Over the last seven years since the start of the financial crisis during the Fall of 2008, wages have only been modestly increased. While the president can only do so much when it comes to wages in the private sector, he has more wiggle room when it comes to government positions, most notably the military.
The salary for members of the military fluctuates depending on rank and position, but the general consensus is that they are too often underpaid. As PayScale.com notes, the average salary for a United States Solider is $39,688 per year, plus additional funds for housing and food. According to USA Today on August 28, President Obama has ordered an “across the board” base pay increase for federal civilian workers and military members.
The increase will take place on January 1, and will include a one percent raise for civilian workers, and a 1.3 percent increase for members of the military. Earlier this year, House and Senate Democrats proposed an increase of 3.8 percent for all federal workers, but it failed to gain any traction in a a Republican controlled House. Congress was made aware of Obama’s decision after the president sent two letters to lawmakers explaining his decision. The 1.3 percent increase is the largest raise given to federal workers since 2010, as the economy has improved.