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updated 5:09 PM UTC, May 27, 2017

Ryan Defends Cuts to Military Retirees

  • Written by Bob Gabrielson
  • Published in News

(1/2/14) Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan defends an item in the federal budget compromise which cuts annual pension increases for those under 62 who retired from the military.  

The budget -- which Ryan helped negotiate as the chair of the House budget committee -- is drawing fire from veterans' groups. Gundel Metz from a V-F-W post in Madison says it's wrong to use veterans to balance the federal budget.  She said less than one-percent of the nation's population is in the military, and only a tenth of those veterans stay in service long enough to retire before 62.  She said police and fire-fighters are the only other groups who put their lives on the line -- and veterans should not have to worry about what they've been able to save up.  In a recent op-ed piece in U-S-A Today, Ryan defended the cut, which limits pay increases for younger military retirees to one-percent below inflation.  Ryan said the federal cost for each service member has grown by 41-percent since 2001, accounting for inflation but not counting the costs of the Iraq-and-Afghanistan conflicts.  Ryan noted that many military retirees are in their prime working years in their 30's-and-40's, and they're allowed to work while collecting full military pensions.  Some critics in Congress have already announced plans to introduce bills that would scrap the pension reductions.  

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