Suffice it to say, if Congress, the Senate, and Obama get their way, the military are where the steepest cuts will be made. To take from the over 2 million men and women in uniform, who make sure that this Country is safe, is unconscionable.
To this American, there is never enough that should and could be done to make our military members and their families comfortable in this Country that they are willing to die for. When you can hand out money to National Public (Panhandler) Radio, or Planned (butcher) Parenthood, you better damn well find the money to allow the members to get a cost benefit from food and clothing items at the Commissary. This Is The One Area In The Constitution That Congress Is Allowed To Act
Senate Bill 277 – Full Text: Killing the Commissary Benefit
This legislation was brought to my attention last week. It is an example of the marketing not matching the nuts and bolts of legislation, and the changes made in the process. The case of the polluted water at Camp LeJeune is shrouded in emotionalism, and political grandstanding. It’s difficult to weed out the truth from fiction, but Marines and Families affected should certainly be cared for, without need of special legislation.
Unfortunately, this legislation attaches a much wider negative to the issue: The base commissary system. And it does so in slick language that does not indicate the truth of the situation. The commissary is already a diminishing “benefit” of military service. The Post/Base Exchange, ran by AAFES, long ago lost its status as “benefit” and became a monopolistic commercial enterprise, without true benefit to the Troops it “serves.” Historically, Government bureacrats of all stripes have envied these benefits, but are currently interested as much in killing the benefit, if they can’t have it.
The mandate for the Commissary is that it sells groceries to the Troops, at cost plus a small surcharge to be used for operation of the stores. The first strike against that mandate was when President Bill Clinton ordered the PX & Commissary to stop selling cigarettes at cost. Since the PX & Commissary doesn’t pay sales or tobacco costs, the prices were considerably lower, but Clinton reasoned that this “promoted smoking.” Henceforth, Cigarettes at the PX and Commissary were priced the same as on the market, with profits going to AAFES monopoly. Few spoke out, because smoking is not politically correct..
Similiarly, the AAFES gas stations don’t pay state or federal fuel taxes, but the price of gas on post is no less than off post, with AAFES collecting a huge profit. The only thing that makes PX prices competitive to the economy is that sales tax isn’t added. Still, a Soldier pays the same amount as they would elsewhere, with a much smaller selection. In some circumstances, they may save the cost of transportation to the local Wal-Mart, but in others, it just adds that cost, as the Soldier then has to travel elsewhere to find the products they can’t find at the PX.
Not much more for me to say, however, go and read the rest and call your Congressmen and women, and let them know this is unsatisfactory. Our military deserve better treatment than this, and it is up to us to speak for them.