Balancing the Budget on the Backs of Soldiers

Posted by Bob Lord

Will the effort to trim the military budget devolve into another screwing of the many to benefit the few?

Sunday's NY Times lead editorial, Putting Military Pay on the Table, opened with this: 

Big-ticket weapons like aircraft carriers and the F-35 fighter jet have to be part of any conversation about cutting Pentagon spending to satisfy the mandatory budget reductions known as the sequester. But compensation for military personnel has to be on the table, too — even though no other defense issue is more politically volatile or emotionally fraught.

Somehow, I doubt the brass will see their pay cut. We're talking soldiers and sailors here. The ones who make the real sacrifice. The ones who lose limbs and lives. The ones whose PTSD precludes them from leading productive lives when they return. 

Those overpaid grunts whose compensation starts in the high teens upon enlistment. 

How convenient that the"liberal" New York Times is beating the drum for these cuts:

… many Washington-based think tanks, spanning all ideologies, are also pushing reform. In June, a group of them — including the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the liberal Center for American Progress — called for a comprehensive review and modernization of the military compensation system, which has been largely unchanged for 40 years.

Get that? The "liberal" Center for American Progress? Actually, CAP is the least progressive of the left of center DC think tanks. Heck, it's arguably not even left of center. It's the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party. But CAP was the best the Times could find on the left.

How will our Reps, who are always "thinking of the troops," handle this if forced to choose between the troops they purport to love and bacon for their districts in the form of contracts for local military contractors to build armaments we'll never need? 

I'm bettin' on the bacon.

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