Veterans should not be part of budget cuts
Published: Thursday, December 19th, 2013
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told MSNBC’s Morning Joe show Monday that retired veterans should face cuts in their checks as the federal government looks for ways to trim expenditures. We have two words for you, Sen. Schumer, “Back Off!” Uncle Sam made a contract with our military veterans who raised their hands and vowed to protect and defend this country and its Constitution, and that contract will not be altered, and certainly not cut.
“Civilian federal employees have been cut, cut, cut. I think there was a feeling, if you’re going to cut them further, which was done, that the military retirees should have about an equal amount. It’s small,” Schumer said on the MSNBC television show.
Military service personnel under the age of 62 would have to take a 1 percent cut to their retirement benefits under a recent budget plan put together by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). (As a conflict of interest declaration, this writer is a retired veteran over the age of 62 who would not be affected by this cut). As would be expected, the plan has come under fire from military and veterans organization, as well it should.
It’s interesting that non-veterans like Schumer, Ryan and Murray would even have the gall to propose cutting military retirement benefits by any amount. When someone enlists in the U.S. military it is with the understanding that they can retire after 20 years of service with a certain percentage of their base active duty pay. It is also understood that the military, like other federal employees, will receive a COLA, or cost of living adjustment annually.
“I think (Rep.) Paul Ryan and (Sen.) Patty Murray looked everywhere they could to try and find compromise. Everybody had to take a little,” Schumer said. “They’re going to have to pay a tiny, little bit into it, which they never have,” he added. What about Congress, we ask.
Schumer maintained that members of Congress should not be forced to take a pay cut. He said they have already sacrificed since they have not seen a pay raise “in a long time,” and most of them are paying more for healthcare insurance. “We have taken pretty big cuts,” Schumer said.
Why is it that we don’t feel any sympathy for these members of Congress? Could it be that they are complaining about the results of the very bills they have passed, like Obamacare? And, nobody forces them to run for reelection when their terms are up.
As far as pay raises for Congress goes, forget about it. When their approval rate goes above 10 percent, we might consider it. In the meantime, they all become millionaires while serving their terms in the House and Senate, so it is extremely difficult to feel sorry for the fact that they haven’t had a pay raise in years and are now having to pony up a little more for their health insurance.
Retired military veterans are justified in their feelings of betrayal by these federal pension cuts. They have earned their pay by the sacrifices they have made for their country, many more sacrifices than any member of Congress has ever made.
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