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July 28, 2003

Why Does the GOP Hate Our Troops?

Seriously, I actually don't get why the GOP, having increased the military budget by tens of billions of dollars, is so driven to screw the lower ranking soldiers out of nickels and dimes. See this AlterNet story about the general low morale of troops due to the Iraqi deployment, but this section on the budget cuts for soldiers is almost surreal:

According to Army Times, the GOP-controlled Congress has:
  • Canceled a "modest proposal" to increase the benefit from $6,000 to $12,000 to families of soldiers who die on active duty;
  • "Roll[ed] back recent modest increases in monthly imminent-danger pay (from $225 to $150) and family-separation allowance (from $250 to $100) for troops getting shot at in combat zones";
  • Refused to consider "military tax relief... that would be a boon to military homeowners, reservists who travel long distances for training and parents deployed to combat zones, among others";
  • Passed pay raises for "some [higher] ranks," but "cap[ped] raises for E-1s, E-2s and O-1s at 2 percent, well below the average raise of 4.1 percent";
  • Accepted a $1.5 billion cut in the military construction request for 2004: A proposal by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, to restore $1 billion of the $1.5 billion cut by "cover[ing] that cost by trimming recent tax cuts for the roughly 200,000 Americans who earn more than $1 million a year... [who would receive $83,500] instead of... $88,300," was defeated.

    Army Times: "Taken piecemeal, all these corner-cutting moves might be viewed as mere flesh wounds. But even flesh wounds are fatal if you suffer enough of them. It adds up to a troubling pattern that eventually will hurt morale especially if the current breakneck operations tempo also rolls on unchecked and the tense situations in Iraq and Afghanistan do not ease."

  • Posted by Nathan at July 28, 2003 06:54 PM