Jack Cafferty currently has a post on his blog complaining about the tiny pay raise that the military will be receiving this year; 1.4% to be exact. While this is indeed a shame, the hyper-partisan Cafferty takes the opportunity to link this small increase to the extension of the current tax rate for wealthy Americans and business owners. The logic goes, if the government can pay out to the wealthiest Americans, why can’t it give the military a greater pay increase? To this, I have two things to say to Mr. Cafferty.
1. Ask yourself, why isn’t military pay on par with that of other federal employees? As the Washington Examiner reported:
Data compiled by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reveals the extent of the pay gap between federal and private workers. As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee’s benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer’s benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.
So while those who put their lives on the line are neglected this year, federal pencil pushers and bureaucrats continue to live high on the hog. This is the true outrage, as government workers are clearly being paid over and above what the market would bear and are tying up valuable resources that could otherwise be used to increase the pay of soldiers.
The answer is simple Jack; the military has no SEIU or AFL-CIO constantly lobbying Washington or spending nights in the Lincoln bedroom in order to secure increased pay for its members.
2. Please stop pretending that maintaining the current tax rates for the wealthy, and thus not taking in the revenue raising them would otherwise have generated, is in any way effecting military pay. If you’ve been paying attention, it would be very apparent that government revenue has very little bearing on government expenditure. If it did, we wouldn’t have 1.3 trillion dollar budget deficit and a national debt nearing 14 trillion. To make the claim that the Federal government can’t find room for a higher pay raise for the military because they have failed to adequately adjust their revenue, especially in light of all of that borrowing and money printing they have no problem engaging in for other expenditures, is the height of dishonesty.