This letter is in response to the Washington Post editorial Military pensions overdue for trim (Jan. 7).
Its high time individuals such as the author and legislators such as Paul Ryan are made to understand a few things. First, the reason many of us veterans are outraged is that, once again, we are asked to make another sacrifice for this country. Those individuals on welfare and unemployment who make no contribution to this country are asked to sacrifice nothing in the current budget. Nor are the illegal aliens who continue to stream into this country, sucking us dry; they continue to receive benefits in the new budget.
They seem to think we are living on easy street once we retire. Far from it. First we have Uncle Sam and the states dipping their beaks into our checks. Then, unless you are 100 percent disabled, any disability your receive is pulled from your retirement check and paid to you as your disability. How is that for the ultimate shell game? Then health care takes a chunk.
This budget also assumes that every one of us retirees is able to find employment right off the bat when we leave the military. If this is the case, then why do we have so many homeless vets? This budget also assumes we will maintain these jobs. Speaking for myself, after being shot twice and spending 22 years being banged around in a tank, my morning aches and pains are getting worse and make me wonder how much longer I can continue working. Many of us pay for health care outside of the VA because government-supplied health care is marginal at best.
Another outrage of this new budget is that we retired veterans are forced to pay into unemployment insurance, but we are ineligible to receive it. You see, politicians such as Ryan and Patty Murray count our retirement check as social insurance.
Why, when the Republicans in the past talked about cuts to social programs that encourage people to sit at home and suck this country dry, were they cast as scrooges who wanted to starve grandmothers and children? Yet this is considered all right.