Broken Promises? House Budget Plan Slashes Vets’ Pensions
Has the government broken its promise to America’s veterans? The House approved a budget that would cut pension payments to hundreds of thousands of troops. The news upset military spouses, including Babette Maxwell. She’s part of a group holding a Twitter town hall tonight, asking the Senate to reject the cuts.
Maxwell’s husband is a Naval officer who plans to retire soon after two decades of service. Tonight on The Kelly File, Maxwell called the bipartisan budget agreement by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) “ridiculous.”
She said 600,000 military retirees will be impacted by this legislation. “[Rep. Ryan’s] not active duty nor is he a retiree. And for the average enlisted service member, talking about an $83,000 cut over the course of those working age years … that’s quite a bit of a per month deduction simply because [Congress] needs to go back and retroactively pay bills they couldn’t afford in the first place.”
President Obama previously asked Congress to grandfather in those already in the retiree system and active duty members if they made any changes to military benefits. Maxwell said, “We don’t have a union representing us. All we have is our faith in our government to honor the promises that they have made to those who have served.”
She pointed out that some families even stayed in the military longer at the behest of Congress. “This is not a social welfare program. These are our earned benefits.”
Maxwell said a consequence of this bill is that people will be less likely to volunteer for the military. That’s something she says Americans need to be aware of.