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Thread: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    The numbers aren't the point. The point is that people serve their country in a number of different ways, and I don't think it's fair to give soldiers more than others who are doing even more high risk jobs but with less acknowledgment.
    Again, the problem with this argument is that it makes a false assumption. You are assuming that the rate of combat deaths is less than those of people in the jobs you list. This is not necessarily true. There are more deaths in those jobs, but there are also many many more people doing those jobs.

    The next problem with this argument is that fisherman and truck drivers are not "serving their country", and more than any one privately employed is. Military personnel are directly serving their country.

    The last problem is that it does not account for the hardships and extra hours that military personal go through. Spend a few months with your bags packed because you could be deploy with 48 hours notice. Makes even taking a vacation hard. Over the last 4 years I spent in service, I spent less than 4 months each year actually at my home base. I spent almost 2 years of it at sea. Further, military personal work more hours than most comparable civilians, and do not get overtime for it. If you broke down military pay to an hourly rate, you would be aghast. 84 + hour weeks, plus duty days every 4 days is the norm. During flight ops at sea, I worked 16 to 18 hours a day, for 30 to 40 days at a stretch with no days off, doing a high stress job where one mistake could cost some one their life.

    I have a better question. Why should the tax payers be expected to dish out more money for useless wars? The U.S. should never have gone to Iraq. I know what's done is done and we have to look forward, but if the military is having financial issues then the choices of the U.S. government are to blame. If the military has a budget crisis, even with half a trillion dollars per year or more, then maybe overseas campaigns should be reduced?
    Separate question. I agree, Iraq was a mistake. I agree, the constant deployments is expensive. Iraq is thankfully winding down, Afghanistan is unfortunately to my mind necessary. If Pakistan is involved in terror attacks against the US, we may have to do something there. The problem is that we don't have absolute control. Certain situations do require a response in the best interest of our country.

    On the subject of welfare, fiscal conservatives always talk about conservation. Why are the same principles never applied to the military? It too can be a financial black hole if its function is not being used wisely.
    I am not a conservative, I will let them answer this question. I will note quickly that I am a liberal, and yet I see the need for military spending, and a strong military. We should not play politics with the military, though I do agree, as I posted earlier, that the military budget does need to be trimmed. It's just not going to be easy.
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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    From a purely economic point of view the only reason to increase the pay of the military members would be if they could not retain or recruit enough to fill the positions.

    If they are having trouble recruiting or retaining then they need to increase wages, up untill the point that they are not short of personal.

    No different then what goes on in the private sector. Especially as it is a voluntary force, you know how much the money is before going in
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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Again, the problem with this argument is that it makes a false assumption. You are assuming that the rate of combat deaths is less than those of people in the jobs you list. This is not necessarily true. There are more deaths in those jobs, but there are also many many more people doing those jobs.
    You're splitting hairs. I'm sure we could divert this debate to a numbers game, if that's what you want, but it side steps my point which was already stated. There are other kinds of high risk jobs that serve the country that are non-military, and I don't see why they are any less deserving of patriotism than the military.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The next problem with this argument is that fisherman and truck drivers are not "serving their country", and more than any one privately employed is. Military personnel are directly serving their country.
    Without coal miners, your country has no energy for economy.

    Without lumber, infrastructure does not get built.

    Without pilots testing new planes, aviation falls behind.

    Without farmers, there is no food.

    Without truck drivers, supplies don't get distributed throughout the country.

    I think they serve their country directly. Just because a soldier is on the public budget, does not mean they are in a special class of employment that deserves as much as money as we can give them. Soldiers have contracts and terms, just like the private sector. They deserve more money than most of the private sector because their lives are directly threatened routinely, but so are the others in the top 10 I posted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    The last problem is that it does not account for the hardships and extra hours that military personal go through. Spend a few months with your bags packed because you could be deploy with 48 hours notice. Makes even taking a vacation hard. Over the last 4 years I spent in service, I spent less than 4 months each year actually at my home base. I spent almost 2 years of it at sea. Further, military personal work more hours than most comparable civilians, and do not get overtime for it. If you broke down military pay to an hourly rate, you would be aghast. 84 + hour weeks, plus duty days every 4 days is the norm. During flight ops at sea, I worked 16 to 18 hours a day, for 30 to 40 days at a stretch with no days off, doing a high stress job where one mistake could cost some one their life.
    As I said earlier, I'm not against fair pay increases to the military from an economics standpoint; but I am completely against unsubstantiated pay raises based upon the notion that soldiers are somehow more deserving because they are in a favored employment strata. i.e. they can't be paid enough for the duty they perform.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Separate question. I agree, Iraq was a mistake. I agree, the constant deployments is expensive. Iraq is thankfully winding down, Afghanistan is unfortunately to my mind necessary. If Pakistan is involved in terror attacks against the US, we may have to do something there. The problem is that we don't have absolute control. Certain situations do require a response in the best interest of our country.
    Ideally there should be no war at all, but yes, I am a realist and I acknowledge that Afghanistan is necessary; that said, for all we know, things could be wrapping up there now if the waste that was Iraq hadn't been pandered to. This, to me, constitutes a large waste of money. The pentagon could be in a better position to give raises because the budget would be more balanced. That's what happens when long-term sustainability is sacrificed for the sake of the short term image of certain politicians.

    Naturally the pentagon will be asking for more money now because its resources are being stretched. That's what happens when you fight multiple long term wars. The coffers begin to run dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    I am not a conservative, I will let them answer this question. I will note quickly that I am a liberal, and yet I see the need for military spending, and a strong military. We should not play politics with the military, though I do agree, as I posted earlier, that the military budget does need to be trimmed. It's just not going to be easy.
    The U.S. needs a strong military because of its current foreign policy, but the choices of some foolish administrations have led it to budgetary crisis. That's what happens when one has a short term vision.

    People always play politics with the military. It's a branch of the gov. and subject to scrutiny just like any other branch. Its budget does need to be trimmed, but in realistic proportions according to maintaining foreign commitments. Your government can conserve the most by not engaging in unnecessary wars, as we saw with Iraq.

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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Military families until recently frequently depended on food stamps to get by. Considering the job they do, and the risk involved, and the hours a day/week/year put into that job, and the amount of travel and disruption to family and life, no, they really do not make enough.
    my family rated them in 2007 - 2008. however, we didn't take them because we didn't need them; lots of junior enlisted members who aren't making much money also aren't spending it particularly wisely.


    which is perhaps neither here nor there. generally, i just find it odd that in the middle of a vast expansion of all forms of governance when we are throwing hundreds of billions at vapid and wasteful experiments in the power of demagoguery to override economics, the one department of government that we are demanding tighten it's belt is the one currently engaged in two wars and who's employees are already making less than the rest of the federal workforce.

    Average Federal Salary for 2010: $75,419

    I'm thinking maybe there are some other folks somewhere who could take pay cuts ahead of that young E-3 with a brand new wife and baby.

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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    The numbers aren't the point. The point is that people serve their country in a number of different ways, and I don't think it's fair to give soldiers more than others who are doing even more high risk jobs but with less acknowledgment.
    They're in a job where they don't get to decide where they live, what job they do, what shifts they work, how much risk they have to take, and they can't quit when they don't feel like doing it anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    Why should the tax payers be expected to dish out more money for useless wars? The U.S. should never have gone to Iraq. I know what's done is done and we have to look forward, but if the military is having financial issues then the choices of the U.S. government are to blame. If the military has a budget crisis, even with half a trillion dollars per year or more, then maybe overseas campaigns should be reduced?

    On the subject of welfare, fiscal conservatives always talk about conservation. Why are the same principles never applied to the military? It too can be a financial black hole if its function is not being used wisely.
    I entirely agree.

    That's an argument to take up with congress, not with the enlisted men and women who have absolutely no say whatsoever in the useless wars they're ordered to fight.
    I'm already gearing up for Finger Vote 2014.

    Just for reference, means my post was a giant steaming pile of sarcasm.

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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Orion View Post
    The numbers aren't the point. The point is that people serve their country in a number of different ways, and I don't think it's fair to give soldiers more than others who are doing even more high risk jobs but with less acknowledgment.

    I have a better question. Why should the tax payers be expected to dish out more money for useless wars? The U.S. should never have gone to Iraq. I know what's done is done and we have to look forward, but if the military is having financial issues then the choices of the U.S. government are to blame. If the military has a budget crisis, even with half a trillion dollars per year or more, then maybe overseas campaigns should be reduced?

    On the subject of welfare, fiscal conservatives always talk about conservation. Why are the same principles never applied to the military? It too can be a financial black hole if its function is not being used wisely.
    Because a strong military is required to keep our country operating freely. Welfare only draws from the system with negative return. The military is an investment; welfare isn't.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Because a strong military is required to keep our country operating freely. Welfare only draws from the system with negative return. The military is an investment; welfare isn't.
    That's not always true.

    There was no real value added investment with the war in Vietnam.
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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    my family rated them in 2007 - 2008. however, we didn't take them because we didn't need them; lots of junior enlisted members who aren't making much money also aren't spending it particularly wisely.


    which is perhaps neither here nor there. generally, i just find it odd that in the middle of a vast expansion of all forms of governance when we are throwing hundreds of billions at vapid and wasteful experiments in the power of demagoguery to override economics, the one department of government that we are demanding tighten it's belt is the one currently engaged in two wars and who's employees are already making less than the rest of the federal workforce.

    Average Federal Salary for 2010: $75,419

    I'm thinking maybe there are some other folks somewhere who could take pay cuts ahead of that young E-3 with a brand new wife and baby.
    And if those E-3's feel they are underpaid they are able to (once their elistment term is up can leave the military to find employement that pays better. Just like anyone else in the US correct. Just because they may have decided to get married and have kids does not mean they should get more money (I am channeling someone here)
    Last edited by Lord Tammerlain; 05-09-10 at 02:33 PM.
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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    my family rated them in 2007 - 2008. however, we didn't take them because we didn't need them; lots of junior enlisted members who aren't making much money also aren't spending it particularly wisely.


    which is perhaps neither here nor there. generally, i just find it odd that in the middle of a vast expansion of all forms of governance when we are throwing hundreds of billions at vapid and wasteful experiments in the power of demagoguery to override economics, the one department of government that we are demanding tighten it's belt is the one currently engaged in two wars and who's employees are already making less than the rest of the federal workforce.

    Average Federal Salary for 2010: $75,419

    I'm thinking maybe there are some other folks somewhere who could take pay cuts ahead of that young E-3 with a brand new wife and baby.
    They chose that job and the rate of pay when they joined.
    No one made them.

    I've got 2 kids and have been at my job for 3 years.
    I'm not crying that I get paid less than that E-3, I'm doing something about it.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Pentagon asking Congress to hold back on generous increases in troop pay

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    That's not always true.

    There was no real value added investment with the war in Vietnam.
    It's a matter of opinion about which war is productive and which one isn't, but the fact that a strong military, that no one in the world has the balls to take on, is a wise investment.

    Most of the money that is spent on the military is spent to support our service members. It buys them food, clothing, bennies, housing and equipment. All these things combined give our soldiers a greater edge on the battlefield to not only defeat the enemy, but to stay alive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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