The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, May 21, 2007

More risk, and less reward? Sign me up!

Another longstanding "accuse others of the crime you're committing" tradition of this administration is screwing over the troops. Benefit cuts, the whole Walter Reed scandal, and the fact that their lives are nothing more than a political truncheon for the administration.

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.”

You've got to love that show of appreciation for their sacrifices. I've never has a job that requires 80 pounds of gear in 100+ temperatures-- while being targeted by snipers and bombers. But I'm very familiar with shitty wages. As in 'not even keeping up with annual inflation' wages. And apparently even that is too good for our military.

But just being amoral pricks is never enough for the GOP. They wanted to pour a nice compund of salt, vinegar and Tabasco in the wound (although to be fair, not everything BushCo opposed was a total disgrace).

A prohibition on converting medical jobs held by military members into civilian positions drew opposition [from the White House]. “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. . .

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.

Dammit, they're fighting for the freedom to pay whatever pharmaceutical companies demand! Anything less and the Soviet Union wins!