The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that disabled veterans will not be exempt from the pension cuts included in the budget deal currently being considered in the Senate.
The story reports:
The Free Beacon previously reported that military retirees under the age of 62 would receive 1 percentage point less in their annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the plan crafted by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.).
The section of the U.S. code that has been altered also applies to disabled servicemembers, many of whom have been wounded in combat.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, called the change “unthinkable.”
“It has been asserted that the controversial change to military retirees’ pensions affects those who are ‘working-age’ and ‘still in their working years,’ with the clear suggestion being that these individuals are able to work,” Sessions said in a statement. “That’s why I was deeply troubled when my staff and I discovered that even individuals who have been wounded and suffered a service-related disability could see their pensions reduced under this plan.”
“It is unthinkable that this provision would be included in a deal that spares current civilian workers from the same treatment,” he said. “An equivalent amount of savings and more can be easily found, and I hope the Senate will move to address the unbalanced treatment of our servicemembers before considering the legislation any further.”
This is simply obscene, and it really bothers me that I haven’t seen this provision commented on in any major news outlet.
The article further reports:
Rep. Ryan told the Weekly Standard that the changes are appropriate because servicemen and women who retire in their 40s after serving for two decades are still young enough to maintain a job.
“We give them a slightly smaller adjustment for inflation because they’re still in their working years and in most cases earning another paycheck,” Ryan said.
Sens. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), and Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.) have said they are opposed to the deal because it cuts the benefits of military retirees, while not imposing equal cuts to federal civilian workers.
Paul Ryan is clearly on the wrong side of this issue. When anyone currently in the military joined the military, they were promised a certain pension if they retired after so many years of active duty or if they were retired due to injury. This is a breach of contract as well as a disgrace. The reason the cuts went to the military and not the federal civilian workers is that the federal civilian workers have unions–our military does not. This is simply wrong.