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

Hugh Hewitt, in print:

“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:

Breaking on Hot Air

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…Ryan…is dead to me…I voted for him!

KOOLAID2 on January 14, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Well, how could we pay for all the obese illegals’ healthcare costs unless we take it from the military people?

Good thinking, RINO idiots..

TexasJew on January 14, 2014 at 10:36 PM

Why didn’t Hewitt ask Ryan about amnesty/rewards for invaders? Because he’s for it to?

VorDaj on January 14, 2014 at 10:37 PM

Straw man! If you think I wanted to do this…

Oh Paaaleeeeese Ryan. RINO crap sell out!

katy on January 14, 2014 at 10:37 PM

The major problem is that the only places Congress has thus far been willing to cut are places where spending is fairly controlled and relatively constant (i.e., discretionary spending). They’ve meticulously avoided the biggest 2 budget items, which incidentally have exponentially increasing costs: Medicare and Social Security. And the only time they’ve cut Medicare is to help fund the disaster known as Obamacare. It’s pure insanity.

Stoic Patriot on January 14, 2014 at 10:38 PM

When an establishment Republican like Hugh Hewitt starts attacking Paul Ryan, you know he’s in deep doodoo.

“As always, with Hugh, this interview is tough and informative.” lol.

bw222 on January 14, 2014 at 10:40 PM

If it’s so unconscionable, why doesn’t Hewitt support primary challenger to GOP reps that vote for this spending bill?

commodore on January 14, 2014 at 10:42 PM

Elections have consequences, and so does ignoring Barry’s magic pen and shilling for Amnesty senor Ryan…

I am wondering why the GOP deserves my vote…

harlekwin15 on January 14, 2014 at 10:44 PM

Creep Ryan’s new Looted Warrors Project…..

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Creep Ryan’s new Looted Warriors Project…..

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Ryan is a douchebag who is actually defending a budget deal that grants tax credits to illegal aliens, overpays for “penis pumps,” gives billions to terrorist states in aid, and maintains entitlement programs. But for some reason, he hates military retirees. I guess there are less of them harvesting crops in WI than their are illegals.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:47 PM

Rubio / Ryan Venezuela 2016

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:48 PM

None of Ryan’s points begin with the basis that military pay is well below that of their civilian counterpart. Or that the consequences of their service can be monumentally more grave than their civilian counterpart. DoD employees aren’t losing their limbs or their lives on a foreign land, for the most part.

“Elections have consequences.” So tired of hearing this. Either get out of the way and let the Dems run the economy into the ground, or stand up and fight to the bitter end. But don’t capitulate and then have to share credit for the demise.

BKeyser on January 14, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Looted Warrors Project…..

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM

I like the way you sum that up.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:49 PM

None of Ryan’s points begin with the basis that military pay is well below that of their civilian counterpart. Or that the consequences of their service can be monumentally more grave than their civilian counterpart. DoD employees aren’t losing their limbs or their lives on a foreign land, for the most part.

BKeyser on January 14, 2014 at 10:48 PM

A Navy helicopter went down off the coast of Norfolk last week. Two sailors were rescued, two died, and one remains “missing.” Just last year, Paul Ryan stood in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk to be introduced as the VP nominee. I’d like to have Ryan explain to those sailors why their retirement is over-generous and needs to be cut so that some illegal alien gets money as a tax credit even though they don’t actually pay taxes.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Rubio / Ryan Venezuela 2016

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:48 PM

And the completely and totally unbiased and bi-partisan panel, has determined to give the grand prize to Marco Rubio for his EARNESTY’S RAINBOW. Now EARNESTY’S RAINBOW is a token of this man’s genius…he told me so himself and repeatedly … that he could change perceptions by calling his plan for knocking down those pesky borders EARNESTY …in other words, he could have been a little more specific, but rather than allude to an articulation of the mundane, he has come to the conclusion that brevity is the importance of our nation’s shallow and selfish first world existence. God damn!

Marco Rubio’s . EARNESTY’S RAINBOW – is a small contribution to a certain degree, since there are over seven billion people in the world today. 315 of them … million live in the United States which is a very, very small amount compared to those who will be miserable and enslaved and dying elsewhere…Well, I say that you will be on the road to new horizons, for we who live in a society where citizenship is a commodity and a politician can become a TV personality and very wealthy, it’s not easy to conform if you have any morality at all…I, I, I said that myself many years ago…

But I do want to thank la Raza…I mean the RNC … I mean the DNC and it’s subsidiary the RNC, the organization for the $500 in affirmative action latino scholarships they’ve given out…tonight they took in over $5,000,000, but they do have expenses for their brilliant consultants you know, and I think that I have another appointment. I certainly hope so. I would like to stay here, but for the sake of brevity I, I must leave. I do want to thank you, and I want to thank the founding fathers for all the sacrifices they made however much they were in vain but now, most of all, and looking into the failure … I mean the future .. I want to thank Marco Rubio – acting el Presidenta of Juarez la Raza Mexiamerica and Paul Ryan – acting First Lady of Juarez la Raza Mexiamerica and also Mr. Obama – acting Pharaoh and Peeping Tom … I mean Spy Master and Drone Commander of the World – and also I want to thank Professor Irwin Corey and again, thank you. …
..

RasThavas on January 14, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Advocates: COLA fixes miss the mark
Jan. 14, 2014 – 12:00PM
***********************

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140114/BENEFITS05/301140011/Advocates-COLA-fixes-miss-mark

http://www.militarytimes.com/

canopfor on January 14, 2014 at 10:58 PM

Federal spending bill calls for $572B for Pentagon
The 2014 defense appropriations bill would give DoD $92.9 billion in total procurement funds
Jan. 13, 2014 – 06:00AM
************************

http://www.militarytimes.com/article/20140113/NEWS05/301130034/Federal-spending-bill-calls-572B-Pentagon

canopfor on January 14, 2014 at 11:01 PM

This story didn’t brighten my evening … : (
.

Creepy Ryan’s new Looted Warrors Project…..

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 10:46 PM

.
I like the way you sum that up.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:49 PM

.
Dittos.

listens2glenn on January 14, 2014 at 11:05 PM

“Nobody in this country deserves more support than the men and women in uniform.” Paul Ryan

Representative Ryan, please stop supporting me. Go and support the illegal aliens or welfare cheats for a while.

RoadRunner on January 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM

That has to be the first time I ever heard Hewitt NOT acting the total., mindless GOP shill. Kudos, to him.

Warner Todd Huston on January 14, 2014 at 11:19 PM

It’s no wonder the Republicans want to go after the tea party, they know people are watching this stuff. God help them because, just like Romney didn’t have 5 million voters, the Republicans could lose again because they are, indeed, the stupid party.

I’d like Paul Ryan to tell us about one smart thing in this budget, just one thing that the Democrats are really out there crying about. I’ll settle for one, but I’m not hearing the Democrats complaining about how unfair this budget is. Once again, the Republicans get rolled, the veterans get shafted and the military gets screwed and the Republicans are going to pass this budget? I can’t imagine where their leadership is, allowing something like this to happen.

bflat879 on January 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

“Nobody in this country deserves more support than the men and women in uniform.” Paul Ryan

RoadRunner on January 14, 2014 at 11:06 PM

I hope you heard the audio. Ryan knows that looting military retirements while enabling the illegals is not a defensible position in terms of public opinion.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

“As always, with Hugh, this interview is tough and informative.” lol.

bw222 on January 14, 2014 at 10:40 PM

that goof couldn’t even kick “Pat the Hat’s” ass on local LA debates early 80′s.

arnold ziffel on January 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 10:49 PM
listens2glenn on January 14, 2014 at 11:05 PM

Thanks. Every time the profound Wounded Warriors Project message comes on TV I stop eating, or talking or whatever I’m doing and think about the cost of freedom and how that cost has usually paid by volunteers.

When we think of our greatest presidents and other great leaders: Washington, Lincoln, Eisenhower, Reagan most have worn the uniform. Including the lesser known but of great character such as Benjamin Harrison and McKinley, Goldwater, Schwarzkopf and yes, Lee. Part of the cure for Washington, DC will be a return of leaders whom know freedom’s true cost.

viking01 on January 14, 2014 at 11:42 PM

We should cut the military budget more imo. It’s ridiculous how much we spend on the military. We could cut our budget in half and still spend more than China who is number two in the world in spending.

Ric on January 14, 2014 at 11:42 PM

I hope you heard the audio. Ryan knows that looting military retirements while enabling the illegals is not a defensible position in terms of public opinion.

Happy Nomad on January 14, 2014 at 11:20 PM

You’re sure about that? He still went with the budget, so I am not sure what “Ryan understands” means. And this is his excuse, that he “understands? I don’t think he does. People who understand their responsibilities do not act against them.

Yeah, judge, I killed him, but you know, its not a big deal, since I UNDERSTAND its wrong.

riddick on January 14, 2014 at 11:48 PM

RasThavas on January 14, 2014 at 10:55 PM

…and thank you, professor, for giving me a hearty laugh at the end of this blah day.

Vince on January 14, 2014 at 11:48 PM

There was a time when Republicans were smart enough to realize that decreasing the rate of future increases is not a cut.

This is going to have to happen, people. We’ve known that the COLA overstates actual inflation and has since it was first implemented. It’s not deserved increases, it’s more than making up for inflation – as if that were some right in the first place.

Every federal pension is going to have the same thing happen to it if we are ever going to straighten out the budget. Of course, Democrats will point to the hissy-fit Republicans raised over military pensions as one of their first defenses.

At least I don’t have to listen to you people whine about cutting the budget anymore. You are just a bunch of liberals in nicer dresses.

Adjoran on January 14, 2014 at 11:49 PM

And MKH – autoplay is annoying. Keep doing it, and it’s just you who is annoying.

Adjoran on January 14, 2014 at 11:49 PM

If all pensions are going to have to be cut then let’s start with government civilian employees first (most of whom vote Demoncrat, by the way). I don’t see any of them out risking their lives for their country.

sherrimae on January 15, 2014 at 12:31 AM

He makes me vomit in my mouth.

2Tru2Tru on January 15, 2014 at 1:07 AM

“Elections have consequences”

This is just a passive aggressive way of RINOs to say “F U for not voting for me.” This is coming from people who’s idea of negotiating is to give away the very last thing that should go.

Dongemaharu on January 15, 2014 at 4:23 AM

If a person joined the military at 22, retired at 42, collected military retirement pay under the CURRENT rules, at age 62 the value of that retirement would be more than 20% less due COLA being 1% less than the Consumer Price Index increase.
This is current law.
With the new Paul Ryan/Patty Murray plan, the same person at age 62 will have a retirement with a value that will be more than 40% less with a promise to start paying 20% of the reduced value.

DarrelsJoy on January 15, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Take every penny we need for our wounded Vets out of the pensions of the D.C. brass and Pentagon. Northern Virginia is blue with liberal douchebags who work for the “military”, defense, and intelligence industries. Crystal City is Chicago on the Potomac.

Jaibones on January 15, 2014 at 6:32 AM

This is the system you want.
Military contractors make campaign contributions to GOP lawmakers, I believe you call it “free speech.”
GOP lawmakers then protect those organizations whose “free speech” financed their election campaigns.
Why else are military contractors engaging in “free speech” with members of Congress? For fun? Because of civic duty? Because they genuinely believe that Republican lawmakers political ideology is good for the nation? Of course not. It is a payoff and they just got the return on their invest free speech.
Welcome to a post-Citizens United world. This is what you wanted.

libfreeordie on January 15, 2014 at 7:14 AM

One of the tools Congressmen and women have at their disposal to help them ensure a bad piece of legislation does not go through is a Filibuster. They have used this tool from time to time, even just THREATENED to Filibuster…yet not 1 Republican felt strongly enough about betraying the militarty/veteran/disabled Vet faith through this cut to even consider conducting Filibuster.

I wonder if Ryan and other Republicans actually spent time considering the reaction these cuts would cayse…and came to the conclussion that vets would get mad, would complain…but would eventually shut up and go away…and came to the concolussion that was acceptible to them?!

easyt65 on January 15, 2014 at 7:50 AM

Bottom line:

They know if they do anything else ie shutdown, fillibuster, etc. it will strengthen the TEA party and Cruz.

Lonetown on January 15, 2014 at 8:07 AM

The basic problem the GOP has is that they recognize both a need to cut spending and a need to adequately defend the country. Every time they propose any measure to reduce federal budget costs(for example the shift to more contribution toward Federal pensions to employees to reduce the government contribution which was in this budget deal) the progressive left demands equal cuts from defense spending as if defense was a luxury that only republicans get any value from. The house budget had no cuts in defense COLAs but in order to get more funding for weapons programs, the other side demands other defense cuts.

Those who do not want defense department cuts should be complaining about those who demand them rather than those who reluctantly give in to them.

KW64 on January 15, 2014 at 8:08 AM

funny how one of the few items in cotus (dod) is the one always messed with while freebies left alone for votes.
fk ryan.

dmacleo on January 15, 2014 at 8:24 AM

We call this a “deal” at any cost and it represents everything people hate about Washington.

Mr. Ryan has become nothing more than another denizens sashaying through the halls of Congress. By his response, one can surmise he is more interested in “moving the ball” ever so slightly in order to proclaim political victory. In fact, what we really need, what leaders do, is score the touchdown.

You stand on principle by declaring those negotiating points which are most important to you- not be abandoning them because your opposition declares them non-negotiable.

A leader, a person with courage would rather walk than compromise on fundamental principle. I am sorry to say one can only deduce Mr. Ryan is neither.

One clearly, constitutionally articulated function of our government is to protect our country and maintain our military. That Mr. Ryan has seen fit to abandon them for the many dalliances and indulgences of Washington in a $1 trillion budget is despicable and he rightly deserves our nations scorn.

There are no more leaders left in Congress in either party. Only occupants of an established class.

Marcus Traianus on January 15, 2014 at 8:29 AM

give commission time [to find a better solution.]

What, like the “deficit commission” that didn’t work out and the sequester got put in place and the GOP got raked over the coals for Obozo’s idea but implemented because we needed to cut spending? Sorry, I don’t have much faith in commissions from DC.

Patriot Vet on January 15, 2014 at 8:38 AM

What was that tweet? Something like “he has pretty blue eyes, but don’t forget he’s Satan incarnate”.

MTF on January 15, 2014 at 8:49 AM

“Elections have consequences.” So tired of hearing this.

BKeyser

And to top it off, I heard that these military cuts were a republican idea. Hopefully, the consequences of Ryan’s next election will be him losing.

xblade on January 15, 2014 at 9:07 AM

As you navigate through the ocean of BS and spin here is a little-known fact.

The VA requires veterans undergoing medical treatment to use generic drugs at all times unless there is no alternative available.

AIDS patient, who get 65% of ALL their medical costs covered by the government, are mandated to get brand name non-generic drugs at all times.

Viator on January 15, 2014 at 9:08 AM

This is completely a democrat canard,
Let’s understand this large part of the Democrat party Hates the military and Hates the fact that we provide for a national defense because they see America as an Evil American empire. The constitution states in it that the congress SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE NATIONAL DEFENSE, IMHO this needs to funded first and everything else should be funded after that.
What we have here is a push by the doves on the democrat’s side and some REALLY bad tactics by both establishment republican AND grassroots republicans. Let’s roll the clock back all the to the 2011 debt limit debate. At the end of that event someone came up with this thing called the sequester, I can remember which side came up with it but it was a Bad idea to being with. When you can’t get to a deal after weeks of negotiation what makes you really think that you are going to come to grand bargain latter. This made the sequester a Fait Accompli so why on earth did the leadership agree to MAJOR unjustified defense cuts in the first place?? Then the leadership decided to let the sequester go into place because they didn’t want to get any concessions extracted by the democrats, but it was a bargaining chip you gave them. Then on top of that the grassroots seized upon this because it did actually reduce government spending. The problem, you are not funding the thing the Constitution tells you need to fund first and foremost!! Then finally in order to fix this problem the democrats come with the position pill about reducing our veterans pensions, But you have to fix the problem so you have to sallow the pill. But Grassroots bare responsibility for this because the supported the sequester without the support of that we wouldn’t of been in the position where we needed to fix our national defense. You can’t screech about the sequester and then yell about cutting vet’s benefits. Did this happen because the democrats hate the military and will do anything to undermine it, yes, however the irony is grassroots republicans helped put us in this position so frankly so you can’t complain about the fix.

falcaner on January 15, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Ryan has turned into a Beltway excuser! Primary the phony “conservative.” Saying that elections have consequences is stealing the Obama mantra. He’s an idiot!

tomshup on January 15, 2014 at 9:54 AM

This is the type of interview / exchange that has many of us basically saying…’A pox on both their houses’ when it comes to our elected representatives.

We took an unhealthy fiscal trajectory in 2004-08, and trebled down on it 2009-present with at least a 33% spending increase, confiscating even more funds out of a struggling economy in order to feed the fallacy of wealth redistribution, and a mindset that ‘going along to get along’ is a viable alternative.

We have an Administration who has, with impunity, took their idea of sequester, and when implemented, intended to make it as painful as possible so the plebs would learn a lesson. Then they doubled down on that approach with the government shutdown. They lie to us about our enemies who are expanding their efforts to defeat all that we stand for, and rather than reduce the number of $300-$500/Hr consultants that overrun the DoD, cut nearly $1T in defense spending – targeting primarily the people, the training, and the systems that they need to defend us with.

The GOP establishment, of which Ryan is a leading member, is little better – demonstrating their lack of values and principles by not standing on any values or principles. They cower from the lapdog media. They seek appeasement and agreement in order to protect their positions and power. They differ little in the destructive agenda of the progressives, fooling themselves into thinking that moving at 75mph as opposed to 150 mph is real change.

We are running out of time…and losing the war for our culture / values being fought against our internal enemies and our external enemies.

Athos on January 15, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I don’t get it. I mean this military budget deal. What are they talking about. When you enter the military you enter into a contract with the Government. You put in a minimum of 20 years and you get 50% of the base pay of your highest rank held. Each and every month for the rest of your life. The longer you stay the higher the percentage until you reach 75%.

How can they change that retroactively? No Kangaroo court in this land would hold up the Governments plan.

Why is it OK for a civilian worker to start at age 18 and retire with a full package at 48. They are not touched by this? Why? Why?

So do they mean that any future retirements will be covered this way? If so then all they did is kick the can 20 years down the road and it is all without any meaning.

Government workers to get 1% increase? Wait, Wait are they just playing the averages game again. This could mean that all gs 10 and below get nothing and only gs11 and above get 5% raises? They will not tell us.

My budget proposal. Reduce their pay by 1% per each 4 months until they get fired, quit or get their stuff straight. All department budgets be made performance orientated. We cut Sibelius pay to cover the cost of her screwup.

jpcpt03 on January 15, 2014 at 11:58 AM

I feel embarrassed for ever having defended Ryan.

besser tot als rot on January 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM

When an establishment Republican like Hugh Hewitt starts attacking Paul Ryan, you know he’s in deep doodoo.

bw222 on January 14, 2014 at 10:40 PM

I hope so. I thought the same thing.

besser tot als rot on January 15, 2014 at 1:24 PM