Despite the U.S. Congress sending to the White House a pay raise for the Uniformed Services in keeping with the formula utilized the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Barack Obama has decided to bypass Congress and almost halve the recommended 1.8% hike for the military, as reported by CNS.
In one of the Administration’s famous Friday “document dumps,” the news of the nearly microscopic 1% pay raise for active military was made public just before the start of the long Labor Day Weekend.
Per federal law, all military pay increases must be based on the BLS formula tying military pay to changes in private sector pay growth.
Defending his presidential privilege of dispensing of the law that determines military pay, Obama wrote to the Congress:
As our country continues to recover from serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare, however, we must maintain efforts to keep our Nation on a sustainable fiscal course. This effort requires tough choices, especially in light of budget constraints faced by Federal agencies.
The Obama family is figuratively still shaking the sand out of its shoes from last month’s Martha’s Vineyard vacation, and two short months prior to that, the clan enjoyed a $100 million African holiday.
What a 1% Pay Raise Looks Like…
If approved, a 1% raise equals $3.79 a week more (before taxes) for a newly joined member of the Armed Forces. According to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service official website, the base pay for Pay Grade E-1 in all branches of the Armed Forces is $1,516.20 per month.
The Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (APSE) official website lists the poverty line for a single person at $11,490.00 per month.
As cited by USmilitary.about.com, the highest pay raise the uniformed services received between 1976 and 2009 was during the Reagan presidency in 1982. The pay raise amounted to 14.3%. During this administration, the smallest pay raise ever approved was 2% percent in 1988. During the Obama years, the pay raise approvals for the Services have seen a steady decline:
- 2009: 3.9%
- 2010: 3.4%
- 2011: 1.4%
- 2012: 1.6%
- 2013: 1.7%
- 2014: 1.0%