Sadly, as often happens in time of budgetary woes, particularly with Democrat administations, there is a move afoot by the President to freeze military pay and benefits. This was reported in Star and Stripes and on http://www.military.com/news/article/presidential-panel-freeze-military-pay.html?ESRC=navy-a.nl.
This comes on the heels of proposals to raise the costs for TRICARE (the military's health care program) for military retirees, and linking TRICARE payments to what Medicare pays. Medicare payments have been cut to such a low level that many doctors are dropping Medicare because they loose money on every patient. This means that our military dependents and retirees are further restricted in obtaining medical care. Medical care for life was a promise made to those of us who wear or wore the uniform, for many generations.
I realize that in tight times, sacrifices have to be made. I also realize that this includes the military budget. That being said, where are the comparable cuts in pay and benefits across the board in the Federal budget? Why should military personnel and their families, as well as veterans, be the ones to bear this burden.
Most Federal employees don’t deploy, as does the military; most don’t see the danger nor the arduous hours, days, weeks, months, years away from home and family. Yet they have, in many cases, better pay and better health benefits.
Further, we are at war right now. In President Clinton’s tenure, he had the military seeing very high operation tempos during peace time, including many combat missions (e.g. ten years of bombardment of Iraq after Operation Desert Storm), yet he cut the military during this time period. Now President Obama wants to repeat this.
If the Federal budget needs to be cut, fine, make cuts across the board. Start with the White House and Congress. Go next to all the Federal Executive Service people in their fancy offices in Washington. Then to every person who sits at a desk. The military should be the last place for personnel budget cuts, especially during wartime.
Further get rid of the pork, and all the special interests that we so love to throw money at. Stop paying farmers to not grow crops. Stop building bridges to nowhere.
If you want to cut the military budget, then fine. Stand up to Europe and NATO. Make the Europeans stand up for their own defense. Likewise Korea, Japan, etc. The US has been the police force for the world since World War II. The military has been deployed everywhere, because we are the strongest country. This has allowed for other countries to have minimal military obligations, and the ability to use that money elsewhere, at our expense.
Keep our military engaged in the defense of our borders, the protection of Israel, and protecting our vital interests at sea and overseas. Stop using our military as the police of the world. Stop getting into wars that accomplish nothing. Once you’ve done that, streamline the military and get rid of ridiculous acquisition programs that the military doesn’t want or need.
And then, and only then, consider cutting military pay and benefits.