February 6th, 2013
10:16 AM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Panetta to recommend pay cut for military

By Barbara Starr

Just days before he leaves office, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is recommending military pay be limited, effectively decreasing troop salaries next year.

Panetta will recommend to Congress that military salaries be limited to a 1% increase in 2014. The Pentagon has calculated that the Labor Department's 2014 Employment Cost Index is expected to be above 1% but wants to still cut back on pay because of "budget uncertainties," a department official told CNN. In 2013, a 1.7% increase was approved, based on the index, which has been the basis for military pay for the last several years.

Three Pentagon officials have confirmed details of the plan to CNN. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have also agreed to Panetta's proposed pay plan. Final approval for the pay would come from Congress in the form of the 2014 budget.

The recommendation is tied to the Defense Department's 2014 budget recommendation, which was expected to be sent to Congress this month, one of the officials said. But the officials acknowledge it is going to be seen as an effort to push Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts that could go into effect if no deal is reached on spending reductions.

ALSO:  Panetta warns spending cuts will degrade military readiness

The decision comes as the secretary is stepping up the rhetoric about dire cuts at the Pentagon if sequestration goes into effect. President Obama in 2012 walled off military pay from cuts, so if this current pay plan goes into effect, it's widely seen as "cutting our pay," one military officer familiar with the plan told CNN. "It's a smart move, it puts it in Congress' hands," he said.

Panetta, in one of his last official speeches as secretary of defense, told an audience at Georgetown University on Wednesday that the Pentagon faced "the most serious readiness crisis in over a decade."

The defense secretary outlined a series of possible cuts should the Pentagon be forced to find half a trillion dollars more in savings. He warned that 800,000 civilian workers could furloughed for 22 days and that the Army would need to cut back on training and maintenance, putting two-thirds of combat teams at "reduced readiness levels." Pacific naval operations could be cut by as much a third, and Air Force flying hours and weapons maintenance could be cut.

CNN has also learned that this week, the Navy is expected to announce it does not have the money to pay for refueling and maintenance of the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. That will essentially mean the Navy is short a carrier and overseas deployments will be cut.
"No good options exist," Panetta said.

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    • BP

      i think it might be a good thing if they redid the military pay and benefits. As a retired veteran (retired 20 years) iknow hte current system sucks and i could not live off of my pension, and any system that keeps retirees at pre civil war level and increases the active duty pay to levels never heard of before, it needs to be scrapped totally, maybe then retirrees could get a fair deal. People servicnng at the level i retired at make more than their civilian couterparts now, unheard of. when i retired a General made 72k a year, plus perks. it is crazy how many jobs i have to have now to make ends meet even with a pension. Now military members make more maney than civilians who have worked 20 years in for profit companies.

      January 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm | Reply
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  7. Rebecca

    Why should Military have to be treated any different, they are the ones whom stand watch and risk their life so we could all have freedom, not to mention all the family left behind when they die in the line of duty. Yet football player could earn 17 million dollars. Great system in place Obama.


    August 5, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Reply
    • Watchitgo

      We can't keep our military compenstated for protecting our country but we can pay for the healthcare and education of all the illegals that have broken the law by unlawful entry!

      We can spend billions of dollars giving stimulus to companies on the verger of bankruptcy and when they do go belly up the CEOs contribute to Obama's re-election!

      We would also have one heck of a lot of money to give the military raises and healthcare coverage if the government was not spending billions of dollars to launch Obamacare! Just the enrollment costs would take care of the military.

      Obams is SHOVING US OFF A CLIFF and it is intentionally.

      September 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • D

      Stop funding the Middle East and Africa, cut food stamps, Medicaid, and other government crutches that are being abused. My husband is currently in Afghanistan as a US soldier, we don't ask for millions just far pay for the job done. Next time you jump in your car to get McDonald's, kiss your kids goodnight, lay down in a comfy bed, think of our military as they are always on alert 24/7 just to stay alive another day

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    April 25, 2013 at 8:39 am | Reply
  18. christopher J

    Pannetta is a dick head. Remember this is a VOLUNTEER force! They don't get paid ENOUGH as it is for what they're subjected to!

    April 25, 2013 at 8:35 am | Reply
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  22. Chris

    I can't believe how little the US military gets paid as it is. I'm in the Australian army and served overseas with US forces and was stunned to learn that a Private soldier in Australia gets paid more than a US Army Staff Sergeant. I don't know how you all do it. I think you all definitely deserve a raise. You cannot compare civilian salaries with military salaries. Civilians do not have to face half the challenges that military personnel do. It's like apples and oranges. Incomparable.

    April 1, 2013 at 1:59 am | Reply
  23. retired military

    I read these posts about military being on wic and food stamps. What you didnt mention was that your 2000$ bah is not included when the gov. Figures your income level. The rest of corporate america does not get tax free bah! And any cola is figure into the gross income. What this article fails to mention is the 3.5% bah increase that all of military got this year. Do the math and thats a 5% pay increase, you bozo's! Cost of living for all other gov. Agencies has not changed for 3 years! And you are complaining?!! Grow up.

    March 19, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Reply
    • Amy

      $2000 BAH? HA! Wow, it would be nice to get that amount.

      March 20, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Reply
      • Em C.

        Exactly Amy! We get $1395 and paid $1600 for our house, the only one that could fit us and was available at the time we were forced to move. I finally talked the owners down to $1425/mo for a year and $1475/mo for the following if I signed a 2 year lease. But, it's still above BAH and that doesn't include, water, trash and utilities.

        March 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
  24. retired military

    You people are a joke. I spent 20 years in the military and now work for the federal government. Im a GS-12 and make less than an E-5 in the military now, before furlough. Only a handful of guys carry our military while the rest of you spend working hours to go to college for free and the rest of the day wasted complaining. Wait until you have to get a real job with 30% less money, then you really will be crying..ha!

    March 19, 2013 at 11:15 pm | Reply
    • Amy

      Not sure what military wives you know, and I know there are some like that, but I assure you I am not one of them. I spend my days taking care of our kids and doing what needs to be done to make sure we have enough money to buy what is needed for our family. No complaining, just honesty. We are not rolling in green paper every two weeks when that paycheck hits the bank; it's a carefully organized dance of what money goes where, because this job will not last forever, and some of us have responsibilities BESIDES just standard bills. Expensive ones, like legal battles.

      March 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Em C.

      There's no way you make less than E-5 pay as a GS-12. At E-7 pay, we barely make more than you do.

      March 22, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • AF

      Sir, your a F-–retard!

      April 27, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Smoke the douchbags

      As he collects a pension on top of GS12 pay you don't even deserve to open your mouth. Must have retired as a E5 sorry you couldn't advance douchbag.

      May 24, 2013 at 4:08 am | Reply
    • A Gordon

      Hey Mr Retired Military, you must be a complete moron. In what universe does an E5 make more than a GS12? Let's use an example, because you obviously have bumped your head and you need it broken down Barney Style. We can use Fort Benning GA as a locale; an E5 with 6 years of service, w/dependent(s) makes $4242 a month ($50,904 annually). A GS12 (Step 1) at Benning makes $69,930 annually. A GS12 (Step 5) makes $79, 253 annually, and just as in the military, if you stay long enough and move up the ranks, you could be a GS12 (Step 10) making $90,907 annually. So no, even with the BAH included, a SGT DOES NOT make more than a GS12. You sir are a complete idiot.

      June 21, 2013 at 11:49 am | Reply
  25. Army wife

    as a military wife, my husband's paychecks get us by. how are we suppose to have enough money for us and the baby on the way. what does that say for america if they are cutting pay for the people who fight for this country? the government says they care about our troops and their families but they don't show it. have one them go out in Afghanistan and be away from their families. my husband risked his safety for 9 months overseas and i was scared everyday. so where is the support? panetta said there are no good options. ok well panetta, go overseas and be away from your family. cut back on you paycheck and the congress. cause they are cutting military pay but getting a raise. something does not act. THINK ABOUT IT PANETTA, IF YOU SAY YOU SUPPORT THE TROOPS, THEN SUPPORT THE TROOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 10, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  26. calisoldier

    As a soldier, i'm living paycheck to paycheck with a wife and toddler because the government gives me enough to go by. The only way to earn extra money is to deploy and have my wife pray for me everyday because she's scared.

    February 22, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  27. donald freeman

    Cut the pay will cause those who have there time in will leave service.Panetta should have all of his benefits stopped. he wants to go to war with SYRIA with out congress, and go with the U.N.and if they don't do that Obama will o.k. it him self . he will never get all the military he needs to do that. And if he does. We will have all we need to IMPEACH and remove half of congress.

    February 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  28. Katherine

    Military and on food stamps, but some officials deserve bigger paychecks to make stupid decisions right? NOT! freaking typical tyranny

    February 19, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  29. Amy

    I did some math off my husband's monthly LES....considering his rank, all allotments, the fact that he has dependents, that he's on call 24/7 (as are all soldiers, really), and before taxes, he makes $4.92/hour. REALLY? This man helps defend this country, does what he's told, and he doesn't even make $5/hr?

    February 19, 2013 at 8:53 am | Reply
    • Karen

      Amy, I'm trying to get educated. By "allotments" are you referring to housing allowance and commissary? Cost of medical insurance coverage? I don't know the military life so don't really have an idea what you do and do not get? I empathize and suspect that even with the above you do not get compensated as you should.

      February 19, 2013 at 10:01 am | Reply
      • Amy

        Allotments are BAH (housing) and BAS (food). I'm sure some soldiers get others, but those are the only two we get. They don't put anything about insurance into ours, except for the dental and vision we pay for. We live in military housing, so we see BAH on the paystub, but never a dime in the account because it goes straight to housing. Granted, that means our "rent" and utilities are paid for, but even then there's a limit on the utilities. Food...well, we eat stingy, so it's ok, but if a soldier goes to training while still stateside, that BAS gets zapped, because he's getting food wherever he is. Which means the family back home has to find food money in another way.

        February 20, 2013 at 1:36 pm |
    • Are we being honest

      Amy – when you calculate that your husband is making less than $5 an hour, "considering he is on call 24/7" – does that mean your taking his salary and dividing it across all his sleeping time, partying time, family time, etc? In the real world, lots of people are on call 24/7. Salaried people don't get paid for being on call, period. We make our wage no matter how many hours we work, and no matter how many times we get called back in to fix something. Hourly people get a stipend sometimes – in my company it is $50 a month for being on call, and then you get paid your hourly wage if you actually do get called to do something.

      March 22, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • Amy

        Yes. Considering my husband DOESN'T party, and considering the massive amounts of time he's spent on night shift while still having to attend PT during the day, and getting calls at any time, I am. I realize that's not exactly "kosher" when calculating costs, but even if you knock him down to 10 hours a day, which would mean PT and his actual work time, you're still not looking at nearly enough for those who have surrendered their lives and other options to defend this country. Compared to these lazy congress and political figures that are making hundreds, thousands of dollars an hour to do what, drain the little people further? Yeah. Call me liar for giving you that $4.92/hr figure. Even if you take off the 24/7, he's still not making what he's worth.

        March 23, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
      • Em C.

        I agree Amy! I figured it out and my husband as a GySgt having over 16 years with the Marine Corps and works in a highly trained field only makes about $13.00 an hour. That's with nontaxable income, extra allotments, and his crazy hours working over in Afghanistan. That's not much to put your life on the line, work 14-16 hour days, deal with Top Secret information in a highly trained field with an employer you've been loyal to for 16 years. I made $15 an hour working in the accounting field with no degree when we lived in San Diego and I didn't have to work nearly as many hours or put myself in danger.

        March 23, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
      • army family

        I like how some of these people talking crap about this subject do not even know how much we get paid, some of us do not get help from the state, some of our men and women do not make it home alive to keep people like you and I alive, or the right to speak the crap your speaking right now, yes we get paid 24/7 but we also have a greater change of not coming home alive unlike some of your careers. You get to come home at night we don't we have to train for weeks at a time, we are down range 9-12 months at a time and that is the short time for being gone, sometimes not able to contact our husbands, kids, sibling or Parents like you can, so the stuff we take for granted you get to do 24/7. I am against the pay cut because families can barley get by now and what would happen then. We do not get paid enough for what we do, and chances we take.

        July 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm |
  30. Karen

    This is nuts. They don't get paid enough as it is.

    February 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      Karen and Amy – Allotments are discretionary payroll deductions credited to other organizations on behalf of the soldier. For example, you can pay your car payment, life insurance, mortgage, personal loan, etc, through allotment.

      BAH – is Basic Allowance for Housing
      BAS – is Basic Allowance for Subsistence (food)
      The DOD is responsible for feeding and housing all service members, so they are ALLOWED to collect those allowances because it's cheaper and more cost effective than providing all of those services directly. The proper term for those benefits is allowances. They are not taxable because they are part of the contractual agreement to serve in the Armed Forces. FYI

      February 26, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  31. patrick

    but the administration gave hundreds of billions of your tax dollars to the muslim brotherhood and fighter jets and tanks as a special bonus what do we get in return? will you count on the muslim brotherhood to help protect america?

    February 16, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  32. Sparky

    All I have to day is "Executive Order" to Raise Congress pay and now Cut Limit Military pay because of "Budget uncertainty" and they wonder why we get angered by the stupidity of our "Leader" I digress

    February 14, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  33. Soldier110

    And how about congress and those fat cat goons in Washington take a pay cut?!

    February 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      All you Military overwelmingly voted for your Commander In Chief and his wonderful administration. Live with it, love it, deal with it. You asked for it and you got, TOYOTA!!!!!

      February 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • plasmix1

        No they didn't, Texas. WHERE are you getting that stat from???

        February 16, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
      • Jarrod Wallace

        Texas Patriot, you have that wrong Sir, The biggest part of the Military didn't even get our votes counted. We have to use Absentee Ballots. If you look it up, The President was taking a few, don't know the exact number, but some States to Court to keep us from being counted. I promise you this, I will never vote for the Democrats. If it keeps up I will be moving to Texas to keep my money and GUNS!

        February 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
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  35. Delia

    I dont really care that they are looking to not give us raises. It would be nice considering we qualify for food stamps and we are on wic. To be honest, with the cuts they are already making in the military, the fact they are barely resigning people even with clean records, and closing down bases left and right, i would think they had all the money just with the cuts. There are other ways they could get more money than just not doing what they have always done. For instance, the contractors are very expensive. Maybe they should look for contractors that dont charge 60 dollars for a stapler. Or build new buildings when the old ones are just fine. I also find it very disturbing that once your in congress you get congress pay for the rest of your life. I just feel like taking money away from the people who can and are spending their money (a lot of the single men in the military have NO idea what a budget is and spend their paychecks right back into the economy the day after they get paid) is not going to help anything. Like i said i dont care if we get a pay increase or not, we will find a way to make ends meet for our families. There are just many more areas that they could attack first that would save them MORE money than what they are doing. The manning on the bases are already low. Most people in critical jobs are already pulling 12 hour shifts. They are only being sent home because they have rules saying once they hit the 12 hour mark the work they are aloud to do is limited. I realize that a lot of people think military make bank. I understand why people think that, i would also just like to point out, that we also work 12 hours a day 5 days a week, not including extra duties (because since the amount of airman is so low weekend duties and extra things come up ALL the time now). And get paid enough to still qualify for food stamps and wic. So before you start thinking that EVERY military family makes more money than you, i hope you actually look at the salary vs our work hours. Then also take into account that most people are only in 4-6 years now, officers are being let go all the time because they arnt needed, so e-5 and below are mostly what you are looking at in your military now a days. Most people actually make way more than us. We just are lucky because we have options of living on bases and we dont have to worry about MOST medical bills. btw our nurses only train for 5 months, which is usually who you get when you go to the doctors. And i dont remember how long the doctors train for, but its not nearly as good as a real doctor. So yeah we get medical care, but its not half as good as yours. There have been people who have went to get their appendix removed and have woken up with no leg. I dont even know how that is possible, but its happened. I really just hope all those who are like GOOD bout time they feel the hurt, actually TALK to the military families before you start thinking that we are so much better off. That you actually DO the research as to WHO exactly is going to end up being effected and WHERE the money is actually going from those peoples paychecks. Because I have no idea what they are going to do with it. I havent found a single article where that money is actually going instead have you? While i would like to believe its going to start paying off the debt...i havent seen the debt go down yet have you?

    February 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  36. Deborah

    why is it that the people who chose to defend the country have to be paid less than the people who are doing nothing all day long?

    February 11, 2013 at 12:57 am | Reply
    • John

      Why just the military? Why not make this across the board for all federal employees? We need deficit reduction, and eventually debt reduction, so we do need cuts. That said, while many federal employees do good work, I think few do more than our military, so if the military is taking the hit, why shouldn't a GS over at Health and Humans Services or Education or the EPA?

      February 11, 2013 at 7:28 am | Reply
      • Fed Worker

        John, all federal workers pay raises have already been frozen, going on the second year in a row and staring at a third. I am retired Marine who fully appreciates what my military family goes through and I think their pay should be off limits. Let's take a look at the millionaires elected to office to "serve" the greater good: there's a place where we could make a few cuts. Let them get furloughed for not doing their jobs and not get a paycheck until they do. We could find quite a bit of money there to apply to the ever-growing debt.

        February 11, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Texas Patriot

      I have a much better idea, why don't we just pay Congress for the work they do? Think about this, they do so little they would have to give a refund back to this country. Then in turn we can pay our Military 4 % more to offset the Inflation Index. They are the ones who suffer, get wounded and die for our country while Congress and King Obama just run their jibs without thinking.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
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  38. Jack

    The U. S. operates half the world's aircraft carriers. I think they can safely mothballs a few.

    February 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply

      Jack – and check out the big planes in moth balls in Tucson, AZ and Tanks in moth balls near Reno, Nevada. And we are still manufacturing them, when none are needed. The politicians from those states and others keep legislating for them and they keep funding the money for them. There is lot of waste – but don't go putting the screws on the little guys in our military.

      February 10, 2013 at 11:57 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        There is an actual reason for keeping production of "unnecessary" war materiel going ... if you shut down a tank or bomber factory because you don't need any new machines for a while (few years maybe) there's no guarantee there will be a tank/bomber factory to build tanks/bombers when you actually do need them. Building these complex military machines requires skilled and knowledgeable workers ... this isn't 1935 ... you can't go from producing a car to making a B2 bomber ... the skills simply are not transferable. If you lay off all the guys who know how to build these machines, then instead of costing $1Billion for a new toy, you will be spending 5 or 10 times that much because you have to start from scratch all over again. And most of the stuff you see in mothballs is obsolete. Many of the mothballed machines are organ donors (spare parts) for machines still on active duty. Others there are simply scrap metal waiting to be melted down. Military machinery on active duty wears out ... they have to be constantly repaired and updated or they will fall apart and fail when the people relying on those machines can least afford it. Aircraft especially have a limited lifespan ... they can only survive military operational flying for so long before the stresses cause irreversible damage to critical components ... aircraft over a certain age (measured in hours of flight time) are unreliable and dangerous and so must be retired from active duty. Same goes for naval ships and any military machine (tanks, trunks, artillery, etc. etc.) although the lifecycles will be substantially different depending on the machine (simpler machines last longer, more complex machines have shorter lifespans).

        February 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
      • Gman

        I drove a lot of military vehicles and a lot of them where POS and your going to cut training and MAINTENANCE !!! WOW

        February 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
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    February 10, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Reply
  40. 1Sgt Rock

    Sec Def Panetta is your typical appointee, who always cuts a "sweetheart deal" for himself, because he is "so special". Obama gave him a blank check so he could fly home to his "Momma" every weekend on a special high brass executive jet for select gov officials. The one-way flight costs about $30,000 x 2 =$60,000 times 48 weeks = $2,880,000 ! Yet he paid only $650 per flight, each way or $62,400 per year. All this money for a guy that didn't know where Obama was and couldn't reach him all night as four US personnel where calling for dire assistance to save them ! Even poor Hillery was no where to be found! Too much night clubbing and screwing off. The troops' families don't need to have a pay increase, they can have food stamps!

    This current administration is a total major malfunction....when the going get's tough, they look for excuses and someone to blame. They never lead from the front because they are always way in the rear! Disgrace-full !

    February 10, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Reply
    • Right On

      You hit it right on the head, this guy can spend all that money, and then recommend cutting military pay... what a jerk !!!!!

      February 11, 2013 at 9:58 am | Reply
  41. Drew

    Since when is a %1 increase considered a pay cut? That being said, punishing soldiers, teachers and law enforcement proves that the middle class is still secondary to the elites who bank roll Washington. Get money out of politics!

    February 10, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Ramjet

      Technically it is not a cut, but is is a loss of effective buying power. The inflation rate is far higher than 1%.
      Gasoline alone has gone up more than that. Oh, and funny point there, Gasoline price is not added into the cost of living at all. If it were the COL for last year would be around 12%.
      Our military is over there fighting and dying (and in many cases being permanently maimed) and they have to take the hit while the Congress and other fat cats laugh with their millions.
      Vote them all out of office. RECALL anyone who has been there over 2 years and replace them with people who will listen to the working people in the country..

      February 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      A 1% increase is effectively taking food out of my family's mouths. Take any more and I won't stick around to defend you when some actual enemies come knocking, I promise.

      February 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  42. Ken

    We need fewer troops, not lower paid ones. Instead of focusing on destroying and rebuilding countries halfway around the world, we need to adopt the (once-conservative) idea that charity begins at home.

    February 10, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • USN Active

      Fewer troops? Are you kidding me!? We are stretched thin as it is, and the rest of the world not only sees that, they have begun to take advantage of it!

      While I agree with you about bringing charity back home and taking care of each other rather than blowing money we don't have to fixing other countries' problems, it'll never happen without a military to watch over your back. The extremity of our military's size is the only reason why most threats thrown this way are never carried out.

      February 10, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  43. mmi16

    How many 'Pink Slips' for the military will Congress generate with the 'Sequestration' brinksmanship generate.

    WHATEVER happens – it is on CONGRESS!

    February 10, 2013 at 5:33 am | Reply
  44. SGT J

    Yeah sure, because we're obviously over-paid right now as it is. Let me get off of here, and go tell two of my young soldiers with families that qualify for welfare, that their pay may be cut next year.

    February 10, 2013 at 3:40 am | Reply
  45. Jim Smith

    Wow, all this hyprventilating over a pay cut that's actually a pay raise which is nearly a year away. I'm retired military and we're all feeling the pinch of a slow economic recovery, but a small raise is better than none at all.

    February 10, 2013 at 1:50 am | Reply
    • Ramjet

      I had a few of those 1% pay raises in my military career. Every time I ended up with a SMALLER paycheck because taxes went up due to the increase, but the taxes always went up enough that the actual take home check went DOWN.
      Seems that the IRS table are set up to catch that last dollar you get every time.

      Want to Fix it? Do away with Income tax. Federal 5% sales tax on everything except uncooked chicken, hamburger & eggs, bread, milk, low sugar breakfast cereal and gasoline (Gas already has plenty of federal tax in the price). Those items are what the poor buy the most. Thus you help them without giving anyone else a loophole. Tax revenue will increase because the Rich & middle class spend the money. And if you save it, you don't pay tax on it.

      February 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Gee, thanks for your input guy who got a much bigger COLA raise this year. Did your time and got out, and now it's time to make the rest of us who are still serving foot the bill?

      February 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  46. Mark

    Most wars are not going to be fought with ground troops from now on, Also,no one goes into the service totally unknowledgable about the rates of pay and benefits they will receive. Exactly who do you want to tax in order have service members receive pay increases, the rich? Not the poor and the middle class I am sure. Perhaps you should write your Republican congressman and tell them to vote to raise your taxes instead of blaming Panetta and the Obama administration.

    February 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  47. Jay1369

    This is simply wrong. As a young Marine in the 60's I remember many times eating old C-rations with my wife simply because we couldn't make ends meet on my $313.00 a month. The military are the folks asked to risk their lives to protect this country. They spend long and lonely periods of times in foreign and sometimes hostile lands at the direction of our political leadership. The families of these brave and unselfish people suffer hardships many will never understand that haven't experienced it. And now, they are asked to tighten their belts and put their kids on dog food so Lockheed, Boeing, and other high tech companies can keep producing Gee-Whiz technology. Bottom line the military starts with the person on the ground and ends with the person on the ground. Cutting their pay is an incredible disservice.

    February 9, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • Trevelyn

      I agree with this man 100% .Sgt.Garfield T.Brown jr (RETIRED) 1988-2009 Army (Veteran of 2 wars)

      February 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply

      Jay1369 – You are so right! during WW II, nearly all military wives had to work to help feed their families and pay the rent and it wasn't from buying to much – We had stamps for some foods and gasoline, when you ran out – tough stuff! we had slum landlords back then too. You worked where ever you could find a job doing menial labor in a laundry, scrubbing floors in a hospital, washing dishes in a cafe, working in a drugstore, driving a cab, working in defense plants, banging a typewriter or running a printing press all day – we wives and women did all these things while our husbands and fathers were in service to make ends meet. If one got in dire straits – the red cross was the only place to go and you might not get the help (one reason I haven't given them a dime in over 50 years), as least, since that time we do have a little more help for people who have been disenfranchised , but boy do the politicians ever gripe about it, while they live high on the hog on our taxes – now that is political welfare – white glove of course! Wives and kids got an allotment and they could shop on the base groceries and use the hospital – that is if you lived within a hundred miles and had a car or could ride the bus. One thing hasn't changed – once the military no longer has a use for you – you cease to exist.

      February 11, 2013 at 12:33 am | Reply
  48. Karlton

    Speaking of pay cuts, how many gluttonous pigs on Capital Hill are taking pay cuts? Answer: NONE! Wake up America! This country NEEDS an ENEMA! The President and his minions are setting us up for the slaughter and we're all just sitting here letting him. Get in the chess game America before it's checkmate, game over!

    February 9, 2013 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      I agree with you but, America voted for these folks, so America should suffer for that bad choice. Thats what happens when you vote for a President born in Kenya, raised in Hawaii, and Educated at Harvard as a Foriegn Exchange Student.
      Yea, thats right, why do you genius' who voted for him find out why his college records are closed to everyone. Hey, Democrats, thanks for the 2% Automatic Payroll Tax Increase on all Americans especially the Middle Class. What happened to the I Promise not to tax the Middle Class Plan.

      February 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  49. Retired SF MSgt

    Absolutely deplorable , of course panetta is all about the pay cut, though he's never had to support a family on military pay .. sorry sack of shall we say cow dung

    February 9, 2013 at 10:52 am | Reply
    • Maya

      Wow, are you really that ignorant? Leon Panetta WAS in the Army.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Reply
      • Army wife

        then he should understand what it is like to support a family on military pay.

        March 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
  50. Tutuvabene

    The government never actually speaks about pay cuts these days, just how much a pay increase would be limited or no increase at all. An old timer once told me that the military actually did have a 15 percent pay cut during the depression and that was back when privates were essentially getting next to nothing for pay. So consider yourself lucky you're living in a more generous age.

    February 9, 2013 at 10:23 am | Reply
  51. Tutuvabene

    Too bad service members are laying their lives on the line for people other than Americans such as Afghans, Iragis,Malians, etc. They need to be paid more not less.

    February 9, 2013 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Maya

      I don't see you volunteering to pay more taxes.

      February 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm | Reply
      • Texas Patriot

        Hey Maya, maybe we can cut your food stamps and welfare subsistence to your 20 kids to give our Military a raise.

        February 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
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