Ok. There is currently a possibility of military pay being "frozen" at the 2011 rates for 3 years in order to help the American Economy. I in NO WAY feel that the military should be the first place that is looked at for pay to be taken from, but I do not feel that  the reason, that  I have heard/seen the most,  that "military families are at or below the poverty line"  is a valid reason for pay to not be frozen. I have been bothered by this statement for some time and so I decided to just look and see what I could find on military base pay and what the federal poverty level REALLY were! and this is what I found:

from :  http://www.navycs.com/2010-military-pay-chart.html

Pay Grade Years of Service
Less than 2 Over 2 Over 3 Over 4 Over 6
E-7 2602 2839 2948 3092 3204
E-6 2250 2475 2585 2690 2801
E-5 2062 2199 2306 2414 2584
E-4 1889 1986 2094 2200 2294
E-3 1706 1813 1923 1923 1923
E-2 1622 1622 1622 1622 1622
E-1 1447 1447 1447 1447 1447
E-1 with less than 4 months of service 1339        

 and from: http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/10poverty.shtml

The 2010 Poverty Guidelines for the
48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia
Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $10,830
2 14,570
3 18,310
4 22,050
5 25,790
6 29,530
7 33,270
8 37,010

*and this is my version of the above broken down into MONTHLY pay so it is a bit easier to see the comparison form the military pay chart*which is monthly as well*

The 2010 Poverty Guidelines for the
48 Contiguous States and the District of Columbia
Persons in family Poverty guideline
1 $902.50
2 1214.17
3 1525.83
4 1837.50
5 2149.17
6 2460.83
7 2772.50
8 3084.17

Ok. sooo we CLEARLY see that a family of two on E1 pay is above poverty line...EVEN WHEN that military member is FIRST ENLISTED!* and yes those are enlisted pay charts... NOT officer!*

A family of three is going to make it by on  E 2 pay...

A family of four will make it pass the poverty line  on E 4 pay.. 

I will also throw in the larger family of 5 that makes it past the poverty level at E6 pay.

 NOW let's get down to the nitty gritty and talk details:D

  This is BASE pay! this is not including the other two pays that MOST military members receive which are BAS~Basic Allowance for Substance~ and BAH~Basic Allowance for Housing~. let me explain the two. In my family situation anytime my husband , who is in the Navy, is home, he receives this. He does NOT receive this any time his command has control of the boat or is deployed, soo we will not include this due to  the variability of it's availibility to a military family. Let's  pretend it doesn't exist. Now, we also have BAH. EVERY  military family receives this the ENTIRE time a military member is active duty.  Now whether it is in the form of actual money, a barracks room, or a place in housing is different for each situation, as well as the amount varies by location.  I WILL be using this in my comparrisons.

 IF you take the purple section and add in BAH military families EASILY make well above poverty level. This is also NOT including the insurance*dental included*  benefits that military members have! 

There are the cases of large military families. I however do not feel inclined to include them in this. I was a child in a family of 7. We made it by with my mother working, as well.. I should also add, that my parents somehow scraped the money together to put all FIVE of us in private schools. I feel that due to my childhood , I have an even stronger belief in a solid work ethic. We went without some wants, but our NEEDS were ALWAYS met!

Military families are an amazing wonderous group of people. Strong, brave, loyal, and make up a large portion of my friends and family.   Military families deserve compassion and have earned the respect of this nation, by following ORDERS from Presidents that not all of them agree with. They do what they have signed up to do. In a lot of cases with spouses and children in tow, lovingly following their military member. Those are my reasons for why the pay should not be frozen, not because " we are below poverty level"

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 2:27 PM

When looking at BAH depending on if your living in housing or not you don't even SEE BAH if you live ON POST! There goes that theroy!

I don't think there should be a freeze on our pay. Our S/O's risk their life to keep the freedom of this country. The spouses also make great scarfices also! I think Obama is just trying to get people NOT to join our military. I knew that if he got office that our military would suffer. Wonder if all those people that voted for him after hearing what I said is now thinking back to that! I fear what will happen in the next years, esp if he gets re-elected!! God help us all!

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I also don't think they should freeze military pay!

That being said good job on crunching the numbers. There is also the other side though and that is that the poverty levels haven't been adjusted in over 50 years except to account for inflation. Some would argue that the poverty levels are off and that they vary from one location to the next.

And then of course people that have below poverty income also have access to things like EIC, medicare, food stamps etc. Those aren't accounted for when the Government says who is or isn't below the poverty line.

Interesting topic of conversation.

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 5:26 PM

Larone: EVERYONE gets BAH, even if they live in military housing*especially now that MOST instilations have gone to off base/post housing.* the BAH shows up on the LES, therefore *IMO* it counts as a pay, but let's say we go with your opinion. the people that live in military housign that DONT see their BAH dont have to worry about most bills, electricity,water,trach,sewage,gas,etc.. so that balances out... KWIM?

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 7:11 PM

IMO I do not believe we pay our military enough as it is. Freezing that pay for 3 years is just ridiculous. I see that in your number crunching an E1 comes in above the poverty level as a family of one, but what about those members who already have large families and join the military because they are called to serve or have no other alternative. I think there are plenty of people who do well on a military salary and there are those who scrape by on it. I definitely think there are better ways for the gov't to save money without making our military pay the price for it.

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Nov. 22, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Mom: I was comparing an E1 who is BRAND new, with less than 4 months in, that has a wife/child*one dependent*. they come out above the poverty level line for 2.

As to large families, joining , MY OPINION is it is a choice to live this lifestyle. It may seem like there are no other options but there are. NO ONE is "called" to serve. We no longer have a draft in affect*that is a completely different topic I wont even touch right now* and no one is getting told join or go to jail for not joining.  it is a choice plain and simple. People may be feeling that it is their duty to serve, but they CHOOSE to join, and if they join not realizing that their is a price, both literal and metaphorically speaking, then that is their fault for not really looking into what they are , literally, signing their life to.



I want to reiterate that I in NO means believe that this should be where we are getting this money from and 100% believe that there are MANY other places that should be getting budget cuts before the military. I also agree with the statement by Larone, that Obama had it out for the military from the beginning.. I have my BioDad that voted for him,despite everything I told him beforehand, who has seen my military husband and I's family struggle with different choices that Obama has implemented and he is already telling me he won't vote for him again. I just pray we get someone else in office in 2012.

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