THE BLOG

Bush Opposes Troop Pay Increases

by Taylor Marsh

This is the Republican way of supporting the troops. Oppose pay increases.

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.

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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."

White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary - Army Times

It's not enough that the troops had to suck it up with too few armored humvees.

It's not enough that the troops have to endure redeployment extentions, while the president's "surge" explodes into an escalation and build up that could last through next year and beyond.

It's not enough that the troops have to endure Bush's abdication of his commander in chief role as he appoints a war czar to do his job, regardless of the likely unconstitutionality of the very position. He simply doesn't know what to do in Iraq anymore.

Now Mr. Bush "strongly opposes" pay increases for our military, calling them "unnecessary." Well, in the list of unnecessaries include the Special Survivor and Indemnity Allowance, Death Gratuity for Federal Civilian Employees, and if these weren't insulting enough, Bush also opposes price controls for parts of TRICARE.

Republican insults towards our troops knows no bounds. But that doesn't keep Mr. Bush and his party from expecting more of our soldiers every day.

- Taylor Marsh