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Empty Rhetoric

The Associated Press reports that the House Passes $646 Billion Defense Bill and the veto threat follows.

Fallenmonk says: Bush Shows Us How to Support the Troops; Think Progress says: Bush Threatens Veto Over Troop Pay Raise, Military Widow Benefits; The Army Times reports: White House: 3.5 percent pay hike unnecessary; and Speaker Pelosi has more information on her blog, The Gavel.

Back in October of 2006 I wrote a post, Non-Support, about the income of an E-4 [Corporal, Airman First] who was married with two kids and deployed to Iraq. The E-4’s after tax income was $ 47,314.81, but most of that were various allowances, the actual salary was $ 22,111.20. This year the salary is $ 22,597.20, but the allowances haven’t increased, so the corporal is getting around $40 more a month.

If the 3.5% pay raise is passed the corporal will get about $66 more per month. There’s nothing about increasing the allowances.

Another part of the package that the White House opposes is a $40/month increase in Dependency and Indemnity Compensation [DIC], the widow’s pension. Currently if the corporal is killed his/her spouse will lose all allowances and with two children will receive $ 19,164 a year. Essentially his/her income will drop by $ 28,000/year. DIC is the same for all spouses, $1067/month plus $265/month for each minor child, regardless of rank or years of service.

Can we just stop pretending they care about the welfare of the troops?