Could The Government Debt Ceiling Affect Military Families?

It is a question that has been lingering around for weeks, since even before the government shutdown worries:  If the federal government reaches the debt ceiling, will it impact military families?  As usual, you can find individual “experts” who will argue any side of the situation, and I am not a specialist in the most detailed workings of the government budget.  However, I can read and research.

Obviously, the biggest concern for most military families is pay.  Will military members be paid if the government reaches the debt ceiling?  Well, technically, the military should not get paid.  In it’s document Debt Limit:  Myth vs. Fact, The Department of Treasury specifically mentions military pay (three times) as something that would be affected by the federal government does not extend the debt ceiling.  Legislation has been proposed in Congress to ensure military pay if a debt ceiling emergency occurs, but honestly, how would that work?  I can’t imagine such legislation ever passing into law, because how can Congress ensure military pay in a situation where they don’t have access to any money?  Are they going to write us all bad checks?  A debt ceiling situation is very different from a budget impasse, so you can’t just guarantee military pay in the same way.

Just as the debt ceiling crisis and the budget crisis were different, there are different ways how the debt ceiling could impact the United States.  For our purposes, there are two basic parts:  the debt part, and the spending part.  Long term, big picture, the debt part  impacts our world creditworthiness and the economic future of our country, in ways that I can only begin to understand.  Short term, small picture, the spending part is the part that could have an immediate impact on our day-to-day lives.  The spending part is where military pay, benefits and services could be affected.

Without money, the country has limited options for paying salaries, supporting military benefits, and providing services.

I do not want to make it seem as if all is negative.  I can find plenty of sources who seem sure that the military will get paid.  More importantly, I can find plenty of sources who say that Congress will act to forestall the crises, and even if they don’t, the Treasury Department has lots of ways to make sure that the government doesn’t default, even if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.  There are even some who argue that the President has the authority, in the 14th Amendment, to go around Congress to prevent default.

For now, unfortunately, we are in the usual situation:  we just don’t know.  I’m encouraging readers to keep their eyes and ears open as more information becomes available, and as always, Prepare for the Worst, and Hope for the Best.  I’ll keep reading and researching, until the situation passes.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.

78 Comments on "Could The Government Debt Ceiling Affect Military Families?"

  1. There is nothing to Fear but Fear itself. Not raising the debt ceiling would be like cutting up the credit card when you are spending more than you make and purchasing stuff you do not need. The first thing to do is create a budget, 'note there has been no budget', "Jerks", live within your means, stop stop spending on wasteful projects and luxury items. Sell off assets that are no longer used.
    Cut – Cap – Balance

  2. Wasting 1 trillion dollars didn't work. Why NOT try cut, cap and balance?

  3. How about VA Disability Compensation and CSRC ? Combat Special Compensation Pay ? I am a chapter 61 disability retiree that is rated 90% service connected and did not serve 20 years on active duty ? I pay my VA home loan mortgage with my disability check each month.

  4. If they don't raise the debt ceiling the results of one week without pay from all government employment would b catastrophic. I'm with JQP. It's fear mongering and the powers that be should be dong their job and not playing out Armageddon theories. If only the elected officials lost pay, I'm positive they would come up with a solution very quickly. Kind of a performance pay. As long as the debt goes down they get paid. It goed up they don't get paid.
    Just saying.

  5. If they don't raise the debt ceiling, and our military members get a pay freeze, then I am sending my bills to the nearest congress member so that they can pay my bills! How do they expect us military families to survive if our only income is military pay???

  6. Sdan, no kidding right? When i was working private sector, there was one time i didn't get paid. after three business days of not receiving a check, i left that company and got a new job. in the military, if you don't get paid and you go get a new job, you go to jail. or we stick around and continue doing our work, don't pay our bills, wreck our credit, and then not get promoted for not paying our bills! only in america man

  7. some choice quotes from the 2nd linked article:

    …"HR 1297, the Ensuring Pay for Our Military Act, was introduced back on March 31 by Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), with whom we've had our fun in the past. "If Congress cannot pass a budget, it’s not right for these valiant warriors and their families to suffer through a late paycheck. This is about paying those who protect us and defend our freedom," Gohmert said in a much-ballyhooed rollout for the bill, which was covered by Fox News. Cosponsoring the bill are 106 members of Congress, mostly conservative Republicans, and it has no amendments, no riders, no pork: It simply mandates that troop pay continue as it normally would, through the end of the year, even if the federal government faces a funding gap and shutdown.

  8. Yet it hasn't been brought to the House floor for a vote. Gohmert hasn't mentioned his own bill publicly since April Fool's Day.
    A GOP-led Congress ought to be able to pass a stripped-down, GOP-sponsored bill to fund troop salaries pretty easily.

  9. …"So why can't Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) get together with the committee chairman and pass that bill? That's exactly what I hope to ask members of Congress (who'll still be getting paid) on Friday. But trying to paint Democrats as anti-troops would be a lot harder if the troops were actually getting paid, wouldn't it?

    At least one GOP freshman congressman thinks that's the case. Rep. Allen West of Florida called his own party out on Thursday for toying with military salaries. "The House majority has now placed the funding for the Department of Defense and the funding for the troops down as a bargaining chip," he said Wednesday. "I am disgusted at the perception that the leaders in my own party who did not move a defense bill earlier…are now using the men and women in uniform."

  10. GFFoodStorage | July 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

    Makes me wonder. If there is a shut down Welfare still gets funded, yet active duty military WHO WORK do not get paid. If the debt ceiling doesn't get passed and military doesn't get paid do people on welfare still get their "benefits"? If so I say that is really messed up!

  11. Brian Pararescue | July 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm |

    Let's have those Lazy Bastards in D.C. not get a paycheck as well, or have them go overseas for months/year at time away from their families. Our families sacrifice daily while we're deployed and they haven't given up anything for the cause…except lots of whining about the Liberals. All parties need to get off their Asses and get some work accomplished. Quit acting like teenagers. Brian, MSgt, USAF, Ret

  12. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and homes as well as have their credit destroyed over the past 3-4 fours. Not paying the military would only add to these totals. I have seen some comments so far that civilians, if they are not paid can quit their jobs and find work elsewhere. What a joke. There are not jobs to be found. So the answer is we keep borrowing money to fund a bloated government and entitlements and eventually we lose everything to a total collapse of the economy? Everyone wants the military to be paid and I sure do since I'm living on my retired pay. I suggest the military start being like most sensible minded individuals and start obtaining a long term food supply and do it ASAP.

  13. As a retiree, I have already done the work and (23 years Army 11B 31 months Viet Nam). I have earned my retired pay. I demand payment or I'll consider the government of the US to have broken my contract amd I will seek renumiration in any way I can.

  14. THE HOUSE JUST PASSED A 600BILLION PLUS DEFENSE BILL WITH A 17 BILLION INCREASE FOR 2012..WHY WOULD YOU EVEN POST THIS SCARE TACTIC

  15. Well if we dont get paid, Congress does not get paid. No one gets paid. It would behoove Congress to get there act together and do something constructive. I cannot imagine how many people will default because the government defaults on its promiss pay. Not a good situation at all.

  16. The Obama administration is playing politics with military pay, retired pay & SS just like they do with everything. They want to scare the American people into further burdening our future with an ever increasing debt. If we are to face a crisis, let's do it now. I am a retired US Army Colonel & my income is primarily Social Security & my military pension. I would definitely be hurt if the checks stopped, but I am sure I could make it for the relatively short time required to get back to sanity. The administration needs a dose of reality rather than trying to see how bad they can make Republicans look in this situation.
    If we don't change our profligate spending the economy will collapse just as it has in Greece. YOU CAN NEVER BORROW YOUR WAY OUT OF DEBT, which is what we are trying to do. If we keep on China will own THE WHOLE country and we will be history, without a shot being fired.
    DrBob

  17. nightcaller | July 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm |

    Saying the military will not get paid is fear mongering. As Senator DeMint says, Obama is trying to create panic and the idea of "Default" by US on our obligations. The only way the Officials get away with it is because people do not understand how all this works. HAVE NO FEAR, the military will get paid. ALL bond obligations of US debt will be paid. What will happen is much of the "unnecessary" government may not and that is a good thing. Government NEEDS to SHRINK and quit buying votes by promising benefits it KNOWS it can not deliver. My retired pay will come as usual.

  18. my 2 cents | July 11, 2011 at 3:50 pm |

    This is all ridiculous!

    Actually, the debt ceiling is somewhat indendent of the government's ability to pay the military. The government has money coming in all the time. The problem is it doesn't have enough to pay for everything it wants to pay for. Even when the debt ceiling is reached, it can pay some of its bills with the withholdings and taxes that will continue to come in. At that point, the decision is simply which "bills" will get paid and which "bills" won't. (Much like someone whose bills exceed their bank account; this doesn't mean that no bills get paid. It simply means that some will get paid and others will get pushed off to next month or never.)

    The gov't should have more than enough to pay interest on bonds so there will not be a default to creditors. They can then look at what's left over and use it to pay social security, veterans and military. It won't be able to pay for every last item on the agenda, but it will help us see what the administration sees as priorities.

  19. Kenneth Maloney Sr | July 11, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    during the presidents news conference why dont anyone ask about military pay?

  20. We all need to stop whining and focus on the problem – Congress. Send the following to you're elected idiot and see the response:
    Law: When the deficit exceeds 3% of the GDP all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

  21. In addition, send your idiot the following for an integrity check:
    Congressional Reform
    1. Term Limits.
    12 years only, one of the possible options below..
    A. Two Six-year Senate terms
    B. Six Two-year House terms
    C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
    2. No Tenure / No Pension.
    A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
    3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

  22. To finish:
    4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
    5. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
    6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
    7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
    8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work

  23. BravoPckles | July 11, 2011 at 5:54 pm |

    To: Dr. Bob
    I don't want to get into a finger pointing exercise, but I'd like to remind you that it was the Republicans and Tea Party members of Congress, not the Obama Administration, that linked the deficit issue to the raising of the debt limit. If it wanted to, Congress could have raised the limit weeks ago without addressing the deficit.
    In case you are wondering, no I am not a Democrat, but I am a very liberal Progressive and served for 23-years (US Army tanker) …and damn proud of both!!

  24. this is rediculous…goverments talking about military pay freezing… but take alook at golfers or basketball players ect ect … making millions on what? entertainment? while military risk their lives to keep united states save… but lets cut military pay??? seriously.. i dont get this nation… hmm lets cut back on president pay spend a little less make a little more…

  25. let the government file for bankruptcy like people do when you cAN'T PAY THE BILLS. THEN IT CAN DECIDE WHICH BILLS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT TO PAY

  26. OS1 retired | July 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    I would like too know just when the US Military became The Goverment?
    I was lead to believe the Goverment was the ones that made the laws,not the Military they just enforce the laws,,Now with that said why n the hell are they messing around with the Military pay and Benifits when they should be messing with just there pay and allowances Its a Goverment problem not a Military problem just thought I would throw that out there!!!!

  27. Rick. Etheridge | July 11, 2011 at 6:33 pm |

    The only pay that should be cut is for Senators and Congress Persons. They suck at their jobs anyway, so make them suffer !!!

  28. We have a goverment that is in place to only help those that will not help themself…….

  29. If this doesn't frighten you and tick you off nothing will. Watch this and then forward it to you representatives in Washington and tell them to answer to it. http://www.morningstartv.com/oak-initiative/marxi

  30. Fact: Feed and Forage Act provides for the military whether congress has enacted or not. Back pay will be provided in the event that this occurs.
    Opinion: Although the above referenced act is in place, it still provides little for the low level Soldier, Sailor, Marine and Airman. This being said, they chose this job and with it the encumbrances thereto. The worst, or best thing, that could happen is CNN posting pictures of our military families that go hungry. The military member won't go hungry because he can get food at the base chow hall; kinda, he has to pay a little bit since he may be on separate rations. But, because he can't pay some debt he owes; and to maintain a security clearance you can't be in default on a debt; he loses his job like everyone else. Just adding to the problem. Hmm.

  31. The pundits who believe that we should stay within our means are right. However, we should target those costs associated with our government that are extravagant or unnecessary. Should we fund those within the government that are providing to the few and unworthy? Or better yet, cut programs for those that we ourselves do don't garner? Or yet, cut funding for all those other countries to buy their friendship? Is that countries friendship important enough to us that we can maintain some modicum of our economy?

    This is in itself a complex problem that needs some serious help. There are so many differing opinions on how to solve it that I don't know that any answer will garner a positive opinion in our history. "Yet to the victories are histories written."

  32. Travis Bach | July 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm |

    I am saddened to see that the government has NO discipline with money… Although they enforce our service members to live by a standard of very little money, and expect them to live and abide by substandard living. God bless all of us who lived up to our end of the deal… BUT wow, here you go kettle, my name is pot, hope you like black!… What about us wounded warriors who rely on our V.A benefits, just like the active service members, we rely on our pay and we paid our price, you kicked us to the side even when we said no, "we want to stay in the fight"… Shame on you Congress, and SHAME on you Obama, you have been a thorn in my side along with many others. Get off your liberal agenda and Congress, dont worry, your not helping your re-election… You will get yours at the poll.

  33. OS1 retired | July 11, 2011 at 9:02 pm |

    no they won't even if they do not serve another day after today they get 100% of thier pay and allowances for the rest of there life,if the military did there job the way congress does theres we would be sent to captians mast reduced in rank or kick out with no pay or benifits

  34. As long as Congress is first to concede THEIR PAY, it won't last one day.

  35. 1. stop giving money to other counties
    2. stop letting foreiners live tax free for 7 years when they come to america
    and see how much money can be saved those are the 2 biggest problems

  36. Again, I'll ask the same question I've ask three times, before. How many of you, who are bitching here, have also copied your complaints to your representatives in the government? Virtually, none, I'd venture. I have contacted mine and I've copied (to them) the more realistic concerns of the posters to this site. Stop complaining here, if you're not going to copy your elected officials. Find out their addresses (in Washington) and flood them with your; ideas, complaints and concerns. Either that, or just, quit your bithin' here.

  37. All you guys are piss & moning I bet that over 1/2 of you have never voted .I am a retited AF msgt started to work soon as I retired with 22 years I also retired from the rail road I don`t worry about not geting a check for I have managed my money and I can live the same way I am doing for a year or more.And if you don`t like this country hit the road jack. Tom of Ca.

  38. militaryspouse09 | July 12, 2011 at 3:17 am |

    honestly, i think it all needs to fall, let the congress not get paid, hell let everyone not get paid. Take us back to farming, and no cars and what not, then maybe Americans these day will not what its like to go without and relize the finer things in life! Im sorry, im only 26 an i have four kids, an im a wife of a deploy soldier.. Yeah no pay for the military would hurt, and would deffently leave a huge mark, but at the same time i know how to go without, i know how to make something from nothing when i have to. the problem is you have those in power if you will that know nothing but money, an how to buy their way through everything! take their power away an make them get their hands dirty to survive and maybe, just maybe America can stand on it feet again!!! All i honestly as for thru all this, it isnt a paycheck, it isnt a roof over mine an my kids head, it the safe return of my sodlier, if they can just give me that one thing, i will someway somehow, figure everything else out! yeah we might be living on veggies and fruits casue thats what we can grow in our back yard, but My kids have their father and i have my husband and that all i ask for from the government right now!!

  39. @Tom I haven't been on here moning, jkust becuase I know it will get me nowhere. But I do vote. Voting isn't going to stop a century of wrong chouices by our goverment. It really doesn't matter who's in office. It would be in this perdicament no matter what.

  40. Something people are simply not understanding and it seems no one in the government has mentioned publicly with any degree of attention is that the debt limit doesn't stop the government from spending money, only incurring additional debt. Sounds like a great, duh moment, but people don't seem to grasp that the government doesn't "have" to incur debt when it spends, politicians choose to do so. How that works is simple, if you only have $10 dollars to spend and you contractually owe $5, then you have to figure out what you spend the remaining $5 on without needing additional credit. People do it all the time, especially anyone whose maxed out their credit cards. Simply put, you pay your obligations first then you prioritize and spend the rest without going over.

    The second thing you don't hear people mention is that the debt limit exists for a reason. Businesses and citizens don't just choose to increase their credit limits when they get close to busting it unless it is approved by the people extending the credit. The government has just pushed it up so often it is as though it doesn't exist and is pointless if they continue to do so. Provided the government pays it's interest notes first, provides for the common defense, as it is constitutionally obligated to do, and prioritizes the rest to manage properly it will not default.

    Many of the "cutesie" pet programs and porkulous spending will be forced to end. It can actually be a tremendous positive if it forces programs that are bad for the country to end and allows more private sector freedoms to reemerge. The idea to squeeze the last ounce of blood out of the private sector just because politicians don't want to do the hard work they were hired to do and prioritize and spend within limits is ludicrous.

  41. 1st of all there are already laws on the books that say the military gets paid. These laws go back to the beginning of the 1900s. So this article is clearly a fear mongers bull crap article. This was also the case during the budget debate as well. Any stoppage of pay will violate those laws. Now what we all need to be worried about is the propensity of our government to violate the law. That is second nature to them.

  42. 2ndly, Once again. This whole debt ceiling is a scam. We went thru this in the early 90s, it just wasn't publicized like this one. There are mechanism that pay the necessary debts off. Already in law and covered. This whole scam is to put fear into the people so they can push there socialistic agenda. When the debt ceiling was not raised in the early 90s all the bills still got paid. The government had to prioritize, and they did not go over the ceiling until it was raised. Lastly, the military is one of the few constitutional responsibilities of the congress. All that other crap is either unconstitutional or well just bullcrap. The congress has a DUTY to take care of the military. But whether they do or not, in violation of the constitution (after all how long has it been since they have passed a constitutionally mandated budget), is the big question???

  43. Would you work for a boss that won't pay you?

  44. Navigator30 | July 12, 2011 at 10:34 am |

    It is true that the Government needs more revenue, but that needn't come from Tax increases. In truth, that could have the opposite effect. What we need are more tax payers. That comes from economic activity. There are Trillions in private capital sitting on the sidelines because of uncertainty created by this administration which is trying to accomplish through regulation what it can't accomplish by legislation.

  45. My son in Afghanistan already doesn't have socks. What a way to show we care!

  46. It is completely untrue that failure to raise the debt limit would result in the government having "no money." The same amount of money that comes into the Treasury each month would continue. The government would simply be short money to cover all the bills from years of wasteful spending. We would pay those who bought our debt like bondholders first. That maintains our credit rating. Then pay the military and then entitlements like SS, Medicare, and disabilities. Whatever is left is parceled out parks, welfare, whatever. There is absolutely no reason the military would not get paid unless this Administration chose to cut off pay for political advantage. It now looks like the Republicans would agree to smaller spending cuts for a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, but this President says he would veto that. This is all political manipulation to gain political advantage for this Administration.

  47. Richard Fuhrman | July 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm |

    Tom Clancy……….eat your heart out.

  48. 1. Deficit has never been significantly reduced in history without revenue increases.
    2. Cuts to government spending will have a larger impact to increase unemployment than will revenue increases. The government is the nation's largest employer.
    3. Revenues are the lowest in 60 years. It is no coincidence that deficits are surging and the government has significantly less money.
    4. Grover Norquist convinced ALL Republicans to sign a promise to never agree to any legislation that results in a single penny of additional revenue. His goal: "to shrink government to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub". Military = government.
    5. Middle class cannot exist without entitlements. Whether you think it is good or bad, programs like Tricare are entitlements. Also – Social Security had nothing to do with the deficit.
    6. With taxes the lowest in 60 years, how come unemployment is the highest in 60 years?? Where is that stimulated "economic activity"? At what point do we acknowledge that this principle of lowering taxes more to decrease unemployment is extremely flawed? Is real data now unacceptable? All this does is exacerbate the deficit, due to having less money to pay for the America we had as long ago as 30 years.

  49. Kate…..your article is completely irresponsible. The administration administers the governments finances and when their is NO CASH (yes we are talking about that side of the budget….EXECUTION), then they (TREASURY) has to decide which bills to pay (Just like you do in your personal budget). Any agency head and their fiduciaries (like comptrollers) are subject to the anti-deficiency act and criminal penalties for knowingly incurring obligations for the US GOVT when their is no money to pay for it. SOOOOOH, there then comes PRIORITIES. You pay your obligations first, incur no new ones (since you are already out of balance) . Interest on the debt, entitlements, contract obligations, would obviously come before holding a conference, hearing, training, naval cruises, flight operations, etc..
    Please take the time to educate yourself before letting fly with such an amateur and unnecessary alarmist piece of journalism.

  50. Gorilla Thumbs | July 12, 2011 at 12:47 pm |

    Someone needs to re-read the 14th amendment. There is nothing in the language permitting the president to go around congress to prevent default.

  51. Disgruntled Vet | July 12, 2011 at 12:59 pm |

    As usual, I am commenting on the comments. It does not take using profanity or degrading yourself to get something done??? I am a retired disabled veteran, and I live only on my disability and SSDI, which truly is ot enough. I make it by the "skin of my teeth". The VA owes me money, but right now I am not in a fighting mood. I prefer to sit and be quiet. THIS TO SHALL PASS! Do not keep saying it's Obama's fault, he came into office with a big job to conquer. Those of you that are "bitching" need to sit down and think before you write because what you are doing is making yourselves look like complete a–h—–. We made the decision to vote all these people into office, so, I believe and you believe that there was something about these individuals that you trusted in. My belief in the individuals that I voted for, I know they will do their best to support their constiuents.

  52. Socialism is on it’s way!

    Here is the indicators.

    Gov. Buying (bail outs) of big businesses ( auto, & financial instatutations)

    Gov. Mandated health care.

    Increase in helping the “less fortunate” with higher taxes.

    Here is a big one.. Increased gun laws. Why?.. To strip the public of it’s means to fight the gov. Take over!

    Just look at how Cuba was taken over buy Castro.

    Read you history!!!!! Do not repeat it!!!!

  53. Kate…..your article is completely irresponsible. The administration administers the governments finances and when their is NO CASH (yes we are talking about that side of the budget….EXECUTION), then they (TREASURY) has to decide which bills to pay (Just like you do in your personal budget). Any agency head and their fiduciaries (like comptrollers) are subject to the anti-deficiency act and criminal penalties for knowingly incurring obligations for the US GOVT when their is no money to pay for it. SOOOOOH, there then comes PRIORITIES. You pay your obligations first, incur no new ones (since you are already out of balance) . Interest on the debt, entitlements, contract obligations, would obviously come before holding a conference, hearing, training, naval cruises, flight operations, etc..

  54. Most of those who get a retiree account statement from the Defense Finance and Accounting Service should have noticed on their last statement that on 1 March 2011 your FITW went up. Mine went up $31 a month. Reason why was a certain tax cut was allowed to expire. So the big question is, were some of the tax cuts for those in higher tax brackets also allowed to expire? My gross retirement pay is $31000. If I am paying more taxes, nothing wrong with others paying more taxes. I have sent a letter (twice) to my freshman Republican representative who has not responded with anything other than sending me junk mail.

  55. N. R. Selke | July 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm |

    Why dont we just give billions more away to foreign countries till we all starve in America? What in the hell is wrong with our so called government officials? Who is minding the store?

  56. "They" never fail to amaze me. I would not let "Them" run a snowball stand much less a country. Why is everyone so surprised by this?

  57. Republicans and Democrats appear to fight over raising the debt ceiling. This is a political ruse and ploy to pump fear into the voting public! Just so the american public will not protest when benefits get cut and taxes get raised.
    They have us fighting wars (which were not paid for), writing huge checks to bail out the banks, AIG, auto companies, etc.

    Yet when it comes to guaranteeing payment to american taxpayers, the President said if the debt ceiling is not raised we will have no money to send out social security checks, veterans checks and disability checks.

    At the end of the day the debt ceiling will be raised and the average american will feel like a catastrophe has been averted. We'll all breathe a sigh of relief, bills will get paid, checks will go out and another crisis averted.

    Republicans/Democrats use this ruse to scare americans into thinking a huge crisis has been averted just so when it is time to cut benefits and raise taxes the american public will not protest as vehemently.

    The economic stability of this nation lies squarely on the shoulders of you the voter.

  58. The federal government has tax receipts coming in every month. Unfortunately, they have more going out every month than they collect. If no compromise is reached on the debt limit, the government will have to prioritize the money that they spend. They will have to choose between paying the interest owed on the debt, social security payments, medicare / medicaid payments, military payrolls, etc.

    Therefore, they may choose to pay the military (and fore go making other payments) or they could choose to not pay the military.

  59. if the military dont get paid there will be alot of awol people at the hands of the government and they dont want that

  60. The old saying…" to make moneyyou have to spend money" and that is the case for this economy. If look at the history of our economy, gov't has to spend money to recover from an unfavorable economy. So, do you research before you just say cut spending.
    Congress are not trying to save Military families pay they are trying to not lose money. Part of the Defense spending is contract work which is done oversea. Those contractors are owned by Congressmen>

  61. Mark Goldstein | July 13, 2011 at 8:39 am |

    I suggest every military member and their dependents cram their congressman's and senator's phone lines and crash their computers with messages telling them to get off the pot and this goes for retirees and those on social security as well, enough is enough we have earned this money and we have bills to pay. I told my senators i will send them my bills to pay and will tell bill collectors to send it to my senators and congressman as they are holding my money hostage.

  62. As a combat vet, retired with over 20 years service, the best decision I ever made was to encourage my son to steer clear of military service and all the empty promises. At least now if they default on my hard earned entitlements, I can turn to my son for help.

  63. Proud to serve | July 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm |

    We can continue to be soldiers and sacrifice for our country, or let it all blow up in the faces of our children.

  64. we get paid august 1st..there is money until the 2nd.
    the odds of them still doing this crap on the 15th are very slim. once everything starts heading south, and it will if thousands of ss receipents do not get their checks, they will try to fix it.
    the odds of the military not getting a august 15th paycheck are very slim..now had this occured a day or a week before a military payperiod then why yes freak..but i really don't see it going on into the 15th timeframe.

  65. The Federal Government collects over 200 billion dollars per month from tax revenues. The 14th Amendment of our Constitution requires our Federal Government to pay its debts and pension requirements first (Sect 4). The interest on our debt is approximately 20 billion dollars. There would be sufficient money available to pay Government pensions including military requirements. I believe that Social Security payments, although not a pension, is still an obligation of the Federal Government because the Federal Government appropriated the money out of the Social Security Trust Fund and is therefore part of our Government’s dept.

  66. If they idiots in DC do not send out the SS/MIL/retirement pay we should have the largest protest march on Washington !!—10 million strong or better .

  67. I'm sick of the notion that we need some large standing army. That's obsurd. Our nuclear arsenal is all the deterrent we need against aggression that might undermine our sovereignty. The goverment should disband the active military, and maintain only a reserve force, in addition to immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

  68. Diana Clarkson | July 17, 2011 at 8:19 am |

    Salary of the US President… $400,000. Salary of retired US Presidents… $180,000. Salary of House/Senate… $174,000. Salary of Speaker of house… $223,500…. Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders… $193,400……….Plus all the elected officials monetary benefits they've provided for themselves once they have been voted out of office. Then there is $700 BILLION given to other countries each year! What is our elected critters thinking? I think we found where the cuts should be made so our military, senior and disabled citizens are NOT held political hostage!

  69. Im worried about the military getting paid. Im also worried about the people serving who have done numerous deployments and are now facing a discharge because they need to "downsize" the military. Isnt there SOMETHING that could be done that wont effect the military in that kind of way?

  70. Military pensions are protected in the 14th amendment as a legal dept the U.S government must pay. The Civil War was the only conflict at the time so items in the amendment reference paying the pensions of the armed forces as a public dept. The dept is there already and is not a new dept (which is what raising the dept ceiling is all about). Social Security, Medicaid/Medicare, Welfare are not constitutional depts and are subject to the whims of Congress and the President.

  71. Why not just stop te tax breaks for the wealthy? Why not treat them like the middle class and poverty level citizens when it comes to taxes?

  72. Rhonda Gross | July 31, 2011 at 2:43 pm |

    The problem is that most people who work IN the government do not know what it means to "struggle" financially. They are still making a fat check, so it is a little easier to say, we can cut the pay just temporarily. They need to stop sending money to foreign countries, before we become a third world country ourselves. Look, no one is sending US relief, so we need to stop trying to be everyones best friend and realize that if we want to continue being number one in the country, we HAVE to start working on OUR economy and, as much as I don't like to say it, say "screw everyone else, we have our own issues to deal with". Military families are people too, they have children, they have mouths to feed. They are already at the bottom of the income food chain, so taking away, or garnishing pay is not right, no matter what anyone says, the fact is that they are people, they have families, there are children involved here. What some people don't know is that the military is ALREADY having signs of pay cuts. They are getting paychecks that have less money then they should, and when they ask the financial office about it, they (coincidentally) say that particular family was over paid at some time or another so they have to garnish their pay. It is awful that they have to deal with this, because the government can figure out how to properly budget!

  73. DEPENDENTS AND THE ARMY FAMILIES !! WHO ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR OUR COUNTRY !!!! WHEN??? THIS FAT POCKET GUYS ARE RECEIVING PAYMENTS FOR LIFE !!!! AND THEY , SUCH AS CLINTON, DO NOT NEEEDD ITTTTT !!! THEY ARE ALREADY MILLIONARIES,!! IF THEY HAD SOME DECENCY, THEY THEMSELVES WOULD COME UP AND OFFER TO CUT…. THEY JUST DON'T CARE. DO THEY!>!!?!?!?!? WHEN IS SOMEONE THERE , GOING TO SPEAK FREELY THE TRUTH !!!! THE ABUSIVE WAY IN WHICH OUR MONEY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO OTHER COUNTRIES !!!! WHEN WE NO LONGER CAN AFFORD IT !!! WHEN!?!??! OUR PRESIDENT , ON THE TRIP TO BRAZIL, ( LOOK IT UP_ GAVE AWAY 600 MILLIONS !!!!! DIVEDED INTO EQUAL PARTS TO NICARAGUA, BRAZIL AND CHILE !! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT !!?!?!?!? IF WE ARE BROKE !!!!! IN HIS TERM, HE ROSE THE DEBT FROM 4 TO OVER 16 TRILLIONS !!!! NO BLAME ON BUSH , OR ANYONE ELSE, PLEASE !! BE REAL….. BE HONEST WITH THESE THINGS !!!! BIG TIME WRONG !!!!!

  74. AND I FEAR, THAT WHEN WE GIVE THE MONEY ,,, AND IT GOES ON BIG AMOUNTS WHICH WE NO LONGER CAN AFFORT !!….. THEIR GOVERNMENTS GET THE BEST OF IT….. NOT THE PEOPLE !!! IF WE ARE GOING TO LIVE LIKE A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY, AS ALL OF THEM LIKE TO SEE US….

  75. THEN… LETS BEGING LEARNING NOT TO SPREAD OUR MONEY TO THOSE, WHO SHOULD HAVE THEIR GOVERNMENT IMPROVE THE WAY THEY MANAGE THEIR COUNTRIES !! WE ARE OWEING TRILLIONS AND BUILDING IT UP FASTER THAN ANYONE CAN THINK, NOW… THAT WE ARE WITH OBAMA AGAIN…. HOW TO PAY THE DEBT !! EXCEPT ATTACKING THE CHECKS THAT GO TO THE WEAKER !!!!

  76. PENSIONS AND RETIREMENTS, AND THE ELDER, DISABILITY…. AND EVEN TO ARMY !!!! ARMY SURVIVOUR !! AND ARMY ?!?!?!?!?!?! SICK … FRANKLY,,,I FIND THAT EXTREMELY WRONG !!!!!! GO TO THE SALARIES OF THE CONGRESSMEN! AND THE EX PRESIDENTS WHO ARE MILLIONAIRS !!!!!! NOT TO THE NEEDED AND THE ARMY !!! …. MOST STUPID AND UNFAIR …… YET, HERE HE PLANS TO LEGALIZE 14 MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO DON T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH OR EVEN LESS… KNOW A THING TO DO WITH OUR GOVERNMENT !!!!! FOREINGS THAT ARE PROUD OF THEIR COUNTRIESSSSSSSSSS AND LOVE THEIR LANDSSSSSSSS AND ARE HERE JUST FOR THE MONEY !!!!!! BUT DO NOT BLEND IN, THEY ARE LIKE INTO THEIR OWN WORLDS ,,,, EVENTHOUGH THEY ARE HERE!!! I AM SURROUNDED BY THEM, AND I KNOW !!!!!!!! THERE ARE SOMETHINGS THAT ARE MIGHTY WRONG… PLEASE…. YOU WHO KNOWS BEST…. BE SINCERE AND BE ALERTED ….. TO SAVE OUR COUNTRY FROM FALLING FURTHER….. TAKE CONCIENCE OF ALL THAT IS WRONG….. !!!!

  77. stop the money that goes out to the world !!! check how much it is… on line, search for TEDPOECONGRESSMAN MONEY FROM USA TO THE WORLD In youtube, you can see the chart and it is crazy !! we give money even to Fidel CAstro!! millions!!! and also, of course, we sent 600 millions to the mosks of the world to be refurbushed!!!! and we are broke, and we owe trillionss and trillions !!!??? tell me, am i nuts? or something is extremely wrong in this country??? is it that we do not pay attention to these things? stop dreaming !! get to it !!!! soon !!!!

  78. we give money to Russia, to Iran! go and check that i said!!!! please, we , citizens must be alerted and take control of these things by participating! letting them know …. do not be so indiferent about what they do !! USA IS GONE !!! do you get it ???? Santa Clause is not going to fix this !!!! wake up !!!!

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