Alliance for Retired Americans: Budget Agreement between Sen. Murray, Rep. Ryan Averts Shutdown, Still Much to Do

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 12, 2013.  The two-year budget agreement unveiled by Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday night will bring more certainty to the nation’s economy. The Alliance for Retired Americans is grateful that the deal was reached without cutting earned Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits.

However, the agreement does not close any corporate tax loopholes at all, or force the super wealthy to pay their fair share. Cutting the pensions of federal workers, our veterans, and military retirees is particularly cruel considering this missed opportunity to see more revenue. The low-hanging fruit is still ripe for the picking.

Knowing that federal employees have received no pay increase the last three years makes the $6 billion in increased retirement contributions for new federal employees even more difficult to accept. Moreover, the annual cap on government contractor compensation of $487,000 per employee is still too high, when our military retirees and federal workers are being forced to face cuts.

Avoiding another government shutdown is a plus, and Sen. Murray deserves credit for reaching a deal with Rep. Ryan. However, sequestration cuts to services need to be repealed altogether, not just reduced and repackaged.

Finally, seniors care about more than just themselves. Unemployment benefits should be extended for those who want and need to work, but are still unable to find a job.