White House Opposed Pay Raises For Troops/Widows' Benefits

Let me see if I understand this: Extending tours of duty is a strategic move. But paying our troops more money for putting their lives on the line is "unnecessary":

Army Times: The Bush administration had asked for a 3 percent military raise for Jan. 1, 2008, enough to match last year's average pay increase in the private sector. The House Armed Services Committee recommends a 3.5 percent pay increase for 2008, and increases in 2009 through 2012 that also are 0.5 percentage point greater than private-sector pay raises.[..]

Bush budget officials said the administration "strongly opposes" both the 3.5 percent raise for 2008 and the follow-on increases, calling extra pay increases "unnecessary."

Further, as The Gavel cites, the administration has also opposed an additional $40 per month for widows of slain soldiers; additional benefits for surviving family members of civilian employees; and price controls for prescription drugs under TRICARE, the military's health care plan for military personnel and their dependents.

But here's where the Irony-meter redlines: in addition to not wanting to pay more to our troops or support the survivors of fallen troop members, the administration also does not want to have stricter accountability on contract employees. That's right...don't pay the soldiers, but don't ask us to watch what we pay Blackwater.

Remind me again, how is asking for timelines to get them out of an unwinnable situation is hurting our troops and this isn't?


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