This absolutely makes my blood boil. Yesterday the Senate joined the House in passing the Murray-Ryan budget deal. While news pundits celebrate the bipartisanship that passed the first Federal budget in four and a half years, our veterans and military heroes are now facing drastic cuts in their pension benefits.
That’s right. The budget deal that YOUR representatives worked to pass actually increases government spending at the expense of our veterans and military personnel. This is shameful. We owe our military men and women better than this...
They answered the call to service, and spent years of their life fighting for the stars and stripes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now when they return home to their families they find out that we are cutting their benefits… Why? Congress wants to save around $600 Million a year.
Are they serious? Are we really supposed to believe that the only way to cut $600 Million a year is to cut our military veterans’ pensions? There’s nothing else that Congress could have cut?
Well, apparently there was something else that could have been on the chopping block. Yesterday, Senate Republicans scrambled to find something to offset these cuts to veterans’ pensions. Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Roger Wickers (R-MS) tried to delay the budget vote and replace the military pension cuts with even greater savings by closing an IRS loophole that illegal immigrants take advantage of.
You heard correctly… all the Senate had to do was recognize that our military veterans are more deserving of benefits than the illegal immigrants who fraudulently apply for IRS tax credits. That’s all they had to do. Republicans presented a way to save even more money without hurting our military personnel, but the Senate pushed through the budget bill anyway. It’s absolutely despicable.
If anyone ever asks you why Congress’ approval rating is so low, you can use the Murray-Ryan budget deal as a prime example. Congress had two options: either they could cut our veterans’ pensions, or they could close a loophole that allows illegal aliens to fraudulently receive billions of dollars-worth of tax credits from the IRS every year.
Congress had that choice… and they chose to let illegal aliens continue to game the system. In 2010 alone, illegal aliens fraudulently applied for, and received, $4.2 Billion in child tax credits… even though they didn’t have a social security number!
If left unclosed, this loophole will cost the American taxpayers more than $40 Billion over the next ten years. Congress was given the opportunity yesterday to close this loophole and save the taxpayers a lot of money. Instead, Congress chose to step over a dollar to pick up a dime, and went through with the military pension cuts anyway.
On the one hand, it is despicable that Congress would deliberately take benefits away from military servicemen and women while turning a blind-eye to a loophole that nets illegal aliens BILLIONS of dollars every year. It is even more depressing that Sen. John McCain, a military veteran himself, led the way in chastising those who tried to save the military pensions. But then again, we learned McCain’s true colors years ago…
The fact that Congress chose to punish soldiers and veterans instead of illegal immigrant criminals is depressing. However it is equally depressing that Congress left the loophole open anyway. I mean, if they really want to punish our brave men and women in uniform… fine. They’ll hear from us about that next November. Yet there’s no reason that they couldn’t ALSO close this IRS tax loophole. I mean, a group of Senators stood before their colleagues and told them we can save $4.2 Billion per year by closing a tax loophole abused by illegal aliens. What did the rest of the Senate do? They ignored them and voted for the budget anyway!
How dare they tell the American people they were forced to make these painful cuts, only to ignore the opportunity to save $4.2 billion a year without hurting a single taxpayer?
Congress wanted to push through this budget deal so that they could go on vacation and enjoy the Christmas holiday with their families. Their last parting gift of 2013 was to tell military families to prepare to see their benefits cut hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. Your Representatives and Senators get paid $174,000 to sit behind a desk and “work” for about a third of a year. But for the vast majority of the year, we pay our legislators six-figure incomes to essentially do nothing.
Meanwhile, our men and women in uniform are sacrificing everything for this country, with some of them paying the ultimate sacrifice. Now, those who make it home to rebuild their lives won’t receive the benefits that we promised to them. That’s the reality of “military pension reform.” We are cutting military pensions in order to save a few bucks.
What is even more pathetic is the fact that on the same day that Congress voted to strip our military personnel of their benefits, Sen. Tom Coburn released his yearly “Wastebook,” highlighting nearly $30 Billion in wasteful spending.
Deep down, I suspected that Congress really didn’t care about spending cuts. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that when given the choice, Congress would choose to cut military pensions over closing a tax loophole abused by illegal aliens.
We owe our military men and women everything. When they received the call, they dropped everything to defend us, and to defend this country.
Well now, I am asking YOU to answer the call and defend our soldiers from a Congress that wants to bleed them dry.
For all that they have given, all that they have sacrificed for us, the least that we can do is to stand up and tell Congress that this is absolutely unacceptable!