A February 24th article in Military.com news reports that the DoD plans to cut troop pay and benefits by “limiting troop pay raises, reducing housing allowances and cutting funding for commissary stores.”
February 27th: Senate Republicans block Veterans Health Bill citing budget yet go along with $80 BILLION on Food Stamps.
This is all in the face of automatic budget cuts by “curbing personnel costs.” All while we send aid across the globe — borrowed aid. This week we hit 17,400,000,000,000 (that’s TRILLION) in debt and your share is $55,000. We’re broke — but we can send money outside our borders while we cut the pay of those who defend our Liberty and Freedom?
Not surprisingly, looking after our military personnel and their families continues to consume a big share of defense spending. Here is what the DoD plans to do:
- Limit troop pay raises to 1 percent.
- Reduce housing allowances by an average of 5 percent.
- Cut about $1 billion in commissary subsidies, which will mean higher food prices for troops and retirees.
- Raise health care co-pay fees for some retirees.
Military folks will be asked, once again, to bite the budget bullet — but what are our leader’s doing to save money? Nada, nothing, zilcho. You don’t see anyone on Congress cutting their staff or benefits. POTUS is planning another vacation to The Key’s this week — the Secret Service is already securing the local golf club. And FLOTUS is planning a trip to China with her daughters and mother — maybe to ask for a credit limit increase? (Read: Obamas set new record for vacation travel expenses; stonewalled documents finally released — Warning: hold on to your hats; you’ll find this article difficult to swallow.)
Here’s how the Secretary of Defense characterized the proposed cuts:
“The savings will enable us to sustain a well-trained, ready, agile, motivated (emphasis added) and technologically superior force,” Hagel said during a briefing Monday afternoon at the Pentagon. “Although these recommendations do not cut anyone’s pay, I realize they will be controversial.”
Please, Mr. Secretary, ask your PR writers to stop insulting everyone’s intelligence. We buy the fact that you have to make hard choices by avoiding cuts in training, military hardware and technology. But what part of the meaning of the word motivated escaped your comprehension here?
Troops are not motivated by insultingly low pay raises that neither keep up with inflation nor concurrent cuts in allowances that help them meet their family housing expenses. And why are you, once again, going after retirees, who served long and honorably in the expectation that their benefits would be there for them?
You’re putting lipstick on a pig when you ask people to believe that your recommendations “do not cut anyone’s pay.” Do the math, Mr. Secretary, and please lay off those empty platitudes of agile and motivated when you try to justify hurting our military folks and their families.
To paraphrase the greatest president of my time, Ronald Reagan — here they go again. We’re heading into yet another cyclic valley of defense spending. It’s truly scary that those in charge continually fail to recognize that the very first priority of our federal government is national defense — not food stamps, not preventing childhood obesity and definitely not the first family’s social life. (See my editorial from last April on this subject.)
They never seem to get this one: Defense spending cuts historically seem to precede some new and unexpected threat to national security, often only perceived after some shocking event like Pearl Harbor or September 11, 2001.
While I don’t believe that D.C. listens to “We The People” any longer, it is worth your time to let your elected officials know that you do not appreciate our military families being treated in this manner while we create bridges for turtles and exercise ramps for shrimp.
Hey D.C.! Our Founders called and they want their Country back!
At *your* service,