Monday, May 10, 2010 0 Responses
Tweet: Soldier pay decreases in the midst of overspending elsewhere and government union pay raises? Seriously? What are our priorities?
Facebook Post: Outrage: Obama Administration Targets Military for Pay Reductions
Obama — who came to power with the help of government employee unions across the nation and has lavished on them hundreds of billions in stimulus funds to keep them on federal, state and local payrolls with no strings attached — is moving to cut spending on salaries for military personnel.
This weekend The Washington Post headlined story, "Pentagon Asking Congress to Hold Back on Generous Increases in Troop Pay,” disclosed that the Obama administration is “pleading” with Congress to give military personnel a much smaller increase in pay than lawmakers have proposed.
The Pentagon contends that Congress simply has been too generous with troops during the past decade. In fact, lawmakers have lavished so much money on troops, according to the Post, that service members are now better compensated than workers in the private sector with similar experience and education levels.
For example, the military brass claims that an average sergeant in the Army with four years of service and one dependent would receive $52,589 in annual compensation, according to the paper. This figure includes basic pay, housing, and subsistence allowances, as well as tax benefits.
Meanwhile, a U.S. postal letter carrier, with no supervisory or hazardous duty, makes approximately $80,000 a year when all benefits are factored in. Critics of the Obama administration’s efforts to cut soldier’s pay say America’s security has been strengthened by higher pay rates, as qualified veterans are re-enlisting at record rates, reversing the problem the military witnessed just a few years ago. […]
"What's hurtful," said Tradewell, a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis., "is a continuing perception that DoD is more concerned about the budget than they are about recruiting and retaining a professional volunteer force that's been at war now for more than eight years." […]
But congressional supporters of the men and women in the Armed Services are questioning why they are being singled out for future pay cutbacks when other government agencies and unions are not. The U.S. Postal Service, for example, is slated to give letter carriers an increase of 1.9 percent this coming year.
And postal employees are considered to be grossly overpaid compared with their private counterparts. A postal supervisor, for example, can make $70,000 or year or more, plus significant benefits.
Last year, Congress had to help fill a $3.8 billion deficit at the federally backed agency, but there has been no discussion of salary cuts for postal employees. Instead, postal officials have focused on reducing service, including Saturday delivery.