Pentagon wants to slash subsidies to base commissaries

(Image Credit: CBS News)

(Image Credit: CBS News)

(CBS News) WASHINGTON – American military families learned this week they may be taking on more of the burden of balancing the defense budget.

The Pentagon wants to slash the subsidies for base commissaries that make groceries cheaper.

That could make prices soar for millions of our troops and veterans.

Military families stock up on much-needed savings at base commissaries around the world, as much as 30 percent off name-brand, supermarket prices.

But this week, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told Congress that to maintain “force readiness,” subsidies for nearly all 178 U.S. commissaries and other military benefits must be cut.

“It’s a plan that allows our military to meet America’s future challenges and threats,” Hagel said.

The current subsidy stands at $1.4 billion. The new budget would slice that figure by two-thirds, down to $400 million.

“I just don’t think it’s responsible,” Rheanna Bernard said.

Note: The above text is excerpted directly from an article appearing at CBSNews.com. Click here to read the full story.

20 comments

  • Kenny Whitley

    Grocery chains have been after the commissaries for years! Now that we have a set of flag grade officers more interested in getting a defense job on retirement and less about the common soldier and retiree, they turn their backs and go for the gold. Not one General has spoken out about this travesty! A closed commissary puts low income employees on the street and diverts money from the local economy into grocery chains.

  • Wake Up

    These cuts are the direct result of the Republicans using the Paul Ryan (tea party) budget cuts as their foundation. Chuck Hagel is only working with the budget given to him by congress. It is Congress, not the White House, that controls the government purse strings! The truth hurts!

    • Kenny Whitley

      I see, congress and the white house are in no way connected politically, eh! The budget proposal in question is not from the congress at all, but directly from the DoD. If you want to get technical, the DoD is under the Pres, yes? This reflects the military-industrial complex in all its infamy.

      • Wake Up

        Kenny, you are all mixed up! The DoD budget is a part of the overall U.S. budget. It is congress that votes to approve the budget. All the White House can do is propose a budget for Congress to consider. It is the Republicans that control the House of Representatives.

        These cuts were a part of the Murray/Ryan budget agreement. Patty Murray is on record not supporting the defense cuts. It was the insistence of Paul Ryan that kept the cuts in the agreement.

      • Kenny Whitley

        The budget in question is submitted by the DoD; congress has yet to provide a budget proposal. “The Defense Department’s latest budget request is a …proposal that has adjusted to new strategic realities and fiscal constraints for the future, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said here today.”

        You may note that “President Obama sent Congress a $3.9 trillion budget blueprint Tuesday that seeks fresh spending…”

        “Congress Will Do Nothing On The Budget Rest Of This Year…” There is NO agreement of any sort. Hagel has submitted the DoD budget to fit an assumed amount and in doing so has cut commissaries drastically. Period.

        It remains to be seen how congress will handle his suggested budget. I suspect it will not stand the light of day, much less a pork barrel congress of either party.

    • smitty

      If you like your health insurance , you can keep it, PERIOD. No that was not the TEA PARTY ,lying to you ,that was Obama,lying, AGAIN. And the Far left loonies just ate it up.

      • Kenny Whitley

        This country has become so polarized around the two parties, it is impossible to have an intelligent discussion of any issue without its being steamrollered by partisan vitriol, as smitty demonstrated.

    • smitty

      You cant have it both ways,Murry is from the far left wing of the democrates ,do not take the guy words and his far left views, look at Murrys voting record , them you will find the REAL TRUTH.

      • Wake Up

        I will have to repeat this for Smitty. Patty Murray is on record not supporting the defense cuts. It was the insistence of Paul Ryan that kept the cuts in the agreement.

      • smitty

        And I will repeat this for wakeup Ms. Murray (democrat) is a far left lib. look at her voting records . Being on record, an voting records,are two different things. thats what far libs do say onething and vote the other.

      • Wake Up

        Smitty, using your logic, that must mean that Paul Ryan was in favor of all the liberal parts in the Murray/Ryan budget agreement. You must see Ryan as a “far left lib.”

      • smitty

        Wakeup is not my logic, Its your far left loonie democrate socialist party, the whole democrate socialist party is set up by the Saul Alinsky by laws.

      • Wake Up

        Smitty, I had a feeling that you were really Bob (among the many names that you use). I see you are up to your usual tactic — throw around as many negative sounding names as possible so that people will not see that you are wrong! Well done!

  • smitty

    Wakeup , Saul Alinsky is not a negative soundng name ,when it comes the the Far Left Democrat Socialist Party. Ask the Obamas the Holders, and Ms.Jarret.they will confirm it. come on all the FLDSPer do.

  • Jim

    I was in the military but didn’t shop in the commisary much. I normally used the grocery stores off post. I would suggest giving the contract that the commissary and PX has to a large retailer such as Walmart or Target. Let them bid for it. They could provide a much better service at their cost instead of the govt funding the commissary.

  • Missy

    I think if ALL of congress took only a 1% pay cut that would help decrease the budget! They have taken so much away from our soldiers and vets already. If you have never served or don’t have a family member who has then you ddon’t really know.

  • Skillpot

    But, still, I do not get it! “…slash subsidies to base commissaries,” but, the prices at RSA have always been higher than outside the gate, so where have the subsidies gone?

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