Allen B. West

Budget deal rips vets retirement

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My fellow veterans, below is the text of an email legislative update I received from the Military Officers Association of America. Please read and take action:


”A proposed bipartisan budget deal threatens to significantly slash retirement benefits for current and future military retirees, and it’s scheduled to be voted on by the House tomorrow.

The FY 2014 budget proposal drafted by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan includes a provision that cuts the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for military retirees by 1 percent a year until reaching age 62.

The cuts will have a devastating and long-lasting impact, reducing retired pay for those who serve a 20-year career by nearly 20 percent at age 62. An E-7 retiring at age 40 today would experience a loss of $83,000 in purchasing power — an O-5 would lose $124,000.

 Act now. Send your elected officials an MOAA-suggested message imploring them to reject this radical proposal that breaks faith with current and future military retirees, and threatens long-term readiness and retention in the uniformed services.”

This is what I most detested about Congress. A couple of folks get together with their respective committee staffs — often barely 25 years old — and make major policy decisions affecting the lives of Americans. These “deals” are done behind closed doors. Then a surprise briefing is produced, subsequently with a rushed vote, and voila, more BS for the American people to swallow. This is not how our legislative process within our constitutional republic was intended.

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Today, members of the House of Representatives will vote on this “budget deal” and I can guarantee you they will not have read it in entirety and certainly do not comprehend it.

However, they’re in a rush to get home so in the end you’ll be getting a lump of coal in your stocking for many Christmas seasons to come.

Our Congress does not principally solve problems, it just puts a band-aid over a sucking chest wound. To see that two individuals, Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray would covertly erode veteran benefits is truly disturbing. If anyone in America deserves the honor, thanks, and regards of the nation — and their hard earned benefits, it is our veterans.

Never forget the quote from George Washington, “future generations will regard their service to this nation, no matter how justified the war, based upon how well we have treated our veterans. “

The veteran network needs to light up the phones.

And a special hat tip to one of our many voices, the Military Officers Association of America, who recently extended their membership to senior Non- Commissioned Officers.

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