The Ryan budget deal keeps getting better and better.
And by “better,” I mean much worse.
When I wrote about the cut for military retirees, I mentioned the possibility that this might be the only income some of them have.
The original sequestration had wonderful priorities in exempting personnel. Ryan is sacrificing those who have already served for the sake of more war power abroad. We already have a military that spends as much as the next ten nations combined. Why take away from military retirees (some of whom are completely dependent on that income exclusively) to feed an institution that loses trillions of dollars and can’t pass an audit?
At that time, I forgot to even consider disabled military retirees.
Just so we don’t get hysterical about this, there are some disabled military retirees who are doing quite well. The “disabled” classification is broader than many people realize and it can provide huge advantages for getting work as government contractors who want to say they are hiring a “disabled” person.
But there are also people who are seriously disabled, perhaps even resulting from injuries in the line of duty, who have nothing but their military retirement to rely upon.
Is it right to save the rest of the military from “drastic cuts,” as Ryan argues, by cutting into their retirement?
The Washington Free Beacon reports,
A provision cutting the pensions of military retirees in the bipartisan budget deal that the Senate will vote on this week does not exempt disabled veterans, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.
Disabled retirees were previously thought to be exempt from the changes to military retiree pay, which could cost servicemembers up to $124,000 over a 20-year period.
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.
As I said before, if we were finally making the drastic cuts necessary to save the US from the debt-destruction that is eating away at its prosperity, this might not be as evil. The retirees themselves might agree to it for the sake of their grandchildren. But that is not what is going on here. These people who were made promises about their retirement are being sacrificed for the sake increasing our military spending. We are both going into more debt and hurting our military retirees.
This budget is a sick joke. And it is proof that Paul Ryan couldn’t care less about people outside his own, Beltway, social group.