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Response to itsrobert (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 19, 2014, 08:53 PM

12. Absolutely right

Patty Murray and Paul Ryan pushed a bill in late December of last year that would have had limited veterans cost-of-living adjustments to the rate of inflation minus 1 percentage point.

Examples of the effect of this legislation:

1. A twenty year service member who is receiving retired pay at the 50% rate would have that pay reduced by 20% over twenty years, effectively reducing that 50% retirement to 30%. As the cost-of-living increases over time, their income is reduced.

2. A medically retired service member would also be subject to the same -1% increase per year. This group leaves the service with what is called a "Serious Barrier to Employment" and are entitled to additional services provided through the American JobConnect Centers due to the challenges they face finding employment post-discharge. Saddling them with continually reduced income every year is a slap in the face to the challenges they already have

3. A retired veteran with service-connected disabilities would also have their income reduced by the same amount over time. This group is also classified as having an SBE by the Department of Labor in recognition of their difficulties finding employment.

The second and third categories are those that have a full range of disabilities, from tinnitus to loss of limb and paralysis. These are the people that would have been most affected by the Ryan/Murray budget deal.

I suspect they intentionally pushed this bill, the middle of December, when it's passage would have been least noticeable. Murray later called the legislation a mistake, even though it had her name on it.

After intense lobbying by pro-veteran organizations, this legislation was overturned, but it clearly indicates veterans will have to be continually vigilant and active to protect themselves from the likes of Murray and Ryan and their cohorts .

I'm sure this topic was beat to death some time ago, but that December budget deal really soured me on politicians in general.

On a brighter note, I'd like to say 'Hi!' to everyone. I've been lurking around here since about 2012, but this particular subject encouraged me to step out into the light.

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