File this one under the heading, “The more things change the more they stay the same.”
For the last few years each “fiscal crisis” has triggered fear that military servicemembers won’t get paid. This week the President renewed those fears when he stated that "If congressional Republicans refuse to pay Americans bills on time, Social Security benefits, and veterans' checks will be delayed.” He added, “We might not be able to pay our troops or honor our contract for small business owners." (read Bryant Jordan’s full article)
Once more it appears that our elected officials are willing to hold military servicemembers, veterans, and the elderly hostage to ensure they get their way. As to be expected, fear and anger spread quickly through the military and veteran communities.
I normally try to avoid editorializing in this blog, which serves as a means to get pay and benefit information out to our members without a particular bent. However, living in this perpetual “groundhog day” nightmare, I can’t avoid sharing my opinion.
As it turns out the very first post in this blog back in August 2010 was about proposed military pay cuts. In March of 2011, the fear was that military paydays would be missed due to a government shutdown. In March of 2012 I wrote an article titled “Is Sequestration Real or Political Brinksmanship?” Those are just a few of the examples of how many times military pay has been on the chopping block in just the last couple of years. By the way, none of these threatened pay cuts, wage freezes, and stoppages actually happened.
I am not pointing this out to say that it can’t happen this time (or next), I am just saying that I am getting fed up with Congress and the White House using our troops as hostages. Enough is enough.
Some in Congress appear to get it. In 2011Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) introduced the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act of 2011H.R. 1297, this bill never made it to the floor of the House. In response to this year’s flail, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) announced his intent to introduce a similar military pay protection act. We’ll see how far that goes. I don’t expect to see this bill pass either, after all, why would our government give up their hostages before the negotiations are completed?