The Pentagon released its proposed budget on Monday, and it reflects numerous and costly cuts in pay, benefits, and subsidies for our nation’s military service members. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has labeled these cuts as “unavoidable.”
At the end of America’s longest war, critics say these cuts are being borne by the Americans who sacrifice most for our country.
Washington is trying to balance the budget on the backs of those who have sacrificed the most,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “We know the Defense Department must make difficult budget decisions, but these cuts would hit service members, making it harder for them and their families to make ends meet.”
The proposed budget includes five different ways that will likely increase the financial burdens of American men and women in uniform.
- The most drastic measure is the reduction in number of troops in the Army and Marines, making our Armed Forces the smallest it has been since before World War II. The Army would see a reduction in active-duty troops from 520,000 to between 440,000 and 450,000. The Army National Guard would lose 20,000 members, and the Army Reserve would cut 10,000 troops. The Marine Corps would shrink by 8,000.
- Subsidies to military commissaries, or grocery stores, would be cut. This would result in increased costs of food and staples for military families.
- Cuts to healthcare co-pays and increases in deductibles. Tricare, the military insurance program, will encourage users to use military clinics and will prescribe generic drugs.
- Cuts to growing housing allowances and stopping the reimbursement of renter’s insurance. This, coupled with the 1% cap on pay hikes and the increasing cost of housing, is estimated to cost an Army Sergeant a loss of $1,400 and an Army Captain $2,100 every year.
- The Air Force C-10 “Warthog” attack jet program, which provides close air support to ground troops, would be scrapped altogether.
These proposed defense cuts are likely to face stiff opposition from veterans and military groups, and should face significant hurdles in Congress.
Yes, there will be stiff opposition from veterans and military groups, but from Congress? I doubt it. So far they haven’t objected to much of anything.
They’re not cutting welfare benefits, Congress’ salaries, or the salaries of the civilian employees in the Pentagon. Nor are they cutting foreign aid, in fact, it was just last week that Obama promised even more money to Jordan.
There are a gozillion places they could cut and reallocate funds to the Pentagon, but they pick on our military instead. If the POS is so intent on redistributing the wealth he should start within the government.
Why are they doing this to our military, of all people ???