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December 7th, 2010
04:06 PM ET

Lowest pay raise for military in nearly 50 years?

ALT TEXT
(PHOTO CREDIT: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As our government plans to extend tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, they're also proposing the lowest pay raise for the military in almost 50 years.

You heard right. As our servicemen and women return to the battlefield for their third or fourth tours of duty, the people who represent us think it's a good time to cut corners there. Extend tax breaks for millionaires and the middle finger for the armed forces.

The Obama administration has proposed a 1.4 percent pay raise for the military in 2011 – the lowest since 1962, when they got no raise.

The administration claims a 1.4 percent raise would match the average for the private sector, and they say it's on top of other increases in housing and food subsidies.

But many in the military aren't buying it. And it's easy to see where they're coming from when rich Americans will be saving billions in tax breaks.

One Marine Corps sergeant who just got back from his fourth deployment in Afghanistan calls it "absolute garbage."

He asks USA Today how the government can bail out the auto industry and other major corporations, yet not give a larger pay raise to those putting their lives on the line for the U.S.

Some senators want to give bonuses to troops doing the most fighting. And an organization representing 32 military groups is pushing for a 1.9 percent pay raise.

It's estimated that an increase from 1.4 to 1.9 percent would cost taxpayers $350 million next year – compare that to the tax break deal which some say will cost $900 billion.

Here’s my question to you: In light of the economy, do members of the military deserve the lowest pay raise in nearly 50 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Larry writes:
Our Congress should visit Walter Reed or Brooke Army Medical to see our wounded warriors fight to reclaim their lives. Many other warriors suffer less visible wounds with tortured memories of their ordeal. The tax money the Republicans chose to direct toward the wealthy would have nicely assisted these heroes and their families. I suppose the GOP considers it more important to help the rich upgrade their Lexus than help a soldier buy a mini-van.

Ed in Texas writes:
A soldier in Iraq carries 45 pounds of gear in 119 degree heat and has seconds to determine if the car speeding towards him carries an expectant mother to the hospital or a suicide bomber. For that, he gets a 1.4 to 1.9% pay raise? A Wall Street banker's bad bets are covered by the U. S. taxpayer and he gets a million dollar bonus? The concept of "risk/reward" has been turned on its head.

KJ writes:
Active duty here. I am willing to forgo a pay raise to help the country. Yes, I know we are fighting two wars, but for those of us who deploy, we get additional pay for this effort, sometimes up to 50% of our pay.

Alex writes:
As a veteran, I hate to say it, but pay raises for the military are tied to inflation. And, with the poor economy inflation is only a bit over one percent so a 1.5% raise is correct. The only reason the millionaire tax cuts look like they will be extended is because the Republicans ended the extension of unemployment insurance this month just in time for Christmas and refused to move on ANYTHING until they got their way.

Jo writes:
No, sir. It is a big joke and slap in the face. I don't know anyone personally in the military. I'm American Muslim (non-practicing) and I think this is ridiculous. Our country is prioritizing all the wrong things and it is continuing to get worse.

Carol writes:
Jack, It is unbelievable. My son is currently on his 6th deployment. He was in the initial invasion, 2 more trips to Iraq, and now the 3rd to Afghanistan. He got out of the Marines after his first hitch, but could not find work, so he re-upped for four more years. Talk about tough choices: jobless or target. And now 1.9% increase. What an insult.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Economy • Iraq • United States Military • US Military • War in Iraq
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Art

    As a vetern I see their point but I haven't had a pay increase in 4 years. Welcome to the realworld.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  2. barbara in NC

    You wealthy people don't want to pay taxes to help this country, what do you expect?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  3. Luis

    It's really amazing, it's a shame and really sad that while we the man and woman of the Armed Forces leave everything behind to protect and serve our country to protect our citizens (including the wealthy ones) they get all the tax cuts all the benefits from our government while we get the LOWEST Pay Raise in 50 years! We leave behind our wifes and kids, put our lives on hold and sometimes pay the ultimate price for our freedom just to get screwed by our government. Thank you Mr. President.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  4. jim

    what people don't know is that the soldiers don't get the pay raise as a across the board raise
    when civilians get a 1.4 percent raise they get is 1.4 percent, but that's not how the military gets a pay raise
    what I mean is that in a office somewhere it is decided who gets how much of that raise, by what their rank is, so with a raise like this some will get 1.0 percent some will get 0.4 percent some will get the whole 1.4 percent and some will get nothing
    this happens with almost every pay raise
    this one is starting out so small its not worth giving
    our government should be ashamed.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  5. CJT

    Well, it's better than the 0% I'm getting.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  6. John Steele

    "He asks USA Today how the government can bail out the auto industry and other major corporations, yet not give a larger pay raise to those putting their lives on the line for the U.S."

    This shows the real value American society puts on human life and the ultimate sacrifice. Apparently the big wigs in government and the CEOs of corporations are the ones that "deserve" the biggest salaries. Sad.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  7. Pam

    This is absolutely disgusting. Our miltary is so poorly paid that many have to rely on handouts to make ends meet as it is and this is completely unacceptable. President Obama has a lot of nerve saying this is an acceptable pay increase when he is sitting in the White House with all his expenses being paid for by the American people. I would love to see him feed his family on the pay of the average American solider and then see if he thinks the pay raise is acceptable.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  8. Jules

    They are good enough to die for their country but not get the money when the 2% richest people get their tax break. Yeah! That's called fairness...
    Jules
    Broomfield, CO

    December 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  9. Christopher

    from Sonoma County- Yes, our service members do deserve a bigger raise. Everyone servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect this country and to protect the rich selfish people who think they need more money to invest. I served for 8 years and even then the raises were meger at best.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  10. Military Mom

    They make so little for all that they do and the long hours they keep, 1.4% wrong, wrong....let's see if the President can make ends meet making what those in the Military get...I'm sure he'd be giving more then.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  11. Sambhu

    No, they deserve better. But it will add to the deficit. Just like the unemployment benefit extensions, will some in the GOP try to block a bigger pay increase to the military if it is not paid for?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  12. Steve in San Antonio TX

    It is garbage, Jack! I retired from the Air Force in 2008 due to medical reasons, with an 80% VA disability rating. I, along with every other military retiree, have received NO increase in retired pay or VA disability compensation in two years already. Now, Obama wants to freeze our pay another two years! That's four years without a pay increase.

    Absolute CRAP if you ask me!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  13. Richard Martin

    We praise them, we always support them, but pay them well that is a different matter. I guess the tax cut for the rich will create more militiary jobs.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  14. Kathie

    don't you know, Jack, the rich get richer and the working stiff gets screwed. Obama proved it today by caving into the republicans and benefiting the rich.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  15. 2LT in Arizona

    Unfortunately, the US is in tough economic times and we all have to make sacrifices. While I would love a higher raise, I don't want to add to the debt and ask my future kin to pay for it. The tax breaks should expire and the unemployment benefits should not be extended. We have to draw the line somewhere.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  16. Steve St Louis

    How can you put a price on a person's life?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  17. Squirt South Carolina

    These brave men and women deserve ANY raise they get! It seems to be so easy for politicians to send our kids into combat to face death!! The problem is that so few of our elected leaders have ever served a day in uniform...never seen a hand grenade flying at them...never been bombed in a foxhole...never stood face to face with an enemy with a rifle ready to kill them..never had to crawl into a building or a hole looking for an enemy! If the politicians doubled the military's pay, you still would not see a single elected House or Senate member volunteer to go into battle and carry a weapon to defend this country!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  18. Jane

    Ok...I get it. The President caves into the Republicans on "tax cuts" but turns around and kicks the dog (the military).

    December 7, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  19. Ken in Pinon Hills, CA

    Are we talking about the guys and gals who are fighting, defending those who are racking up billions in salary and bonuses on Wall Street? If so, at least give them cake.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  20. Cidius

    Deployed right now.

    I've told my wife that this is pretty much a slap in the face. I'm at the point where I'd rather not get a raise and the govt. get their act togeter and submit a raise worth the time for debate. Looking back at the HoR and Senate raises, I learned that generally they recieve the same raise as we do, however, 3.4% has a big difference between $35K a year and $160+K a year. Yes, I also receive housing money, but its also a joke. BAH (Housing) & BAS (Food) should cover those items, but does not. Example, an average E-5 with a spouse and two kids recieve $1.3K in BAS & BAH, but the average house cost comprable to on base housing cost $200K. That is around $2.1K monthly for a home that you will possibly own for about 3-5 years if lucky? Yes, the spouse can work, but now 75% to 80% (77.3% in my situation) of their income goes to daycare if they are lucky. Yes, I volunteered to serve, no, I didn't do it for the money. However, to the Govt. Put your money where your mouth is. You can say you appreciate what we do everyday until your blue in the face, but if you want to show it? Allow me the peace of mind that my family is in a nice home and taken care of while I'm halfway around the world. You want to give money to businesses to help the economy? How about giving it to the people who protect you to put back into the economy with purchases such as a house, a decent washer and dryer, or a safe car to drive their kids wherever.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  21. Joe

    NO.

    This is a volunteer army. They joined to get college-health and other benefits. Are they in business or are they patriotic? Money shouldn't be the issue if it's their decision to join.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  22. Mary

    What is happening to our Government? Support the troops they are risking their lives!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  23. Stacye Mehard

    Just what we need ~ less re-enlistment!! That might well be the outcome of a move like this.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  24. Jonathan

    I think they "deserve" more then we can give them, but I think everyone needs to tighten the belt, and that includes the idiots who think they deserve millions in pay for screwing over everyone else.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  25. Darrell Wayne - San Francisco

    I think the military got the shaft as the democrats did his morning. This President has caved into the GOP and insulted the military on the same day. I supported this president and have now decided it's time for someone new in the white house. He has failed his supporters big time. Oh Hillary, where for art thou?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  26. Calvin

    I support our military, I support tax increases for the wealthy...but to me – I think the military should be happy they are getting an increase at all instead of a decrease like the rest of us. Come on – be happy you have a job!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  27. Tom from NC

    As a Service Member, I am disappointed, but not upset that our pay raise is so low. Two facts will always remain; the rich will always get richer and the military will always be there to keep this nation safe. No matter what a pay raise amounts to, we will always be there to protect this amazing country and ensure our freedom that we all enjoy. Don't forget, we in the military will beneift from the tax cuts as well and we are getting a raise in a time when not many will.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  28. Linda Robertson

    Military personnel should not be forced to accept a 1.4% pay raise while we bail out the banks, auto manufacturers and wealthiest people in this country.
    There is no job more dangerous than fighting for our freedom and dodging bullets. I would say that deserves a hefty pay increase.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  29. Janet R

    It is absolutely obscene to short change our hard fighting troops in order to grant hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the riches 2% of Americans. We have completely lost our way. Shame shame shame on the people asking for these tax breaks.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  30. Maria Houser Conzemius

    No! The military deserves a better raise while under fire. When will the American people realize that Republicans and Democrats both protect the rich who buy their loyalty? And to hell with the rest of us.

    Maria Houser Conzemius
    Iowa City, IA

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  31. GI

    why not just go ahead and lower our pay? increase our deployment rates and see how longer our brave men and women continue their service...

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  32. carol

    Jack, it is unbelievable. My son is currently on his 6th deployment. He was in the initial invasion, 2 more trips to Iraq, and now the 3rd to Afghanistan. He got out of the Marines after his first hitch, but could not find work, so he reupped for four more years. Talk about tough choices, jobless or target. And now 1.9% increase. What an insult.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  33. vw brad

    It appears Pres Obama is damn if does and damn if he doesn't. The people voted Republican and their plan is for the rich. So what about the military? (I served) Let em eat cake, as long as the rich get richer!!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  34. William

    The military should receive a raise and the money should come from the overpaid politicians in Washington.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  35. Abhi Ghosh

    I would probably give higher raise to the folks at the lower ranks who do most if the fighting. However, that said, we are in an economic situation not experienced in 50 years, so giving the lowest amount of raise in 50 years is understandable

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  36. sherry cooper

    No Jack, but then if we hadn't given more money to the millionaires, we could afford to take care of those who take care of us.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  37. Doug

    Our soldiers deserve a 1.4% salary increase as much as the wealthy deserve to pay less in taxes. It’s politics that has once again taken its toll on the American people and our soldiers.

    Doug

    Fort Lee, NJ

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  38. Birddog in Mississippi

    Al of us want the tax cuts to end for the wealthy, but the Republicans aren't going to do it. They just aren't. That means that we don't have money to do anything. We don't have the money to extend unemployment benefits – which is a much more effective way to stimulate the economy and create jobs than tax cuts for the wealthy. But the republicans won't do it. And we don't have the money to pay the military more. Talk to the republicans. They want their corporate buddies to be rich – nobody else matters.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  39. Mohit, New Jersey

    Are you kidding me? 350 million USD is less than 5% of the overall cost of the tax deal cost, which includes a 2% cut from the Social Security. They would well to reduce this 2% to 1% and disburse this to the troops.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  40. Terry from Kansas

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! Tell those morons in Washington to do what is right for the men and women who are fighting for their freedom, so they can sit over here on their rear ends and supposedly do the people's work. The GOP said the people spoke at the polls, well how about they cut the taxes for the middle class and not the rich and give our men and women fighting for their freedom a fair shake.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  41. Ben Granger

    Some of these politicians pushing for tax breaks are the same pushing for military actions overseas. The needs to put its money where its mouth is and take "supporting the troops" beyond empty rhetoric.

    -St. Louis, Illinois

    December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  42. Carl

    Of course they deserve a bigger raise. The problem is most of them are not big financial political contributors, as are some of the wealthiest Americans. Too bad for them..and us.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  43. Chrys

    Yes, we are paying for 2 wars and only soldiers are making the sacrifices, with their lives..No one else has been asked by the President or Congress to make sacrifices. And Congress is probably going to get a raise this year? They will dare. How shameful. The president should urge the members to give the Soldiers a raise: NOW!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  44. Chris

    Same as the private sector then why don't Police and Firefighters get only a 1.4% pay increase? Their jobs are dangergous you may say? Come kick in some doors with me and I will show you a dangerous job complete with my $26,400 a year salary.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  45. Safe Skies

    Jack,

    I believe the Military should get the highest raise manageable for our current situation. Oh, one thing. As a Federal Law Enforcement Officer that puts his life on the line everyday as well, That pay freeze from this President that I voted for, affects us as well. I certainly hope the American people recognize that also.

    Safe skies
    Washington, DC

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  46. Linda Spad

    Our wealthy congressmen and those trying to get wealthy are morally bankrupt, and running the country. The American people are idiots to keep letting those greedy old men run the country. I'm in my sixties and ashamed of my generation and the older greedy fools.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  47. Bob in NewYork

    To not pay these people decently is a bigger threat to National Security than WikiLeaks!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  48. Lisa Schaumburg IL

    Repulicans will not get my vote next time around. They work for the rich. Our military members should get a much better pay raise than the average american. Tax the rich and pay our military what they deserve. If it was not for our military this country would be crap, especially with our politicians.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  49. Mary

    Your question is skewed to incite reaction, but it should be obvious that the military personnel should get their fair share of a pay raise if the military budget can afford it. I have no idea how much the military got in pay raises in the last 10 years, but I do know that many Americans go every year without a pay raise and without many benefits that the military provides. Military personnel have very important jobs but there are many familites suffering with no jobs and soon no unemployment insurance!

    The question should be how much money is being wasted on other military and domestic programs that could be directed to wages for the military and to many mandated programs. It is NOT fair to compare the recent arguing about the tax cut deal to the discussion regarding military pay. Everyone is hurting right now and all budget items are being treated individually as a special line item when the whole picture needs to be considered to get to fiscal health. It is time to REALLY negotiate and cooperate on a real budge that everyone can live with.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  50. Mikey V.

    It's sad that we send these young men and women into battle with the knowledge that they may not come back alive...that they may never know what it's like to come home and get married, if they're not married already; come home to the son or daughter that was born while they served overseas; that they may even come home not in the same manner as they went i.e. maimed or disfigured from combat duty abroad. But we cannot adequately compensate them for the sacrifice's they make on our behalf!! I'm an ex-Navy veteran, I served from '78 – '82 stationed overseas out of Yokosuka, Japan and am totally disgusted with the leadership this country has elected to office!! I guess that "Yes we can" campaign was more like "Yes we can do what we want with your tax dollars and to hell with those who make it possible for us to enjoy the freedoms we so take for granted today".

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  51. CW3 Retired Allan Francis

    I am in total disbelief!! Do you know what it’s like to kiss the family good bye? The possibility that you will never see them again! America is America because of our great Military and the sacrifices of these brave men and women. What is the price of a soldier’s life? Not 1.4% raise, and if you think it is, tell the families who have lost a love one in combat!! Shameful, shameful……………

    Chief Warrant Officer (R) Allan Francis
    United States Army
    Elizabethtown KY

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  52. Paula Hardin

    Of course it isn't "fair". We depend on the military, but then so do we depend on the boots on the ground and in the air of the Border Patrol, but they aren't getting any raise at all. I guess the fight with the surges of illegals and drug cartel members infiltrating our borders isn't considered vital to the present administration. Not rewarding those who are charged with putting their lives on the the line on a daily basis for the safety and freedom for the rest of us is an egregious assault on basic principals of this wonderful country of ours. Just two more years!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  53. Matthew, Montreal, Canada

    They deserve the biggest raise in the world, yet the Old Vet himself, John McCain and his fellow Republican filibusters would deny this from happening. Obama did what he could, while looking down the "barrel of a smokin' gun". Military men and women cannot possibly be blind to this.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  54. Patti Avvenire

    The American people should insist all members of the House and Senate slash their pay by 50%.I'm quite certain that would save this country a lot of wasted money!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  55. Brian

    It has been proven year after year that no matter who is in office, our military, retired military and veterans get a raw deal on benifits and pay. This country and its leaders take advantage of our men and women in uniform. Making them the world police force and putting them in harms way, yet forever shortchanging the sacrifices they make. It is time that congress, senate and the president put our military and veterans first. I say that our elected leaders not only need a pay freeze but a pay cut, and eliminate the automatic pension for serving just one term in office. Just imagine how much of a pay raise we could give our troops if the leaders did that.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  56. Julie

    If anyone deserves a raise it should be our military. THEY are the ones that give their lives for us and protect OUR country! How can you look at a soldier and say "sorry, but you aren't going to get a raise because your work does not merit one" ? That is pretty much what is being said! Your sacrifice is not appreciated!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  57. sharon

    Join the millitary and live in poverty. The men and women who serve and die for this country diserve more than the very rich. Why is it when ever the governmen t wants to save money they cut benefits for the military? You don't see congress voting to reduce their own salaries.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  58. ProudMarineMom

    So this is what we consider "Supporting Our Troops"? So many give lip-synch to this phrase, but I see the support less and less, from our government to the people in this country, a lot of whom have "forgotten" our troops abroad. As my son serves his 5th deployment in 7 years, I am outraged at this. Perhaps some of those billionaires who will be getting tax breaks would be willing to donate some of their money to give raises to these brave and tired men and women of the military.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  59. Jason

    If you want to reward people that are actually fighting the wars, increase their hazard pay, don't just give blanket raises to all members of the armed forces while private sector pay is treading water.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  60. Linda Tyger

    These men and women deserve twice what they are earning now. How dare the government to give them this low of a raise. If not for these brave men and women we would be a muslem country in very short order.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  61. Kael

    I am not in the least outraged by a lowered raise for US troops. Neither is my brother, a Green Beret who just returned from a 9-month tour in Kurdistan. This is not to undermine the importance of our nation's servicemen and women, but these brave people understand what they are walking into when they enlist. They do it out of a personal sense of duty – not for the prospect of a 1.9% raise.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  62. Michael

    Yes they need a raise! In fact they deserve a raise more than giving the rich a tax break. I served in Iraq as an 3533 LVS Operator and if many don't know what that is, it is the Marine Corps version of a tractor trailer. I drove in convoys, along with, contract drivers from the U.S. that made well over 100k per year tax free and got two paid vacations anywhere in the world they wanted to go, doing the same job as we were. So, if the government can pay the contractors that much money for doing the same job as I and other service men and women overseas, then they have enough money to give the military a bigger pay raise.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  63. ARMY1SG

    Members of the military absolutely deserve every payraise they get and the fact that we are about to receive the lowest payraise in years is a slap in the face for all those serving in our Armed forces.
    It is not like our pay is all that great to begin with, but to now lower our already small raises?
    Shame on them!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  64. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Jack,
    I was in favor of going after Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, but I didn't believe the initial premise for the "war" in Iraq. And, it was proved to be completely unfounded, HOWEVER.
    Our volunteer army has repeatedly gone above and beyond the call of duty, has SUFFERED stop loss after stop loss, been blown up and subjected to untold physical and emotional hardship.

    Seriously, is there enough money anywhere to pay these fin soldiers for the risks they have and will take??? I don't think so.
    MORE MONEY!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  65. Harold Trainer, USAF RET

    This is so they can fight the rich person's wars while the wealthy get another tax break. The military who are fighting don't need a tax break because they are making next to nothing for what they are doing. What a joke and Obama flies to Afghanistan for 3 hours. He ought to stay there for a tour of dut y. All the money we are spending is borrowed. There should be tax increases for all to pay for the wars.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  66. Steve - Boston, MA

    1.4 percent is 1.4 percent more than I'm getting this year in the private sector working for a huge corporation that has had the most profitable year they've ever had. Our CEO did get a 138 percent raise, though.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  67. tom groht

    Yes, the miltary deserves a pay raise, but congress feels their raises take priority. Don't blame the wealthy. The wealthy create jobs, not people on welfare and unemployment. Jack ,If you feel the wealthy should pay more taxes, write a check to the federal government. Quit the complaining, Obama and Pelosi spend money like they have it. Wake up and realize they are spending us into oblivion.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  68. Laurie

    Our CIC has let his troops down in favor of the wealthy fat cats in America.

    Sorry, but this move speaks volumes about the disregard for military families. Add in removing DADT during "war" time and you wonder who the heck is really leading our troops because it certainly is NOT President Obama.

    Another spineless idiot in the white house...oh happy day.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  69. Edward Kaufmann

    Extending tax cuts will not "cost $900 billion." How can deciding not to increase taxes be considered a cost? It may represent less revenue to the government but let's stay focused on costs. If we want to give a larger pay raise to the military, then CUT SOME COST. The answer can't always be we need more money from the so-called wealthy. Those of us that earn incomes around this magical $250 thousand certainly don't feel wealthy and we are tired of bailing everybody out! CUT COSTS period...

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  70. Burt in Az

    They deserve a lot more, but this is typical Washington politics, rob from the poor and give to the rich.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  71. Carol Brady

    I think it's shameful to ask these young men and women to put their lives on the line and then insult them with a small pay raise.
    I recently saw a program on TV that stated that we give Afghanistan $8M
    to help maintain their national parks. How can we justify supporting that cause and then say we are not going to give our service men and women a better raise. As far as I'm concerned, they should be first in line when in comes to government spending. They give the ultimate sacrifice on a daily basis.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  72. Shirley

    I think it stinks that Congress should even question giving our mlilitary a raise. Of course they should. The Republicans should be ashamed of themselves...They are a party of ME......GIMME GIMME GIMME...ME first then the rest of the people. They dont care about the needs of the American people, only their own selfish wants. Tahey holler there; is no money for working people such as u;nemploymenbt benefits etc. but they dont flinch aat giving themselves big tax breaks etc.. They have truly shown where their loyalties lie and it is with their party not the people.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  73. Eve

    As a military spouse whose husband is currently deployed for the fifth time since 9/11, I find the minimal raise acceptable if and only if the number and length of deployments would decrease. My family would happily trade money for more time together!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  74. Carl

    I do not agree with the raise! The military should get the same raise and perks the Congress and the Senate receives. At least the try to accomplish what they are given to do; Congress and the Senate seem to only argue about what they wish would be and accomplish damn little.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  75. Antoine

    This is dumb!! No raise for the military and tax cuts for the rich!! Come on! Oh yeah, that's right- most military folks usually come from modest means, not those who make over 250K, so it makes sense when one does not have to sacrifice. Now, without a significant raise, the soldiers returning home will have no savings, which means they don't have to wait long to face homelessness as the sad reality goes. It's stuff like this that pushes us liberal further and further left...

    December 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  76. Carlos

    It ended up this way due to the fact that dems. did not rally with president unified to pass or block together the republicans.
    That the military will not get a honest reaise is outrageous, and of course the wealthiest, will get richer every day ..
    What futre lies ahead?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  77. Randy Pilgrim

    If the Republican held Congress had funded the war In Iraq as it happened instead of throwing all of that money on to the national debt, we could give the military a 10% pay raise today, and still have money in the bank.
    But then, as now, they claim to want to reduce the debt, while not raising taxes, but continue to throw unfunded spending on to the heap, all why declaring themselves to be the fiscal conservatives, and calling the Democrats the tax and spend party.
    I have to ask, which is worse, raising taxes to cover added spending, or just spending with no way to pay for it.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  78. CPT BALSAMO, WALTER REED

    I am an Army nurse at Walter Reed and I am outraged beyond words. I dare ANYONE including PRES OBAMA to come to Walter Reed and tell one of our Warriors, who has lost BOTH hands and BOTH legs, face to face, that they are getting the sorriest pay raise since 1962. Some are blind, some have lost all of their limbs, some have been literally blown apart, and I speak with them and their families, daily. I have been to Iraq and I know what it's like to hold someone as they die. Do they? DO THEY?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  79. Brian

    Nobody forced them to join the military. If their cost of living hasn't gone up, why should their pay? Trying to appeal to people's patriotism is a cheap and transparent maneuverer.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  80. The Ogre

    HI Jack,
    My Lovely Lady and I have a Son in the Marines. He has served 3 tours in Iraq and is now afloat in the Pacific. We hear firsthand how tough it is on military families when it comes to money. Now to hear about the poke in the eye instead of a decent pay raise is disgraceful!
    The Congress is once again playing favorites, taking care of the people and Corparations who OWN them, and crapping on the people who serve volantarily and often PAY DEARLY with life altering wounds or the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
    Hope their supply of sleeping aids is well stocked, after all WE pay for them.
    The Ogre.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  81. Mike Smith

    Coming from a vet – Not all mils serve or served in combat. That's a fact. Moreover, relatively few, when they enlisted as a volunteer, opted to serve as combatants. Many serve as desk clerks and donut and cookie bakers. But sure, let's raise pay for combat, but not base pay. Mil pay is already very high – upwards of $130k per year for mid-level O-6 administrative desk-based officers. Besides, mils get handed tax free housing allowances that are astounding and found nowhere else on Planet Earth. In many base locations mils get upwards of $3-4 THOUSAND A MONTH TAX FREE for their surmised 'housing.' And two married O-5s or O-6s can get handed nearly $7 THOUSAND DOLLARS EACH MONTH TAX FREE besides their combined near $260k in base salary! These 'housing' allowances are OUT OF CONTOL! They are nothing less than a HOSING of the US taxpayer!.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  82. Ann Harrell

    Mr. Cafferty - as my first comment ever to a news organization as well as my first "blog," I could not resist speaking up after hearing your piece on the status of the military "pay raise" for 2011. After 30+ years on active duty, and as the spouse of an active duty military person I am ashamed of our government for this very foolish decision. Things are tough, and many are out of work altogether, but without our active forces there might be no auto companies or banks to bail out. People in the military understand their pay will always lag behind their fellows in the civilian sector, but they deserve to at least keep abreast of the cost of living increase, which I doubt seriously is 1.4%. Our forces don't stay on active duty for the pay, they stay for the job and for the respect of their fellow citizens. This sends a message not of respect, but almost of derision - shame on us.

    EA Harrell
    Major General, USAF, Ret.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  83. Patrick

    I disagree. They do not need a pay raise. And I'm an Iraq Veteran. The reality is that soldiers already get built in pay raises every 2 years, not to mention any time they make rank. Their pay and benefits are enormous already... and job stability... I'm wishing that I didn't get out.

    Absolutely DO NOT pay them any more than what they get paid now. Stop pandering.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  84. macdisser

    yes the republicans messed things up again and the dems get the blame

    December 7, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  85. trest

    They do not deserve the lowest pay raise. Not surprising that the politicians forget about the people they sent thousands of miles away.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  86. Milton Moore

    The lowest pay for the military is treason!

    Us retirees received NO pay raise last year and probably won't this year. Yet the Republicans can give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires!!

    Milton Moore
    Lt Col, USAF, Retired

    December 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  87. Dennis

    As a father of an Airman serving in South Korea, and the "hot bed" it has become of late, I believe our servicemen and women deserve a larger raise than is proposed by this administration. I fully understand that the economy is struggling but there are other areas that the government can cut to save taxpayer dollars. For starters let Congress take a pay cut of 5% that will save taxpayers a large amount of money.
    Lets be prudent but not at the expense of our Airman, Soldiers,Sailors and Marines!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  88. Dea R Fort Bragg NC

    I hope and pray this is just the opening salvo in a long negotiation that will end up with the wealthiest paying their fare share of the taxes, and military getting a larger pay raise.

    350 Million dollars extra for hundreds of thousands of military to have a 1.9% raise instead of 1.4% is probably the amount one multi-billionaire would pay in taxes without the cuts.

    Let's put it that way, the 900 Billion extra in taxes that the rich would pay each year, if the tax cuts were revoked, would go a long way in paying down the deficit, (most of it from bailing out their companies) give the military their well deserved pay raises, and help improve education, roads, create jobs, and otherwise set the economy back on the road to recovery. As the great Spock would say "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few"

    December 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  89. Edward Wilson

    The rich know history. When Rome couldn't pay their army in gold (let alone debased greenbacks), that was the end of the Roman empire.

    The rich are probably buying property and socking away gold in overseas countries anticipating a social melt-down in America!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  90. Steve Kemp from Sacramento, Ca.

    Yes.

    The economy (thanks to Bush) is the worst it's been in 50 + years!
    And at least military personnel will get a raise.
    I haven't had one in 4 years!

    I thought "the people said to cut spending" this last election.
    That's what the Repubs, and you, keep saying.
    Now you dare complain?

    Sure it's a relatively small amount saved, but many small amounts add up. And we have to cut where we can without creating more unemployment.

    Maybe if the Republicans cared as much about our service men and women as they do themselves and their rich friends we could afford better raises.

    Too late!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  91. Spc Fuentes

    I take this matter to heart being in the army reserve. Having many friends and myself who joined the armed forces for hope to have another income and pay for school that will help at times like these. Joining the military is not an easy decision and have this low pay raise its as if service members are the least important to this nation .To give the lowest "pay raise"to service members whom go long periods of time away from there family and risk there lives is a big slap in the face.i believe we deserve more than 1.4 percent increase. i doubt it will barely make a dent in my check due to all of the taxes and fees they already take out. meanwhile these tax cuts keep the rich "rich" and the poor only get poorer.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  92. Dinah

    I think it's deplorable when a family of four in the military qualifies for food stamps and WIK. Our government doesn't care as long as they get their money. Their concern for our servicemen is hallow. Been there!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  93. Maria

    Our overpaid, overpriced politicians should take a paycut. Either that or join the actual fighting/combat lines at least once in their cowardly lives.

    They think nothing of voting themselves high pay raises behind closed doors.

    Maria

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  94. mary

    I think all the senators should take a BIG paycut and our military should get a raise. I don't see any of them putting their lives on the line ( a couple have in the past but...)

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  95. Howard P

    No Jack, they don't deserve the lowest raise in 50 years. They deserve more. Even the suggested 1.9 percent is not sufficient but it will help. The fact is, not all soldiers receive housing and food subsidies. It would be better not to increase those benefits and give all soldiers a better raise, one they highly deserve and in my book, have worked hard for. A 1.4 percent raise hardly shows respect for the most deserving.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  96. Fradi

    It seems like these days employers know there is a serious job shortage out there. I guess their attitude is "be happy that you have a job". Never mind some die, but others refurbish their offices on Capitol Hill. I would give our troops 10% raise and lower the incomes in the Pentagon.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  97. Rick

    It is a shame and a sham to send our troups out to fight wars of nessessity and wars of choice, ie... Iraq and then slap our brave young men in the face by giving the banks bailouts, the Auto Industry bailouts, and now the most wealthy gets further tax breaks (thanks to the Republicans) and now our Political Leaders want to reward our boys with what amounts to peanuts? It is total lunacy, hipocracy and a slap in the face to those which provide the very freedoms we all share and enjoy and few of us Americans today might I add ever sacrifice a piece of sweat in defense of this nation. When are we Americans going to wake up. There is just no logical argument that can justify giving wealthy people a raise and spitting in the face of our brave young boys who are fighting for our freedom & honor.
    Here's my question Jack: Starting with the Republicans (then going on to the Democrats), how can you live with yourself and do the idiotic things you are doing to Americans and this country?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  98. Doiug Massey

    My son, in Afghanistan right now with his 4th deployment. In charge or 100 other guys spread out into 12 different areas, he has to helicopter off his 600-foot mountain top to check on them.. and now Cogress is saying he doesn't get but a 1.4% raise? ..while these congressional millionaires get their extended tax cuts originally proposed under the Bush admistration? Gimme a BREAK! This is UNCONSCIENCIONABLE! .Just who do these people represent? Themselves?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  99. Richard

    Of course they deserve a larger pay raise. But the rich don't care, very few of their children serve in the military anyway.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  100. Mike Robinson

    Being a veteran, I agree with you Jack, they just do not get it. I'm tired of how the working people are being treated in this country. I've had several nephews serve and one get hurt seriously. It seems our "priority" is the "fithy" rich and not the average man and women. It's time we kick them out again and start send "common people with common sense to washington. The rich needs to get a tax hike and the military need a 3 to 5% raise. Keep of the good work Jack, I watch you all the time.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  101. Will

    Thank you, Jack, for bringing this issue to public light. We in the military feel the strain of these tough economic times like everyone else. But our added measure of service and sacrifice under fire at the behest of the American people over these 10 + years ought to warrant some inocculation against further sacrifice in our our ability to sustain our families at home while we perform this service. Remember, no one enters military service to get rich; we consider ourselves neither elite nor priviledged compared to the average U.S. taxpayer. We simply want to know that that our government still considers our willingness to die for our country a calling worthy of a full cost of living increase. You can SAY you're proud of our service, but actions speak louder than words.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  102. John from Lubbock, Texas

    Does anyone in our government have a brain?? It's one thing after another and yet nothing changes....

    Oh God help us...

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  103. Lee from Milwaukee

    Jack, With recruitment rates being more successfull in our more impoverished areas of our country does the pay raise rate really matter that much to those who see the military as an only option?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  104. wayne gross, akron ohio

    This president has shown no leadership at all. The military should be his number one priority. It just goes to show where his head is at. Maybe this president will grow some balls and start doing what is right and put the party of no in it's place. If not get ready for president Palin.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  105. G. Slater

    Yes I support a ample pay raise for the military personnel, they are the ones out there fighting. Congress must remember this you get what you pay for.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  106. TruthBTold

    It's a pay raise! In a time when far too many are unemployed – due to no fault of their own – and can't find work, even these individuals should be thankful.

    America is not the sum of its government, CEO, and military force, alone, it is the product of "the people"; again, many of whom have seen their jobs outsourced off-shore and they could use a little more [themselves] during this holiday season.

    Moreover, we should NOT long forget the fate of other superpowers who put everything into their war machines; as we are not so far off from the very same end.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  107. Matthew 12 Year AF Veteran

    I would love to have a 3 or 4 percent raise but out current economy does not warrant that kind of raise so I am happy with 1.4 or 1.9. We need to focus our budget elsewhere. I agree that we do go and fight in one of the two combat zones and I have been there multiple times (244 days last year). Life is tough and we are asked to sacrifice many things but we are no better than others in America that deserve better too. We are an all volunteer force and can leave if we chose to leave but we serve because we want to. One of the biggest thing I would like to say is that the sub-committee that proposed the pay and the President is considering is, comprised of Republicans and Democrats. I am happy to serve and I have had pay raises of over 6% from both Republican and Democratic Presidents. We received a 2.7 percent raise in 2007 and that was low compared to the previous 5 years but I don't recall the same uproar. Bottom line is that we deserve more because of our particularly dangerous jobs, but take what you can get and be glad you have a job and are getting a raise and not sitting around looking for a job like the other 9.8% of Americans.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  108. Lisa

    Those who have been in the military for any length of time know that all the "support our troops" is just lip service. It has been common in the past for enlisted members to be paid just a few dollars more than the cut off for food stamps. Military members are helpless to do anything about it. They have to show up and do the work no matter how much they are unappreciated. It does make a person jaded about why they ever signed up to do a difficult job for an uncaring nation.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  109. Jon - Monterey, CA

    It is shameful that in this country we can even contemplate shafting our military with a skimpy pay raise while giving billions to the wealthiest top percent of our country. If it were not for the military we would not have the ability to tax or give tax breaks to anyone, and we should remember that. I think if we can give millionaires tax breaks, we should make all income from military service exempt from federal taxes. They would at least deserve it.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  110. Adam Ortega

    I'm in the military and in this time economic recession I would be grateful to get any pay increase considering civilians employees won't get anything. If were serious about fiscal responsibility then we all need to make sacrifices. Since it's controversial wether or not tax breaks for the wealthy will create jobs, we shouldn't do it. We should have done what they agreed on (middle class tax) and created a ton of more tax breaks for businesses. Incentivize growing our economy and make sure business owners don't take the money and buy a new yacht. That makes sense.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  111. Terry

    Jack
    not surpising Jack the Republicans are in charge. This is just the beginning. Soon you all will have nothing,( no Medicare, no healthcare..)..except the tax discounts.
    Good luck

    Terry
    Canada

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  112. Linda from Longview, WA

    What in the H is wrong with that "Capital Hill" gang. Our military men and women are fighting to save what we have left of our freedoms. Why is it that the "rich" think they deserve so much more than those on the front lines for OUR COUNTRY? It seems that this country can take care of everyone, but those that really are doing the hard – dirty work for them. Our military and our veterans should be at the front of all lists when it comes to money being paid out for what he/she does. Look at the sports figures getting paid for playing a game that we played when we were in school. Come on you idiots, get to taking care of your people that are, and have taken care of you and your freedoms. Wife of a Viet Nam Marine.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  113. Rich McKinney, Texas

    You wouldn't think so whould you Jack? But then again we are not the government now are we. Perhaps what needs to happen to bring the top levels of government in line is to compensate them by the correct decissions they make. If we only did that we would never have to pay a politician again.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  114. tom loniello

    I feel the military should receive a good increase first,since our home land security starts there.without homeland security nothing else maters. Rich people should be taxed fairly , if this economy is going to recover.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  115. Dan Dewey

    The way this country treats it's Veterans is deplorable. We give none US citizens VA benefits but we quibble about benefits for Guard and Reserve personnel who serve their country at home and abroad for 20-30-and 40 years. Now we want to give them and extremely low pay raise. Since you are paying these young people from taxes I have already given you, instead of a pay raise why don't you reduce or eliminate Federal and State taxes on military pay on say the first $75,000.00 in military pay ?? This pay is actually taxes that were collected in the first place, right? I know, far to simplistic and won't fix our debt issues but I don't expect it to. Just work on this issue by itself and move on.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  116. Bob fom Long Island

    Jack, Elections have consequences! We all know what the Republicans are all about, yet the country gave them power. This isn’t going to effect enrollment in the armed forces however, without any jobs around we all got to eat. And at lease they’re getting a raise. Most folks I know aren’t. I even know people who got “laid-off” and got replaced with the less paid. It’s a sad situation we’re in.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  117. Dave Mayo

    Jack,
    Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention. I served in the Army 40 years ago. I was paid 100 dollars per month back then.
    Todays troops are being streched farther than expected.
    Hell yes they deserve every penny they earn and more.
    Now something else: Has anyone deduced that if the "wars" are not continued and the troops are brought home then the unemployment rolls will swell? This is the Washington elites dirty little secret.
    I suspect our leaders would like nothing better than to involve us into another war, which would probably necessitate a draft situation. That would open their previous jobs to the unemployed. Creating an answer to the unemployment situation.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  118. JO

    I've worked over in Afghanistan and in Washington, DC as an Officer in the Military. Not only are our Men and Women sacrificing for our country overseas, when they come home, they still don't have the same freedom that the government employees have. The "Govies" with their flex hours and compressed work schedules... they generally work 9 hour days and have every other Friday off. Your Military is covering for them every Friday when the offices are empty... and yet the Military folks are working anywhere from 9 to 12 hour days... some even on watch schedules, working in the middle of the night... and no extra benefits. These same men and women in the Military can't even wander too far from home on the weekends because they're on call, just in-case they have to go in to work on the weekends (leadership says that we can't call the civilians, costs too much money!).

    And people say that we are lucky to have a job? I say to you, you are lucky to have your freedom that we provide.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  119. Ray Fuentes

    Why should they get a better pay raise then those of us working back home. They don't have to worry about fighting traffic on their way to work, they don't have to worry about getting stuck in the elevator, they don't have to worry about going home to their families every night. All they have to worry about is staying alive while fighting the bastards that want to destroy our country and our way of life.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  120. Marcus

    Does the military deserve a larger pay raise? Yes, of course they do, along with many other undervalued public servants such as firefighters, police and teachers. However in these economic times the government should be doing all it can to dig us out of this insane debt that we have accrued. The government needs to seriously cut its other spending in order to prove that that it means business. If they have the nerve to dole out a 1.4% pay increase to the military they should also let all the tax breaks expire. Only then can we truly have some semblance of control over our debt.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  121. True American

    I love how people think that Republicans are doing this. Hello!!!! Wake up!!!!! The democrats have proposed this months ago and are headlining this joke of a raise. The original was 1.9% and then the administration said nah thats even too much. They proposed 1.4% and then Senator Carl Levin a DEMOCRAT, went with the 1.4%. What a joke! Republicans are the only party that cares about the troops. More raises for the troops are under republicans and more support. Remember Iraq when it was popular and then the democrats politicized it! Yeah I do! I was in Iraq, when they started it. It was the worst feeling and still is that people think that what we are doing over there isn't for the best and that our mission isn't right. I can tell you stories that would be to the contrary of that. At least us troops have each other. We give you hippies the right to bash us and our missions. All Democrats want to do is give us troops less money and oh wait thats right they want to raise welfare pay by 4%. What a joke!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  122. CalNavyVet

    Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines deserve pay raises far more than the wealthy 2% deserve their tax cuts. If the wealthy were truely patriotic thay would insist letting their tax cuts expire.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  123. Mike Robinson

    Jack, being a veteran and havinge family serving, they need a real raise, I suggest 3 to 5%. Common sense would dictate a tax raise on the "rich" but what we a getting is more of the same. We have no middle class in this country and no one got the message in the last election. They better start listening or we will clean house again. We need average common people in Washington doing "the people's bussiness".

    December 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  124. Bman

    Umm we just gave 700 billion dollars to rich people. I realize you feel for the military, but our priorities are obviously not in that direction. two years ago we gave trillions to speculative banks, hedge funds, and insurance interests. all for the courtesy of wrecking our economy.
    Then over the next two years we have paid them to borrow money from our government treasury. Now it was very important that we keep in place some ill planned tax cuts put in place while our nation was at war in two regions with built-in sunset clause to prevent them from continuing indefinately. So the wealthy of this country can invest more money in hedge funds, speculative banks and insurance interests.
    Ok fine, you can tell good old GI Joe that he should plan to make a home wherever he is stationed, because we can't pay him anymore, and there's no jobs for him to do back here anyways.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  125. Judy

    As a retired vet and having one child serving active duty, this is completely outrageous!! My kid has been to Iraq once and twice to Afghanistan, with the probability that they will be going at least one more time. It it wasn't for these women and men, who's average age is 19 yo, we wouldn't be having this discussion. SHAME ON THOSE WHO SUPPORT THIS AND SHAME ON THOSE THAT THOUGHT IT!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  126. Jade Williams

    This token payraise is an insult to our military infantry and ground troops that put their lives on the line for us each day. Tell me, how does the military pay compare to our US Congressional and US Senators pay? As a former Republican, I e-mailed both of my Indiana US Senators on Tuesday to Vote No to Continue the Bush Tax Cuts, because I have managed as a single-family parent with no support to care of my family of five on $45,000 a year salary as an editor.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  127. Kellie Hebblethwaite

    How would the economy fair in a nation with a weak sense of national security? Is it not to our economic advantage to invest in the military for the sake of stability and preparedness? Treating military servicemembers as if their contributions are nothing special reduces morale, recruitment, retention, average level of experience within the ranks, and, over time, overall quality of our nation's military.

    Remember the old adage "You get what pay for."

    I don't think that national security is the place to cut corners. It is a foundational requirement on which all other good things are built.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  128. Charlie

    Perspective people. I live in San Diego and have friends here who serve the Navy based mainly on Coronado and 32nd street. They are getting well compensated for their service. Although the wage increase may seem menial, do not forget the healthcare, housing allowance, and many other benefits they are receiving which aren't advertised. If anything, many have admitted they are well overpaid for their efforts. Just tossing a percentage number and screaming outrage is ridiculous for CNN and many of you to do. Do we wish we could pay our servicemen and women millions? Sure, why don't we wish for ponies and butterflies too. But perspective people, most military personnel are well compensated as it is.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  129. shadow27

    At least they're getting a raise. The economy isn't growing, theoretically, things don't cost a lot more, hence the low cost of living increase.

    Meanwhile the executive branch, civilian DOD and Congress are getting a pay freeze – and facing demands to cut employees – that 1.4% COLA looks pretty good in relation!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  130. Darrell Abrams

    Jack , I really dont understand why this guy is talking and blaming Obamma for no pay increase. Did he get one under George Bush. My Brother in law who was a 25 year Air force sargent told me he did three four tours, two in Iraq and two in Afganistand and hasent seen a raise since Bill Clinton and then decided to retire. And I have talked with many other Gulf war people who had said the same thing. Make this should be reasearched to see who got what and whos lying about pay increases. I still blame this whole debt thing on NAFTA and everyone is hush about it. Time to kill it and bring our jobs home and rebuild Social Security , and Medicare and get more money into out tax base. That should fix it. Bring our jobs back home ,anyone listiing.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  131. mactsr

    Times are hard. But we should pay the military more than 1.4% pay increase. Why is it we can give tax breaks to the rich and the middle
    class but can pay the military a decent wage for protecting us?

    Yes we need to balance the budget but not on the backs of our military
    fighters

    Lloyd
    Great Fall MT

    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  132. mactsr

    Times are hard. But we should pay the military more than 1.4% pay increase. Why is it we can give tax breaks to the rich and the middle
    class but can't pay the military a decent wage for protecting us?

    Yes we need to balance the budget but not on the backs of our military
    fighters

    Lloyd
    Great Fall MT

    December 7, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  133. Sean

    As an officer in the military, I understand that there are sacrifices that myself and other officers signed up to make. Officer pay is plenty right now for what most of us do, even though I know others may disagree. However, our enlisted force needs a pay raise. Those men and women work their tails off (and even risk their lives) for barely any money as it is and it is unacceptable. I agree with most here, our politicians in Washington should probably take a pay-cut before our enlisted members do.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  134. Michael Thomas

    Our men and women who serve in the Armed Forces ,deserve an even higher pay raise.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  135. Mike Smith

    I'd like to hear from the retired AF officers about they actually DID in their all voluinteer mil careers. As a vet, far, far too many retired mils are too boastful. The truth be told is that most of these volunteers held office jobs in air conditioed offices. And none (or very, very few) ever saw a single moment of danger or comat in their entire xx years. I am tired of hearing or reading all of the pap and chest beating coming from those who in truth were desk-based 'warriors' serving in tropical locations such as Hawaii, Guam, Italy, Key West of dozens of other state-side and overseas sunny and warm and very safe locals. So just cut it out, boys and girls! And again, all coming from a non boastful volunteer vet – 1976-1981/Navy.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  136. john in Dallas

    You said it yourself. "The Obama administration has proposed a 1.4 percent pay raise for the military in 2011". Why are so many people blaming the rich?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  137. Amy

    For our military to receive the lowest pay raise in nearly 50 years is a joke. The cost of living has increased for everyone including the military. I personally believe that the military deserves a larger pay raise than 1.9 percent and would gladly pay more in taxes if it meant that they received it. We (collective America) expect and ask so much of them and yet give them so little.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  138. jerome

    I work in public safety for a municipal government and haven't gotten a raise in three years, and only two cost of living pay raises since 2002. Meanwhile, the cost of living has increased well beyond the amount that my pay has gone up over the last 8 years. I don't ride in a tank in Afghanistan, but my job is every bit as important to the safety of citizens as the military's is. I would argue moreso, on a day to day basis.

    I find it hard to feel sorry for the armed forces who are complaining that their raises aren't big enough. At least you're getting one. Many people are jobless. Others are forced to work at minimum wage jobs to support their families. Most people in the private sector have not had a raise in several years, and many have taken pay cuts. Nobody I know outside of the military gets a housing and food allowance – that comes right out of our taxed income.

    Don't confuse this single issue with non-support of the military. Yes, it's a dangrous job you do, and I appreciate everything you do. It's just hard to sympathize with someone who is getting a raise at all, and complaining about how small it is.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  139. Shelly Bremerton WA

    I am currently serving in the Navy on shore duty. No matter how much the raise is, American is always going to be in debt. I think they should find a better excuse. To you civilians, you may think that us military members make more then enough money, but I hate to inform you.... YOUR WRONG!!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  140. Wert

    Give me a break, Jack. When I came of draft age a PFC just out of boot camp made $21/month. As a young 2nd Lt., I made $418/month. These people volunteered and, over a career, are well-paid. Seniors are getting no Social Security increase because there's not enough inflation to justify it. The 1.4% the military is getting is just the cost of living bump. They can still earn more from promotions. Do they deserve more? Sure, while there's a war going on. Would they deserve more if it were peace time? You can't compensate them monetarily for what they're doing now. The country can't afford it and they shouldn't ask it. As for the tax rates for the "rich", you need to go back to school and learn the difference between an income statement and a statement of net worth. There are plenty of people in this country who rake and scrape for years before they get a few good years. When they do, you and your left wing friends call them "rich" and want to confiscate what they have. If you want to soak the "rich", let's do away with the Income Tax and institute an 18% Net Worth Tax. Then we'll see just how liberal you and Warren Buffett really are.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  141. AC

    For those that do not think our military members do not need a bigger pay raise, perhaps they should visit Walter Reed , Bethesda and other Veteran/Military hospitals and spend time with the service members who have been gravely injured in battle. No amount of money will make them hold.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  142. Drew

    1. I'm not getting any pay raise this year, like many Americans... including those you have no jobs at all. I would gladly take a 1.4%.

    2. They can thank the GOP for giving the wealthy a tax break, not the Obama Administration. Also, saving the auto-industry saved billions of dollars that would have been used to pay unemployment benefits to the employees of the auto-industry.

    3. I do appreciate the sacrifice of those serving in the military. However, they are willingly signing up to fight overseas. They have not been drafted, and they can change careers like many Americans in this tough economy.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  143. tushchaser

    they ( the men in battle zones ) receive a pay raise everytime they are shipped into harms way. It,s called Hazard-pay.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  144. Bill O'Brien of Las Vegas

    There's no choice Jack, we just don't have any money. The country is broke and the Republicans are set on driving us further into debt. You just can't justify borrowing money to give the military a raise. It's a very sad day!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  145. CHARLES CRAWFORD

    Only real commanders in chief with prior military experience can carry the back bone of this nation! It is shameful of this country to not care about our men and women anymore than they do. Every generation is the same! It just didn't just start!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  146. James

    No one understands trickle down economics. Whatever is good for the rich will help us all. This 1.4% increase is nothing compared to what the military will get from the decrease in millionaire taxes.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  147. Robert Merritt

    This is utterly well shall I say greedy from Washington DC. Yes, tax breaks and then kick the dog (military) I see where we stand. I am a married father, with several children, I am not making what others make on the outside, I make far less, but I do this to support my countrymen and women, but I don't see the great support coming back. I hear about the the cuts they Government wants to do for the retired personnel, cutting benifits fo rthem and making them pay a higher premium for insurance, Tell you this all really sucks, then I hear of the Govt giving billions to other countries billions to other entities, but a scant to the military personnel for pay. Horrid !!!!!!

    December 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  148. Jack

    I served four years of duty with more than two years of it overseas. It doesn't upset me that military pay has raised only 1.4%. It's sufficient to meet the needs of service members who have good job security, health care (you can say it's poor, but a friend of mine had a premature baby that would have cost him millions without it), and many, many other benefits such as BAS and BAH. Not to mention the tax breaks and commissary prices. It's consistent with pay in the private sector and historically for service members quite significant. I can't understand Cidius' anger with the difference in pay raises by numbers in the private sector than with his own pay when he could have used the G.I. Bill after discharge to pay for a education that would get him a job with much better pay, especially when his pay without a university or college education is really more than necessary to support a family of four. E-5 pay after taxes is 2070. He's deployed, so he gets family seperation pay of $250, plus hazerdous and combat pay of another $200+. BAH would be enough to cover the pay of rent, and BAS would be in excess of another $200. That comes to about $2650 cash allowance for living expenses and other costs per month. Also, he can retire pretty comfortably at 20 years of service, 40 years old if he joined at 20, and collect 75% of his highest base pay. These are some pretty significant benefits.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  149. MJ

    Dear Jack,
    I come from a military family and am a lifelong Democrat. I do not agree with the White House deals to extend tax cuts for the wealthy and I do not agree with a token nod to these military personnel. I could tell you more about what I think, but have just learned today from my president that I am "sanctimonious."
    I guess my opinion isn't something to be taken seriously...
    MJ

    December 7, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  150. Josh

    As a member of the military, I have have seen my pay and benefits steadily increase over the years. I have also seen the effects of this conflict in which we are currently embroiled. I understand that the economy has fallen on tough times and know that those in the military are not exempt from the hardship that the nation is now facing. Wouldn't now be the time to begin considering other cost-cutting measures like an exit stragedy to this terribly conceived "war on terror" or are the war profiteers, who may be saving quite a lot on this new round of tax cuts, not finished reeping the benefits of our misplaced hatred?

    December 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  151. Gary Luttrell

    We former and current service members will continue to do the job we are entrusted to do by the American public and we will do it to the best of our abilities...pay raise or no pay raise, simply because we believe that what we do is for the greater good of our country. That said, look at your elected officials and ask yourself if they subscribe to this same principle.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  152. Patrick K

    I was in the US Marine Corps for 15 years before moving onto the US Diplomatic Corps. The raises need to be only as good as the performance. I love my men and women in uniform and wish them well and success.

    But so far the US forces; killing and humiliating innocent civilians, smuggling drugs and weapons back to US, promoting hateful and dehumanizing agendas, and doing a subpar performance in wars where enemy is barely technical, does not warrant a raise.

    So, citing the performance, I'd say no to raise. Also, citing how much we spend on military, compared to health care and education, there is still not need for a raise.

    Till then, they can choose a different career path if money is REALLY that bad. Plus military get a pretty good raise simply being deployed, alot more than what you and I get paid. Lets not forget all the (medical) benefits the recruits and their families get, way better than most Americans seem to only dream of.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  153. Bill F.

    Bonuses for those in actual combat make sense, but raises for others who are already getting fair pay including support for housing and health care makes little sense in loght of the fact that so many Americans lack jobs and receive less than adequate subsidies for health care, food, and other goods avilable at reduced prices to those in the military.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  154. AB

    No, our military personnel deserve better than this!! They deserve a 3.0 percent pay raise and better benefits for 2011 and there after. They should have had better pay and benefits from the beginning. These people are putting their lives on the line for our country and all Congress and the President do is give tax breaks to the wealthy who don't really need those tax breaks. We truly honor our service men and women when we give them respect, better pay and benefits.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  155. katy Heys

    The military exists to protect us all. They are ready to go into battle for us. They deserve the best.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  156. Jack O'Conner - Lansing, Illinois

    $350 million?? Ground Air Force 1 for a year. Stop having White House black tie dinners. Cut our politicians pay by .5%. Cut Foreign Aid .5%. Our military & their famalies deserve far more than this. Do our politicians have to watch where they walk every day to avoid IED's, sleep on the ground, hunker down in a foxhole in the rain & snow, with bullets flying at them as well as RPG's?
    On the homefront families dread the day that a Military Chaplin is standing at their front door. 1.4%? How many in our Government have ever been under this stress? Oh, my bad, I forgot about election times.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  157. Titanside

    I served in the military during the first during desert storm and I at the time was a E-4 Specialist. I was making with everything included $1400 a month.

    Now I see, a PFC is upwards of $39k per year and the military members today believe they deserve more. Look, everybody needs to help to get our country out of this mess. PERIOD.

    I know that it is a slap in the face for us to bail out banks and the auto industry, but if you are a true american and military member, then you must also feel the need to SAVE OUR COUNTRY.

    December 7, 2010 at 6:52 pm |