President Obama reportedly has told Congress that the US military pay raise slated to begin next year will be capped at 1 percent, instead of the 1.8 percent increase mandated by federal law.
“I am strongly committed to supporting our uniformed service members, who have made such great contributions to our nation over the past decade of war,” his letter to congressional leaders reads. “As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our nation on a sustainable fiscal course.”
Obama went on to say that his military pay raise decision would not affect the ability of the federal government to both attract and retain well-qualified armed forces members.
Critics of Obama’s move say the lack of fiscal responsibility in the federal government is surpassed only back an illogical set of funding priorities. For example, as previously reported by Off The Grid News, the Obama administration circumvented Congress after the governing body nixed a public advocate position which would aid both legal and illegal immigrants after they entered the United States.
Another example of failed federal priorities: The power grid achieved only a D+ grade during a recent engineering review. If the vital piece of infrastructure fails, millions could die within the first few weeks.
If there is not enough money to fulfill the pay increase the US military was promised, then dollars should not be going overseas for any type of foreign aid, Obama’s critics say.
The military pay-raise denial will impact soldiers both at home and those who will be deployed in Afghanistan throughout 2014. The federal law pertaining to US military pay increases states that the amount must be based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index. The pay schedule links military personnel pay to private sector salary growth. The chart shows that according to the approved figures, American military men and women should garner a 1.8 percent pay increase beginning on January 1, 2014.
The president only has the authority to deviate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Cost Index figures in case of “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting general welfare.”
Retired Air Force Col. Mike Hayden, director of government relations for the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), wrote that the change in pay could cost an officer with 10 years of service about $52 a month – which calculates to thousands of dollars if the officer serves very long.
Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war airstrike would cost millions of dollars, but is not a direct threat to national security in the United States. We, as a country, may very well be in the midst of serious economic conditions, but cutting the pay of those who protect us should not be first on the chopping block. American leaders need to get their priorities straight and focus both their time and our money on issues which directly impact the safety and security of this great nation.
Regardless of how you feel about the Syrian civil war, the bulging nature of both the deficit and the federal government, or even which side of the political aisle you identity with, as Americans we all should applaud the sacrifices that soldiers, airmen, Marines, and sailors make — and honor the approved pay schedule.
How do you feel about the military pay increases denial?