The Corner

Paycut or No Paycut?

One Corner reader says I’m not correct about the troop paycut. He points me to this article which says:

Pentagon officials met Thursday with reporters to “put to rest” a “burgeoning rumor” that the defense department is planning to reduce compensation for those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. “That is not true. We are not going to reduce their compensation,” said David Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

But apparently Chu doesn’t realize he’s in Rumsfeld’s Pentagon, an operation that puts a premium on clarity:

“There is an open issue about how we’re going to do that which depends on exactly how the conference report in the Congress comes out on some technical allowance issues…

The department has a variety of pay and allowance powers already with which it plans to maintain the compensation of those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan should the current allowance provisions expire.

“Whether they expire or not is a question which we don’t have the answer to. But actually we would prefer, and I think that’s how this rumor got started, we would prefer to use those other compensation powers as our way of ensuring that we target these compensation benefits on the troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Chu said.

Got that?

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