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Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan defends military pension cuts inside budget

WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - Janesville House Republican Paul Ryan defends an item in the federal budget compromise which cuts annual pension increases for those under 62 who retired from the military.  

The budget -- which Ryan helped negotiate as the chair of the House budget committee -- is drawing fire from veterans' groups.

Gundel Metz from a VFW post in Madison says it's wrong to use veterans to balance the federal budget. She said less than one percent of the nation's population is in the military, and only a-tenth of those veterans stay in service long enough to retire before 62.  

She said police and firefighters are the only other groups who put their lives on the line -- and veterans should not have to worry about what they've been able to save up.  

In a recent op-ed piece in USA Today, Ryan defended the cut, which limits pay increases for younger military retirees to one percent below inflation. Ryan said the federal cost for each service member has grown by 41 percent since 2001, accounting for inflation but not counting the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. 

Ryan noted that many military retirees are in their prime working years in their 30's and 40's, and they're allowed to work while collecting full military pensions.  

Some critics in Congress have already announced plans to introduce bills that would scrap the pension reductions. 

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)