I Wish I Were In Paris

From war to peace and politics to gossip, if we have an opinion on something we'll share it here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This Is How Bush And Co. "Support" The Troops

I found this story from armytimes.com, and it shows just how Bush and Co. "support" the troops.

Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

The Bush administration had asked for a 3 percent military raise for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year’s average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommends a 3.5 percent pay increase for 2008, and increases in 2009 through 2012 that also are 0.5 percentage point greater than private-sector pay raises.

The slightly bigger military raises are intended to reduce the gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about 3.9 percent today. Under the bill, HR 1585, the pay gap would be reduced to 1.4 percent after the Jan. 1, 2012, pay increase.

Bush budget officials said the administration “strongly opposes” both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases “unnecessary.”

“When combined with the overall military benefit package, the president’s proposal provides a good quality of life for service members and their families,” the policy statement says. “While we agree military pay must be kept competitive, the 3 percent raise, equal to the increase in the Employment Cost Index, will do that.”

The House of Representatives plans on passing the bill tomorrow. The Senate Armed Services Committee has announced it will start writing its version of the bill next week.

Two items in the House defense bill could lead to a veto, the policy statement warns. One is a change in the National Security Personnel system that would back away from the pay-for-performance initiative pushed by the Bush administration and reverse some of the flexibility provided in current law. The second issue that could prompt a veto are Buy America provisions in the bill that White House officials said “would impose unrealistically arduous requirements.”

In addition to the pay raise, there are other personnel initiatives in the bill that the White House opposes.

A prohibition on converting medical jobs held by military members into civilian positions drew opposition. “This will eliminate the flexibility of the Secretary of Defense to use civilian medical personnel for jobs away from the battlefield and at the same time use the converted military billets to enhance the strength of operating units,” the policy statement says.

A death gratuity for federal civilian employees who die in support of military operations, and new benefits for disabled retirees and the survivors of military retirees also drew complaints.

This includes the transfer of the GI Bill benefits program for reservists from the Department of Defense to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a step that GI Bill supporters said is needed to set the stage for increases in reserve benefits that have been kept low by the military because it views the program as a retention incentive rather than a post-service education program.

Refusal by lawmakers to approve Tricare fees for beneficiaries, something administration officials view as an important step in holding down health care cost, also drew opposition, along with a provision imposing price controls on prescription drugs dispensed to Tricare users.

Nice huh!! And who supports the troops? Certainly not this jackass who says that the military doesn't need a pay raise. Certainly not this jackass who says that people shouldn't be given a death gratuity if they die in support of military operations. Certainly not this jackass who says that disabled vets and survivors of these vets shouldn't receive benefits.

So, what is the difference between a 3% pay raise and a 3.5% pay raise? Six dollars!! This sick son of a bitch is threatening to veto this over six fucking dollars.

Last night on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Todd Bowers — an Iraq war veteran and director of government affairs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — broke down the White House’s position in dollar terms. Bowers explained that the difference between a 3 percent and 3.5 percent pay raise is the difference of six bucks a month for the average servicemember. Bowers said:

[The average servicemember] gets $1300 a month. You got expenses that you have to cover for. You got to take care of family members, car payments. It essentially adds up. This 3% raise would give them approximately $29 extra dollars, alright. Point five percent gives them an extra $6 dollars. We’re talking about $6 for someone that is serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan that is away from their families. It’s not too much to ask.

The Congress of the United States votes every damn year to give themselves a pay raise. Most of these bastards make $100,000 or more a year. The Resident makes $400,000 a year in the White House. And these assholes want to bitch about six fucking dollars? If the average service person gets $1,300 a month, that's $15,600 a year which is way below POVERTY level. Add in the raise and their yearly income is $16,020. BIG FUCKING DEAL!! Is it really too much to give someone who is putting their life on the line for this ridiculous, illegal, immoral war? I don't think so!! But Bush and Co. do!!

Who is it that supports the troops again?

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  • At 4:32 PM, Blogger LET'S TALK said…

    I just wonder what kind of message this sends to the troops?


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