Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Gov't Shutdown May Halt Military Pay

The Optimisic Conservative is reporting that the White House is threatening, in the event of a government shutdown, to interrupt pay for active duty military members.  This would mean that the 15 April paycheck would contain payment only for duty up to 8 April.

There are dozens of readily apparent reasons why this is a bad idea, and almost all of them have to do with the scores of thousands of men and women who are deployed, and whose families are dealing with all manner of problems in their absence.  The one thing those families should be able to count on without question is that the government will honor its word and pay the members who are out there getting shot at.  Families of deployed members have to deal with all kinds of uncertainty.  Wondering whether they'll be able to count on their paycheck should never - ever - be added to the list of worries.

Much farther down on the list of concerns is this small matter.   I’m supposed to go on temporary duty assignment soon. The way this works is, I pay all expenses up-front with my government credit card, and I’m reimbursed at the government's convenience when I file a travel voucher upon my return.

If I’m not being paid for the time being, I’m still supposed to lend the government money to send me on temporary duty, and I’ll still be expected to pay that credit card bill when it comes due – paycheck or no paycheck.

If I refuse to go, I’m failing to obey orders. If I go, I may incur a debt for the government that it could very well refuse to repay in a timely manner.  That, of course, could impact my career.

If Joseph Heller were alive, this would make it into a new edition of Catch 22.


Ran said...

Heh. Welcome to private enterprise! I did a trip for the company on my card too - two weeks globe-trotting... thousands of bucks - and it took the firm five months to come through - and they settled at par, leaving me to cover the interest.

No, It's anecdotal - and I'm not saying it's the same at all. In fairness, military personnel are hardly over-paid such that they have excess cash and credit lying around ready to lend to Uncle Sam.

I'm concerned too that bankruptcy and similar long-term harm is a necessary career-risk. Potentially loosing your life under ridiculous ROE's is evil enough - now you have to pay for the privilege when Congress and the Prez fail their constitutional duty to pass a budget

There's a pattern in the statist Left - anything and everything possible is being used to degrade the forces and disuade volunteer membership, internal and external. Now the failure to offer and pass a budget becomes the next mechanism.

Hell, take the Ad Council running sappy, self-pitying ads aimed at "veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan" - it's a freak show of victimology that demoralizes veterans. What's the message to young upstarts looking to honorable and truly noble service?

The answer, of course, is to reclaim the culture here at home.

Good luck on the assignment - if it's something you're free to discuss and if there's anything I might do, give me a shout. Cheers,

Bob Belvedere said...

Quoted from and Linked to at:
A Case Of Official Misconduct

Ran said...

BTW - Reagan and Clinton signed pay for military personnel during shut-downs. We can be assured that the former President Elect has the military uppermost in his thoughts.

; ]