With veterans’ groups fighting against cuts in military pensions, the Associated Press (AP) is out with a story suggesting that in light of active duty military pay, healthcare, and “quality of life” benefits, retiring military personnel should be able to the weather the cuts that Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has pushed through.
According to the AP, “compensation” for active duty military “is competitive with the private sector.”
They try to bolster this point by showing that “an Army private with fewer than two years of service and no dependents earns on average about $40,000 annually.” Later in the paragraph they clarify that the $40,000 is not all salary–only two thirds of it is. The other third is food and housing allowance.
So these privates are only getting about $33,000 a year to go overseas and become targets for Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups, but it is still okay to cut their pensions?
The AP suggests it is because they also have great health insurance and “quality of life” benefits. “Quality of life” benefits include payment for continued education and the ability to buy groceries at a 30 percent discount at military commissaries. The AP did not mention that Obama closed down approximately 170 commissaries in October due to the sequester.
The men and women in our military risk their lives to keep us free. They do not go to offices in a suit and tie or a business dress. The go into harms’ way for liberty’s sake.
Upon retiring don’t they deserve better than what Rep. Ryan and the AP want to give them?
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins