Author Topic: Paul Ryan Doubles Down on Cutting Veteran Pensions  (Read 322 times)

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Offline flowers

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Paul Ryan Doubles Down on Cutting Veteran Pensions
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:04:30 AM »
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/12/22/Paul-Ryan-doubles-down-on-move-to-cut-pensions-for-veterans

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House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has doubled down on his move to cut pensions for military veterans in a USA Today op-ed published Sunday.

In the op-ed, Ryan opens up by highlighting the CBO estimate that the deal he cut with Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) would result in at least $20 billion in deficit reduction. “The Bipartisan Budget Act that Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and I drafted will soon become law,” Ryan wrote. “We think it's a small step toward fiscal discipline in Washington. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill will reduce the deficit over the next ten years by over $20 billion. And unlike current law, it will provide much-needed relief to our already strained defense budget.”

As Breitbart News has reported, Ryan’s and Murray’s budget deal does not reduce the deficit. In fact, the deal raises the deficit by at least $15.5 billion because of a series of gimmicks that Ryan and Murray employed in the accounting of the deal -- namely, double counting of savings like the tactic which was employed in Obamacare, and the failure to include an estimate of the interest on the borrowed money for the first couple of years of increased spending. These are only a few among a series of other misleading statements Ryan has made about the deal.

The rest of Ryan’s op-ed is devoted to defending his decision to cut $6 billion worth of military pensions. "One part of the bill has become particularly controversial: the reduction in cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for working-age military retirees,” Ryan wrote. “The federal government has no greater obligation than to keep the American people safe and we must take care of the men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line. For that reason, Congress is understandably hesitant to make changes to military compensation. But even hesitance has a cost." Citing the rising cost per service member since 2001, he then claimed that the need for reform is "undeniable."

Ryan cited and praised President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for his stance on the issue as well. Ryan wrote, “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a combat vet himself, has said ‘that we can no longer put off military compensation reform. DOD's leadership, Chairman Dempsey, the service chiefs, the service secretaries, and myself, we all know that we need to slow cost growth in military compensation. Otherwise, we'll have to make disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization.’”

Ryan then detailed what he says the changes to military veterans’ pensions would specifically do to veterans:

    Here's what the new law will do. We make no changes for those currently at or above age 62. This reform affects only younger military retirees. Right now, any person who has served 20 years can retire—regardless of age. That means a serviceman who


Offline Oceander

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Re: Paul Ryan Doubles Down on Cutting Veteran Pensions
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2013, 11:15:32 AM »
The full Ryan quote that starts at the bottom of the OP:

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Here's what the new law will do. We make no changes for those currently at or above age 62. This reform affects only younger military retirees. Right now, any person who has served 20 years can retire—regardless of age. That means a serviceman who enlists at 18 becomes eligible for retirement at 38. The late 30s and early 40s are prime working years, and most of these younger retirees go on to second careers.

That is not an unreasonable change.  In law school I new several folks who had done their twenty and retired from the armed forces; they were all in their late 30s or early 40s.  At least one of them went on to a rather lucrative career.  Someone like that has a lot less of a need for military retirement benefits than does a retiree who is over the age of 62.  This is essentially the same thing that Ryan proposed for starting to get social security back on track:  reducing benefits for those under retirement age but not for those who were at or near retirement age and therefore not in a position to replace the lost benefits through work.


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