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Troop Pay Raise That Bush May Veto Amounts To $6/Month To Average Soldier In Iraq

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"Troop Pay Raise That Bush May Veto Amounts To $6/Month To Average Soldier In Iraq"

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As ThinkProgress noted yesterday, President Bush has threatened to veto a House defense bill over a provision that raises the pay for U.S. soldiers by 3.5 percent, instead of the 3 percent preferred by the White House.

Last night on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Todd Bowers — an Iraq war veteran and director of government affairs for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — broke down the White House’s position in dollar terms. Bowers explained that the difference between a 3 percent and 3.5 percent pay raise is the difference of six bucks a month for the average servicemember. Bowers said:

[The average servicemember] gets $1300 a month. You got expenses that you have to cover for. You got to take care of family members, car payments. It essentially adds up. This 3% raise would give them approximately $29 extra dollars, alright. Point five percent gives them an extra $6 dollars. We’re talking about $6 for someone that is serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan that is away from their families. It’s not too much to ask.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/05/sixbucks.320.240.flv]

Transcript:

OLBERMAN: Mr. Bush says a 3% raise provides a good quality of life for service members and their families. Sketch for us the financial profile of the average service member’s family if you would be so kind.

TODD BOWERS: No problem. Average servicemember — you join the military as a private. You get $1300 a month. You got expenses that you have to cover for. You got to take care of family members, car payments. It essentially adds up. This 3% raise would give them approximately $29 extra dollars, alright. Point five percent gives them an extra $6 dollars. We’re talking about $6 for someone that is serving over in Iraq and Afghanistan that is away from their families. It’s not too much to ask.

OLBERMAN: Six bucks.

BOWERS: Six bucks.

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