Paul Ryan Justifies Cutting Veteran Pensions: “We Just Freed Up $6 Billion For Readiness”

In other words, we just freed up $6 billion for military contractors and other people who have lobbying budgets.

Here’s the full audio courtesy of the Daily Caller.

Right out the gate Paul Ryan appeals to the need to deal with a supposed “readiness” crisis. Of course, that totally rings true because Hawaii and Alaska and the Lower Forty-Eight are in constant danger of invasion from a foreign superpower.

No, I’m being sarcastic; it doesn’t ring true at all. Our last domestic attack used box cutters, we are told, and it completely defeated our well-financed military defenses. That has nothing to do with an alleged “readiness crisis.”

We have a readiness crisis because we want to be ready to go to war in multiple foreign theaters at once. That’s not a real readiness crisis; that’s an overreach problem for a government that has to depress its own economy in order to keep the interest on the debt it owes low enough for it to keep paying. Instead of paring down expectations and ordering an orderly withdrawal from all the foreign countries where we garrison troops and bringing them home, Ryan thinks it is better to shake some cash from our troops. The Daily Caller estimated the numbers we are talking about in an earlier post:

The House voted 332-94 on December 12 to approve the two-year budget deal, which slashes the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for veteran retirees by one percent per year until the veterans turn 62 years of age. MOAA [Military Officers Association of America] calculated that a veteran who retired at the E-7 pay grade, equivalent to a Sergeant first class, at age 40 would lose $83,000 in post-retirement purchasing power while an O-5 senior officer would lose $124,000.

But none of these people has the power to call Ryan or any of his Republican colleagues on the phone and get them to take their calls. You know that there are people work in the defense industry who have exactly that kind of juice with Ryan and other politicians.

So let’s just remind ourselves. “The military” is not the soldiers; “the military” is the structure that sometimes fails to pay the soldiers because their financial accounting system is so bad. The Pentagon has not been auditable for many years due to “serious financial management problems” that are never fixed.

Back even before the sudden influx of cash that cash after “Government Empowerment Day” (September 11, 2001), the Pentagon had already publicly admitted to losing track of what happened to $2.3 Trillion!

So now we have to take away money from the troops to give billions to the military-industrial complex. That doesn’t sound like a conservative position.