Pentagon wants to slash subsidies to base commissaries


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(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.

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