In an opinion piece Sunday written by the Editorial Board of the New York Times, "Putting Military Pay on the Table", the newspaper advocates for a reduction in military pay and benefits. The article basically infuriated me for three reasons.
The NYT writes:
"After a decade of war, the very idea of cutting benefits to soldiers, sailors and Marines who put their lives on the line seems ungrateful. But America’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan is over or winding down, and the Pentagon is obliged to find nearly $1 trillion in savings over 10 years. "
Essentially we should only appreciate the military when they are actively engaged in a war. Everybody on watch in Afghanistan and other places should not take offense that you are forgotten by the NYT.
The NYT writes:
"Reducing the size of the armed forces would have the quickest effect. The budget office suggests giving smaller pay raises; replacing the current retirement system..."
The Defense Department expenditures of $608 billion represent only 18% of FY 2013 federal government expenditures. Rather than defaulting to reduced military compensation to address budget issues, perhaps we should question first the other 82% of the budget.
In closing, the NYT writes:
"Soldiers must be adequately compensated. But when programs across the government are being slashed, including those affecting the most vulnerable Americans, no budget account can be immune from reductions and reforms. It is a difficult balance to get right.
I would have thought that the "most vulnerable Americans" are the military personnel we ask to go to war, their families and the returning veterans. For people who write for a living, the NYT Times Editorial Board could have been much more considerate in what they wrote.