Tax hikes and unsecured spending cuts peppered throughout the recent bipartisan congressional budget deal have caused fiscal conservatives plenty of concern in recent days. One of the more egregious inclusions in the plan, however, is the effect it will have on current and future members of the armed forces.
In the deal reached by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and Democrat Sen. Patty Murray, pensions for military personnel are included in budgetary cuts. Both current veterans and active-duty soldiers will see their pensions slashed. Going forward, cost of living adjustments will be limited to one percent under the rate of inflation.
Worst of all, soldiers promised they would be safe from these cuts are now learning they now face a less secure retirement. Barack Obama vowed that active-duty military personnel would be grandfathered into their existing plan no matter what changes might occur. His support of this deal, however, just marks the latest issue on which he has changed course without notice.
Conspicuously, proposed cuts to federal employee pensions will affect only new hires. Those currently locked into a public-sector job will be able to plan for their retirement based on current projections.
Of course, Obama’s dismissive attitude toward the military is hardly news to millions of Americans who have criticized his defense policies throughout the past five years. The fact that Ryan approved these pension changes, however, is distressing to many patriots across the U.S.
To be sure, there is precious little common ground on which fiscal conservatives and big-spending leftists can stand. Still, a Democrat party vehemently opposed to passing a true budget has virtually been given total reign over the nation’s spending trajectory.
Naturally, therefore, the insufficient spending cuts included in this deal do not address mismanaged, wasteful entitlement programs in any meaningful way. Instead, the men and women tasked with protecting our freedoms abroad and at home are once again receive short shrift from the federal government.
–B. Christopher Agee
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