Yeah, that what he said – “lavish”. David Wood at Huffington Post wrote today that it’s a cryin’-ass shame that military pay has caught up with civilian pay. The above title of my post was taken from what Wood’s post was titled before they changed it to be less inflammatory.
But, basically, Wood, who has never been in the military, by the way – he’s a Quaker and a conscientious objector – says that the last two defense secretaries warned that paying an armed force what it’s worth is dangerous. Of course, those last two defense secretaries both served under this president. The last one, Panetta, didn’t mind spending DoD’s money to fly his command post to California every weekend irrespective of the costs.
Base pay and housing allowance boosts the income of an Army master sergeant with 10 years of service, living at Fort Drum, N.Y., to $84,666.48 a year, according to the current Pentagon pay tables. This sergeant would pay a tax rate of 15 percent, a $6,417.40 tax advantage over civilians.
An Army captain with six years of service with the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, earns $85,330.80 a year in pay and housing allowance — not counting bonuses, tax-free danger pay for service in a war zone and other benefits. A brigadier (one-star) general at Fort Drum, with 16 years of service, is earning $131,652 a year plus a housing allowance of $2,247 per month.
Now, think about it for a minute – I’ve lived at Fort Drum and I know what housing is available there – it’s not like these guys are living in McMansions. Does Wood think the Army should pay military members less than what their housing costs? Or should they just shut off all housing allowances? And what’s lavish about paying for living costs?
When I left the Army as an infantry platoon sergeant, I was responsible for $8 million worth of equipment and deploying with more firepower than a World War II infantry battalion – what’s that worth? Probably more than the $25,000 I was being paid at the time.
I hate to say ‘I told you so’, but I did back in 2008.
Thanks to ROS for the link.
Category: Military issues