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Monday, December 23, 2013

Divided Government Saved Vet Pensions From Full Tilt Paul Ryan

Crazy logic, eh?

As you can see, that was a Twitter convo from five days ago and it clearly showed to me that conservatives either don't know what's going on within their own ideological platform, or they don't know Paul Ryan. Because what Ryan did with military pensions was conservatism at its most basic level.

Remember back in May of 2012 when Paul Ryan came to the defense of our military during the political maneuvering over sequestration? He not only said that the sequester is bad policy and should be replaced, he invoked September 11th to remind us of the risks should America renege on the "sacred" promises made to take care of our troops.

Military Crippling Sequester Must be Stopped Excerpt:
Sequestration would force the greatest Armed Forces in history to its knees, resulting in the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1916, and the smallest Air Force in our history.

We would risk ceding our special role in world affairs to countries such as Russia and China, who are both vastly expanding their military power.

We would risk breaking faith with our all-volunteer military, reneging on sacred promises made to care for the health and well-being of our troops and our veterans.

We would risk the gains made against global terrorism and risk our ability to prevent another September 11th attack.

That was Paul Ryan's politics speaking. Fast forward to now...

The need to reform Military Compensation Excerpt:
Although the military’s retirement program serves only a small minority of the force—about 17 percent of military personnel eventually qualify for retired pay—it provides an exceptionally generous benefit, often providing 40 years of pension payments in return for 20 years of service.

Conclusion: Current levels of military compensation are incompatible with the overall demands on the defense budget.

Those are Ryan's principles speaking. But it gets even worse. Ryan wanted deeper cuts and it would have been much worse for military veterans if it wasn't for divided government...

Daily Beast Excerpt:
Murray pointed out that Ryan, whom she called “a tough negotiator,” originally wanted $20 billion in increased pension contributions, and she got him down to $6 billion from federal workers and $6 billion from service members...

Remember again how Ryan said the sequester was bad policy and should be replaced?

Hannity Excerpt:
Paul Ryan: That's what this agreement does. Doesn't get rid of the sequester. It actually -- the Democrats went into this saying no sequester at all. Now they've agreed to keeping 70 percent of the sequester during this time. And over the life of the sequester, we keep 92 percent of it. So we see that as a -- we see that as a really good step in the right direction.

Okay, Ryan said democrats wanted to zero the sequester. Yet, it is Ryan, not Liberals or Democrats, who sees keeping intact 92 percent of a sequester he once called crippling as a win, and in fact wanted to add another $20 billion in military cuts for good measure, Murray fought him down to $6 billion. Those are conservative principles speaking. But we're not just talking about budget numbers alone. We're also talking about breaking promises. Those are conservative principles too.

After witnessing what Gov. Scott Walker did to Wisconsin, I now find it humorous to see so-called conservatives blasting away on Ryan for breaking what they view as a promise. Don't get me wrong, I understand our fighting men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend our country and deserve an iron-clad guarantee when it comes to their compensation and pensions. But no one deserves anything less from government simply because of who they are or their job duties. I don't mean less in actual monetary compensation or benefits - I'm referring to the promises conveyed by government and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In my view, Walker did worse to public employees and school teachers in Wisconsin than what Ryan did to military vets. Granted, teachers and civilian government workers are not in the same risk category as our revered soldiers, but again - it's the promise that should be no less. Walker and state republicans did not have divided government to negotiate public employee compensation to meet budget demands. Instead, they unilaterally slashed current compensation agreements and broke the promise to collectively bargain future contracts. What did conservatives do? They applauded.

So yes, it's hard to feel their pain when I see Conservatives calling Paul Ryan a Liberal or a RINO for what he did to military vets. He only did what conservatives do.

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