Dean Condemns Bush Administration Decision to Cut Soldiers' Pay

Des Moines, IA, August 14, 2003

I am becoming more and more concerned by the poor choices this Administration is making. As the President meets today with Marines at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, I encourage him to explain why his Administration will discontinue current levels of funding for imminent danger pay and family separation allowances to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Let's be clear. Virtually every priority faced by our nation is placed behind this President's obsession with tax cuts for those who need them least. As a result, we are now facing a ludicrous situation in which Vice President Cheney will reap a $116,000 per year tax windfall, and yet our soldiers—on extended deployments and tragically dying every day—are facing pay cuts of $225 a month. This Administration's priorities are simply out of sync with the American people's.

This fall, the Bush Administration will cut the pay of Americans soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will cut 'imminent danger pay,' which goes to soldiers in combat zones by $75. It will also cut the 'family separation allowance,' which helps families pay rent, childcare or other expenses while soldiers are away by $150. The Administration claims the cut is necessary because of 'other priorities.'

Unfortunately, these 'other priorities' include tax cuts for those who need them least. While the Administration won't provide $225 a month to soldiers troops risking their lives on the front lines and their families, it will enact a $1 trillion tax cut primarily benefiting those who need it least, like Vice President Dick Cheney, who will receive a $116,000 tax break.

I am equally dismayed by this Administrations lack of candor in dealing with the American public. Today, President Bush will speak to troops at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, CA. Will he admit to those Marines that he has placed special interest ahead of them troops and their families? Not a chance.

--- End ---



Back to Dean Speeches

Or else I'm just a Luddite