military pay raises
December 23, 2002 7:51 AM   Subscribe

"Hang in there, help is on the way."

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently asked the Defense Department to lower the 2004 pay raise from its expected 3.7 percent to 2 percent. Daniels also wants future raises tied to inflation, rather than basing boosts on what civilians doing comparable jobs in the private sector might make.

Many of our military families already qualify for welfare and food stamps. Pay raises are out of the question when there's NMD and tax cuts to the wealthy needing funding.
posted by nofundy (7 comments total)
Many of the military families that I have encountered only contain one working adult. It is not that unusual to need welfare or food stamps to support children when only one parent works.
posted by Raichle at 8:18 AM on December 23, 2002

Not that many qualify, really. The most generous estimate (that I could find) put it under 2%. Maybe you think (and I would agree) that no one in the military should qualify, but it is helpful to understand the (rather small) scope of the problem.
1. Estimate of food-stamp-eligble military personel
2. Total military strength
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:22 AM on December 23, 2002

And people keep wondering why the military can't retain qualified personnel.
posted by Cerebus at 8:41 AM on December 23, 2002

Hey, if you were trained to be a nuclear operator (like me) by the Navy and you got standard navy pay for staying in and starting $60,000 in the civilian sector wouldn't you jump ship too? Not that I am, really, but I don't blame those who do.

If we want a decent military we need to invest to ensure that those that can easily get jobs on the outside still stay in due to pay and benefits. Its all about competitive pay.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:58 PM on December 23, 2002

I did computers in the air force, and a good friend of mine is a navy nuke troop. (maybe nuke troop is an air force term..) I jumped 'ship' and don't miss it at all. I think there needs to be better pro pay and advancement oportunities for people that show they have real skills. But alas, bus driver, computer geek, nuke troop, cop, B2 avionics, secretary, it's all the same pay. Stupid. It's great for the people in the jobs that require no skill or abilities, bad for the jobs that do. I found it pretty funny that when my career field had a 6 srb and people were still getting out. Maybe more career fields should get pro pay...

Speaking of navy, I remember seeing a show about real life on a carrier or something. The low ranking enlisted people who were cleaning and cooking HATED it, but the low ranking people who had technical jobs liked it. They all got the same pay. Maybe life at sea and not seeing how it's like on the outside affects people's point of view and affect retainability in an inverse way that it does for the air force. Hmmm....
posted by klaruz at 11:24 PM on December 23, 2002

What may be even more ungrateful is the administration's resistance to changing the 19th century law which reduces disabled veterans' retirement pay by the amount they get in disability.
posted by homunculus at 12:25 AM on December 24, 2002

In some ways, I think the military is the closest to a large communist system in the US these days. You get paid based on a certain fixed figure, not on competition with other employers. You receive entitlements based on your needs. (like those with dependants receiving allotments) All direct needs can be taken care of through government run outlets. (i.e. Medical, your local Navy Exchange, commissary) To each according to their wants, from each according to their ability indeed. U.S. Communist party, have hope.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:20 AM on December 24, 2002

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