I was horrified when I read about this.
And I hope you are, too.
First: I have the greatest respect for our military, and gratitude for their sacrifice and service.
Second: Especially when I remember that ours is a volunteer military – the draft ended in 1973.
These young women and men raise their hands and say, “I’ll serve,” knowing the possibility of long overseas deployments, terrible injuries, and even death in service to our country.
Trump claims that he’s done a lot for our military – “his” increases of the defense budget, “his” pay raises for them, “his” bringing troops home.
Trump loves the military so much, that he takes our tax dollars from the military (some of which was allocated for military schools and daycare) to build his border wall:
And the military, Trump claims, loves him right back:
And you can be sure, between now and the election, that Trump will claim credit for the military “payroll tax cut” he ordered up.
He’ll brag about it, alright.
And as he’s bragging, Trump will neglect to mention this:
The payroll tax cut must be repaid.
According to this article in Military Times:
The article says,
“More than a million military members earning $8,666.66 or less per month will see their paychecks increase by 6.2 percent of their basic pay beginning with the mid-September paycheck.”
“The increase, for the months of September through December, comes from a Social Security payroll tax deferral put into place by President Donald Trump’s August 8 memorandum, and subsequent Internal Revenue Service guidance.”
That’s like getting a 6.2 percent raise, right?
See that word “deferral”?
I see it. You see it.
But how many in the military – I’m thinking of 18-year-olds, 20-year-old, early 20s – will see it?
How many will see the gain now – but not the loss ahead?
“As of pay periods starting January 1, service members will repay the money over a four-month period ending April 30.”
And not only that, but our military members can’t say, “Thanks, but no thanks”:
“Military members…can’t opt out of the deferral; it happens automatically, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Office.”
Here’s my image of our military.
And so many of them are just so, so young:
And – I don’t think I’m stereotyping here – young people sometimes may not make the best decisions about money.
That quality isn’t limited to young people, of course – we all make financial misjudgments, me included.
But so many of our military members are young, and away from home, and around a lot of other young people who also may not be making good financial decisions…
And I think of them looking at that 6.2 percent increase in their paychecks now instead of thinking about that 12.4 percent decrease, come January.
This is Trump’s big “gift” to our military.
Our military deserves better than this Cheat-in-Chief.
Trump’s “gift” doesn’t only affect those in the military. According to this article in the Washington Post:
Trump’s “payroll tax cut”:
“…allow employers to temporarily suspend the collection of payroll taxes for any employee whose pretax wages or compensation during a biweekly pay period is less than $4,000.”
The article also says,
“The payroll deferral is all about the optics of appearing to provide meaningful pandemic-related financial assistance. This directive just shifts a burden forward.”
Trump, all about optics?