As most Americans are unaware, by federal law those serving in the nation’s military are suppose to receive a yearly pay raise in accordance with a formula utilized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The House of Representatives traditionally uses whatever figure the BLS sends them to factor into any given Fiscal Year Budget to be sent to the Commander-in-Chief.
Yet as reported by the Alabama Media Group (The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, the Mobile Press-Register) on Aug. 31, 2015, members of the Armed Forces will see a barely visible 1.3 percent increase in their proverbial pay envelopes starting New Year’s Day. But as reported by the Heritage Foundation on Aug. 7, 2015, Barack Obama has again decided to use an emergency loophole in the US Code to keep the lawful pay raise of 2.3 percent from the troops.
With the Family Obama still shaking the sand out of their shoes from yet another taxpayer subsidized Cape Cod vacation, Obama used the Chief Executive’s “economic emergency” provision to bypass the BLS formula, the House of Representatives, and Title 5 U.S.C., sections 5303(b) and 5304 (a) to cut military pay. Citing multiple sources here, Obama used the same excuse to slash the legally mandated pay raises from Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015.
As cited by USmilitary.about.com, the highest pay raise the military received between 1976 and 2009 was during the Reagan presidency, the 1982 pay raise was the highest ever at 14.3 percent. During Reagan’s administration, the smallest military pay raise he ever approved was 2.0 percent in 1988. During the Obama years, the pay raise approvals for the Uniformed Services have seen a steady decline:
- 2009 – 3.9%
- 2010 – 3.4%
- 2011 – 1.4%
- 2012 – 1.6%
- 2013 – 1.7%
- 2014 – 1.0%
- 2015 – 1.0%
- 2016 – 1.3%
While those serving in the Armed Forces are available and considered subject to immediate recall at any time, the lower pay increase translates to a Pay Grade E-4 (Corporal, Petty Officer 3d Class, Specialist 4, Senior Airman) will earn less than $3.00 an hour. Under the 2016 pay scale, a Pay Grade E-1 undergoing recruit training will be paid roughly $2.15 an hour.