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)
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  4. Chris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Sir, your a F-–retard!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    February 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm | Reply

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

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

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

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

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

        February 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
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  22. 1Sgt Rock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    WHATEVER happens – it is on CONGRESS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      February 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Reply

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        February 12, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
  34. Ron

    start the cuts at the top , a man in uniform laying his life on the line everyday has to be worth more than these idiots in washington. I don't see anyone shooting at those guys. Cut the guys fighting a war pay who makes 35,000 year and leave those idiots pay in washington alone , who makes around 200,000 a year plus perks.....PLEASE GET REAL....

    February 9, 2013 at 8:18 am | Reply
  35. sickntired

    Job Status

    The 15 head Cabinet posts within the Executive Branch of the United States federal government are ranked in order of succession to the Presidency in the event the President is unable to fulfill the duties of the office. According to the White House, the Secretary of Defense is fourth in order of succession to the Presidency. The Vice President is followed by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, and Secretary of Defense. The 15 cabinet members ranking below the vice president all receive the same salary.

    2011 Salary
    According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, for the year beginning January 1, 2011, salaries on the executive schedule in the federal government remained frozen at 2010 levels. Level I positions earned $199,700 for the year.
    Comparative Earnings

    The Secretary of Defense earns more annually than the majority and minority leaders in the U.S. Congress, but less than the Speaker of the House, whose 2011 salary was $223,500, the same as the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

    House and Senate Leaders are paid more than rank-and-file members.

    Both the Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, and Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, get $193,400. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Palosi, gets $223,500 and a jet airplane. President Obama makes $400,000 per year plus expenses.

    A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it.

    Seems to me, we should start cutting salaries and reducing benefits at the top, before taking anything else away from the troops that put their lives on the line for us and are already struggling to pay their bills!!

    February 8, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  36. Chris M

    One thing people fail to realize is that yes it is true that many have not fought in a combat setting. But that is because of the fact that there are so many trained to fight back and to attack the US would be costly. I was prior Air Force, and yes I seen combat, but I was never fired on because seeing a bunch of armed men and women served as a big deterrent. Without all the armed soldiers there would not be a deterrent and other countries would not be afraid to attack us. No one in their right minds would attack an armed military base unless they had bigger and better weapons. Yes there are soldiers who sit at a desk but they are still part of the reason the military is able to support and protect everyone. Just some jobs are harder and more physical then others. That is how it is in every job. You cut the pay of the military then you show them you can care less about them and they will find another job. Which will then leave a smaller military, which then makes it easier for the US to be attacked. The US rarely gets attacked because of the fact that we are armed and ready to fight. So like I said no one in their right minds would attack unless they have bigger and better weapons and to cut the military is to make it easier to be attacked. I do not know a lot about politics which is why I am not a politician but I do understand the military and just how important they are. Just imagine if we decide to cut all of the police officers pay checks and their fundings. They would be less willing to risk their lives which would then cause a lot more crime because more people would stop being afraid of getting in trouble since there would be less cops to catch them. I understand that writing this is probably a waste of time since most of the people are already set in their own way of thinking and will not change it, but I feel that there are some people who are just uneducated about certain things, which is normal since we only know what we train for, and are more willing to listen to reasoning. There are a small amount of soldiers who are making quite a bit of money for being young, but that is because they lucked out and it worked in their favor. The rest of the military is not that lucky. And the ones who are higher in the paid grade earned what they got through their blood and sweet.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm | Reply


    February 8, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Reply
  38. joenavy

    oh and forgot to add that $250 is taken away from my command and that i dont live in barracks i live on a ship

    February 8, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Reply
  39. joenavy

    @ Flyerd
    im in the navy as an E-4 and made 18,000 with bas 22,000 last year just thought i'll let you.

    February 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  40. Roger

    You Sir, are an idiot!!!!! Cut this Military Item / Cut that Military Item / Now Pay........I think all of those suit wearing people including you – who make way to much need a pay cut before those that are in the military.

    February 8, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  41. Joe Clark

    The salaries of all the generals need to be cut and cut drastically. Many need to be encouraged to retire. The salaries of all the All Volunteer soldiers who are ordered to go to Iraq or Afghanistan or any combat zone should be doubled and tours of duty in combat zones limited to one tour only. Congressional representatives should have salaries based upon bipartisan performance that aids the average American citizen with jobs, new small business enterprises, saving their homes from overly aggressive bankers ,education, and healthcare.

    February 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Reply
    • K

      Joe, I think thats the first intelligent thing I've ever heard anybody say about congressional pay. While I'd love to cut their pay and place term limits on them, the fact is it still wouldn't be enough. But placing a performance clause on them,(while they'd find away around that as well) is a brilliant thought!!

      February 8, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  42. Stevan Reitzell

    Do not cut military pay. They protect you and us. They work for their pay congress does not. Congress is crying over spilt milk that they created .Cut congress pay not military. Congress has let big businesses control them and now they punish us when things are not working the way they want. What is wrong with this picture !!?

    February 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  43. GaryS

    Those that serve our country already do so at significantly lower pay than civilians. They also face dire consequences for doing that job. Why single them out when they are doing their jobs and taking extreme risks.
    Lets take some $$$ from those in the government that can't seem to do their jobs, like all of congress.

    February 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  44. TAK

    Misleading headline. How is a smaller raise considered a "pay cut"? I'm grateful for any raise I get, even a small one. It is a clever move though, putting the ball in Congress' court. Hopefully it'll light a fire under them to finally do something. Though on a certain level it seems in poor taste to use military pay as a bargaining chip. But these are the times we live in.

    February 8, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Because 1% is lower than inflation so even though the number is higher, you can buy less with it. Not to mention average private-sector wages will increase more than that in the same time so on top of being less able to provide for their families, they'll have to do so knowing that they could (and should) make more money by leaving the service.

      And we will.

      February 9, 2013 at 5:41 am | Reply
  45. Ken Fidler

    How about recommending a pay cut for Congress, then implement an immediate and indefinite freeze on their salaries.

    February 8, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
  46. heywood

    cut the politicians salarys/med benifits and retirement FIRST and then the people protecting us

    February 8, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  47. mike

    People in this country are so easily distracted! Do some quick math and figure out what the difference in pay between a 1.7% increase and a 1% increase really is? Then take that number and compare it to the amount paid to defense contractors. This is a ploy to make the american people think that cutting military spending will require cutting the soldiers pay. How many new jets would have to be cut to pay for the salary increase?
    Think about it from a politicians standpoint. Focus the debate on the one area of military spending that a majority of americans have some sympathy for. Then the american public won't be as difficult to convince that we have to maintain the military budget. Defense contractors get paid and the campaign funds keep rolling in. Politics at its best....

    February 8, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  48. Besmart

    We should be paying our brave soldiers more not less to put their lives on the line for our country. These men and women can hardly make ends meet now. If you want to cut salaries and save money go to the people who are doing nothing benefical for our country like congress. Lets cut their salaries and benefits. They get excellent salaries, medical benefits and pensions for life even if they only serve one term.
    People who are putting their lives on the line should not have to worry about housing, medical or feeding their familiies.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:20 am | Reply
  49. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    February 8, 2013 at 3:33 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      And John Smith,you are a failed person.

      February 9, 2013 at 11:16 am | Reply
  50. USMC GySgt

    I made a little over $48,000 last year, to defend this country. How much did your ass make sitting in an office making stupid ass decisions? How bout we cut your pay?

    February 8, 2013 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Flyerd

      You made more than $48K. You're not taking into account all the "allowances" (like BAH, BAS). If you don't get BAH then you have to calculate how much it would cost you to rent a house out on town with same bed/bath and calculate how much it would cost in elec/water bills if you had to pay them. Also, remember that $2.5K/month in allowance is actually equal to $3K "taxable" income. That means you have to "Add" $500/month ($6K/year) for the "tax advantage" of the allowance pay. If you ever deploy to a combat zone you have to do the same calculation for ALL your pay since it's all tax free in combat zones.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • Tor Eckmann

      the US has not been under attack by anything except corrupt bankers and politicians, numbnuts, you didn't protect the US from anything, if anything you are part of the fn problem

      February 8, 2013 at 6:18 am | Reply
      • Kristen

        Must be nice to live in the world you live in. When was your last security brief? I wish I knew as little as you, and felt like we were never attacked.

        February 8, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  51. Flyerd

    –> Everyone always wants more pay and everyone likes to sound-off that the military doesn't get decent pay...
    Well, I'm a former military member and I just wanted to clarify something most people have grossly wrong (presumably because they are misinformed). While on active duty I occasionally had to have this "talk" with fellow military members who always had a much different perspective on their pay after our discussion. Hopefully it helps clarify military pay a bit.

    You said an E2 with 2yrs of service "only" makes $1.5K/month. First, the current "base pay" your figure references is actually $1,700 not $1,500. More importantly, the actual "total compensation" is closer to $44K/yr ($3,650/mo). Here's what is overlooked by the "basic pay" figure:

    2013 Mil Pay for E-2:
    "Basic Pay"- $1,700/month

    Other monthly pay (or equivalence) in addition to “Basic Pay”:

    1- Food allowance- $350 (or Free meals at messing facilities)
    2- Housing allowance- ~$1,000 (or equivalent Free room/elec/wtr)
    3- Health Ins- ~$450
    TOTAL OF ABOVE: $3,500/month or $42K/Year.
    4- Taxable equivalent: $45-46K/Year.

    *There’s also a yearly Tax-Free “clothing replacement allowance”, as well as other special pays paid to various job specialties. None of which are included here.

    **If deployed into combat: The combined affects of a Tax-FREE status on ALL pay received while in a combat zone, and the addition of extra pays (like imminent danger, family separation, hardship duty, etc.), results in an actual tax-equivalent pay of ~$55,000/Yr or $4,600/month for this same E2 example.

    Expanded explanations of 1-4 above:

    1- The free messing facility food is actually quite good (FAR better than the typical young-adult menus of Top-Romen , mac-n-cheese, etc.) and easily equivalent to at least $350/mo.

    2- Exact monthly housing allowance depends on location and dependent status. For Example- Sea $1,500, SF $2,800, even Spokane is $1K). FREE Housing in barracks (similar to college dorm) must be contrasted to what we’d be paying out of pocket to cover same expenses if not living in free housing. Location dependent (actual cost equivalent value depends on where you’re stationed, i.e. cost of living). Additionally, we pay NO electric or water bills which would add another $100-150/month of value. At the very least, free housing, electricity, & water would have an avg value of $1,000/month.

    3- Avg of $400 just to have employer provided healthcare at typical jobs (via some combination of employer/employee payments). Additionally, contrary to typical healthcare, military members pay ZERO for prescriptions, deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, etc. which typically avg at least $600/yr or $50/month for people who have to pay these cost/fees. $400+$50 = $450/month.

    4- All "allowances", like Housing & Food allowances, are not taxed. Therefore, the “tax equivalent” yearly pay for this E2 example is $45K/yr (takes into account tax-free status of allowances). It would be even higher in an area with higher housing costs because the "allowance" pay would be higher (as would the tax equivalent amount).

    That's it. Sorry for the length but I wanted to be clear and complete. Have a nice day. 🙂


    February 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • Bern

      Room and Board??? The barracks at Camp Penelton are infested with rats and they are pig styes.....try finding an apt for under 1700 a month...........get real people. It's not all hunky dory, but most don't join for all these 'perks' they do it because they feel it's their duty.

      February 7, 2013 at 11:38 pm | Reply
      • Flyerd

        1. One bad barracks doesn't mean they're all bad. I've seen plenty of good barracks...

        2. BAH "varies" depending on location. I used an "avg" figure. Btw, Camp Pendleton housing allowance for an E2 is $1854/month so you've got $154 extra after your $1700 payment...

        2. The purpose is to simply explain that the equivalent pay of an E2 is approximately $42,000/yr (a lot more than the $18K/yr indicated by only looking at "basic pay". Weather or not that's a "fair" amount for someone who's typically 19-23yrs old is open for debate. I just don't like people using skewed figures when discussing things... Just the facts please.

        February 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
      • CRM

        Actually Flyerd, since you want just the facts, the BAH for Pendleton is $1392 for those without dependents, which is who would be living in the dorms.

        February 8, 2013 at 9:32 am |
      • Mike smith

        If true then where is your so-called "leadership!"

        February 8, 2013 at 10:17 am |
      • Lt

        Actually CRM, if he is an E-2 without dependents he will be required to maintain a room in the barracks.

        February 8, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Emily C.

      If you are lucky enough to be able to fit in a house that is on base with a large family, housing is covered by your BAH. If not, you will normally pay a portion out of base pay for your housing, water, electricity, and trash because BAH doesn't cover it all. All prescriptions are not always covered. A lot of times the military hospitals don't seem to carry all the different medications needed and co-pays are paid out in town just like if we had insurance like civilians. But, if you need Vitamin M, they have an endless supply. If we have to use Tricare Standard because we are getting sub-par care with Tricare Prime from a military installation, then we have co-pays as well. BAS is strictly for the military member, so if there is a large family, we are still paying out of base pay for groceries. If you live off base because there is limited housing on base, the housing isn't big enough or the housing is too old and decrepit to live in and is full of mold which is hazardous to your health, you are then paying more for gas to get to work everyday. While yes, I agree the military is not having to pay as much out of pocket for health insurance and housing, you get what you pay for. Also, if my husband worked in the civilian world in the computer network security field or computer programming field for the same employer for 16 years, he would not be having a taxable income under $45,000 regardless of the housing allowances and BAS he is given. He is underpaid. He definitely didn't join the military to be rich, but he didn't join and stick with it for 16 years planning to work till retirement and have that taken away from him or have his pay docked at every twist and turn. He signed up to risk his life for the majority of his good years to protect his country and our freedom, with hopes that when he had served his duty, he would be rewarded with medical benefits, a retirement, and the ability to get his degree without breaking the bank. Benefits like those are what everyone now wants to take away from him and all the other military members because they think that this is the best place to take money from because the military has no say. They have been taught to say, "Yes, Sir" and "Yes, Ma'am" and just go with the flow but this is crap that the government has made poor choices and now tries to fix it by screwing the people that enable this country to remain free. What crap!!

      February 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Reply
      • Flyerd

        1. Yes good point irt dependent medical costs. I was referring to the military member's medical irt to everything at no cost. However, I never even knew anyone who couldn't get medications on base. You must have some strange meds.

        2. Irt BAS. We've used a food budget of $300 for a family of four and never had trouble. It's easy if you buy on sale items in bulk and shop once a month instead of once a week (except for things like bread/milk).

        3. Irt your husband and the computer network industry for 16yrs: If he's been in the military 16yrs he's NOT an E2 which was used in this example. His equivalent pay would be a lot closer to $90-100K as an E-7 or E8 (unless he's gotten in a lot of trouble and lost rank). Also, did your husband pay for his education to become a computer network person or did the military? Don't forget the GI bill benefit that youdon't get in the civilian sector either... He is NOT underpaid.

        4. Who's taking his retirement? If he retires with 20yrs he'll still get one of THE BEST retirements available! 50% of basic pay from day 1 of retirement until death is even better than the state sponsored (and in the red) "defined benefit" plans that typically start at age 55-60. Again, the GI Bill, medical benefits, travel benefits, etc. all add up to a great retirement.

        February 8, 2013 at 12:20 am |
      • 82ABNWife

        AMEN Sister!!!!!
        Don't forget even though it isn't required...they still 'have' to have a cell phone for communication that is paid out of pocket for Military business.
        And replacing military uniforms throughout the year including ACU's and ASU's (Army) are out of pocket.....approved unit awards, all sewing.....the once a year uniform allowance doesn't cover it. One set of ACU's are about $75 bucks each and boots run about $100. Not to mention anything to ASU's and PTs, all of which come out of pocket and DO NOT come from supply.

        February 8, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • odinrf

      55k is not worth my life/hardships. If a country needs to do budget cuts, the people who protect us and allow us to do as we please should be the LAST to be cutt.

      February 8, 2013 at 12:00 am | Reply
      • Flyerd


        $55K for a 19-23yr old to go into combat is a bad paycheck???... Just liek everything in life, most people NEVER think it's enough do they? If the figure was currently $80K/yr for that E2 (instead of $55K) you'd be saying "that's not enough" just like you're saying $55K isn't enough...

        February 8, 2013 at 12:27 am |
      • SkipV

        FLYERD: YOU are a jerk. These military people put their life on the line for YOU. To cut their pay when politician's pay aren't being cut is a disgrace. YOUR pay, and all non military people's pay should be considered long before any military person's pay. How much is YOUR life worth? How much is YOUR freedom worth? YOU and a lot of "Americans" take the military personnel for granted. YOU ought to be shining their boots. YOU ought to be sacrificing 1/10th as much as they are. YOU ought to be put into the military and put up with what they do along with having your life being put in jeopardy every day. You are a jerk.

        February 8, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Richard

      You make a good point about the military pay and allowances. I looked it up on the Department of Defense website. The wife complaining that the food allowance isn't enough for the family needs to be reminded that it is for the miltary member and not the family to eat for a month. I served in the millitary and receiveld the houseing allowance and I know it would not pay for everything but it did make my mortgage payment each month. The military is much better in pay now than when I served back in the late 1980s and the housing allowance is reasonable. The base housing is adequate and may not be the best or most fashionablew in terms of architecture and design but it is functinoal and maintained by the government, which no one seemed to mention, including being furnished with applainces. You don't have to pay for repairs in the housing and you won't rent a place usually without using part of your military pay for the expenses.

      February 8, 2013 at 2:06 am | Reply
    • Carlos

      This is to Flyerd. I like the breakdown of pay and allowances for the E-2. Can you show a breakdown of an O5 and above? What about any high ranking military member that might not have a job to do and just collecting a check? Can you show a breakdown of a politician?

      February 8, 2013 at 2:35 am | Reply
    • Amy

      How much is your life worth to you? 45K-50K a year?
      That is what is at stake when you are in the military, active duty or reservist. While it may not always seem like they are putting their lives at risk while they are state side there is always the possibility they will be deployed to very dangerous situations if needed within a month, weeks, and sometimes hours. The men and women of the military don’t look at this as a depressing thought as they love this country and will fight, with their life if required, to protect it. They protect all the rights we take for granted and scarcely think of.

      In addition to potential loss of life, what is it worth to you to see your first child born, watch them take their first steps, be there for their birthday or Christmas? What about you spouses birthday, wedding anniversary, or you child’s high school graduation? This just a small list of all the things you give up the right to be at when you are in the military. You likely won’t miss it all, but how much is missing one or two things a year due to training or deployments worth? Can you put a financial value on spending time with your family? The military has. For every 30 consecutive days you are separated you collect $250. If you’re gone 2-3 weeks every month you get nothing additional.

      I do think that there are perks for military members and their families. I do think that the health care system for military members is pretty great. You don't always get the best doctors but it's pretty easy and almost always free to see a specialist and get required prescriptions. If you don't want to go to a military doctor you can switch to standard care, pick a physician who accepts the medical coverage, and pay a minimal fee to see doctors and get prescriptions.

      The prices at the commissary are also almost always lower than regular grocery stores and you pay no sales tax at the exchange. However, the $250/350 you get per month for food is taken away when the service member is in the field or deployed as the money is to feed them and not the families. I also have hardly ever been able to cover all food and household needs on that amount, and we have no children.

      The ability to live in base housing can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have no children you can likely live out in town in an appropriate size home and save money (even taking into account travel), including utilities. If you have more than 2 children it is usually financially smart to live in base housing as you pay nothing additional to have a 4 or 5 bedroom home. The down side is that if you’re in base housing you get often no choice regarding what house you are assigned, the layout, appliances, and when it is full you get added to the waiting list.

      I am well aware of the benefits and drawbacks to military life. My husband has been a Marine for 7-8 years and plans to stay in the full 20.

      February 8, 2013 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • okie1902

      With all that said, let's just take a look at Nancy Pelosi: She left one position at the WH to be Speaker of the House then now she's the Majority Leader so if she was to retire right now she would draw over $800,000 per year for life because how they have it setup is for each position you can retire to collect the lifetime payment and get another position so Nancy Pelosi has now retired from 2 different positions and is working at her third which would pay her over $800,000 plus free Insurance for life and she is already an Multi-Millionaire. So the point everyone is making is most of these Congress personal are either Multi-Millionaires or Millionaires or at least very wealthy and obama had just approved like a 3% raise for them. People are just using common sense here by this burning them up about cutting pay for the ones that out fighting for our freedom or at least training to be ready at any moment! These same people that are using common sense are the ones that know the Congress, NFL, MLB, and NFL salaries compared to our USA Military's!!!!!!!

      February 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  52. John A. Hubbard

    Panetta warns that spending cuts will degrade military readiness. That just does not compute. The US spents more on the military than the rest of the world's nations combined.. Our economy is firmly in the grip of the military-industrial complex. Eisenhower warned this wold happen. Want to do away with the deficit? Drastically reduce our military spending and start spending it for we the people; i.e. infrastructure, education, healthcare – to name a few. We are crazy to think that we have to control the whole damn world. What arrogance!

    February 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Reply
    • Emily C.

      I'm sure there are plenty of ways to cut frivolous spending within the military but paychecks of the soldiers should not be where they start. Staying in places like the La Costa resort in Carlsbad, CA and staying in the Hilton when the military sends their members to conventions and classes could be cut and have them stay in cheaper but decent places. Frivolous and excessive spending like that is where the money should be cut first. Sending military members overseas with their families just to turn around and send the member back to the states for a class or convention is ridiculous as well. If they actually took time to plan things when it didn't have to do with war, they could save so much money. But, I think the biggest place that the government could cut spending is doling out handouts to $*!t less layabouts who have no intention of working. There needs to be a limit. I couldn't get unemployment when I worked for years and got laid off while I was 6 months pregnant when the company I worked for got shut down. I don't understand how other people can just take advantage of the system. Save money by forcing people to get off their butts and get back into the workforce because Welfare isn't an option if you're just plain lazy!

      February 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  53. Me

    Did I hear correctly, Congress is getting a pay raise? Politicians should be paid at minimum wage levels for the first two years inoffice. Keep the troops happy, pay them what they deserve.

    February 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  54. wallsman

    Leave the money for maintenance and training, cut the bands and ceremonial drill teams. Where are the priorities?

    February 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply

      LOL ----------- TRUTH

      February 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  55. palintwit

    Tea Party Patriots from south to south and east to west are in a panic now that Sarah Palin has been broomed from Fake News. One has only to take a casual drive below the Mason-Dixon line to hear the sound of bagger's heads exploding everywhere. POP... POP... POP !!

    February 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • goodasyours


      February 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • joseph

      How did Palin's name pop here? Are you with high fever? The aircraft carrier has to be decommed for lack of money and all you think is politics and GOP?

      February 7, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • n222s

      And...he is back. When in doubt, bring up Palin. Regardless of what one thinks of her, you do realize that there are millions of people that couldn't pick her out of a lineup. Why do you think Fox dropped her. She is not making any kind of tangible contribution to that network, the GOP or conservative causes.

      But you, bring her up again (as you have several years, now). You remind me of the kid who had one moment in high school with a funny joke, or lucky shot, or whatever and now wishes to relive that instance again, and again, and again, and again. Someone once complimented you on your reference to Palin and, woo hoo, you will remember it forever.

      This isn't a defense of Palin. She's not particularly bright, in your eyes, and yet has managed to earn more money than you will ever see. She was a governor and had a national platform. Yet you are far superior to her. Look, get up and get out of the house. Put some pants on. There is more to the world than a feeble attempt to remind us all of a failed VP candidate who, in time, will be about as remembered as John Garner Nance. Who was Nance? Exactly.

      February 8, 2013 at 10:24 am | Reply
  56. freedom

    So we'll be a sitting duck. It's been Obama's plan all along. Someone needs to leak something soon that leads to impeachment. Our national security is supposed to be the president's number one priority, and he's scaling back. Where is Patraeus? Why hasn't he come forward and revealed the truth about this president? What has he got to lose now? Someone needs to speak up.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Reply
    • CosmicC

      If you were to spend the time to read the article, you'd see that this is congress' doing. Obama can only spend the money congress approves. If congress does not act automatic cuts go into effect and this is one of the results of that.

      February 7, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • freedom

        The problem stems from this president's excessive SPENDING, and the agenda to have our country implode. We are not the problem (although the ones who voted for him are).

        February 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
      • John

        All bills start in the House of Representatives (Revenues and Expenses), then it goes to the Senate. If there are differences between the two Houses it goes to a joint committee to reconcile then each side votes. If all goes through then it goes to the President. Guess what Congress holds the purse strings. If they don't want ObamaCare they can cut the funding. If they want the deficit to decrease, they can cut the budget. If they want a true picture of the deficit then they can ask all the Departments to return funding back to the Treasury that are greater than 6 years 3 months old. Will they do that? No. They just keep talking but nothing gets done. Now the President is not guiltless by submitting a budget knowing that it is dead on arrival but it was Congress that has requested it since 1972. Cut this requirement and think of all the paper and expense would be saved from the landfill.

        February 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
      • G

        Yeah, again, Congress authorizes spending. The President has absolutely ZERO control over spending levels. Budgets come from the House, which, last I checked, is controlled by freedom-lovin Muricans.

        February 7, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  57. Don

    How about keeping the pay increases and stop making marriage look so tempting to 18 – 23 year old's. The amount of people who got married to get out of the barracks when I was active duty was disgusting. It was roughly 3 out of 10 Marine's getting married.

    With double pay and a place of your own it is a tempting offer.

    February 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      What this guy is referring to are the tax free "housing" allowances in the mil. When two volunteers marry the get two of them. Many get $4-$5-$6-$7-$8,000 a month tax free. It's a $21 billion per year and growing waste. Google "BAH Tables" and see these windfalls off the backs of the US taxpayers. This gravy train needs to come to a screeching HALT!

      February 7, 2013 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  58. Moreno

    Never feel sorry for the government. Take them for every penny you can. They'll do the same to you.

    February 7, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  59. Emily

    Until congress dips into their own money and not be greedy..we will never get above water. Your cutting everyone but yourself

    February 7, 2013 at 11:09 am | Reply
  60. Sailor Jay

    Fat Sean, we also pay taxes in the military... So we work to pay our salary and our fancy benefits, and that of our cohorts. Please be less ignorant.

    February 7, 2013 at 11:05 am | Reply
    • Mike smith

      What a stupid comment. You MUST be HS educated.

      February 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  61. Ammomama

    Need to cut retirement pay to members of congress! They need to earn it after serving 20 years just like our military has too!

    February 7, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
  62. Peter Q Wolfe

    Oh, big deal that I made one single typo and am insulted? I don't even want to mention theerrors that I've seen by you guys on here. You guys are awfully disrespectful of the 47% who help pay for your taxes an vote your sorry feces in your jobs. Believe me the anecdotes of bong smokers or child after child weren't the ones I was refering to either. Not only that the U.S has the largest military even without the Cold War? Cut the damned military for murdering and supporting dictators around the world. Finally, good I'd leave cause you greedy soldiers aren't as noble as you think because I've had enlisted men tell me of barging into Iraqi homes slaughtering women, children and everybody with a machine gun that is patriotic?

    February 7, 2013 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • J-Vegas

      Dude, I mean Come on! You met people who admitted to killing innocent people? You are either full of it or just dumb. That gets investigated if something like that happens. And the amount of people that actually tried to hurt the innocent women and children are in a tiny minority compared to the rest of us. Just pull your head out of your rectum and don't believe everything MSNBC tells you

      February 7, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • OrthoPierogi

      Are you serious? The only reason you can sit on your a** comfortably is because of the military. And now you want to cut their pay? Do you realize the only reason that the more socialist European nation's spend less on the military is because they come running under momma USA's skirt everytime big bad Russia starts trying to mess with them. Think of all the anti-American sentiment that was going on their a few years ago, and then Putin started threatening to mess with their natural gas and oil. Guess who started to shut up about their anti-US sentiments. And the argument that we should cut our military spending to promote more social programs is ridiculous. Raise the age for social security and retirement across the board. 65 was placed when the lifespan was much shorter. Force the leeches that are living the welfare lifestyle generation after generation to do public works. That's what the original New Deal called for. But somehow, in our liberal perversion, modern liberal thinkers believe it is unfair to force people to work. This country was founded on the policy of: "you work, you eat." The Jamestown colony would not have survived with our modern take of work distribution. Our country should give more to it's soldiers, not less. These guys and gals could easily sit around, and putz aways their 20s aimlessly, but instead they try and do something that we all benefit from. I've worked in the VAs and the fact that these guys who were willing to do something for this country often get poorer quality healthcare than a bunch of welfarites that do nothing but mooch off society is apalling. And now we should cut their pay? It's down right shameful that somehow the young men and women in this country who are willing to take a bullet for it are not treated with more respect.

      February 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        Get off your high horse. Most volunteers sing up NOT as infantry, NOT as armor, and NOT in any direct combat function whatsoever. Most volunteers enter as desk clerks in training and literal cookie bakers. So get off your high horse. The majority of volunteers never served one single second in combat, especially the Air/Chair Force and Navy.

        A navy vet

        February 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  63. RockyD

    I urge all my brother's to not re-enlist, let these pigs in Washington go and fight their own wars.

    February 7, 2013 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Most mils I know are AFRAID to get out. Most are pseudo desk clerks. With the good pay for doing almost nothing, and unheard of anywhere else on the planet tax free so-called "housing allowances and a host of other pays and tax free allowances, they know darn well that they will NEVER get a job in the real world that pays them at this level with a mere HS diploma.

      From a vet who is not full of himself like far too many of today's mils and Bert's are, the vast majority (like me) never saw one second of combat.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
      • Active Duty E-5

        I would love to see the tax free housing allowance of 4-8,000 dollars a month your talking about?!?! I am only getting $1100 a month for my BAH. If you are serious about all the BS your ranting about, you disgust me. If your going to rant, please rant honest facts...

        February 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
      • Active Duty E-5

        How about we try not fixing the deficit off the backs of the military. Cut the defense budget, but leave our little pay and benefits alone. Its getting old...I need my 38k a year to feed my family.

        February 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm |
  64. Chris

    i say cut the funding for the DoD civilians, they get a way high salary than us and there is a lot more of them than us but that will never happen

    February 7, 2013 at 9:49 am | Reply
    • Sparta of Phoenix, AZ USA

      Absolutely! Damn civilians make much more than the average soldier and risk NOTHING!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:53 am | Reply
      • Ken

        Typical jerks who know nothing! I don't tell you how to flip your burgers and you know notihng about my job. You cut us, the economy dies! Our salary and wages are as good as yours for being consumers. You two are plain foolish idiots.

        February 7, 2013 at 9:58 am |
      • Dave

        "Absolutely! Damn civilians make much more than the average soldier and risk NOTHING!" I spent 4 years on active duty with the Army and have worked fairly closely with the military since then, including a 3 year tour 100 miles behind enemy lines in West Berlin. While there are always a few bad apples, the vast majority of civilians (civil service and contractor) supporting the armed forces are dedicated and hard-working. There were (and still are) numerous civilians deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. To claim they "risk NOTHING" is demonstrably false.

        February 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
    • John

      More than 50% of the Government employees are eligible to retire, they have been under a pay freeze for the past 4 years so they have nothing to lose if you cut their pay because they will just get out. Here that sucking sound of experience. Then you will have to hire new workers which may cost more in the long run. Oh, I forgot there is a hiring freeze so they will be contract workers which costs even more than those Government workers who just left. Oh, wait it is not those contract workers who get the pay but the companies who hire them. There goes Social Security payments, Medicare Payments, Federal Income Taxes. Congrats you just increased the National Debt even with for every 3 that leave only 1 is hired as what was the policy all of last year.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Reply
    • Mike smith

      Until you want to get handed a double dipping job in DOD. DOD is replete with these retired admin support mils who are parasitically double dipping off the backs of the taxpayers.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  65. Currently deployed soldier

    I am currently deployed in the Army in Afghanistan. I did not join the Army for the money, I joined because I wanted to do something good and work for something more than myself. America is not only at war, but also in a financial crisis, if America is in anyway better off by not giving me .7% more next year, I am happy to sacrifice a couple bucks, just like I am happy to sacrifice my time here in Afghanistan. I signed up to serve, and if not getting the raise we're used to is part of that service, I'm fine with it.

    February 7, 2013 at 9:48 am | Reply
    • Guest

      Well, I'm currently serving and I'm NOT fine with it. They already pay me less than my civilian counterparts. Freedom isn't free, and neither is patriotism. I like my job and I like serving, but I have other things to think about besides that.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        Then stop te-enlisting. Somehow, someway the country will survive. So what is it that you do in the mil? Did you sign up with a HS diploma (in wage credentials at best)? DOD you enter leaving behind your childhood room in your mommy and daddy's house? Get the hell off your high horse and self righteousness.

        Coming from a vet during a time when you were in your diapers -literally!

        February 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • wallsman

      From a Sailor in the South Pacific, I feel the same way. Be safe out there bro.

      February 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Reply
      • Mike smith

        So what do you do in the navy? Howuch is your bah

        February 7, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  66. quillerm

    Rewarding our military with pay cuts after they sacrificed so much in Afghanistan, Iraq and other combat zones is insane. These aren't fat cat Public Union employees, these are the guys that fight our wars and spend years without family. Our military members work in the most high stress environments imaginable, risking life and limb for their country. Obama has decided that 50% of budget cuts will be absorbed by our Armed Forces to help pay for Obamacare. But he needs to take a balanced approach and make cuts across the board.

    February 7, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • LH

      Keep watching CSPAN for the late night pay increase congress will vote in for themselves as we fail to pay the true defenders of our freedom a wage to keep pace with inflation. And if they want to look at military benefits...compare them to what our elected officials will enjoy for life after just one term in office. That's why they aren't too worried about social security or medicare; they have a special plan that we pay for out of our tax dollars (and foreign borrowing) for life!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:00 am | Reply
    • John

      I am not defending Obama, but he didn't twist the House Republicans arms to get them to sign the Budget Deal. They choose how the Sequester will happen and then they kicked the bucket just before it went into effect and are they plan to kick it again before the new deadline March 1st? The House needs to get with the Senate and get something done that even if not a perfect solution then the minimum to get it passed. Then work on the long term solutions.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  67. That Navy Guy

    So let me get this right... We got a 1.7% raise this year to cover inflation but then they raised taxes 5% so I lost money... Now he wants to take more money away from the military.. I have been in for 7.5 years and I am a second class petty officer and I finial broke 30k a year which is still poverty... It is sad that is why I am getting out Thank god!!!

    February 7, 2013 at 8:01 am | Reply
  68. AD AF

    Yes we on active duty did get a pay increase of 1.7%. Also an increase in FICA of 2.0% so we lost .3% this year. We have seen a definite drop in our pay already to make even less next year will start to become a problem. Did congress take a pay cut?

    February 7, 2013 at 7:59 am | Reply
  69. Peter Q Wolfe

    We can find someone else to speak manderian and to me its not all that important. I went to college with someone who is learning manderian and its not all tha hard as you make it out to be like either. YOu are a drama queen but in all honesty that if you joined the military for pay then you went in the wrong secor from the onset. Yes, pay should decrease even the Heritage Foundation says so because Bush increased it like his unfunded mandates that he inacted n his deficit crusaddes of the 2000's blunders. Now we are faced with the same delimma, however, cut all welfare then you don' have a country worth defending in my view. I'll simply just leave this nation never to return.

    February 7, 2013 at 6:07 am | Reply
    • mike pirlot

      is he nuts the soldiers have to scrimp to make it now .i know this because my daughter is married to a gi.tell him they should get a pay cut just after he got blown out of his tank in irac.penette your a pompous ass to even think this when our politions make 8 to 10 times plus all thier benefits than a g.i. get you head out of your ass and give them a raise out politions are the ones that need a pay cut and a big one

      February 7, 2013 at 6:26 am | Reply
      • CT_Yank

        Many workers do not get annual raises – including those who work in public service positions. I appreciate and respect the work that military personnel do, but austerity measures should apply across the board.

        February 7, 2013 at 7:27 am |
    • Bonzo

      Is Manderian similar to Manderin?

      February 7, 2013 at 6:27 am | Reply
      • Matt

        Or mandarin for that matter!

        February 7, 2013 at 7:09 am |
    • Gordon

      @Peter- So we defend this country because of the people on welfare? I don't think so buddy. Please leave. One less idiot voting for a moron.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Sailor Jay

      Are you retarded or do you just have issues typing? Anyway, I think they fail to see the bigger picture. We're still recruiting, why not suspend that for a few months? There are so many different things that can help offset the military's budget- that won't involve touching pay. Besides, they failed to mention, though we receivied a 1.7% pay increase, the 2% tax break we were handed out under Bush evaporated- so in all respects, we took a .3% decrease in pay. Allowing the military to fall behind the inflation curve again, will most definitely result in the same issues we had in the early 1900's- a non-professionalized force. Sure we were a 'super-power' back then, but we also had a lot more personnel in the armed forces- cannon fodder if you will. Now we have less personnel in the armed forces and we're expected to do a lot more- and we do. Reducing pay will absolutely force out those who are on the fence on whether or not to get out, and we'll lose those people we've already trained, thereby forcing us to recruit another to take his/her place and waste MORE money. Another thing, why not reduce officer pay? They are paid well above the enlisted ranks, the difference between O-3 with 6 years (because they are automatically advanced to O-3) of service, and an E-6 with 6 years of service is about 54%. The O-3 gets paid more by a HUGE margin, and both ranks are at a comparable level of management. Officers are here to write policy, enlisted are here to enforce it and make sure it is being met/exceeded. There is a lot more that could be done other than just cutting pay- but that seems to be the easiest thing to do, and we excell at doing what is easy this, our country. I'd prefer the road less traveled.

      February 7, 2013 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Eric

      Good by and good riddance! The military isn't there to support and defend bong smokers on their 12th year of college or those 47% that are too fat and lazy to find a job and pump kids out like skittles!

      February 7, 2013 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • Guest

      You'll find someone else to do it for less than I do now? Ha! Good luck buddy. Better start brushing up now.

      February 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
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