KSCO 1080 AM radio, Thursday, January 4, 2007, 8:00 a.m.
The following is a KSCO commentary. Here is Kay Zwerling:
Our Congress has been very remiss in their treatment of our
military. I refer to the amount of pay our troops receive, and the
amount received by their families. The words are pathetic, or miserly,
or outrageous, or obscene. Take your pick. Military families have to
struggle constantly to make ends meet, and that is unforgivable.
Conversely, the same lawmakers take very good care of
themselves. Let me tell you about it:
As of 2007, rank and file Congressional lawmakers will earn
$165,200 per year, while the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will
receive $212,100 per year, and the Majority and Minority leaders of both
the House and Senate each will receive $183,500 per year.
Added to that, each member of Congress may wind up with as much
as 80% of their final salary, that is, their own special member
retirement annuity. Pretty nice - right? Many Congress people come
into office with modest savings, and leave as millionaires.
I thought they were put into office to make fair laws for all of
us. Who gave them permission to make separate laws to benefit only
Now, how about the salaries of those who join the military
willingly without the draft to fight for all of us and our freedoms?
Willing to die or maybe be physically handicapped for life, and what do
our lawmakers give them? Basic salary for newly enlisted soldiers in
the Army as of 2006, their monthly pay has been $1,459 per month, or
yearly less than $18,000 per year, plus a small addition of $250 per
month for family separation, and double salary of about $36,000 per year
if in combat. There are other little categories for small amounts of
money for the military.
Quite a discrepancy between lawmakers’ wages and benefits, and
military wages and benefits. I submit there should be a level playing
field between the military and the Congress.
The military should receive as much or more than our lawmakers,
and military families should not have to struggle financially for
anything, and if it is not already the case, children of troops should
be given free university education.
If we all separately demand of our lawmakers to give the
military at least what they give themselves, maybe it will happen. It
is not enough for Congress to say we support the troops. It is time for
them to really support the troops with the same living wages they take
for themselves. Of course, that won’t happen.
For KSCO and KOMY, this is Kay Zwerling.
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