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Military pension cuts: Indignant military veterans speak out against budget deal

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Military pension cuts are causing many indignant veterans to speak out against a new budget deal that would likely incur significant cuts to our nation’s retired armed forces. The pension hits are worth roughly one percentage point from the annual pay increase to U.S. service members no longer working — yet still considered part of the new $2 trillion budget deal that Congress formally passed earlier this month — and might very well start a political battle when U.S. government officials come back to work in 2014. The Inquisitr shares the details on this potential face-off this Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.

These military pension cuts are expected to be met with fierce opposition from indignant veterans, while U.S. lawmakers are currently promising that these cuts are to be examined again once Congress makes its return this January after the holiday season is over. A majority of Republicans are against this budget deal, citing the military pay decreases as a major factor in their resistance to its passage. Prominent GOP figure, Rep. Paul Ryan, however, feels that our country needs to reform and revolutionize the U.S. military’s overall pay structure soon and efficiently.

“There’s simply no choice between responsible reforms of military compensation and making what our military leadership has called ‘disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization,’” Ryan recently wrote, having served as a key factor in devising the budget deal itself. “To be clear, the money we save from this reform will go right back to the military. Veterans aren’t Washington’s piggy bank. They deserve fair compensation. And we owe them a benefit structure they can count on.”

Democratic Senator Patty Murray added that choosing to go back on this budget deal, regardless of these potential military pension cuts, would be far more problematic than allowing these pay decreases to continue.

“Jeopardizing this deal right now only threatens our national security, and it will force layoffs of those very service members and civilian military personnel that so many members have come out here to speak for,” Murray said in a National Public Radio comment.

Overall, these budget cuts are estimated to save our country roughly $6 billion. While this certainly is a substantial sum, it counts for less than 0.5 percent of the overall proposed budget that needs to be lowered, leaving it little more than a drop in the bucket. The military pension cuts would affect service members under age 62, while nearly 850,000 of the 2 million armed forces veterans that receive pension income are currently under that age.

“A sergeant first class who retires at age 40 could stand to lose $72,000 by the time he turns or she turns age 62,” said Repubican New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte.

This example has left many military veterans indignant about such a massive pay cut to nearly half of these retirees, and encouraging them to speak out against the budget cut’s stipulations.

“Many veterans often struggle financially and rely on their pensions and other government benefits. An estimated 900,000 veterans currently require help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, just to buy food, according to a report on the Military.com website.”

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