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It's Payback Time - Soldiers in the War on Terror Face Overwhelming Debts

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posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 04:51 PM
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A common slogan among reservists and new recruits just after the Sept 11 attacks was "It's payback time!" There was a sense that joining the military or going overseas would present oppurtunities for revenge - payback for the losses of that day.

Well, it's payback time again now, only this time it's not personal, it's just business.

(Anyone who doesn't like my cheesy handling of this headline can forward their complaint to my inbox, operators are standing by to take your flames.)



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When the city employees — mostly police officers — were called up by their reserve units, they each faced the suspension of city pay and benefits while they served.

In a bid to help out, the city proposed a plan to keep those benefits intact by allowing the workers to keep getting city paychecks, as long as they agreed to pay back either their city salary or their military pay — whichever was smaller — when they returned to work.

Nearly everyone took the deal.

But now the employees are being asked to make good on their salary refund promise, and in some cases they are being asked to pay back more than they took home.

The problem, officials said, is that the veterans are obligated to repay their gross salaries, even though a third of that pay went to taxes and other deductions.


Payback time has never been so unrewarding...

With all the hardships soldiers endure in service to their country, poor wages, miserable conditions, near-constant danger and endless bureaucracy, they really don't need this to deal with as well. It's not going to be easy for their families to adjust.

Of course they agreed to the conditions, and they're responsible for the debts - nobody can argue that.

What bothers me is the fact that they have to pay back more than they received (yes, they can get the money back in tax refunds, but that doesn't change the fact that their monthly minimums will be based off their gross, when all they received was net to begin with). They made the obvious decision (who's going to turn down two paychecks?) and now they've got to pay the price (and then some!).

I see a very ugly situation arising out of all of this. Basically, the reservists don't have the money, and they don't get paid enough to feasibly expect them to be able to garnish wages sufficent to satiate the city and keep the families fed at the same time. So what's the answer? You can't get blood from a stone, no matter how hard you squeeze it. Incidentally, when that stone is responsible for policing your city and putting out fires and keeping the trains running on time, there are a lot of really good reasons not to try squeezing in the first place.

What's to be done about this situation? Amnesty, forebearance..or prosecution? I think this is going to get really ugly... I'm thinking 'Bread Riots' ugly, not 'Peace Protest' ugly here, BTW.




posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 04:59 PM
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I read an article about this a short while ago, and I thought to myself that it would be nice if there was some kind of 'hardship' 'grant' enlisted personnel could apply for from the government. There would obviously be some requirements (i.e. you could not apply for the 'hardship' grant to pay of a credit card used to by the 42" plasma t.v.), but, let's say you just had a child. You could apply for the 'hardship' grant and get a certain amount of money that you could use to help defray child costs while on active duty and since it is a 'grant', you would not be required to pay the money back.

I think something like this would go a long way to improve the moral of our enlisted personnel, and ultimately, help our country!



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 05:04 PM
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No,
it would be even nicer if the goverment looked at the daily bloodshed and chaos soldiers see day in day out, and said to themselves; " Hey you know what? I would never of done that for this country, but they did. Lets cut them a big thank you cheque".

Never has it been more apparent than this war that soldiers and all forces are getting the very very thin edge of the wedge whilst the military industrial complex gets the big fat pay day end of the wedge.

No kit, no armour, no boots, no thanks, no praise... Just a tool to use as a sound bite at the next election or rally...

Shameful.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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I know that here in Australia, some employers offer reserve leave with no penalty (sometimes up to a month on full pay), this is usually other Government departments though. Other companies tend to offer unpaid leave. Our Government has an incentive scheme, where employees are paid an incentive bonus to allow reservists time off. It is still hard for a company that needs to be productive to allow people to go for long periods. The story in the original post is staggering though. Gross pay? An insult of the highest order.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 05:53 PM
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Originally posted by D4rk Kn1ght
No,
it would be even nicer if the goverment looked at the daily bloodshed and chaos soldiers see day in day out, and said to themselves; " Hey you know what? I would never of done that for this country, but they did. Lets cut them a big thank you cheque".

Never has it been more apparent than this war that soldiers and all forces are getting the very very thin edge of the wedge whilst the military industrial complex gets the big fat pay day end of the wedge.

No kit, no armour, no boots, no thanks, no praise... Just a tool to use as a sound bite at the next election or rally...

Shameful.


Amen. They wonder why so many American vets are bitter. Or that the military has a high rate of domestic problems and divorce. And alcoholism.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 06:52 PM
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This is absured to say the least. The offer to the reservists was shoody in IMO but they did choose to sign up on the dotted line.
The answers to this problem is simple pay the reservists more you cant tell me that the US government spends over half a trillon dollars on defence and it cant afford to pay its reservists more then a pitance. You cant argue that there is some gross incomptance at work.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 11:44 PM
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I've said it before, I'll say it again. Everything that has been happening since 9/11 is leading towards another American revolution.



posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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Originally posted by xpert11
This is absured to say the least. The offer to the reservists was shoody in IMO but they did choose to sign up on the dotted line.
The answers to this problem is simple pay the reservists more you cant tell me that the US government spends over half a trillon dollars on defence and it cant afford to pay its reservists more then a pitance. You cant argue that there is some gross incomptance at work.


Reservists get the same pay as active duty when they are activated. So now they should be paid more than active duty folks?



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 12:07 AM
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Originally posted by bg_socalif
Reservists get the same pay as active duty when they are activated. So now they should be paid more than active duty folks?


Nope if thats the case then the active duty members should get a pay rise as well.
I just think that reservists deserve a fair go.
Cheers xpert11.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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And the government wonders why they cannot get recruits in the military. :shk:


How about a decent wage to people who do the MOST dangerous and hard job there is. That alone would help tremendously...

and I dont mean give them 20K and after taxes they walk away with maybe 13 or 14 K.

I mean give them a fair, competing wage as well as benefits and bonus.

the average pay for the soldier needs to be ALOT higher....for all you anti-war people, you are missing a vital way to cease the war. IF you used your demonstrations and all your rallies to protest the low wage of soldiers and demanded competitive wages for TODAYS economy it would put an end to war really quickly.



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 01:47 AM
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Originally posted by XphilesPhan
And the government wonders why they cannot get recruits in the military. :shk:

How about a decent wage to people who do the MOST dangerous and hard job there is.


Before you know it, the US military will be hiring foriegn mercenaries (Who would be exempt from taxation) to meet it's domestic recruiting goals.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:13 AM
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xphiles

I might be wrong, but I was under the impression that being a convenience store clerk was actually more dangerous than being in the military. No airstrikes to call in, no humvees, no body armor, no support whatsoever. Of course clerks make minimum wage - not even enough to live on.

Anyway, it seems to me that some of the worst jobs pay very poorly. I think logically it should be the other way around. The harder, dirtier, more dangerous a job, the better the pay ought to be.

That's the case with some professions - for example, the tunnel workers in NY make six figures a year thanks to their agressive union (I think) and that's fair compensation for the job they do. Lord knows they're more critical to the survival of the city than a bunch of do-nothing excecutives who make much more money.

The whole system seems upside down to me.



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:29 AM
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When service-folks came back from WWI, WWII and Korea were there not assistance programs? Real one's? Nam', Gulf-I? All Veterans desrerve a "better than even shake" instead of the current SOP... penny-wise, pound-foolish.

Victor K.

38'



posted on Sep, 30 2006 @ 11:43 AM
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Honestly, I could come to terms with underpaid, overworked soldiers, if the entire military was going through a period of privation and belt-tightening, it's understandable if it's a necessary thing.

But that's not the case.

The troops suffer while politically-connected contractors get filthy rich. It's not right.




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