Again, Obama cuts military pay

Again, Obama cuts military pay

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Tom Morton, a 23-year-old team leader with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and native of Nashville, Tenn., hands an Afghan child a toy during a security patrol. (Photo: Flickr)
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Tom Morton, a 23-year-old team leader with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and native of Nashville, Tenn., hands an Afghan child a toy during a security patrol. (Photo: Flickr)
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Tom Morton, a 23-year-old team leader with 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and native of Nashville, Tenn., hands an Afghan child a toy during a security patrol. (Photo: Flickr)

Obama is cutting military pay… yet again.

As most Americans are unaware, by federal law those serving in the nation’s military are suppose to receive a yearly pay raise in accordance with a formula utilized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The House of Representatives traditionally uses whatever figure the BLS sends them to factor into any given Fiscal Year Budget to be sent to the Commander-in-Chief.

But Barack Obama has again decided to use an emergency loophole in the US Code to deny the formulated pay raise from the already woefully underpaid troops.

As reported by Anna Giaritelli of the Washington Examiner, members of the Armed Forces will see a barely visible 1.6 percent increase in their proverbial pay envelopes starting New Year’s Day. As Giaritelli also cited, those in the service were initially slated to receive a 2.1 percent hike in pay as “mandated by law.”

The Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, is rather incensed that Obama is cutting military pay… yet again.

“Few people are more deserving of a full pay raise than our men and women in uniform,” Thornberry said. “Yet, at the same time President Obama is proposing significant increases in military deployments and expanding existing missions, he is cutting the pay raise for our troops for the fourth year in a row.”

Thornberry pointed at the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2017, which mandates the 2.1 percent increase and would block the president’s ability to reduce troop pay in the future.

He said that giving military individuals and families only a 1.6 percent bump would hurt them in the long haul.

“The lower pay increase mandated by the president means a young military family would receive about $336 less this year than the law provides. Over four years of a lower rate, the family will have lost between $1,500 and $2,000,” Thornberry said.

With the Family Obama still shaking the sand out of their shoes from yet another taxpayer subsidized Martha’s Vineyard vacation, Obama used the Chief Executive’s “economic emergency” provision to bypass the BLS formula, the House of Representatives, and Title 5 U.S.C., sections 5303(b) and 5304 (a) to cut military pay.

As cited by Navy Cyber Space, the highest pay raise the military’s seen since the Truman Administration was during the Reagan presidency. The 1982 pay raise saw a whopping 14.3 percent increase.

However, during the Obama years, the pay raise approvals he’s actually signed for the Uniformed Services have seen a steady decline:

  • 2010 – 3.4%
  • 2011 – 1.4%
  • 2012 – 1.6%
  • 2013 – 1.7%
  • 2014 – 1.0%
  • 2015 – 1.0%
  • 2016 – 1.3%
  • 2017 – 1.6%

While those serving in the Armed Forces are available and considered subject to immediate recall at any time, the lower pay increase translates to a Pay Grade E-4 (Corporal, Petty Officer 3d Class, Specialist 4, Senior Airman) with less than three years in service will earn less than $3.00 an hour. Under the 2016 pay scale, a Pay Grade E-1 undergoing recruit training will be paid roughly $2.15 an hour.

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