Debt Ceiling Crisis — Will The Military Get Paid?


After the budget insanity in March, we thought it was over.† But on websites devoted to military spouses and their concerns, the questions have popped up again. †As SpouseBuzz put it† “Will We Still Get Paid?”† Veterans groups including IAVA have been attending meetings, making phone calls; their members are terrified that the benefit checks won’t be there, that the tightrope they already walk would suddenly break. As my son who is a veteran with a disability said “this sure doesn’t help the stress level.”

While in Afghanistan last week, Admiral Mullen (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) was asked not about the pullback, not about reductions in force, but the budget problems. Admiral Mullen told the troops at Camp Leatherneck

“The discussion really centers on providing by law an increase in the debt ceiling so the United States can pay its bills,” the chairman said. “And the bills really run the full spectrum. I really don’t know the answer to the question to how, if we default, how that will work out.”

Holding off on pre-deployment purchases

This resonates strongly with me.† Today my husband’s latest deployment became official as he flew “downrange.”† The trunk is packed to be mailed, †the calendar is ready for the first day to be marked off.† While he was home on leave, we were looking at new cell phones, but we waited — after all, if he doesn’t get paid, it’s not a crucial purchase.† We’ve held off on other purchases — as have other members of military families that Iíve talked to.† †There’s the trickle down effect for non-military folks as well; the local businesses here that survive because of military family purchases were not as busy this weekend!† Banks that cater to military families, including USAA, are getting ready to help their members.† After all, if we don’t get paid, we aren’t paying our bills, our mortgages, our insurance, our car payments.† More trickle down.† For many members of the military , non payment of bills and the resultant “dings” on the credit rating can mean problems with the employer and security clearances!

Now that we have a deal (maybe/hopefully) we are looking at the specter of military cuts, according to — 350 billion in cuts† — but we wonder how we are going to survive cuts while we are still in two wars!† Until it is passed, signed and voted on, we are still holding back; still waiting on purchases. We wonder why the Congress wears little flag pins and has pictures of themselves with returning soldiers on their websites, but they aren’t able to pass any of the legislation designed to protect military and survivors pay.† We wonder why our pay and our benefits are being held hostage by both parties during their displays of† brinksmanship;† while we are still going through continuing deployments with no real end in sight.


Related Posts:

Military Pay or Not

Active Duty Military Gets Notice of Pay Cuts

Photograph courtesy of Department of Defense


W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim6 years ago

America is sucked dry of money because it's ending up in the wrong places, like Afghanistan, where it takes about 2 billion a week to support their troops there...

Janet K.
Janet K6 years ago

Yes the military will get paid but I think the real question is: Will our knucklehead politicians get re-elected?

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago


Fred Urbasek
Past Member 6 years ago

Welcome to the club. 15 m. out of work. 50% of black males 18-24 out of work.
Your sacrifice is without doubt troublesome to me. It is not your fault. The leadership of this country starting with Bush and Cheney and continued with Obama have not come to gripes with a problem they could solve very easy. Bring your spouses home! However there will be no jobs for them when they come home. Your struggle is being felt around our country and we hope your sacrifice will not be in vain.

Shar F.
Sharon F6 years ago

If the military weren't so top-heavy, blooooooated and incompetent, engaging in ever-lasting non-essential wars the country would not be in this financial mess. War is about egos and profiteering. I commented to a friend 'The military will bring the country down.' He replied 'That is usually what does bring a country down.'

Michele H.
Michele H6 years ago

i think if they hold the military men/womens pays then they should also hold their pay. that is only fair, these people are currantly working!! you cannot hold their pay hostage just because congress can't get it together, when they make their cuts in the military they should be cutting how much they spend on stuff not on the pays. that is ridiculous!! insane! i'd like to see them or their sons/daughters go over there and fight THEN i'd like to see them hold their pay!! see what they think about that! ohhh while not recieving money from anyone else..

Phil P.
Phil P6 years ago

Our troops and their families must come first. It was unconscionable to even think of and spread rumors of not paying our troops and using that as a scare tactic. There are billions in questionable military construction and weapons projects and other wasteful Gov't contracted programs not yet awarded that could be cancelled or delayed to pay our troops, and reduce our debt obligations. Yes contractors might be hurt but maybe they might think to reduce their bloated hourly fees, many as high a $250 - $350/hr and do the job for the wages the rest of us get or maybe the contracts for private armies like Blackwater (now Xe Services) the State Dept hires get cancelled or not renewed. These guys get paid in one month what or fighting troops get paid all year.

I blame the Repubs for creating the impasse of the last month on the debt ceiling and the Democrats and Obama for caving on increasing taxes and closing corporate loophole. This debt ceiling "compromise" agreement embodies the worst ideas of all proposals and the American people lose.

Christian Brown
Christian Brown6 years ago

so is the government shutdown not happening. i keep hearing different stories. my husband is in the military and we cant find out if the soldiers are getting paid or not.

wilma s.
wilma s.6 years ago

if they don't remove all pay from all Congressmen. I bet they'll come to a general consensus.