Bill Would Reduce 2014 Troop Pay Raise to 1%

Here’s some food for thought. Using the less than 2 years time in grade step for 2013 AF officer and enlisted pay, the AVERAGE annual base pay for all AF officers is $65,310. The AVERAGE annual base pay for enlisted is $24,385. The average for all AF pay grades (E1-E7, O1-08) is a STAGGERING $46,212 per year. I’m sure the pay for all other services is similar. Keep that in mind when you digest the fact that the very politicians who have caused and refuse to fix the mess that is our economy, and who are dismantling our military, are being paid nearly $200,000 per year, PLUS thousands of dollars in taxpayer funded perks. AND to further enrich themselves, they can engage in many activities (i.e. insider trading) that get you and I thrown in jail.

Also keep in mind that these very same lawmakers are asking, no, DEMANDING that our military men and women endure unimaginable hardship while risking their lives.  So, what exactly is it about these lawmakers that makes them deserving of THEIR royal salaries and benefits?

After the inevitable revolution happens, when a new government is elected, I propose that our elected officials make no more than the average salary of our military, with the same allowances such as BAH, BAS, etc. And the most important thing we’ll need to make sure we change is that ALL laws apply to EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY our elected representatives and law makers, EQUALLY.



Bill Would Reduce 2014 Troop Pay Raise to 1%

Dec 12, 2013

Military.com| by Brendan McGarry

Money

A proposed deal on a defense bill in Congress would decrease troops’ pay raise in 2014 to 1 percent from 1.7 percent this year.

The figure is in line with what the Obama administration requested and the Democratic-led Senate Armed Services Committee approved earlier this year. While the Republican-led House of Representatives previously passed a 1.8 percent military pay raise for next year, some of its leaders have since agreed to limit the increase as part of a legislative compromise.

“It appears that the 1 percent pay raise is what’s been locked in,” Michael Hayden, director of government relations at the Military Officers Association of America, an Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit representing some 380,000 current and former officers, said in an interview with Military.com. “We’ve been pushing real hard for 1.8 percent, but our expectation is we may have lost that battle.”

The change means the average enlisted member will receive a monthly pay increase of $26 instead of $47, according to Pentagon budget documents. The House is expected to vote this week on the compensation levels as part of the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy goals and spending targets for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

The leaders of the armed services panels — Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif. — on Monday announced a last-minute compromise on the defense bill and, in a departure from the norm, urged their colleagues to pass the legislation without amendments to meet certain year-end deadlines. The House is scheduled to adjourn Friday for holiday recess.

If the measure passes the House, it will go to the Senate for a vote next week. If that chamber approves it and President Barack Obama signs it, the pay raise would become law and take effect Dec. 31.

The lower raise for military personnel was “a tough decision” for Pentagon leaders, but it allowed them to not have to thin the ranks “by thousands of additional troops on top of the drawdown already planned,” according to budget documents.

While the bill would set pay raises at 1 percent, it would also reject proposed fee increases for the Tricare health care system and renew combat pay and other benefits.

Even so, if Congress doesn’t pass the bill soon, important forms of military compensation would freeze after Dec. 31, including hazard pay and re-enlistment bonuses, according to Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the senior Republican on the Senate panel.

Separately, congressional negotiators on Tuesday announced a budget deal that would undo some of the automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration. The agreement, known as the Bipartisan Budget Act, would give the Defense Department more than $30 billion in additional funding in 2014 and 2015.

However, the pact would be paid for in part by reducing pension contributions to working-age military retirees. Military retirees between the ages of 40 and 62 would receive an annual cost-of-living increase that’s 1 percent less than inflation. The reduction would be introduced over three years and take full effect in 2016.

Hayden said MOAA has vowed to fight the provision and already started a letter-writing campaign to lawmakers.

“This was a backroom deal that was made by a committee that doesn’t have jurisdiction over armed services,” he said. “It not only caught us by surprise, I think it caught members of Congress by surprise, especially members of the armed services committees.”

The pension change may decrease overall retirement benefits by nearly 20 percent for some military retirees, Hayden said. For example, an E-7 who retires at age 40 would lose about $83,000 in cumulative retirement pay by the time he or she reaches age 62, while an O-5 who retires at 42 would lose about $124,000 in cumulative retirement pay by the time he or she reaches the same age, he said.

The House is similarly expected to vote on the budget bill before adjourning Friday, though nothing has been scheduled yet.

Link to article:  http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/12/12/bill-would-reduce-2014-troop-pay-raise-to-1.html?ESRC=eb.nl
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