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Budget deal may cut military pensions, unemployment benefit

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The budget deadline of Dec. 13 is fast approaching with the threat of avoiding another government shutdown waning in the balance.

Budget chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash) may be close to a deal that could trim $20 billion from federal pensions.

Ryan is proposing changes in the way military pensions are calculated so retirees will end up with less money.

According to Politico, House Armed Services Committee Chair Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said, “Forty-four cents of every dollar we spend goes to military personnel,” and claims federal pensions should be cut.

In front of television cameras, Republicans wave the flag in support of US military personnel. But behind closed doors, they are taking aim at their pensions.

Another key item on the table is cuts to unemployment insurance benefits, which some Republicans believe causes laziness and dependence on government. On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said, "When you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy."

If the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program is not renewed in this budget deal, approximately 1.3 million Americans will lose their benefits.

With the federal deficit shrinking at a record pace, additional cuts to spending may only make life harder for a struggling working class and American military personnel.

The Sequester cuts have already put a drag on the economy with cuts to programs like Meals on Wheels, childhood education, medical and science research, and the military.

The next round of automatic Sequester cuts are scheduled to kick-in on March 1, 2014, and will take another $80 billion out of the US economy.

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