The Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2013, championed by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis, passed the House of Representatives today by a vote of 226-195. What this bill should’ve been called was the Military-Bait-and-Switch-Bill because all it does is spell bad news for the entire military community.
According to retired Air Force Col. Michael F. Hayden, Director of Government Relations at MOAA, the cumulative effect would be to cut the lifetime value of military retirement by roughly $83,000 for a typical enlisted member who retires at age 40 after 20 years’ service. The typical officer retiring at age 42 after 20 would lose about $124,000.
According to Rep. Paul Ryan, “We think it is only fair that hard-working taxpayers, who pay for the benefits that our federal employees receive, be treated fairly as well. We also think it is important that military families, as well as nonmilitary families are treated equally and fairly,” he said.
Apparently Rep. Ryan needs a lesson on fairness that we are more than happy to provide.
A Lesson On Fairness and the Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2013
Let’s start by looking at the word fair:
“We think it is only fair that hard-working taxpayers, who pay for the benefits that our federal employees receive, be treated fairly as well.” It’s almost as if Ryan is insinuating that military families and federal employees don’t pay taxes; oh wait, maybe we’re the “takers” he’s so fond of talking about.
He wants to call changing the rules on retirement benefits “fair”? That it’s fair to takeaway someone’s retirement pension after they’ve signed up for service or already retired from service?
What kind of punk move is it to change the rules midway through the game?
Here’s the next little gem: “We also think it is important that military families, as well as nonmilitary families are treated equally and fairly,” he said.”
Equally and fairly. What the hell does that even mean?
With an all-volunteer military, we count on citizens who are willing to answer the call to serve their country and, in exchange, we Americans have a social contract to honor the sacrifices our service members (and their families) make on behalf of the general population.
What does Congress consider to count as the value of the threat of loss of life and limb? Equally or fair are two words I’d never use to discuss an individual willingly putting their life on the line for 20+ years based on the promise of a benefits and entitlements in retirement.
As a daughter of a retiree under the age of 62 and a wife of an active duty service member, I am sickened by the idea that changing the rules on military retirement for current veterans and servicemembers would ever be considered anything but a betrayal of trust.
Tell Senators, #KeepYourPromise Or Lose My Vote
Email Your Legislators: Tell them to Vote No on the Bipartisan Budget Bill
Use MOAA’s tool, available here, to email your legislators about this important issue. It takes five minutes.
Take it to Twitter Using #KeepYourPromise
Tweet your senators and congresspeople and let them know that they cannot solve the nations budget crisis by asking those who have sacrificed the most to continue to sacrifice even more using hashtags #KeepYourPromise #KeepCOLA #NoVetCuts.
Here are some sample Tweets to get you started:
Congress, #KeepYourPromise to our #military #vets. They sacrificed their lives, don’t sacrifice their benefits . http://t.co/lI0G8bXW3u
Congress is throwing #milfams under the bus & taking from the 1% who have sacrificed #KeepYourPromise #KeepCOLA
Tell Congress to keep #KeepYourPromise! Vote against the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013. Email your legislators here: http://t.co/lI0G8bXW3u
Join us on December 16, 2013 at 9:00pm EST on Twitter using #KeepYourPromise to discuss how the Bipartisan Budget Bill will affect your military family, what you can do to remind your Senator to #KeepYourPromise to our military families, and help us raise our collective voices to stop this bill in its tracks!