Friday, May 18, 2007

On taking that damn gold star back

Okay, so I was so excited.

I was so excited.

I was so excited about the prospect of a day where I got to give President Bush props for something he did right and leave it at that.

I even considered not mentioning this, holding onto it until Monday, just to bask in the glow of our president not screwing something up for the entire weekend.

Dammit, Mr. President:
Troops don’t need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill.

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.

The slightly bigger military raises are intended to reduce the gap between military and civilian pay that stands at about 3.9 percent today. Under the bill, HR 1585, the pay gap would be reduced to 1.4 percent after the Jan. 1, 2012, pay increase.

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.”

Bush also opposes a $40/month allowance for military survivors (apparently the current benefits are “sufficient”), additional benefits for surviving family members of civilian employees, and price controls for prescription drugs under TRICARE.

Mr. President, you talk about how important it is to fund the war effort, how important it is to support the troops, and then every time someone tries to approve money for that, you take it away! Mr. President, why? Why are you stealing our Christmas tree? Why?

Try to do something nice for a guy, and this is what you get.

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