Friday, May 18, 2007

Bush Won't Support The Troops

Why is Bush threatening to veto a pay raise and extended benefits for the US military? From ThinkProgress:

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 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.”

As ThinkProgress notes, the bill passed the house 397-27. The question I have is, what does the administration have to gain by not signing this?

The original ArmyTimes article about this is here. It quotes the administration citing cost as the primary reason for opposing the pay raise and additional benefits.

The Bush administration talking about cutting costs is rich. Conservative cost cutting red herrings include things like social security (which, any sane person understands is not in grave danger) and pork spending (which never actually adds money over what's already been allocated). And now Bush conservatives are going to add military pay and benefits to this list?

Yes, forget about the elephant in the living room that is the Iraq war, let's save some money by denying the troops competitive pay. So, no I don't buy money as the reason for the veto threat. Among other possibilities, that leaves a desire by the administration to prevent a victory that Democrats can claim as congressional progress. Political maneuvering is a sick, sick reason for making the military suffer (more than it already is under Bush).

This is not supporting the troops. This is not patriotic. This is wealthy corporate types running our country.