got the $15m. Great.

    And, within reason, if someone received chunky checks and just pocketed money, then they need to deal with that. If it was $100 a month, or so, then I can see not noticing. Yet, if it came in $1,000, or more, increments large, then I’m far less likely to look other way.