Hugh Hewitt, Paul Ryan clash over budget deal’s military pension cuts
posted at 10:21 pm on January 14, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
“Incredibly, the House GOP has just agreed that the only group deserving budget punishment in the new spending deal is the career military. It is an obscene deal, one made worse by a patently cynical attempt to hide the blow to the military by “restoring” cuts to the pensions of wounded veterans. A vote for this betrayal of the military will haunt every Republican who supports it.
When the first outlines of the budget “deal” emerged late last tear, I counseled caution as the final details could change.
Now those details are available and the outrageous cut of the COLA for pensions of the career military remains in the deal.”
As always, with Hugh, this interview is tough and informative. It’s worth a listen, especially if as happens with the best of us, you kind of tuned out of the back-and-forth on the Ryan-Murray budget compromise over Christmas. Because who could blame you?
In a nutshell:
Hugh: “I am flabbergasted, shocked, and appalled…They are the first to take the whack. They are the only group to take the whack. They’ve been deployed six, seven, eight times…The House GOP steps up and says the only group we’re going to force to pay for their own readiness is active duty military…This will destroy retention. It will destroy morale. And it is deeply unfair to the American military, which has sacrificed more than anyone.
“You’re holding the military hostage. You’re saying if you can get your act together, we’ll add [the money back].We have a $17 trillion budget deficit and you’re taking $6 billion from active duty military. It’s insane.
“Why is the only $6 billion we refuse to borrow?”
Ryan: Obama budget cut military by $487 billion, sequester cut it by $500 billion, this deal restores $31 billion to make it $469
“I think President Obama did that when he cut ’em by $487 billion. I think the defense sequester does that by cutting it now another $469 billion dollars instea of the $500 billion We could not get the military the relief that we wanted to, like what my budget does. Our budget represents what we believe. Our budget doesn’t do this COLA. Our budget adds money back to the [military] budget.
“You’ve got pay and benefits which are growing very very quickly. It’s a demographic thing. That is leaving readiness destroyed. We are about to go to a navy that’s smaller than WWI…We’re flying old planes in our Air Force that need to be replaced and we’re pushing the replacement of those [off five years.]
“We were not able to put back in the military budget nearly as much as we wanted to, like my budget that passed in the House does…As you know there’s a commission underway to address military pay and benefits…One of the reasons we put a two-year delay in this law for this particular provision, is to give commission time [to find a better solution.]
“Nobody’s pension check goes down under this reform. Elections have consequences; we have to deal with a trillion dollar cut to the military…We’ve got time to fix this.”
Breitbart grabbed the audio: