Cut the arteries first
Posted by aogThursday, 14 August 2003 at 20:06 TrackBack Ping URL
Best of the Web quotes Terri Phifer of Empower America wonder “what can they be thinking” about this report:
“The Pentagon wants to cut the pay of its 148,000 U.S. troops in Iraq,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports. It seems the servicemen in Iraq, as well as their 9,000 counterparts in Afghanistan, have been receiving a pair of bonuses—”$75 a month in ‘imminent danger pay’ and $150 a month in ‘family separation allowances’ “—which expire Sept. 30 unless Congress renews the appropriation before then. The Defense Department wants to drop the extra pay, “saying its budget can’t sustain the higher payments amid a host of other priorities.”
What can Phifer be thinking asking such a question? When ever there is a budget problem of any sort, the first thing a bureaurocracy does is cut services that are either vital or politically charged. For instance, a struggling county that’s blown its money on construction contracts to friends of the council needs to cut back, it doesn’t stop handing out those contracts, it cuts the fire service. Or when the New Hampshire judicial system had some budget woes did it try to economize? No, it canceled jury trials. It’s kind of sad to see the Pentagon pulling this kind of stuff with the pay of our troops who are already sacrificing so much for the rest of us, but it’s precisely that fact that makes this cut attractive.