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.

soundoff (1,972 Responses)
  1. michael ira johnson

    If the stop giving all this money to other countries than we would be able to pay our bills.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  2. Joe

    The pay scale for the military has always been jacked up. Average inflation is at 2% so by only giving us a 1% raise isn't making mid career soldiers like myself want to stay in. Also if they want to save budget how about they cut some of these Generals who have been in for 20+ years and are making anywhere from 9,000 to 12,000 dollars a month. That's double to triple what most senior enlisted soldiers get. Cut some of those Generals and cut Congresses pay would be a good start.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • john/kc

      Officers make twice and in some cases more than twice what the average enlisted soldier makes. Just freeze officer pay for say the next ten years to bring their pay more in line with that of their subordinates.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  3. 0ArchStanton

    Try immersing yourself in a people who secretly want to kill you in order to train them to do just that. Quite frankly I feel that I've earned my pay as insane as it sounds.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  4. LT

    While it may make a good talking point to talk about Congressional pay being cut it is a fruitless argument. I am one of of thousands of Junior Officers in the United States Military and I have almost as many people working for me as the Senate. Completley eliminating Senate pay would result in a net gain of around 23 million dollars. Or exactly 15 minutes and 30 seconds of the Deparment of Defense Budget. Military pay is fine. I came out of college with free healthcare and I am 5 years into my service and make more than all my roomates do, one who is starting his frist year at a law firm. Sure military service is demanding and difficult and we as a people should take care of our Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines but believe me they are paid fine. Someone without a highschool education can be making 50K + a year by the time they are 26 with free medical, clothing allowance, and yes free food when deployed. Do not try and tell me I am wrong, I have two excellent Sailors who work for me who have worked hard and excelled their entire career, they are 26 and on the verge of being promoted to a Senior Enlisted rank.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • SR

      With all due respect, SIR, go f*** yourself. You are talking out of your a**. Just because you get paid well for doing absolutely nothing, you think us enlisted folks should go eat s***? F***** POG.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
      • LT

        And I give you exhibt A. SR is that exhibit, a illeterate disrespectful child who is making more than any other 18 year old blue collar worker in the country but wants to complain about how Officer do nothing yet he can not even spell or form a complete sentence. If it is so easy submit your LDO package to your CoC, get selected, make twice your salary and do nothing. Oh wait, there isn't a chance in hell you would get selected? Can not say I am suprised.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm |
      • CPT S

        SR, don't let the LT get under your skin. Bottom line, as a commander in the Army, I feel that we should freeze officer pay and keep the pay raises coming for our enlisted troopers.

        I remember what it was like when I was a PFC/SPC making a limited amount of money, and it sucked.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
      • NavyChief

        and you SR are the reasons why it is hard to find good sailors. And don't tell me I don't know what I am talking about, shipmate.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
      • Kris

        You're a fine example of an Enlisted man. Try and find a commensurate job in the private sector with your excellent grasp of the English language and your (obvious) "high" level of education (ha). You won't. Somebody hold a gun to your head and tell you to enlist?

        February 6, 2013 at 9:13 pm |
    • Shawn L

      Yep you are 100% correct. There is NO other place someone with no education or skills right out of high school can make a living wage, with rent paid for, and food provided for on base.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Reply
      • USNVet

        does the L in Shawn L stand for Loser? because that is exactly what you are. Have fun pumping my gas son!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
    • 0ArchStanton

      You missed to point there LT. It's not about the money. It's about providing an incentive for Congress, withholding pay, until they start doing the job we pay them to do. After all, we can't exactly give them an Article15, can we?

      February 6, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Reply
    • USNVet

      well LT, i've served for over 22yrs and do not make anything compared to my civilian counterpart, a Physician Assistant. I have 9 enlisted, 8 civilians oh and 1 Junior Officer under my supervision. I believe that is more than your 2 sailors. A LT with 4 years of service makes more than a Chief Petty Officer with over 20yrs of experience and service. The CPO's train you JO's so who should be making more money? It sure is hell shouldn't be you "college grads" with no experience. Oh btw, I have my Master's Degree in Human Resources, so should I make more money? You do not want to get into this debate. No be quiet and go get me a cup of coffee, grown men are talking!

      February 6, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        If you are a grown man, maybe you should speak as one instead of being a disrespectful punk.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
      • LT

        You should quit lying to yourself and everyone else on this board. Be proud that you have served in the US Military, it is an honorable and unique postistion that nothing else relates to, no reason to make stuff up though. Just because you work in a hospital with PAs and MDs does not mean you are ready to be a Dr. or a PA. If I am wrong then please go become a PA and make a ton of money doing "the same thing" you were doing. I have even provided you a link so you don't have to do all the legwork for your ceritifcation.
        Some of the requirements include having a Masters degree from one of 141 accredited graduate programs in specific fields, I am assuming you "Master degree" is not one of them because you probably got it by correspondence. In fact the average PA spends 7 years in post secondary education before they even start working in the field. Where in your 22 years did you fit in 7 years of education? I did not think so. Most doctors could never be corpsmen, and they are our angels on the battlefield, they do an incredible job and we are thankful for them. They take care of me when they are out to sea. They are not Drs. though so just stop pretending it is an equivalincey, it is not. If it is and I am just totally wrong I am sorry and I am sure I will see you at a private hospital soon pulling in 150k a year as a PA because they will so obviously hire you with your experience and graduate education.

        February 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
  5. Justin

    Well if you are married you get bah and bas. If you are single and living in the barracks you have a rent free place to live. So basically an e1 private 18 years old gets free rent medical food everything he needs and to top it off 1500 a month to do whatever it is he wants. Where is all the the old timers at who got paid 300 dollars a month. These ungratefull little kids want everything. Look no one held a gun to your head and told you to sign. You don't join the army to get rich you do it to serve your country. This is why I got out the military to many people joining just because they need a job or they just want money. I joined to serve my country not to complain about not having enough money to buy an iphone.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
    • SR

      You forgot about inflation and income tax, a**hole.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
    • Shawn L

      Everyone h as to pay inflation and tax. Not everyone gets free housing, food, and medical. That itself is worth 40k a year.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
      • USNVet

        so a 150sq ft barracks room, MRE's and medical most people hardly use adds up to $40k/yr....once again, another useless fact coming from a disgruntled lil man!

        February 6, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  6. PetePete1

    Thanks a lot for the almost $400 a month pay "DECREASE" Obama.I cant believe 51 percent of America voted for this incompetency.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • JS

      The "cut" is giving a 1% pay raise instead of 1.7%. For that to be a $400/month pay cut you would have to be making over $685,000/year. If that were true, I wouldn't feel sorry at all that your pay is being "cut."

      February 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  7. GraveyD

    First and foremost I'll say that this proposed plan is not a great one at all. Mr. Secretary you all have been taking from Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Seamen for the last 12 or so years physically, mentally, financially, and emotionally. Of course the JCS's are going to agree because their Base Pay is anywhere from $20,937.90+ per month. Heck we're already cutting 100s of thousands in our Total Force Structure, what more would you like? It won't effect the Commissioned side of the fence that much though but the Enlisted will see a great hit as we already have. Have we forgotten that the Enlisted are the ones that plan, supply, and execute the missions of each branch and the Commissioned personnel use their ink pen/pre-signed stamp/digital signature to do 85% of their work. If their already foreseeing that the index will be well over 1% but as the head of Defense you still recommend a 1% raise which amounts to nothing more than taxes paid to the government. What sense does that make? It's not common sense and that's for sure Mr. Secretary. Let's cut funding for all of these moral visits all over the world for Top Generals and Colonels wasting fuel and DoD Assets. If they want to see or talk to their troops, do it via Tele-Conference/Web Conference just as they request us to do. I won't begin to get on the Congress issue that many servicemembers/Veterans and Civilians have in regards to their pay vs our pay for the amount of work being completed. In closing, if our pay is cut even more why not cut our hours of productivity? This can be a 2 way street so we should work together on this.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  8. Joe

    He'll sit on his "FAT A $ $" and get a sweet pay raise while he screws the people taking all the risks. What a communist liberal fk.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  9. Russ

    Let's face it, if the Military cut just the pork out of their budget it would more than make up for the needed cuts. That means no more $200 hammers that are $19 at Lowes, $500 toilets that are $100 at Lowes, let alone the ungodly contractor prices they pay for equipment and building planes, etc. It costs almost as much to build an F-22 as it does 787 dreamliner..something wrong there. Mainly the contractors. These contractors rape our government day in and day out but congress goes along with it because it also lines their pockets.

    February 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply
    • Shawn L

      We could cut our military budget by 90% and still spend more than any country in the world. The waste is just atrocious.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Reply
      • SM

        Prove it!

        February 6, 2013 at 6:38 pm |
      • Shawn L

        Prove it? Go look it up yourself, it's not hard to find.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
      • SM

        You're stating 90%, prove what you say is true. Anybody can throw a number out there.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • Scott

        Wkipedia has the numbers. We spend 711b. Next closest is China at 143b. Next is Russia at 71b. So, cutting 90% would put us a little behind China but still ahead of Russia. Shawn is basically right.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  10. Active Duty Vet

    "No good options exist," Panetta said.
    In think I understand the real reason behind offering military pay as the sacrificial lamb to get action here however, why not use an even heavier and juicier carrot? – their own salary? If those bureaucrats have misapropriated funds to the point of near bankruptcy, then by all means, let's get rid of those positions in congress and other levels of government "undersecretary this...vice chief there....SES everywhere" and save some real money...: )

    February 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply
    • F. Grande

      Pay cuts for the senate, congress and all the military officers who are having a free ride in the reserves to make a 20 year career for benefits will help cut our financial woes, along with taxing wealth, and with all incomes over 250K. Please be careful about spending cuts that hurt Americans earning below the poverty level.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Reply
      • Jennifer

        My husband is enlisted and we have had low pay and pay cuts for years. My husband has been in 20 years and is now fighting the whole system to get the retirement pay and his disability for serious injuries sustained in Afghanistan. There are military families who need food stamps and WIC to survive because the pay is horrible.
        The whole system is messed up. Men and women who volunteer to put their lives and their families lives on the line deserve to be taken care of. I think that heroes deserve a lot more than they've gotten, especially more than a bunch of selfish Congressmen/Congresswomen who sit around and do nothing all day long.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • InTheKnow

        "Free Ride" huh? The majority of military officers that I know have more combat experience/deployments than many of their active duty counterparts. The "reserves" are larger than and similarly equipped to the active duty thus deploy in larger numbers than the active duty. They leave civilian careers for up to 18 months resulting in both family and economic hardships for their communities. Hardly "Free Ride".

        February 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  11. Fuzzy Thinker

    Please retire 1/2 of the Admirals and Generals.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • James

      He sold out the Military on his way out. Another OBAMA BUM

      February 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  12. phil

    What most people dont know is with the 1.7% pay raise this year and the new taxes laws most military people actually took a pay cut this year.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Reply
    • Paulwisc

      So did the rest of us, most of whom didn't get any pay raise. Not that I want the government to reduce the military increase - in my opinion they should be paid significantly more than they are now.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Everyone with government jobs has been hurt by the economy, paying more out of their own pockets. Why should people in the military be exempt.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
  13. Dave

    $134 a month when I was in and that was during Vietnam.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  14. Shawn L

    For those complaining about pay cuts for the military, let's take an honest look at their pay. An e-1 makes 17k a year. Now, this sounds super low, except for the fact that 1. They don't have to pay rent 2. They don't pay for their own food. 3. Full medical. 4. Clothing is provided. 5. Transportation is provided. 6. Zero years of college required. Add everything up and the cost for an e1 is around 50k a year

    A sergeant with 4 years in makes 30k a year plus benefits.

    Not exactly bad pay for someone with no education. Especially when you consider that they can retire after 20 years, at age 38 if they entered at 18 and have life time benefits.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Reply
    • PopTart

      If the pay is so great Shawn L, why aren't you signing up?

      Congress constantly votes pay increases for themselves, why aren't the recommending pay cuts for themselves? They're not exactly in harms way except for the verbal abuse from their colleagues.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Reply
      • Paulwisc

        Actually the last Congressional pay increase was in 2009.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:53 pm |
      • Shawn L

        Why aren't I signing up? Well for one I am too old now as I am in my thirties, and secondly I went to college and got a degree and became a special education teacher, who by the way has sent a lot of kids to the military as it was the best paying job they could hope to get since they weren't college material.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • phil

      You must be in congress. That sounds exactly like what they would say cause they serve a couple of years and then they got a 6 figure retirement for life where someone in the military has 20 years and deal with extreme sacrifice and then gets a pay cut. By the way not all of what you say is true do some more research.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        An extreme pay cut? Sure, they are retired. They however at the ripe old age of 38 go back to college and get an education then get another job and retire from that once they hit 65 and collect two checks and life time medical. A good friend of mine did just that, and retired from both teaching and the military (He was a captain in Vietnam)

        February 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm |
    • Taylor

      You are wrong on soo many levels... I paid for my food I didnt get chow hall, I paid for my "transportation'".. and the only clothing provided is the first uniform you get in bootcamp... Spent 8 years as a grunt in the Marine Corps!! Obviously you dont have a flippin clue what your talkin about!!!!!

      February 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        So military don't get free transportation on airforce transports anywhere in the world as long as there is room? So you had to pay out of pocket for your food when you deployed?

        February 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
      • Rob

        I believe the "free travel" you are speaking of are AMC flights. Yes, they are free, no one Bradley uses them except high ranking officials or retired individuals. This is because an active duty member, on leave, can be bumped at a moments notice for these other individuals and heir dependents. This makes AMC travel very unpredictable and unreliable. Now if you don't really have to be anywhere and can wait in case you are bumped, then yeah it is ok.

        As for free food, the government gives us BAS (basic allowance for substance) which is a couple hundred dollars for meals a month which the government will deduct from your pay if you eat at the galley. If you do not get comm rats (commercial rations) authorized by your command then you have to eat at the mess hall. HOWEVER, the problem is that a lot of jobs in the military don't coincide with mess hall hours so we have to spend our own money to eat when we are afforded time to do so. Mission comes first.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm |

      WOW. You should leave our great country today!!!! Our brave trrops fight for our freedom everyday. If anything we should pay them more retard.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Oh nice, name calling. That really strengthens your position. If anything you have proven my point.
        You don't join the military to get rich, people join for a steady income, benefits, eduction and training and some join for a feel of civic duty or develop one after they join.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • tuscany590

      The same can be said about illegals who work for $8-10 or someone on welfare. They get free medical, education, SSI & pay no taxes. They' make out pretty good when all is said & done.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Don't know what world you live in, but no post high school education is free, someone has to pay for it.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Pam

      I don't now where you got your information but you need to do more research. My daughter is in the Air Force. Her uniforms and BDU's are not provided, her transportation is not provided, her food is not provided. She does get a housing stipend because she does not live on base. Sounds like you are talking about kids going into the military just out of high school, they would have all the free everything, but if you have finished your education and then enlist you have saved the military quite a bit of money in training. You also will have the option to become an officer especially if you have several years experience in your field before you join. Your rank will depend on how many years of experience you have. The military can be a wonderful career but it will be harder and harder to make it a career with all the forced retirements and refusal of re-enlistments.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Her food isnt provided because she decided not to live on base. IF she was deployed, do you think shes paying for her food at the mess hall? Does she have to pay to fly from base to base? Does she pay to fly home to visit? Can she get on an airforce transport at any time if they have room free of pay? I happen to be very close friends with quite a few military and ex military folk, don't spit in my face and tell me it's raining.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
      • ourglamour

        Your facts are indeed incorrect Shawn. As previously stated, for soldiers E-1 to E-4, their monthly food stipend is taken out of their paycheck, whether they eat at the mess hall or not. And for many soldiers, they cant make it to the chow hall during lunch hours. And thats because in many places, like Ft. Riley, where I was stationed, the chow halls are rapidely closing down and their are only a couple left on post. So now they are far away, incredibly busy and you just cant get in and out in your hour. PLUS you have to find a way to get their. Transportation isnt provided. Sometimes they are a couple miles from your barracks or work. Can you walk a couple miles there and back, and eat in an hour? Doubt it.

        Now, for travel. Of course military can use Space A travel. BUT its not guaranteed and very hard to get. So if you happen to get your leave for a week, then you get bumped off your Space A flight becuase someone more important wants to fly...well you're SOL. You arguement is completely invalid.

        Oh, and as far as being able to live off base if you choose to. Learn your facts. You are stuck on base as a single E1-E5. You have no choice in the matter. You will live in the barracks. Single E-6 and above live off base. Married any rank may choose to live on or off post. And just because you get a living stipend, doesnt mean that it will necessarily cover your rent if you live off post. If you've ever been anywhere in the vicinity of a post, you would know that the local community jacks of the price of housing (and cars).

        I'm not against the military. I think its a great option for many people, including myself at one time. I think you just have a very black and white view of what it is. Obviously you have no real experience with military life, other than what you may have heard.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
      • Kevin

        Shawn L, I'm in the military and I've spent approximately $600 in plane tickets just to see my family during my leave. Yes it is possible to use the military space A flights but they aren't reliable and are limited in locations, so most people don't use them.

        Oh, and please don't come here BSing about how you're a special education teacher and sent your special ed students into the military, because we have several procedures during MEPS which would instantly eliminate anyone with a mental disability.

        February 6, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • US Veteran

      I speak from my 13yrs of service. Let me start off by saying this first. If the military was mandatory some of you who agree with the cuts wouldn't be in favor of these cuts. Instead you believe what you read and hear. 1. Single solders don't pay for rent. True. But the living accommodations aren't not something the vast majority of American population would consider living in unless you were once homeless. Oh there are times you find yourself sleeping in woods in various times of the season. Woooo whoooooo!. 2. No education. I served with service members that had 2 and 4 yr degrees. 3.a vast majority of service members do not serve 20yrs. 3. When you retire you don't get 100%of your pay

      February 6, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        If you dont want to live on base you get a nice stipend to pay for off base housing. 2 and 4 year degrees? Did they have to get them to get the job? No. They got them before they joined, and most people I know with degrees end up in officer training as my brother did.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Jared

      How many military bases and E-1's have you known that dont have transportation?? Transportation is not provided on a day to day basis so dont make assumptions especially if proven to be completely wrong. You're obviously super anti-military, and anyone who's read all your posts can realize this. Your extremely bias and that is clouding your unintelligent judgement on anything military related. The age of an Junior enlisted member of the military ranges from 18 – 28. What 28 years olds are comfortable surviving on 18K a year? What about those older enlistees that have college experience in the form of loans that need to be paid off? Only the army pays those, what about the other branches. You my friend, are an idiot.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        What 28 year olds are comfortable on 18k a year? Well, after insurance, rent, food I have less than 18k a year in spending money for sure, and I have 6 years of education. Not to mention paying back student loans for that education. 18k a year sounds like a small amount until you add in all of the benefits, perks and freebees that military members get.

        Am I anti military? no. I am anti complaining about pay when you went in fully knowing what you are going to make. Most kids right out of high school that I have pushed into the military are never going to find a higher paying job than what the military pays. Try finding a job that pays what the military does without an education.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
      • bmill

        You tell him Jared. Shawn L seems like he knows it all. Ah yes, the freedom of speech. My son is in the Army and it isn't as pretty as Shawn L seems to think it is. He went in the Military first to honor all of the guys that have fought before us and has all ready been to Afghanistan and he has only been in for 2 years. Our military pay is the last thing that should ever be cut.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
    • Nick Jones

      You spout off a lot of numbers like you know what they mean, but it's clear you don't. You provide ZERO context. For example, that E1's pay you said was $17,000? that's before taxes. Living in military barracks where you have zero expectation of privacy and can even receive non-judicial punishment for not keeping their room in a "high state of readiness" provides a little more information than "they don't have to pay rent". Eating at a dining facility is also extremely limiting. You eat what the cooks prepared that day. Sure there are options, but if you want pizza and it's soul food day, oh well. Then of course you have to consider those who live off post and receive housing and subsistence allowances. These are nice perks, but aren't "free money". They merely offset the cost of living on the local economy. Full medical? More like full necessary medical. You can't get elective procedures done for free. There must be a medical necessity . Uniforms are provided ONCE, and only for initial enlistees. There is a clothing allowance every year, but it takes about 3 years worth of clothing allowance to replace initial issue. Of course, the uniforms are a requirement for the job. Any job that requires certain clothing provides that clothing, or a stipend to purchase them. What transportation do you speak of? The planes that take our troops to combat? The trucks they drive in tactical convoys? Sure, there's no requirement for college for an E-1, but there is extensive training that goes into becoming a service member, just like there is extensive training for any high skilled job. So you think that "$50,000" is too much to pay someone to willingly sacrifice so much to serve their country. Or is it just sour grapes that special ed teachers don't get paid very much, either?

      February 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm | Reply
      • Shawn L

        Don't know what world you live in, but no insurance plan I have ever had will pay for elective procedures... because they are elective. If you dont like lack of privacy on base, you can move off base and get a living stipend that depending on what state you are living in can be up to 1200 a month for an e-1... that's more than the mortgage on my house is in California.
        If you don't like the food you don't have to eat it, but it's provided for. You get medical and dental which is more than I can say for most people I know. Is the pay great? No. Is it more than enough, yes.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • NavyChief

        In response to everyone on Shawn L, as a Navy Chief and being in for 18 years, he has a point. Our pay increase is getting cut. Yes, Congress should consider other alternatives instead of this. I have a wife and 3 kids and I feel I am being well taken care of in the military. At first, I started as an E1 and know the struggle of little pay, but I survived because the military provided the benefits (food, lodging, transportation, etc.) The new recruits now-a-days take advantage of that fact and think they can afford a brand new car as an E1 and living on base and eating at the galley is for losers. The clothing allowance does cover what you need yearly. If you don't get fat or have to replace you uniform after a year, than you are wrong for not taking care of it and yourself and you will not advance quickly. Most young recruits get thrown into life right out of high school and have no responsibility so they have no idea of what it means. I am stationed in California and by no means want to live in base housing but I know I can't afford a 4 bedroom house so we make sacrafices. How about we all complain about what the politicians are doing and not about our benifits? It is obvious that the people who are so called military think our pay and benifits are crap need to see a financial specialist.

        February 6, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • InTheKnow

      They don't collect retirement until they are 60, many don't make it to 20 years because it is a very hard profession, and getting shot at and blown up in defense of the nation (or in the name of defense of the nation) is hopefully worth more than 17k/yr + benefits. I guess you just believe that all of those kids that you teach make good cannon fodder.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Reply
    • USN Active

      Do some research before you start calling us overpaid uneducated meat heads.

      The only "free" uniform I received was in boot camp, and in order to maintain my seabag as inspection ready I have to pay nearly a grand yearly. That so called uniform allowance barely pays for one set of digis with patches sewn on.

      Food allowance? I have a family that I feed every day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That food allowance doesn't cover that, and I don't get to run to the galley either.

      Free housing doesn't even exist. You can live in military housing, and on a Navy base, it isn't exactly the penthouse, live in the barraks where you share a room with three or four others and a head with 8 people, or you request permission to live decently in town. Military housing requires you to hand over your BHA, no matter what your rank is, you lucky to get maintenance over when something breaks in that house or you can fix it out of your own pocket and have one of the housing reps throw a hissy fit later on, plus someone comes to your house at least once a month and randomnly inspects it, and you still have to pay for basic utilities. And before you launch into a free rent tirade, the houses I have been forced to live in were built sometime in the 70's and have only received spot maintenance whenever someone moves out. Those houses aren't fit for section 8, so we get to live there.

      The education trip you just called us out on? We HAVE to go to college. Most of the ENLISTED that I work with had degrees when they joined. That is one thing that we do get for free, but it is far from easy. I work 12 hours a day, come home to take care of my family, then attend class for 4 or 5 hours while they sleep. I have been forced to drop classes on more than one occasion for operational commitments. If my school doesn't allow me to drop out when I have to deploy then I get to try to juggle school with my 18-20 hour days.

      I am away from home so often that my husband nearly left, and when he was deployed, I was one of the lucky girls that got to be pulled into an office with my chief and DIVO in the middle of the Atlantic and read a Red Cross message stating that he was in the hospital after taking two bullets to his chest and one to his back. Alive but critical, shot to protect your freedom of speech, and you sit there and presume to judge us.

      I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I know exactly what I signed up for and I love what I do, but do not sit there in front of your computer and dare to tell us how we are overpaid and stupid. You haven't any idea what we go through on a daily basis, what we have to sacrifice in hopes that the next fight will continue keeping America free.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Reply
    • Rory

      Well Shawn for being so informed and such an educated man you seem to lack the knowledge that every person entering the military has to take a course teaching them their job. This course is similar to a trade school and can often be 7 days a week, 10+ hours a day for months, or equal to a number of semesters at a traditional college. That is not even mentioning the continued job training that each job requires and additional courses required to get promoted. So while not a traditional education in the manner you are speaking, all military personal receive education. I like how you mention that you send most of your "non-college" types to the military basically stereotyping those that serve as not as intelligent as yourself. When trying to make an argument on a subject like the military, how about you be in the military, otherwise your opinion is null and void. Obviously you have your right to free speech, but in these instances its probably best for everyone that you keep your opinion to yourself.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  15. kmac

    The pay is too low now. Lets cut contractors and the plus part of their cost plus contracts. With the up coming events I believe that are coming our troop level is way to low to respond to all of it.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • joe

      cut FED Employee pay,NOT MILITARY orSOCIAL SECURITY you moron.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply
      • PK

        @ Joe, the pay that needs to be cut is in the capitol, not the federal employees who might take home 50K a year or less. You want to cut pay, start with Congress and the Senate, the SES service, military pay of 0-6 and higher, GS/GM pay at 14 and higher. Those are the fat cats in the federal government. Then cut those cost plus defense contracts. Bring the high paying contracted out jobs back into the federal government. Those higher payed contract employees complained about a 15-20% pay cut if they were forced to become federal employees at GS7/GS9 levels.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  16. SHills

    CUT one of your less than good weapons and PAY THE TROOPS for once!!! I get so sick of your 'money for troops' and IT DOESN"T GO for troops but some other pet project. STOP IT and PAY THE TROOOPS!!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
    • Mary S.

      So they want to limit the COLA for service personnel but send billions of dollars to folks bent on destruction of the US (Egypt). I've noticed that a lot of folks say to cut spending for older folks on Social Security. I worked more than 40 years and paid into SS all those years. I am currently on SS Disability and would still be working if I could and have paid for my SS. I also have 2 sons that chose to serve our country and one will be deployed next month. Ask anyone who has had a loved one deployed how much it would be worth to have them return home alive and well. By the way, "Pork fat" projects are added to every piece of legislation so that they can be passed. Check out the additions to the Sandy aid package, for example. Everything from NASA projects to research was tacked onto it. I propose that if the members of congress and other agencies cannot live within their budgets, then they don't get paid until they can do it. I wonder how long it would take for a balanced budget to be presented and the deficits cut. Just sayin'

      February 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  17. Marine MOM

    My son has been a Marine for 12+ years and counting. It was his choice to join, no one made him and no one is forcing him to stay – it is his choice. If he or anyone else doesn't like the pay scale, when your contract is up don't renew it. Their pay sucks, our NCO's live on poverty wages. You know this going in the service, if you don't want to serve in the military don't inlist. Thank you to all who made the choice to serve – SEMPER FI!

    February 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
    • Bluejeans

      First of all, it's enlist not inlist. Second of all, you don't show a lot of respect for those who defend our country. Surely they deserve pay and health care equivalent to civilian wages and benefits. I question your entire story. In fact, I doubt you know anyone who has served in uniform.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
    • Drew

      Learn to spell you ignorant, hypocritical fool!

      February 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
    • S.M.

      Unless things have seriously changed, military get free medical on base. They also get housing and dental. So the major expenses are paid. Yes enlisted wages suck but the major expenses are all paid unless they live off base, in which case they get extra money for rent. So maybe you don't know what your talking about either...

      February 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply
      • phil

        S.M. i really dont think you know what you are talking about. There is no extra money. YOU NEED TO DO SOME RESEARCH ABOUT WHAT THE HELL YOUR TALKING ABOUT.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
      • Shawn L

        lol so military personnel don't receive a stipend for living off base? Really? Then what is the BAH, basic allowance for housing rate? For a single person with no dependents, at the lowest rank it's enough to pay rent, lowest I saw was 500 in albama, highest was 1200 in alaska

        February 6, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
  18. James

    Limit the pay Raises ??–Thats just plain stupid and an insult to our Service Men and Women–What a DA. But then he is a Obama Lemming–

    February 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  19. Rick

    Why doesn't the pay cut start with Congress?

    February 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • American Patriot

      Why don't we just march on DC and throw congress out and start over. After all, they work for we the people. It wouldn't take much. Have the truckers stop transporting goods to DC. Have everybody in the city strike and all the civilians leave. Pretty soon they will have no electricity, gas, food, or water. Where would their power lie now? Would US Soldiers really obey orders to fire on a group of non-violent civilians that they signed up to protect? I, personally, don't think so.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  20. Amber

    I'm sure he is overpaid, lets cut his pay. Lets talk about the overpaid Congress, or House of Rep. Instead they look to cut the pay of people who not only need but deserve it. It just makes me sick.

    February 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  21. Scott

    This is just wrong. The billions are in the unwarranted pork barrel projects that are not needed. For example, the V-22 Osprey is a piece of junk. And the F-22 raptor crashes because the pilot blacks out due to lack of oxygen. Many of the projects go over budget and there are too many generals and admirals.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  22. maria lozano

    Why dont we start by cutting Pannetas pay instead and giving it to the MILITARY AND THEIR FAMILIES. WHO THE HELL DOES HE THINK HE IS ANYWAYS. JERK.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • Roger

      ...HE thinks he's the soon-to-be former Secretary of Defense and won't have to listen to the ligitimate complaints and economic concerns of the servicemen and servicewomen and retirees who have served, are serving and will continue to serve this nation.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  23. slatdogg

    A lot of people don't even realize that these military pay "raises" are just so that the pay keeps up with inflation. I never enlisted expecting to get rich, but don't walk all over me simply because I don't have a union to represent me. This is going to be a real kick to the morale.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  24. Curtis

    Why the F*** don't they STOP PAYING over $100,000 + FOR LIFE for every single senator and congressman in Washington D.C.

    Its a f***ing joke: Get elected to Congress = 6 FIGURE SALARY FOR LIFE
    Defend your country with your life = Poverty

    WE THE PEOPLE need to March on Washington and replace the no life corporate pharmaceutical lobbyist congressman that are currently running this country in the ground while laughing there a$$es off all the way to the banks owned by their golfing buddies.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • Anthony

      I see the symbolic point of congress people's salaries. However, you are dealing with a lot of "scale" here. You pay all congress people nothing, give them no health care, no retirement. You would cut the federal budget by 0.01%. On the other hand, a 1% pay cut to all federal employees ( including the military ) results in about 1% reduction of the budget ( basically all money spent by the government pays salaries... there are no $15,000 hammers. ) So that 1% is 1000 times more effective that not pay congress people anything.... which basically does nothing.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
      • Rick

        It's a start in the right direction.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
  25. Marc L from NY

    Seems like a lot of people these days are taking pay cuts, except for those officials that were elected and decide on who gets raises and cuts.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  26. GenPatton

    Typical actions from an administration led by a Democrat. Screw the troops, give handouts to the welfare leeches. Very SAD!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  27. Thinks2010

    These pay cuts would not be needed if the government had not gotten into the habit of privatizing so many things in the military industrial complex at exorbitantly high rates. They probably have iron clad contracts that make it hard to cut out the real waste in military spending. This is really a ploy to get everyones panties in a bunch so that no cuts to the military will be called for. Why can't we close some overseas bases and bring some support services that used to be performed by military personnel but are now performed at a higher cost by private contractors back into military hands?

    February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  28. John Hargis

    Man this administration is a__ backwards. Pay cuts should go to federal agencies and our leadership, not to those who have willingly placed their lives between US and harms way.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • Biker

      Just saying this has to pass congress. So before you go off blaming only one part of our government, maybe you should step back and realize that it's everyone in congress and not just the president and his staff.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • Biker

      Just saying this has to pass congress. So before you go off blaming only one part of our government, maybe you should step back and realize that it's everyone in congress and not just the president and his staff. But I can see how it's easier to point the finger at one person or the person you like least.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • cjacja

      What "pork fat?" The biggest items are (1) medical care for old folks and (2) the military. The other stuff is small. The military needs to be seriously down sized. Basically cut the number of people by about 50%. No need to reduce paychecks for anyone, just reduce the number of paychecks to about 1/2. Even if we cut it in half we'd still have the largest military budget on the planet.

      I think we can be pretty sure that Russia is not going to invade Western Europe we don't need to be ready for that any more.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • Anthony

        Reducing federal spending means either cutting people's pay, or laying them off. All federal spending basically goes towards paying salaries. Except medical, which indirectly pays nurses and doctors salaries. We don't need to cut spending. We need universal health care and Clinton era taxes.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • DJ

        Or, let's stop handing out money and cell phones to people who choose not to work.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • S.M.

      Most government agencies have been in a pay freeze for the last 2-3 years. The military have continued to get increases. All they trying to do is limit the pay Increase that the military will get. Considering military is one of, if not the biggest, expense it would do little good to cut additional pay from all the other government employees.. I guess in your opinion the Border Patrol, Customs, FBI, DEA and other Federal Agencies that fight crime in the U.S. are all moochers and deserve no pay...

      February 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  29. Priscilla

    Great idea, lets cut military funds and then what happens if a HUGE war starts? Oh yeah we don't have enough troops or weapons, or vehicles so I guess we are screwed. My husband makes LESS now with the pay increase than before the pay increase since Mr. Obama raised federal taxes. We live pay check to pay check as is. Thank GOD for housing allowance and free medical or we would be under a bridge.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Reply


      February 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  30. Matt Sewell

    Cut senate and congress pay... This makes zero sense. Don't scr3w the ones keeping us afloat.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • Anthony

      You do realize there are only 600 people in congress right? We could pay them nothing, ever, and it doesn't mean squat the budget. There are millions of federal employees. Cutting their pay or laying them off is the only way to get "spending cuts". I don't think republicans realize this. If you want to close the deficit you have three actions... You either lay people off, cut their pay, or raise taxes on everyone. ( or some combination. )

      February 6, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  31. Frankly

    This news story was misleading. They (DOD) are not cutting pay, just recommending the cost of living increase to Congress and the President. They are the ones to make the decision. IMO, Panetta should have never been put in the position of SECDEF. His military experience was two years as an army officer. If you know anything about officer training, he probably spent half of his time going to schools and processing to get out. If you want to get something done in the DOD, they should make a Senior Non-commissioned Officer the SECDEF and watch what happens.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  32. just_a_taxpayer

    I paid out over 7K in taxes last year and am only getting back 1500. there should NOT be ANY budget issues with the IRS!!

    February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      Really? You paid $7K and only get back $1,500... that sucks. Oh BTW.. I paid $21K and still owe $1,600. Enjoy your refund.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  33. Jon

    I haven't had a pay raise in more than 3 years. I'd love a 1% pay raise next year. Probably not going to happen.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • rob

      You also havent deployed away from your family for 8 plus months at a time. Also, not knowing if you would make it back or not.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Reply
      • cjacja

        You signed up knowing full well what youwere ginny into. If you don't like it don't re-enlist.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:56 pm |
      • Texas fed up fed

        You're in the military. War is in your job description. Did you not understand that when you volunteered? You want all the benefits you have to take the deployment too.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
      • DJ

        Besides, if the military gets their raise, cjacja and tex might not get their welfare checks! Then who would vote for the democrats?

        February 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
      • phil

        Rob they dont understand that the private sector and the military sector are so far apart from each other that they could hold pay raises in the private sector for close to a decade and the military a 1% pay raise yearly and they still wouldnt be close

        February 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm |
  34. GoneToPot

    Cut welfare for the illegals, cut pay for all members of Congress, cut pay for the President and Vice President, cut pay for all of the staff of the Administration and Congress, cut pay for all Federal agencies, i.e. the IRS. Then give the military 25% pay increases especially the enlisted ones. It will cost us, the taxpayers, less and give money to the ones that really deserve an increase. 1% – 1.7% are you kidding me. This is stupid but then again it is the Federal government.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • davecu

      Remember when the federal government used to work for the citizens?
      They've got theirs.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply


        February 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
    • VW

      If we have to cut something – let's try cutting politician's salaries, their expense accounts, etc. & cut foreign aid to places like Pakistan & Egypt. Our military (especially their pay) should not be on anybody's chopping block.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • Charlie Keyes

      I'm with you 100%! Cut Panetta's retirement to $0 and Congress & PPOS as well! I've had it with these pukes running this country into the ground . . .

      February 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  35. NAM VET


    February 6, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Reply
    • Jesse

      I think someone is having flashbacks about "Charlie."

      February 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  36. roy

    I have a great idea lets limit his giant pension and other government benefits he will receive every month and leave military salaries alone. How about his weekend trips from DC to California at tax payer expense suppose in his eyes this was a legit expense huh.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      They put prices on solders who defend our country with their lives. These politicians are all dirty and not deserving of pension of any kind since they have collected more than enough under the table. You show me a clean politician and I will show you a liar.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  37. JD

    why isn't the pres, supreme court and the house and senate taking a pay cut and leading by example? most of these folks are independently wealthy as it is – then they get benefits for life and really don't need them.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
    • cjacja

      We have a trillion dollar problem and you propose a million dollar solution. We should have a rule that says "If your idea can't solve even 0.1% of the problem, don't even suggest it."

      Let's see along you line of reason. I'm short of 1,000 this month to pay bills so I will save money by not parking so close to the storewhenI shop, thereby reducing the miles I drive (by many feet)and saving on gas. Yes that is stupid, Kind of like trying to save $1,000,000,000,000 by reducing a a 220,000/year salary by a few percent. It would not even address 0.1% of the problem. The ONLY way to get there is to seriously de-fund the largest budget items, like the DoD.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  38. Justin

    Quote: "No good options exist," Panetta said.

    *Cough.... If a majority of our nations debt is to foreign countries, then WHY are we spending OUR money to go over and help them during Tsunamis or earth quake relief? Why not provide the services then have them remove a portion of our debt. (If my buddy owes me $20, and he doesn't have the money to pay me back, he can work it off if I ever need to move and I need an extra hand or something)

    Why are we giving billions in aid to countries who quite honestly could give a rat's ass about the United States? With the strength of our military, why are we not charging small countries fee's to play "Protective Big Brother" for them?

    Why is Congress giving themselves pay raises if we're neck deep in debt? (Which is partially their fault in the first place) We jumped on AIG when we bailed them out and they provided bonuses to their top staff, why is this any different? Why does Congress think it's ok to give themselves raises, yet try to balance a budget? Service in Congress should be VOLUNTARY and should not pay a dime. You serve if you want to make a difference, not if you want get paid for the rest of your life and "hook up" big businesses that fluffed your wallet!

    February 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
    • deep blue

      "If a majority of our [sic\nations debt is to foreign countries [...]"
      It isn't. Most United States government's debt is held domestically.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  39. USMC Retired

    Increrdibly stupid and short-sighted.

    But....thtat's Uncle "Hack" Leon, Gen. "Dud" Dempsey, and the dangerous, naive, arrogant Narcissist-In-Chief!

    February 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
    • MJ

      150% agree!

      February 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Chooch0253

      "arrogant Narcissist-In-Chief!" ????? You do know that Bush is no longer president don't you?

      February 6, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  40. SpencerRifle

    Let's go back to the draft. Let everyone have a chance to play in the pool, even if they don't want to. At the very least it takes young people away from their comfort zones & forces them to interact & work with people from completely different backgrounds.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • linda operle

      And pay them all how?????

      February 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • Chooch0253

        exactly the same as everyone before them

        February 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Tinman

      There was atime when I agreed with you. However today I do not. I served as a volunteer while the draft was in effect during the Vietnam era. Many of the soldiers nI served with had been drafted. Also many soldiers, draftees and volunteers alike were not dedicated to the duties to which assigned. My son has been active Army since 2000. I have met many of those he serves with and he speaks of his Army friends and associates often. Today's military is for the most part all concientious career oriented people. Don't change us back to what we once were. This said I would support a program of some sort of mandatory public service. This for no other reason than to repair some of our infrastructure needs and get a return on some of the welfare dollars we spend.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  41. Jeff Dreier

    I am Sooooooo Tired of purposefully misconstruing situations for political reasons and sewing fear. Reducing the amount of a future RAISE is NOT a pay cut. It is still a RAISE, albeit a smaller one. Knock off the hyperbole and fear mongering. By the way, I am a military retiree and have the greatest respect for those serving. Not so much for those lying to the troops and the "anything for a story" press

    February 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Thinks2010

      While it is not technically a pay cut, what it may be is a cut in spending power. If pay is not increased at at least the same rate that the cost of living is increasing, that is a cut in spending power that will eventually lead to a lower standard of living. God knows, military pay for most ranks already makes it difficult for military members, especially those with families, to achieve anything approaching a decent standard of living.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • Texas fed up fed

        If you think the military is underpaid you should drive through the parking lot at a military base and check out the cars. These are not the cars of people struggling to get by.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
      • Jeff Dreier

        I think I was paid pretty well while in the military. Of course I didn't try to live beyond my means - I didn't have four kids as an E-4. I could afford to care properly for one, so one is all I had. I didn't drive a fancy Nissan with a spoiler, but I had a nice car and my lower insurance allowed me to drink a better class of beer.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm |
    • S.M.

      Most people fail to realize that while enlisted pay is not all that great, they also basically get free housing, medical, dental and other items paid for. There are difference scenarios, of course, if you live off base, are married and have other odd expenses but over all, you're rarely going to seriously suffer from lack of money unless you're an idiot. You won't get rich but you can live pretty decently. The officers... well they make as much or more than many civilian employees and get better benefits.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  42. Dave

    Obama's policies at their best... this is so embarrassing. We've become worse than African countries.

    February 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • Paulwisc

      Since it is Congress that is stalling on addressing the automatic budget cuts, your ire is misplaced. Panetta is merely bluntly showing how Congressional inaction will hurt servicemen - he isn't really in favor of cutting their pay.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Star-Spangled Bullsh!t

      Seriously? Worse than Africa? That's quite a stretch, even for me.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • linda operle

      Still crying over the election are you. Grow up & move on.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  43. Dave (old vet 74-78)

    This man is an idiot!! How can you cut their pay and at the same time... jack up all the welfare we give to all the free loaders in this country? Maybe we need to make all the freeloaders joind the military and earn the FREE money we as tax payers give them so they can sit at home and DO NOTHING!!!! It is time we as a counry QUIT giving our money away to the welfare sponges that keep having kids to get more money and UP the pay of the brave men and women that provide a safe place for thr FREELOADERS to live off of others.....

    February 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Paulwisc

      He's trying to get Congress to stop the automatic budget cuts by showing how it will directly hurt those in the service. He's putting the ball in their court. Instead of ranting about mythical "freeloaders", just read the article more carefully. It's all there.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
      • chuck

        He can't read, only pontificate about things he doesn't really understand.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • Columbus, GA

        Mythical?? Pretty sure there is no myth about freeloaders.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
      • Paulwisc

        Yes, Columbus, while there are always people trying to get something for nothing, the welfare system in the US hasn't been substantial for decades, and those who get assistance are mostly not freeloaders. If you were somehow able to cut away those who are actually freeloading, it wouldn't make a tiny dent in the deficit. We're talking miniscule potatoes compared to the big expenses - the military and Social Security.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • James Papadopolous

      What does one have to do with the other?

      February 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Ken Carroll

      I agree with you. But I'd go a little farther. Less seen the sponges to war zones for a little while and see if they get a different tune. And maybe this other clown, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should go sit on an IED just like the engineers do regularly. I'd like to see if he would have a different way of thinking then. I feel that no one without Military experience should hold any office that is over any portion of the Military. They simply are not qualified.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
      • Paulwisc

        Neither are most servicemen, Ken.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Chooch0253

      You are in serious need of an education and some knowledge to boot. Typical ignorant sock puppet rhetoric from somebody that knows nothing but still thinks they are better than everyone else.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Reply


    February 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Frank Maxwell

      As a Navy retiree I hate to see stories like this. But your math was horrible. CPI for 2014 was supposed to be 1.7% an avg dollar increase of about $25. and increase of 1% would raise pay by $15. A net loss of $10 not $125.

      Accuracy leads to credibilty

      February 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Reply


        February 6, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
    • Joe

      Seriously Wake, where you get your faulty stats from?

      February 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  45. NAM VET


    February 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
    • Dave (old vet 74-78)

      Thank you for your service to this country...and for the rights you protected so others may voice their opinions....

      February 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Why can't anybody spell "lose" correctly? "Lose" like "loser." "Loose" is the opposite of "tight." Get it? Good.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  46. MR

    When you sub-contract military work you can lay yourself across a barrel and pucker up – Haliburton has been giving it to the US tax payer far to long. VOTE out their political cronies!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Trusslady

      Why is it, when the Pentagon is asked to balance their budget, the first thing they do is start cutting military benefits – cut retirement, cut pay, cut healthcare, cut staff levels. Why do they never cut (a) plane engines that aren't needed (b) ships that can't be staffed (and thus will rust in dock) (c) tanks the military doesn't want, (d) outsourced jobs. Outsourcing has become the elephant in the room as far as government spending is concerned, and nobody wants to talk about.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
      • Texas fed up fed

        Have you been living under a rock? The FIRST thing to go was civilian pay. Furloughs = 20% pay cut. No raise at all for the last two years. Quit squabbling over the proposed loss of 0.7% pay increase for next year.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  47. John

    I'm all for limiting troop pay...AFTER congress agrees to the same thing!!! The American service person is an asset not a burden! Let's not rob them when we can cut the budget in other places. (Oil company subsidy comes to mind!)

    February 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • TommytheT

      Well Said....and hopefully well remembered come elections time.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Reply
    • Jerbe

      At least get rid of the pensions. We can't afford wars, but we can't fund our own retirements and pay more and more in taxes to fund a bunch of pentagon pensions. Come on. The paradigm is antiquated, and we're busted. Everyone has to give here.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  48. tc

    Hmm....announce to the world your military readiness is weakened and tell your war-abused troops they don't need a good pay raise. Yep, definitely...we have the worst leaders running our country.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  49. Lee

    This is not a pay cut. It is a 1% increase next year, instead of the 1.7% increase this year. Reducing the size of the increase is not a cut.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • BThorn

      Of course, the inflation rate is forecast to be 2% for 2013, so either "raise" is a pay cut.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Ray

      Agree. How is a 1% raise a cut?

      February 6, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • tuscany590

      Just like keeping tax rates the same as they were is not a tax break.

      February 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  50. USVET

    Anyone who is for pay cuts or reduced increases for military personnel needs to sit in their place for a period of time. Try being awakened at 2 a.m. in the morning by a phone call telling you to be on base within an hour with your gear. Listen to the radio as you drive to the base and hearing that fighter jets have been sent halfway around the world because of some skirmish. Turn into the base and see those two C-5 Galaxies on final approach, and realize that this is not a drill. It's the real thing. You may not be home tonight with the wife and kids. You may not see them for a very long time. You worry about how they will get along without you. As evening comes, the base is locked down. No one gets to go home. Thirty six hours later you are allowed to go home but you are on standby. This actually happened in the late '70s. Military personnel put up with a lot more on the job than civilians do. The military deserves more than we can ever give them.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can you do for your country". John F. Kennedy

    February 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
    • tc

      Spot on! We keep up with these wars and wonder why the VA budget is so high, we keep sending the same people to comabt zones over and over and wonder why they have PTSD. Most Americans live a comfortable life working 40 hours a week around family and that's good but the 1% that serve our country sacrfice thier families and sometimes thier minds and bodies, yet these elected criminals want to reduce pay raises. Stupid, stupid, stupid – well what do you expect when we keep electing the same criminals every election – if you re-elected someone, give yourself a round of applause for screwing the rest of us.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply
    • Jimmy

      How about the possibility of leaving for a tour of duty and returning in a body bag?

      February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Reply
      • Texas fed up fed

        Anyone can leave for work any day and end up in a body bag. You are in the military. You volunteered. Military = war. Accept it.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Texas fed up fed

      You volunteered for this remember? This is your job. Military = war. Got it?

      February 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
      • DJ

        tex, you're a coward and an i di o t

        February 6, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • MJ

      And if you asked anyone in the civilian world to work more than 40 hours/week they are whining about overtime pay to the Unions. I KNOW that doesn't happen while deployed trying to keep the ignorant safe and protecting their rights.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  51. Mike

    How about we cut back the raise Congress just approved for themselves....Maybe after they can pass a budget, "We The People" can vote on whether or not our politicians deserve a raise. Time to take our country back...

    February 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • MJ

      exactly my sentiments!

      February 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  52. ObjectiveOrville

    Ridiculous! When people talk about government cuts they are not talking about cutting from the people who earn the least and have the most to lose. Let's see Panetta take a cut along with congress! Cut the fat and inefficiencies, not those who put their life on the line!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  53. Bill Friedline

    Meanwhile, the CEO of Lockheed is making $60,000 PER DAY......

    February 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply



      February 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  54. bfd007

    Cut everyone in government's pay and close some of the oversea's military base's make lobbying illegal no "pork fat" for anyone. These people in government say they are smart, how smart can they be when they let the banking cartel run your government? You cannot operate with $16 trillion dollar's of debt, so how does a corrupt out of control lying government be allowed to operate?? If they cannot handle "OUR" money then stop giving it to them! Plain and simple!!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  55. Tim

    I guess a tank of gas a month was a little hefty of a pay increase. Maybe pay increases shouldn't be flat accross the board. Someone who makes 75k a year gets a few hundred extra a month, while the guy who makes 25k gets about 35 bucks

    February 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  56. Maurice

    Our public servants (particularly elected officials) are a disgrace to this country! Sent to Washington to do the bidding of the people and they are more concerned about their own welfare. Continously voting themselves pay raises and hanging around for a 100% pension, how can they get in front of the cameras and say they're concerned about the American people...really?? The sad thing is...there is no end in sight. We will keep electing them and they will continue to do nothing. The only way things are going to change is if we change them. It's time we seriously start thinking about term limits for our congressmen and senators. How can we expect change if we keep doing the same thing over and over. Let's stop complaining about things and start working on changing things...we can start right there in Washington. They continously take us for fools and underestimate our intelligence. Let's stop allowing them to take us for granted and put their behinds out of office!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  57. Glenn

    Cutting military pay is a serious mistake. Military members are undercompensated for the risks they take to preserve our freedom and fight wars that almost no one else would agree to fight. Don't make military members decide between defending us and the civilian world or we will no longer have any defenses at all.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Sure, lets increase cost pay for the relative few who actually signed I to serve or otherwise serve in combat.

      But the objective truth of the matter is that a very small percentage of today's volunteers have served in combat.

      Stop parroting the myth and fiction. Most volunteers serve from sitting behind desks, literally.

      A DOD employee
      A veteran
      An alum of the presidential management fellowship program
      A prior section chief in the IRS's CFO Office

      February 6, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Reply
      • Drinky Crow

        Spoken like a REMF.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
    • Lucas Shaffer

      I agree with you but while they are deployed fighting they need to be paid better but while they are stateside training they make a hell of a lot more money then most people on the outside. I spent 11 years in. I did live paycheck to paycheck making around 40k a year now that I am out I only make around 35k and that is without housing paid for. I wish we could pay them more and government officials a lot less but that is unrealistic.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
      • Drinky Crow

        My son is a PFC, and about to deploy in March. He makes way less than $35k per year.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
      • Jasohans

        Your son may take home way less than $35k a year, but he effectively makes close to that or even much more than that yearly if you figure in college tuition available. The least his base salary is as an E-3 is $21,084 a year. Now, figure in his BAH. It varies depending on where he lives, but the lowest on the spectrum is $600 a month and probably averages out to $800 a month, but we'll use the low figure of $600 equaling $7,200 a year. Now figure in his BAS which is $4,224 a year. Now figure in his completely free, no deductible health insurance which we'll put at $200 a month and add on $1,500 for a deductible in the private sector which equals $3,900 a year. Now add about $1,000 for all of the added extras like his free access to dental care, gyms, not having to pay sales tax on most everything he buys on base, etc. and your son makes around $32,500 a year as an E-3, a rank that can be obtained with two years of joining or can even be obtained right after finishing boot camp depending on certain situations. Plus he has the opportunity to go to college almost completely free through GI bills and tuition assistance programs. A lot of college graduates don't make $32,000 a year right out of college so you should be very happy for your son.

        Don't get me wrong, he deserves every penny of it all, but as a veteran myself for anyone to say that they/we aren't/weren't being well taken care of financially is ludicrous. The only active military individuals who truly suffer financially are low rank, enlisted members with families and even then that only is true when the spouse doesn't work which is the same in the private sector.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  58. NAM VET


    February 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  59. AFVet

    I agree about term limits but they will argue you have term limits by voting. People complain about Congress but as long as their Rep brings "pork" back to their district or home state people keep electing the same individuals. Let a person try to govern from the center (the greater good of the whole) and they are branded a traitor to their party or sell out.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  60. Tracey

    My husband served for 26 years, and I know what it is like to raise a family on very little money and your husband gone for half that time, sometimes not knowing where. We luckily qualified for free breakfasts and lunches for our children, due to our under the poverty line income. When my husband was in a barracks that was blown up, (shown on tv),it took three days before I was notified that he was ok. I washed clothes in a bathtub as we couldnot afford a washer and dryer. These are all examples of military life, and no he could not get out, as this was for his country. I Have the most respect and understanding for the members of the military and their families. Please respect them too by allowing them to live their lives in a standard befitting what they do for you, keeping you safe and free.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Reply
    • Texas fed up fed

      Why did you have those kids if you couldn't afford them?

      February 6, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Reply
      • Sam_k

        I can't help it tex, I actually feel pity for you.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:49 pm |
  61. Amy

    My son is a E5 (Specialist). He brings home about 1800 a month...How is that enough? He was almost 18 when he enlisted. He spent a year in Iraq, a year in Afghanistan where you get one R & R but otherwise are ON ALERT 24/7....getting off work doesn't end the day for them...they are constantly working to stay alive. I think most of America doesn't get it. They are busy watching reality tv and spending their money making those idiots rich for doing nothing important and ready to say our military are overpaid. its shameful to me. I knwo what my son has been thru, what they are expected to do and they do not get paid anywhere near what they should. Hazard pay doesn't cover the dangers they live with when deployed. Now my son (started as an E2 and been in 5 years) who has earned many medals and awards because he's good at his job is going to be pushed out because they are eliminating much of the support units whcih he is in. This kid has dealt with missing out on promotions he worked hard for because he's not a woman, because he's been deployed or unable to continue education due to locations etc and now they want to downsize him out even though he's one of the hard workers...Our government owes them alot more than they get. I find it insulting that our soliders are the ones that get this treatement while the people making the deciions sit on their butts in nice comfy offices, going out to dinner and enjoying their family. Our son has been home once for thanskgiving in 5 years and I think once for Christmas....wow. I also think when your life is pretty much controlled by your employer you should have compensation for it. Even giving him minimum wage for all the hours he worked would have given him more money.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Reply
    • Jamil

      MAdame i think u are mistaken. i dont think the majority of Americans believe that our troops are overpaid. Most working class Americans themselves are underpaid. The politicans are deciding on where to cut in the budget and they are choosing soldier salaries. In other words, the millionaires are deciding to cut pay for the poor who end up fighting the wars started by wealthly men. Thats the real crime. There are other areas of defense that we can cut and leave troop salaries alone but then this politicans buddy's company wont make there billions supplying the government with its toys!

      February 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
      • NAM VET


        February 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
      • Humberto

        Back off , if we get ripped, their getting ripped too.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Frank

      I was an E-4 and they get paid enough. $1800 a month but you fail to mention free food (breakfast, lunch and dinner) free housing, free medical care. That is a lot more than average American worker gets these days.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Reply

        Frank, not sure what branch you served in but in the Marine Corps; only the single Marines get to eat in the Chowhall; FREE housing, not completely true either, you waive your housing allowance which is usually not enough to afford to rent in a safe neighborhood around the base. The truth and fact is that many married service members qualify for food stamsp until they are E-5 or higher; that is not their fault it is the pay system. I did a total of 23 years of active duty and I would challenge anyone to come live a service members life and say that they are paid more than enough.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • redhotmaddd

        Frank you to can join the military n see what u get....housing is not free it comes out ur check...meals or not free it comes out ur check....now picture this you get free medical benefits but not by someone u want it by someone ut assigned who only care is to make ur pain go away for a moment then put you back out there to prepare to fight....after taxes, fica, medicare and all the other craps coming out ur taxes they make the same amount of money as any out middle class citizen...unless they have been in for 15plus years and is n officer...just like you...you have a choice...I beat it wouldnt be to join n help fight for your country....I think they deserve more...once you put on boots then complain....factor works make more then e1 thur e5 but these people choose to protect you

        February 6, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
      • Lindy

        I'm really glad to hear a veteran saying that.

        Let's add:

        Military members' pocketing extra $ from housing allowances.
        30 days paid vacation on top of holidays starting the 1st year in the military.
        Free tuition.

        It's a sweet deal and the country just can't afford it anymore

        February 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • megan

      Maam your son isn't telling you the truth more then likely. If he's a specialist he's only an E-4 If he came in as an E-2..it's automatic promotion to E3 in 12 months, then 24 months to E4 (and those are usually upper maximums). If he's been in 5 years he's on sgt E5 path but has to pass his tests. He's never been passed over for promotion because he's not a woman, he's been passed over because he didn't have enough points for promotion more then likely. He also had the ability to reclass and incur a service commitment if his MOS is overstaffed...it's his choice if he chose not to so the militray isn't "drumming him out" he's drumming himself out in that respect.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  62. Scott B

    How about buying a few less billion dollar toys or streamlining things to reduce the vast amount of waste, release people no longer needed, but keep the pay the same for the people still needed? Why am I even typing, this is just another way to try to motivate people to not support reduced spending.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  63. joep222

    Panetta is completely out of touch with reality. Enlisted military members (especially single people) work, on average, 60-80 hours a week, already for levels of pay that are lower than the US poverty level, have poor housing, poor food, poor living conditions, work all hours of the day and night, and are in harm's way, spend long time away from family.

    It is not right to lower military member's salaries. All it will do is drive people away from the military, leaving the US wide open for attack from the enemy.

    If Washington was serious about spending cuts, they would start by cutting congress and the senate's salaries. They are paid far too much and have far too many perks and far too much time off.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Scott B

      We haven't been attacked militarily since 1942. For some reason i don't think we're at imminent risk or being attacked by these mysterious enemies.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Reply
      • AFVET/Dependent Wife

        Then what do you call 9/11 it was an attack on american soil.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
      • @AFVET

        So was Newton.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • ricardo65

      Enlisted men not in action do not work 60-80 hrs a week. They work 40 hrs/ week, as do the majority of stateside personnel. I am very familiar with Air Force, Navy, and Army personnel. The Air Force is often mentioned as a "day job". I am not discussing their pay, only the fact that your assertion of them working 60-80 hrs/week is absurd.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
      • USVET

        Ricardo – I was AF and we did work 12 hour shifts, often for 7 days at a time. Also I pulled 23 hour long duty on occasion because I was a SGT and was on the call down list for special duty after my notmal shift ended. Try working a civilian for 23+ hours. The Labor Board would be all over someone.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
      • NAM VET


        February 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm |
      • dmedic91

        I can tell you for a fact that a lot of enlisted soldiers work over 40 hours. Morning formation for pt was at 6 every morning and we weren't released from duty till 5pm at the earliest but usually we finishedr around 6 on a regular basis. So a five day work week for us is around 60 hours a week. There are times where an individual also has to pull 24 hour duty which can easily push a "work" week over 60 hours. In addition to that, units go out to the field for 3 weeks to a month at time where we are away from everyone except for our people in our unit and quite often we run operations that can last over 80 hours because we have to work through the weekends. I can say all this because I am an enlisted medic.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
      • Ken Carroll

        40 hours a week!!!!! Wheres that at. Did I join the wrong branch?? My experience is go on a deployment a year. Your stationed here the year before you can deploy again, however out of that year do your required classes and training, JRTC, NTC, and all the ranges required. Well guess what. Out of two years a soldier is home with family maybe 6 months . SO HOW IS THIS NOT OVER 40 HRS A WEEK???? I really would like to see your math or where you have served.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
      • Lindy

        TO US VET

        I've worked on 2 military bases and I know what you must also know: There is a huge range in work hours and demands , depending often on the luck of the draw. Some in the service work extremely hard and others do barely anything while drawing their govt salaries and benefits. The expression "ROAD" (retired on active duty) to describe these free-loaders is well-known in the military.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Texas fed up fed

      Enlisted military work 60-80 hours per week? Clearly you are not familiar with the Air Force. We are lucky to get 30 out of them.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  64. sickened

    This just makes me sick to my stomach, Those useless, accomplish nothing elected officials continue to get perks, raises, endless pensions and benefits and Panetta wants to slash military salaries. These politicians are all going to have to answer some day to their maker...................thats unless they go straight to hell which is where the builk of them belong!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      If you think Panetta "wants" to slash military salaries, you are insane.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  65. steve

    How could a department double there budget in 10 years and have a readiness crises? If the something happened to education or transportation spending they would be asking questions about the effectiveness of spending.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  66. rybgl01

    Seriously, cut military pay? Seriously? Start with mebers of the House and Senate! The get very nice benefits for just serving TWO Years! Start cutting raises in DC since they can't seem to get their act together

    February 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      This urban myth kills me. Member of Congress fall under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). The same one I fall under and I assure you I didnot start receiving any special benefits after just 2 years much less the 25 years of service (11 military/14 civilian) I've put in so far.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Folks: if you want to learn about these so-called "housing" allowances in the military, then Goggle "BAH Tables" and see these tax free no receipts required monthly windfalls for yourselves. They are beyond preposterous.

      Many singles are getting handed upwards of $2-$3,000 a month tax free and more. Many live vastly premature lifestyles of affluence all off the backs of the taxpayers. No receipts are even required and many room mate to lower their real costs so they can use the residuals for high-end cars and weekend party times.

      And it's far worse when two volunteers marry. These "dual married" volunteer couples get handed TWO, repeat TWO of these tax free windfalls to support ONE family unit. Many are getting upwards of $4-$6-$8,000 a month and more via these windfalls. And keep Onondaga that these windfalls off the backs of the taxpayers are above and beyond their base pays and a host of other tax free allowances. It's a joke on the taxpayer. All single volunteers shpd be living on their ships and bases as they have done previously for eons. And no, these married volunteers should not be getting two notes off this apple. This garbage needs to STOP!

      February 6, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
      • Fred

        Clearly Mike has never served. Housing allowances as well as food allowances are locallity based as well as paygrade based. In my 11 years of service no one ever brought home $2-3K/month as a single or $6-8K/month even when both spouses were married. If memory serves correctly, only one married spouse could claiim the allowances as the other was considered a "dependent" for allowance purposes.

        Get your facts straight, tell a servicemember "thank you" and then just shut up before you make yourself look more silly than you already do.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
      • AFVet

        Thank you Fred. I was about to say the same thing. He is telling some pretty far out there stats. BAH depends on your rank and if you have dependants. As Fred stated, no two dual serviing members can both collect BAH. And you do have to validate your BAH the last time I was serving.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Sam

        To clarify...In the case of the Army, a dual military couple that is geographically collocated without other dependents (aka kids), both soldiers draw BAH at the WITHOUT dependent rate, which, in the case of E1-E4 where I'm located is $822 EACH a month, in addition to their base pay and rations, which in total is probably going to be in the area of $5000-$6000 a month NET.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
      • Katherine

        Mike Smith,

        You are actually incorrect in this. First, our monthly BAH does not come close to paying our mortgage. Let alone our utilities, upkeep, etc. And no, we do not live in a gargantuan home. Second, married couples in the military only receive ONE BAH, based on the highest ranking member. Third, you hit the nail on the head, these people are VOLUNTEERS. My husband could make much more in a civilian position but chooses to leave his family for months on end for low pay FOR YOU and your freedom. When you're ready to step up to the plate go right ahead.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
      • USVET

        AFVET and Fred – I think he got his calender information wrong. That should be more like "per year". My last year in had a total income of $5026.00. That included housing, separate rations, and uniform allowance. Out of that came $185 a month for rent, housing allowance was $165, utilities of $60 a month, mandatory car insurance of $135 a month, and groceries for two adults, and two children under 3 years old (of which $85 dollars was separate rations pay). My wife baby-sat the children of fellow servicemen and women to make up the difference in my bring home and our living expenses.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
      • Jess

        Dual military do not get paid double BAH. My husband and I would surely have enjoyed that befit ! When living in San Diego we could barely afford a 1 bedroom apartment 30-35 minutes away from our bases. Even now, living in the northeast with only his BAH to support our family we live in an old housing duplex, yes better than some but quite a bit less than many others. We wouldn't change things because we have good friends and wonderful family who have supported us through the hard times.
        My husband is very happy with his job and I do my best to support him and his love of our country, but seeing people on here voice their low opinions about our great nation without ever being in the military or fully comprehending what we go through on a daily basis is just disgusting and disappointing. Best wishes to you...

        February 6, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
    • KP

      It is not a pay cut. They are getting at least a 1% raise. It doesn't keep up with inflation, but it's more than I'm expecting in the private sector.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  67. jm

    Are you kidding me.Cut the pay of those that risk there lives everyday to protect us and our freedom. the amount they get paid to begin with is a joke for all they do. I know ...my son is a soldier . I am truly offended by this.... if everyone in Washington would get off their butts and end the sequestration...NOT POSTPONE IT .....You take a darn paycut. Oh by the way... I can also lose my job because of sequestration.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  68. BostonBob

    I haven't gotten a raise in the last 6 years and I'm making less now than I did 13 years ago. Sorry but the rest of us aren't getting COLA's – time for the military to start cutting too.

    Want that cool new weapon system or COLA's?

    February 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm | Reply
    • nikerst

      Most soldier's stationed CONUS do not receive that allowance

      February 6, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  69. Crystal Jones

    My pay does not need to be cut. I am a widow and I need a cost of living raise. The cost of living goes up every day.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  70. Crystal Jones

    My pay does not need to be cut. I am a widow and I need a cost of living raise.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  71. ChrisM106

    High pay and benefits are the cost of an All-Volunteer Force at war. Don't like it? Bring back the draft.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  72. Brother Man from the 5th Floor

    No one is getting "Rich" in the military but 05 and above and all the military contractors who don't do a damn thing! Yet "Snufffy" and "Jane" sure get their butts blown off and liimbs lost and they get the short end of the shaft. Figures!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • ChrisM106

      In the three years I've lost three friends in Afghanistan – all O5s.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
      • Dave G

        14 O5's have died in the last 3 years in Afghanistan and you knew 3 of them? Remind me to never know you.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • coryacook

      You sir, have no idea what you are talking about. Your comments are completely unsubstantiated and without any factual basis. I welcome you to come on down to your nearest military installation and try and find the droves of useless field grade officers that you carelessly drivel on about.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  73. frank

    GS workers have NOT had a pay raise or Cost Of Living adjustment in 3 yrs...thanks Obama!
    military pay is fine as it is...every time you increase it means huge money for those in higher ranks....COLA adjustment is all the military needs

    February 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
    • CRP

      That approach would be the greed approach. Apply the same percentage increase, freeze, or cut across the board..

      February 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      I agree, wifes hasn't had one in 3 years. Folks on SS only two in the last 5, My $140.07 retirement from a job in 1997 has risen ti $140.07. If you retire from the miltary in time you are making more on reitrement then you did working and only for 20 years work. Who retires at 38 in the private sector the lives 50 more years.and gets raises every year, it's unsustainable.

      February 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
      • jake

        Dave a question.

        How many people have getting killed in there job description?

        February 6, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
  74. barbarianofgor

    With all the money flushed on Halliburton types an inflation matching pay raise is nothing.

    For all the cruelty here, this will not save anything. All in all measures like this cost more than they save.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  75. Sam

    I'm not saying that our servicemembers are rolling in cash, but I tend to look at complaints about not having enough money as a budgeting issue as opposed to not enough pay. I deal with soldiers every day and I would cite you this analysis...

    I live near a major military installation. A servicemember in the grade of E2 (that's the second to lowest rank) makes about $1700 gross base pay a month. After taxes etc, that nets out to about $1360 a month. Let's assume the servicemember is married so thier housing allowance is $1026 a month, and their food allowance is $352 a month. Both of those allowances are untaxed so, net basic pay, housing, and food allowance take home is about $2700 a month. This servicemember can get a decent place around here for under $800 a month plus avg utilities of $150. Figure a rough car payment of $350, Car insurance of $150, Food (lets be generous and say $400) altogether equals around $1800-1850 a month. Subtract that from 2700 and you have around 900 left for incidental stuff (cell phone, a credit card, savings, etc). This doesn't factor in other savings like free medical care.

    I'm not suggesting these folks are rich but comparatively speaking a civilian would have to be grossing about $41000 straight out of high school to even have parity. True, these guys and gals work long hard hours and can do dangerous things, but they also have significant time off for leave. It's a lifestyle choice...there are lots of demands but lots of rewards...it's a balance.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
    • Chiniquy

      The military members deserve every penny that they get. Military life is not a bed of roses. With all the BS that they have to endure on a daily basis is reason enough for the amount they receive as pay.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • Pam Edwards VanderWielen

      You say that you live near a military base-but apparently you are not serving your country as these brave men and women are doing 24/7. So you cannot even begin to know their financial information. My Father and my Husband were career military men and so as a military child and a military wife I know that we never had enough money. We barely made it from payday to payday. So these military members deserve to make a decent living. They more than deserve every penny that they get. Congress is the one that needs the pay cuts.they have done absolutely nothing

      February 6, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
      • megan

        yes, he can all of the financial information is posted online for the entire world to see, heck they even have calculators to make it easy. And his numbers are pretty spot on

        February 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
      • Sam

        Pam, you would be incorrect, I did 21 yrs active. Far as tight budgets, been there, done that. I've done the "3 boxes of macaroni, half a loaf of bread, and 3 days til payday thing. I accepted that as part of the whole parcel.

        February 7, 2013 at 6:33 am |
    • USVET

      Sam ,you forgot to include putting money into savings accounts in case the service member is sent abroud unexpectedly. That reduces your numbers even more. And define decent living. Near the base I was stationed at, decent was almost twice my housing allowance. We lived in a trailer for nearly my entire time in because we couldn't afford an apartment.

      February 6, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  76. Dan

    I haven't received a cost of living raise in about five years. I'm OK with the bloated military only getting a so-so cost of living raise.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  77. BP

    I understand that this is technically not a "pay cut" and merely a cost of living reduction, however, how dare you cut the pay of active duty military and vote to give Congress a pay raise when they really haven't done ANYTHING worthwhile in the past 4 years?

    Anyone who has ever served in the military knows all too well about universal health care, Socialist health care or "Obamacare". It is terrible! You should take time to look up current law suits filed against military hospitals for malpractice caused by human error.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • AFVet

      True enough the care can be lacking but how many lawyer commercials do you see on television concerning medical malpractice as well on the civilian side of the house? As someone who has served, I had no problem with the medical care I received. If you had an issue, go to sick call. If your family had an issue, go to sick call. You have to remember, a lot of people never had consistent medical treatment because of the cost on the civilian side of the house. So some healthcare is better than none.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  78. broc325

    This is bulls**t. Why is it always the troops pay. Some troops barely get by with the current pay. Limit Congress' pay, they make more in one year than I did in the 5 that I served in the Marine Corps.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  79. Chuck

    Cutting military pay is absolutely idiotic! Cut CONGRESSIONAL pay! Not the guys who fight for us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  80. Budd

    I want everyone to see what this worthless public servant wants to do to cut the military budget. Not cut the number of officers with two wars being finished, not cut redundant equipment requests for each branch of the service, not reducing the amount of travel that the generals and the secretary do, not cutting the amount of support we give to no name countries to try and teach them how to fight. Cut the pay of the people who risk their lives every day so the worthless SOB can go home to his winery every weekend. What a POS!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • Humberto

      You're right.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
    • Notadolt

      I agree with Budd. This is even worse than Michigan Republicans imposing high new taxes on pensioners who have already retired! Military personnel and their families make tremendous sacrifices for this country and most already suffer economic hardship. I thought it was Republicans waging war on the middle class, but Panetta's proposal is a new low.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
      • Lindy

        Many military members have and act on high ideals, but if people are only joining for the sake of serving their country, why do recruitment numbers go up the minute minute salaries and benefits are raised? It's not all about "sacrifice." People in the mliitary trade hardships and sometimes great risk for health care, housing, day care,tuition, a guaranteed pension if they stay in, etc. There's a little self-interest in this, too.

        February 6, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Fred

      Try getting some of your "fact" straight before you go flying off the handle. The military has already been drawing down the active duty strength and that does include officers. Travel has already been reduced 25-30% across the board. Maintenance is being deferred across all services. All this is being done right now because DoD is operating under a Continuing Resolution (the FY13 budget has not yet been passed and probably won't).

      If sequestration goes into effect, it will get really bad. Squadrons will not fly (and maintain qualifications). New ship construction will be cancelled. 3rd and 4th quarter maintenance willbe cancelled. Keep in mind that once a squadron loses it quals, it takes a minimum of 9 months to get them back and at about 3x the cost.

      Those are facts that need to be looked at and kept in mind - not the hogwash drivel you were spewing.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • AFVet

      You are totally missing the effect of what he is trying to do. He is telling Congress, if you make us go through with these budget cuts, here is what we have to do to keep the military going somewhat. It means you have to make tough choices and cut somethings you don't want too, but guess what that's what you do as a leader. So instead of trying to run the Sec Def down, go talk to your Congressman about their stance and what they plan to do to make sure this sequester is avoided.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Reply
      • Fred

        This cracks me up. I can't believe we're trying to be voices of reason on a blog comment section. It would be nice if every single person here that felt compelled to comment would just take a few minutes to look up basic facts. I know my Congressman is getting tired of hearing from me. But I look at it this way, its something I feel strongly about AND I'm making the worthless bum (I voted for the other guy) work for it (okay, I'm making his staff work for it).

        February 6, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • NAM VET


        February 6, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
      • AFVet

        NAM Vet,
        Thank you for your service but please lower the caps and speak in sentences. And actually he is not serving them, he is leading as the civilian director of the department of defense. The next time you go into a military building check out the chain of command wall. He has done an admirable job as Sec Def. I think you forgot who controls the money- Congress. He is doing what leaders do- he is giving Congress the options which lay before them if they don't stop bickering. The people elected Congress who make law. He is abiding by the LAW which will take effect on March 1.

        February 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  81. Alf

    So let me get this straight. We cut the pay of those who are protecting us but we don't cut pay and benefits for our congress and senate? We just keep adding "pork fat" to the budget and think all is going to be OK.
    Something wrong with that picture.We need term limits as those in power only think of their "votes" vs what is good for the country

    February 6, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  82. Bill

    Panetta is a loser!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  83. Bill

    Panetta is a dick!

    February 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • susan W

      That is true. Pannetta is all of the latter. But the biggest Dick, loser, and idiot communist is in the White House. He is the quicker effer upper

      February 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Reply
      • palintwit

        Get back in your trailer, loser.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
      • Shawn L

        Move to a different country then, traitor. He's our commander in chief.

        February 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • NAM VET


      February 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  84. susan W

    Save even more money–Get rid of Ocommie care. Most of us peasants don't want it. It was forced on us and we were told it was for our own good. And as usual, when the government tries to fix something, they only make it worse. Health care will now triple in cost and now even fewer folks can afford. it.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • L. T. Fang

      We need universal health care just every industrialized nation in the world.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • Rembrant

        In the long run, it will be better for the American people overall.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
    • AAL62

      Why? So you can go down to the 'free clinic' and have the rest of us pay for it? YOU are the loser here!

      February 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
      • Rembrant

        Ignorance does not become you.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • chuck

      The affordable Health Care act and military pay have nothing to do with each other. How about you suggest something constructive like not buying a bunch of cold war crap (aka, Corp Welfare provided to The military industrial complex). The DOD often has the knee-jerk reaction of cutting people in a draw down while continuing the drunk spending on weapons systems we don't need. Then they have to start the personnel cycle over because the kicked out all the talent and experience in force drawdowns. BOTTOMLINE: Stop sacrificing people for systems or planned savings that will never actually happen...and yes a 1% pay increase is a sacrifice for troops that many of have give 10 yrs and multiple deployments to support an agenda that is often more about politics than strategy or military necessity.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  85. Rembrant

    Hey guys, dont feel too bad... I work in the private sector and havent seen a pay raise at all in almost three years now. But I am not complaining, I am just glad I have a job at this point. The economy has sucked and I know my boss is barely keeping head above water. I am confident things will improve for everyone soon.

    February 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Keith

      True we have a job, but let me ask you. When was the last time you had to leave your family for six or more months. When was the last time you needed to run for cover to avoid an incoming rocket? My guess is never, thanks for your input.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • Rembrant

        Joining the military was a CHOICE they made, whatever the reason. They knew what they were getting into when they signed up.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm |
      • itsme

        They knew what they were getting into when they signed up.

        killing muslims

        February 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
      • rolldog

        Rembrant, your right....maybe the military shouldn't compalin about getting underpaid, because it was their choice for joining. But imagine that the pay was not that good and these pay increases stop increasing. This year its 1.7% the next year its 1% and following 0.5% and soon it doesn't increase. Not as many people will want to volunteer and the numbers in the military will dwindle down. Maybe they will have to impose a mandatory enlistment of all citizens to increase there numbers. Only then will all have the benefit of having to sacrifice there lives for little pay and can then properly speak on the matter. This volunteer force is there for a reason. So that you can have your right to see your family every day and tell him that your boss promoted you, rather than having to wait a year to see him only to tell him how many bullets were shot at you.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Dave

      I understand that you work in the private sector and haven't seen a pay raise in many years, but unless your private sector job involves you volunteering to give your life for the freedoms of this country, keeps you away from your family for months and years at a time, it is a big deal that their pay is essentially being cut but we have no problem paying entertainers, athletes, and idiots (Congress) more money than what their job is actually worth. Another failure for America.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • Humberto

      That's right, when they entered the military they entered into a contract to be paid a set amount to support their families. Just because the Fed is stealing by devaluing the dollar and raising the cost of living, doesn't mean Politicians have a right to commit fraud by shortchanging them.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Reply
    • Austin

      Confident why? hahaa There is no way anything will improve until the government stops spending us into a hole.

      February 6, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  86. Lewy

    How much does it cost taxpayers to fly Panetta back-and-forth to Monterey every week?

    February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • IowaConnie

      Probably not as much as Pelosi stole from us by flying back and forth to California for several years.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Reply
      • Swatguy

        Speaking of flying, let's cut back on the overpriced new generation of fighter aircraft at $100M+ per copy, which can't seem to provide O2 to the pilot. Who are we fighting that we need more stealth aircraft? I flew AC 130 gunships for years...they are still around. Technology is not always the answer to things....

        February 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  87. DENA

    E7 w/20 yrs makes about $4200. base pay. That is correct b/c that is where my husband is now and we have known plenty of soldiers that can barely make it.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      How abouth the tax free housing and meal allowances...

      February 6, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Reply
      • megan

        And no copays for medical active duty medical care or prescriptions

        February 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm |
  88. 32-year Vet

    If Congress would stop requiring the Pentagon to pay for programs such as family support, job help, DACOWITS, brain research, etc., we wouldn't be in the mess. Before hurting readiness, we need to clean these non-core capability expenditures off the budget.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • Randy

      Family support is one of the essential elements that allow us to maintain the force we have. We enlist the Soldier but reenlist the family.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  89. Dan

    federal employees have had pay freezes for the past several years. I am a state employee and I have had pay freezes for the past 4 years. We're exiting combat. Let's share the burden. Either we raise taxes to pay for our military and our military expenditures, or we have to cut things like military salaries. AND, this isn't even a pay freeze or pay cut, it's a reduced cost of living adjustment.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • broc325

      You talk about "sharing the burden".... what about all the politicians who make 5 or 6 times as much as your typical Marine, soldier, sailor, and airman. Why not freeze or better yet cut THEIR pay.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  90. Jeremy

    1. I served ten years as an officer in the USA, 2 combat arms deployments to Iraq and multiple other smaller deployments all over the place. As an officer, I was far better paid than the average soldier, but not well paid in comparison to comparable civilian jobs, government and private sector.
    2. A 2% pay “raise”, given inflation and rising costs, is more like a non-pay cut, so cease your whining about them getting “raises”, they , as a group, deserve a raise FAR more than any other segment of the population. Nobody is whining about granting more unemployment benefits, and that is for people doing NOTHING. Nobody complains about Congressional auto pay raises.
    3. These soldiers have shouldered the burden of 10+ years of two (or more) wars and all the requirements for training that go into that. All the while the average American is watching the Kardashians flaunt their promiscuity or other reality TV shows, and our men and women keep coming home in boxes. You have forgotten them, the least you can do is pay them better.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      4. Half the benefits referenced by the pretend service members on here are not as “nice” as they claim. Have you been to an Army hospital? The good news is soon everyone will have the same poor level of care. Have you slept in an Army barracks? You are likely to die from mold/asbestos inhalation, and spend half your life in one of those lovely Army hospitals. BAH/BAS, if you get it, will maybe cover the cost of housing the Army is supposed to cover which is not an added benefit, but making up the difference for a dismal base pay rate. 30 days paid vacation? How many weekends are spent on training and deployments, something the average American knows nothing about? 1 year deployment is 48 “lost” weekends, totaling 96 days of time near zero Americans will ever worry about losing, not even considering holidays. Add in weekends spent at training centers, on ranges, etc and that 30 days quickly becomes jokingly less than the ever person enjoys. GI Bill? Considering there are handing our scholarships to people for disgustingly less than the level of service each veteran shows, we should be embarrassed we don’t fully fund their educations. Berkeley is handing out scholarships to illegal immigrants, people who are in violation of our laws, go tear that down before suggesting soldiers don’t deserve a better education

      February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • Fred

        You nailed it, brother!

        February 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
    • RossHarr

      Wish they had a like button for your comment. I am also a Vet who has lived the life you mentioned and the ones on the outside who see all those lavish benefits we get has no clue what really goes on.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • jwill23


      February 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  91. bluesky0001

    Pay cuts should always start at the top, like the presents, then the lazy people that do nothing but collect money, like congress. Let's see our taxes went up, so they're pay should go down by at least 39%.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Ed

      Let's hope they spend more on education.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  92. RJ White

    Military families on foodstamps? Not for years folks. The pay increases during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has these folks making a good salary. Don't believe it? Check to see how many are leaving. A junior petty officer/sergeant makes close to $50,000 a year. I have an E-7 living across the street from me in a 4 bedroom, 2 and 1/2 bath, 2 car garage with over 2,000 square feet. I am a retired officer, and I wish I were still on active duty as an 0-5 today makes $100,000 base pay, plus housing allowance! I have been told the enlisted housing allowance in my area of Virginia is $1,200 a month – and that is tax free income folks!! By the way, the guys and gals don't like the pay? They can leave – it is an all volunteer force.

    February 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      A "so called" expert on this forum said that we wouldn't see military families on foodstamps for years... As a low ranking enlisted in 2010 I was on foodstamps then, and troops I know now are on them now.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • Judy

      Perfect answer coming from an Officer. Not surprised at all. I bet you were one of those that could care less about those who worked for you, yet had no problem taking credit for their hard work for your promotions. Educate yourself before posting what you have no clue about.

      AF VET

      February 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Dean

      an E7 with 20 years makes base $4200/mo. an E5 over 2 is $2300/mo., about what my Social Security pays.
      They ain't getting rich.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
      • DENA


        February 6, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
      • Compassionate, but come on

        That is base pay. You can't exclude housing! my sister does that all of the time, complaining about how little money she makes. Only 30k a year for a family of 3. But guess what? That's not including the 20k in housing! Let alone all the perks they get. I hear you, military should be paid appropriately, but until we raise the standards for enlisted soldiers, I think they are. It used to be a noble profession, and now it's a cop-out.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm |
    • CM Waytell

      It's an all-volunteer force RJ, just like you said – so why don't you get back in? Probably because you slid your way through between Desert Storm and Iraq, serving your twenty and getting out before you actually had to put any boots on the ground. I know your type, the retired officer who is upset that life is not as hard as it used to be. Instead of complaining about how much we make, you should be applauding that soldiers and officers alike are paid better than when you were in. It's called progress.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • RossHarr

      This is in response to RJ White obviously as a retired O-5 your way out of touch with your petty little enlisted folk cause I know several E-1,2,3 and 4's who utilize food stamps for assistance. Its nice to have the O's pay and E-6 and up is decent pay but when you are a young troop with a few kiddos it makes for a hard life. Cutting or reducing pay is not the way to fix the problem. As mentioned by others it would be a great idea for congress to reduce or sto their pay for a month or two and help in that area.

      February 6, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Reply
      • os1usnr

        Perhaps those "young troops with a few kiddos" should have considered putting off having "a few kiddos." Servicemembers should be making the same decisions as civilians as to whether or not they are financially able to enlarge their families. Take a little responsibility and live within your means.

        February 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
      • Humberto

        Your out of line OS1

        February 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm |
    • PresentArmyWife

      Yes there are military families on welfare. As a matter of fact most receive WIC due to not being able to afford the simple healthy foods for their children. I too live across from military as I live on an Army Post and let me tell you we do not have glamorous lives with a tremendous amount of disposable income. My husband is an E-5 and we do not have excessive debt or outrageous spending habits but we do live paycheck to paycheck with me working as well. I have no idea where you are getting your facts from but the military isn't paid NEAR enough. Please tell me what members of our congress are willing to die for their country yet they are the ones taking all the money in.

      If you so badly wish you were still active duty there is always the guard as I'm sure you believe they make upwards of 6 figures also. Yes our military deserves much larger pay increases than they are given but they are not afforded the opportunity to ask for it.

      I thank God everyday when I wake up in the morning and look next to me I see a hero and when I walk outside and look up and down my street I am comforted by the sight of even more heroes.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • Rembrant

      Joining the military was a CHOICE they made, whatever the reason. They knew what they were getting into when they signed up. I'd like to complain about my job and the choices I have made, but I take responsibility for the choices I make.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Reply
    • USVET

      That's a load of bull. In 1977 I was making a total of $600 a month with all my base pay, plus separate rations, and uniform allowance. I didn't qualiy for food stamps because I owned two cars both 1964 vintage. I've had relatives in the military in recent years and they aren't doing anywhere near as good as you claim the military are. All the years I was in, we kept expecting to get better than 3% pay raises, but after budget cuts, we were lucky to see a $25 a month increase in pay. Go peddle your snake oil somewhere else.

      February 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
      • Humberto

        What happened to the money found in the shack?

        February 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
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