The Biggest Threat to America is not Obama but Paul Ryan and those like Him
Paul Ryan still insists that cuts to military personnel pay and benefits are needed because military compensation is out of hand. He believes that America needs to rely more on equipment then personnel.
Congressman Ryan, who has never served in the military, tries to spin his desire to cut military personnel and their families by saying in a US Today Op-Ed that for him there is simply no choice between cutting military compensation and purchasing more equipment.
Ryan has said, â€œBut I stand behind the need for reform. In 2012, Congress established the Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission to examine the entire military-compensation system from top to bottom. The commission’s recommendations are due in May, and the leaders of the armed-services committees in Congress have agreed to consider their recommendations and look for other ways to reform the system.â€
Ryan goes on and says, â€œFor me, there’s simply no choice between responsible reforms of military compensation and making what our military leadership has called “disproportionate cuts to military readiness and modernization.”
Ryan rationalizes his view by saying, â€œOur troops have been willing to sacrifice everything for this country. We owe it to them to give them the best equipment on the battlefield.â€
His choice is to take money from military personnel and their families to buy equipment from Defense Contractors. Even the Pentagon complains that Congress makes them buy and maintain equipment it doesnâ€™t need or want just so a Defense Contractor back in the Congressional District can get more taxpayer money.
While the Ryan Murray Budget Deal was just a trail balloon, Ryan, if given a chance, would like to cut all forms of military compensation.
From Paul Ryanâ€™s Budget Committee Web Page: (http://budget.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=364048)
He states that veterans receive â€œan exceptionally generous benefit.â€ But that Congress canâ€™t just look at COLA or Retirement Pay. They have to look at all forms of compensation: military base pay, hazardous duty pay, reimbursement for moving expenses, education benefits, health care; child care, groceries, and consumer goods; and a host of family programs to include fitness centers.
Really, whatâ€™s next making soldiers pay for their bullets?
Ryanâ€™s conclusion is, â€œCurrent levels of military compensation are incompatible with the overall demands on the defense budget. Analysts from think tanks as diverse as the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, the Center for a New American Security, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies have all called for an overhaul to the military-compensation system.â€
That is why the Pentagon is floating a plan to close all U.S.-based commissaries in 2015 as part of a massive cost-saving effort.
What these smart policy wonks donâ€™t take into consideration, is the collateral damage. Are they ready to handle the increase in the number of people who would be unemployed when the commissaries close? 30% of the employees at the commissaries are military spouses so this hostile action would be another hit to military families.
Ryan was wrongfully attacked for wanting to push grandma off the cliff. He instead wants to throw the people who fought the wars he voted for off the cliff.
Was Mr. Policy Wonk so eager to send men and women into Iraq and Afghanistan that he didnâ€™t realize there would be a cost to fighting the war? Or did he know about the cost and plan to pay for it on the backs of those who fought the war after he no longer needed them?
As one veteran has said, â€œThe former and current defenders of America were transformed into sacrificial lambs in an attempt to make Republicans more appealing to the left. Ryan did not balance the budget, pay off the debt, or reform entitlements.â€
A military spouse said, “They look at the money side without looking at the sacrifice side. Many military families move around for the different deployments and have to start their careers over again. That means no buildup of a career or a financial cushion. My husband, a Marine officer, has missed birthdays, anniversaries, watching his children grow, and has seen his friends killed. He has had to work in horrible environments sometimes 7 days a week for 24-hour periods. Shame on those politicians for not understanding that military men and women have sacrificed their lives, limbs, and families. These politicians do not understand us because they have never lived our culture.”
Too bad Mr. Ryan thinks these Americans have â€œan exceptionally generous benefit.â€
But Ryan & Politicians know that they can risk hurting veterans and their families because it is the easy way out. In the military, we live by a code but politicians do not live by the same code. Their code is â€œdo anything to stay in office.â€
America spends more on entitlement programs aimed at helping illegal immigrants then taking care of their own sons and daughters who have served in the military. But Ryan and others donâ€™t dare demand illegal immigrants be deported because they might lose the Hispanic vote.
America spends more on social security and Medicare then veterans. But Ryan and others donâ€™t dare reform these soon to be bankrupt programs because they might lose the senior vote.
So the only group they feel safe to go after are veterans who have risked their lives, sacrificed normal family life, and given their prime earning years to defend this nation. Ryan knows that less than 1% of Americans have been in the military. Who is going to care?
Ryan has received campaign contributions of over $250,000 from those in the Defense industry compare that to the contributions he receives from Veterans.
Ryan will rationalize by saying that working age military retirees can get a job to make up for the cuts. But he ignores 2 big facts when he says this. Fact 1 is that he and the political class have done nothing to improve employment for veterans let alone for all of America. Now without adding one new job, they want to add 11 million illegal workers to the number of job seekers.
Fact 2 is that not everyone retiring from the military has a civilian job skill. Where do you place an Army Sniper?
One Army Master Sergeant who has served over twenty-four years, said, “Many of the soldiers who retire do not have a skill. There are also those who have health issues, such as PTSD, back and knee problems, which put limitations on the type of job they can find. Unemployment is still high so jobs are not readily available. I am fifty and if I retire I will have to fight age discrimination, making it harder to find a job. This means for twelve years I will have to suffer with lower pay. I ask Mr. Ryan how many of those retirees will be able to find a job?
So at the end of 2016, President Obama will be out of office but how many politicians like Paul Ryan will be in office for the next 10, 20, or even 30 years? So who is the bigger threat to America? A lame duck President or a Career Politician who values his own political career more than taking care of those who have fought the wars he voted for?