David R. Moss: Military pay cap

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During the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama repeatedly expressed his support for the military and ended the address with a well-deserved tribute to a wounded soldier and his father sitting next to the First Lady. This tribute was very moving for both the assembled audience as well as myself and the millions of others watching the speech.

As I listened, I wondered how many people understood the caveat associated with the president’s expressed support for the military. It is similar, in my view, to his statements about the health care law. That is, he said if you like your insurance or doctor, you can keep them. This has proved to not be accurate in many cases.

Here is the story. Since 2004, the cost-of-living increase for the active duty military has been, by law, based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index. As Congress worked on the Fiscal 2014 military bill, the two houses could not agree on the pay raise (no surprise!). The Republican-controlled House of Representatives wanted the 1.8 percent increase directed by law. The Democrat-controlled Senate wanted the pay increase capped at 1 percent as recommended by the Obama administration.

On Aug. 30, 2013, President Obama, using his authority under the law, sent to Congress a letter that limited the pay increase for active duty military to 1 percent. Thus, the president and his party support the military but think that the 1 percent who volunteer to defend us all are overpaid.

This old soldier wishes the president had the decency to wait until the war is over before capping the troop’s pay. Thus, there is an exception to his expressed support for the military.

David R. Moss

Colonel, Retired, U. S. Army

Clark

Comments

john bailey 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Colonel Moss , thank you for your service. I do understand , this person does not support our troops in any way. It is all a false front . Once again cutting and reducing pay and benefits to further his agenda of wealth distribution. what a failure this administration is , the sooner its done the sooner we as a nation can move forward.

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jerry carlton 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Eric Do you suffer from PTSD? You have ridden this horse into the ground previously and did not generate a groundswell of support.

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john bailey 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Eric , by defending your right to bloviate and keeping the battlefield off our soil. cheese and rice , the cricket speaks.... now what is he saying......weak bro.....now why did you serve again? no respect here.....no respect at all...

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babette dickson 5 months, 3 weeks ago

All I know is that my VA benefits have increased every 01 January of the year ever since... And I am grateful.

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mark hartless 5 months, 3 weeks ago

"This old soldier wishes the president had the decency to wait until the war is over before capping the troop’s pay."

Unfortunately, the war will never be over. We have been in an almost perpetual state of war since before I was born. American can't stop invading, attacking and/or defending other countries. I don't believe it has the ability to stop. It's addicted to war, and to the production of war materials and machines.

However, I agree completely with the notion that Mr. Obama is a shameless user of veterans as a "prop" and that he inwardly loathes the military. He uses doctors, women, children, veterans, etc for props and photo-ops all the time. And he is not the first president to do so.

What amazes me is that so few americans seem able to see through the play-acting which has become such a huge part of almost every current day politicians' repertoire.

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Robert Huron 5 months, 3 weeks ago

In 1966 when I went to Vietnam my pay was $78 a month plus $65 combat pay. The good news it was tax exempt. The military has received numerous raises over the years and today an E-1 can actually live on their salary. I think a Col. has a 6 figure salary today. The problem is there is a limited defense budget (though it has increased by 92% over the past decade) and the top brass and Congress would rather spend the money on an F-35 fighter at $500 million a copy or an aircraft carrier at $10 billion a copy. The one good thing about this Administration over the last is that our troops are coming home. As most Americans know the Iraq war was a total lie and waste. The Defense Industry especially Halliburton laughed all the way to the bank and our troops paid the supreme price. As Pres. Eisenhower said in 1960 as he left office "Beware Of the Military Industrial Complex". That statement holds true more today than ever. If the previous Administration was still in charge our men and women would still be dying in Iraq plus we'd be at war with Iran, Syria and Libya. Enough is enough..

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