Don't Pay Our Troops

It's only fair that the military gets shut down, too, David Dayen argues
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2013 1:06 PM CDT
Don't Pay Our Troops
Army recruits sing "The Army Goes Rolling Along" during a their basic training graduation in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Darren Abate)

(Newser) – President Obama says GOP bills that would end the shutdown for select parts of the government are "not serious" and "no way to fund a government." But on Monday he signed a bill just like that, ensuring that the military keeps getting paid. "How can I put this delicately? This is wrong," writes David Dayen at Salon. "It's a slap in the face to the 800,000 federal workers who do not deserve unfair treatment because their uniform is a different color."

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Ted Cruz was right to say that soldiers "should not have their paychecks held hostage." But neither should the "non-essential" public servants who save lives fighting disease and poverty. Or the "essential" air traffic controllers working without pay. Nor are soldiers alone in risking their lives—the FBI, CIA, and Forest Service firefighters are all feeling the shutdown pain. "It takes an exceedingly narrow conception of 'freedom' to claim that the only public servants who deliver it are the ones with guns and tanks." Giving the military special treatment sends the troubling message that it is "the superior function of the government, the only one worth protecting." Click for Dayen's full column. (Read more US military stories.)

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