Various Conservative blogs have been publishing some variation on the following piece. Even though they reference Snopes.com, they still have it wrong. Oops!
What do WE THE PEOPLE think is FAIR PAY for those who stand on the front lines of combat in uniform? Many of the lower ranked service members qualify for food stamps and other “low income” programs. How can this be???
“Help me to be, to think, to act what is right, make me truthful, honest and honorable in all things: make me intellectually honest for the sake of right and honor and without thought of reward to me.” (Prayer carried by Gen. Robert E. Lee)
CINDY WILLIAMS (not the actress, but a different Cindy Williams,) was appointed by Obama
As an Assistant Director for NATIONAL SECURITY in the Congressional Budget Office…..
This is an Airman’s response to Cindy Williams’ editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America .
Ms. Cindy William wrote a piece for the Washington Times denouncing the pay raise(s) coming service members’ way this year citing that she stated a 13% wage increase was more than they deserve.
A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.
I just had the pleasure of reading your column, “Our GI’s earn enough” and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I’m wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account. Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117..80 before taxes per month. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40 after.
I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for “Network Technicians” in the Washington , D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years’ experience in my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum………… I’m sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.
Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in her armed forces.
Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military’s lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you. Whatever choice you make though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full “deployment experience.”
As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they’ll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone. Obviously they’ve been squandering the “vast” piles of cash the government has been giving them.
Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites… And when you’re actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night, and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren’t enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE’s (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor.
Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won’t be nearly long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it. You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your open piece.
But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.
You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment right and every other right you cherish…On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective noses at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can’t offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.
And you, Ms.. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve?
A1C Michael Bragg, Hill AFB AFNCC
I have no desire to embarrass anyone, but according to Snopes.com (Shirley, You Jest!), Cindy Williams actually worked for Congressional Budget Office, not the executive branch (Here is the sort of testimony she gave to Congress.). In addition, she had the job during the Clinton administration. So there is no point in blaming Obama for Cindy Williams.
Here is a link to the article Ms Williams wrote, Our GIs Earn Enough (H/T to Cindy Williams Military Pay Article Gets New Life and that Snopes.com link, of course). Surprise! Surprise! It is in the Washington Post.
I doubt Ms Williams actually intended to offend military personnel. What she wrote is more stupid than anything else. What the Ms Williams could have said is that military pay is like any other government expense. If we use more money than we have to use to get the job done, then we are wasting the taxpayer’s money. Then she could have thanked the people who serve us for being willing to serve their country without being paid the high wages the job might otherwise demand.
Apparently, Ms Williams has another concern. She primarily aimed to cut defense spending so good Democrats could invest the “windfall” or “peace dividend”, and she is still at it. Surprise! Surprise! What she writes now is in The New York Times.
Think about it. The vast bulk of the Federal Budget is spent on social programs, and what do the Libs do. They talk about about cutting the windfall and peace dividend and spending the money on infrastructure. Why don’t they suggest cutting their precious social programs?
Where is Ms Williams today? Apparently, she is safely sconced away in academia => Cindy Williams. Undoubtedly, Ms Williams enjoys her share of that social spending. And nope! That Cindy Williams is not the actress named => Cindy Williams.
Obama has nothing to do with this lady.
Nicki – I appreciate your effort to do some research, and that is the conclusion I reach in this post.
Undoubtedly, Ms Williams is too moderate for President Obama.
I see the mistake and the points in the articles, but on the accusation that our soldiers get paid what ey deserve I’m not so sure. I’m a military spouse and yes there are benefits but the money most think he is making in his service is about 2 to 3 times more then gets put in his bank account. If a civilian was doing the same job they would demand much more then this voluntary military service member is paid.
Agreed. The salaries of military contractors, particularly when deployed abroad in a war zone, provide ample evidence of that.
you have not calculated all the privileges and free services you enjoy. If you add those you are earning far more than the average US-citizen and you are within the top 10% of wage earners in the WORLD! You have chosen the WRONG profession if you want to get rich. Soldiers, like clergy, nurses and social workers, are volunteers and some do not earn anything! They must work during festivities and bank holidays too. Get out of Afghanistan, you should not be there or invade/occupy other countries. The USA should cut its forces and military spending by half and spend the 25% of taxes on education and mental health for all Americans, specially Americans in Central America and Indians and the Inuit who are neglected and whose land were raided, stolen and raped by mining and corporations. Please stop your arrogance and your selfishness mister airman.
P.S: get a better job, you are being replaced by drones and computers!
To Rangutan (troll),
May god or Allah, which ever you prefer, stricken you and your family with the most awful and sickening disease he can fathom. That is all, now go jump off a cliff.
We DEFINITELY DO rate more than the average American, we are on duty 24/7 our “weekends and holidays” are not guaranteed. We don’t have a 9-5 job, sitting behind a desk, going to meetings and shooting the shit with each other just to waste time before its time to “clock out”. See, we don’t have that option and that’s fine because we chose this lifestyle and yes it is a lifestyle not just a job. We do this because we love it and are happy to take the load off of lazy SOB’s like yourself , who’s probably feeding off the Gov’t and looking for excuses to keep it that way. I do hope your rights are taken away from you because obviously you are not worthy of it or the ground on which we (U.S. Armed Forces) walk on. I sure hope u are not an American with those thought if you are then please do us all a favor and remove yourself and your despicable opinion from our beloved country!!
P.S: get a life
chuck and sheri – Don’t waste your time. When Rangutan left his comment, he made it clear he just wants to provoke people. Apparently, Rangutan is a troll, and he gets a thrill passing out insults. Such behavior may earn our anger, but it merits our pity even more. People who behave that way are their own worst enemy. Little anyone could do could hurt Rangutan more than his own behavior hurts him.
sheri – Thank you for your service.
thanks Tom! and you’re right i did waste my time replying to its comment.
You selfish idiot peice of XXXX. That Airman has and is giving his life in a Volunteering profession as you so call it, and of course his choice to do so. He didnt say anything about himself or others in the Military about wanting to be rich or getting rich, he was giving a comparison of pay rates for the experience levels in the same jobs in the Military and the private sector. And rather than you giving your support, you would rather mock and degrade him for standing up for what he thinks is right and necessary as you seem to be doing in your response. No one one until now is responding to your idiocy except for me. He did not ask for a raise in his response, he is just defending his low pay rights and asking them not to cut it anymore than what they have and or want to.
“Free priviledges”, are you kidding me? Those are the priviledges that he and the others that have lost their lives have eaned by being a supporter and defender for “your” freedoms and rights and to for you being able to support people in other countries rather than him.
And if you want to support the Americans in South America and the Indians that have been raided of their land, then Volunteer like the Airman did to support you is doing. And go to South America and put your actions and the energy of running your mouth in motion. So Orangutan, please stop your arrogance and your selfishness.
P,S; Leave the Country and get a life.
Kevin — One of the purposes of this blog to encourage dialogue. If you want to say what someone says here is stupid. Well, that’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. However, it serves little purpose to call anyone a piece of XXXX. Our flesh is much the same and just dust and ashes to God.
Otherwise, thank you for your well-considered comment.
Dear mister rangutan
With all those special privileges you averted to mention I would like to point out that as a military man myself you are compleatly ignorant on what privlages we actually do get such as paying for our uniforms as soon as we join and immidiatly going into debt once we join personally I paid close to $800 out of my pay checks to pay for uniforms and so you know that 13% pay increase is about $7.50 a week which allows us to get the best of the best from our personal hair stylist who do an amazing job at scalping you with their clippers oh did I fail to mention that the airman who you say has been replaced by the reaper drone actually still flys said vehicle and offers air support to the marines on the ground. See your Indians who suffered so much oppression in the last few years being raped and pillaged have actually been given back some land and yes I realize it’s not enough but the fact of the matter is your fancy little argumentative scuffle is irrelevant in fact inappropriate for said conversation. like the airman you are insulting by posting your pathetic and unworthy argument said you need to experience this life style to understand it it’s hard saying good by let me say yes it is a sad day when you miss Christmas or thanks giving but it’s heart breaking when you go home to your child who’s birth you have missed because you were out to sea and two years have passed and you have seen him a max of 60 days now think about having a beautiful child who you love more than words can describe and he or she doesn’t know you more then through a computer screen every once in a while oh did I mention the navy has amazing inter net access out at sea and the platinum package is spotty at best so I would love to continue but my 18 hour day is about to start so good day to you
AA Arcand USN
AA Arcand USN – Thank you for your comment and your service to our country.
Why did Rangutan say what he said? I don’t truly know; I don’t even know why he calls himself Rangutan. What I do know that when we put down others we have a tendency to feel elevated, but that feeling comes from self-deception. We just observe a relative change in positions. We have not raised our self. In fact we have done the opposite. That is because we have pushed another down.
When we seek to hurt others, we forget that no one exists as an island. What diminishes one of our brothers or sisters also diminishes each of us. Therefore, when hurt another, we hurt our self too, and that is rather foolish.
Citizen Tom, I believe that Rangutan left an O off the beginning of his name. The name he chose indicates to me that he’s just commenting to irritate and get a rise out of people (kind of a demented joke). Can’t really take an orangutan”s comments seriously.
wifeage – Makes sense to me. Thanks.
He did when he said she worked for the “Clinton Administration……”
Maybe you should clarify that Ms. Williams wrote that piece back in 2000. 8 years before Obama. Unless you want to keep the lie going.
All I can say is astonishing!How dare you Cindy Williams, how dare you! And she still have a Job?Thank you Tom, and happy 4th of July 🙂
Doers make mistakes. Critics point out other people’s mistakes. I just hope I don’t fall too often in the latter category.
Because she worried about the wrong thing, Cindy Williams wrote something stupid. She sought to meaningfully compare apples with oranges. Military pay and civilian pay have next to nothing to do with each other. If you are in the military, and you don’t show up for work, your boss can throw you in jail. What civilian job is like that?
It’s about the mission, not the paycheck. Is the military getting enough of the people it needs to do what needs to be done? No. Then the pay is not high enough. Otherwise, the pay is high enough or too high (a rare occurrence).
I guess that’s what I get for assuming another blogger did their research before posting something, eh?
Although to be fair, when I was serving back in the late seventies, I thought my pay was kind of low considering that I was a trained Radar technician and operator. I looked it up, not trusting my memory and base pay for my pay grade was $478.50 per month plus $13.00 for overseas duty.