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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on August 10th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Pentagon Looking to End Commissary Subsidy

» by in: US Military

It looks like the days of good deals at the commissary are numbered:

Defense officials will take a “candid look” at whether commissaries should operate without taxpayer subsidies, said Jessica dWright, acting undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Eliminating the $1.4 billion annual taxpayer subsidy for commissaries was one potential cost-cutting measure outlined in the Pentagon’s new strategic review, released July 31. That would mean marking up the price of groceries, similar to the way military exchanges mark up their products to pay for operating costs.

The taxpayer subsidy now pays for those costs, such as cashiers’ salaries. That allows commissaries to sell items at cost — and provide a steep discount, generally about 30 percent, compared with average off-base grocery prices. The military community consistently ranks commissaries as a top valued benefit. [Army Times]

You can read more at the link.

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  • Simon The Good
    4:31 pm on August 10th, 2013 1

    Wal-mart is probably lobbying for this to happen.

  • Bruce K. Nivens
    4:34 pm on August 10th, 2013 2

    Since they’re trying to achieve a savings, I assume that DoD won’t be increasing military pay to offset the increased commissary prices. This will effectively make this action a pay cut for military folks.

    (*sigh*) Well, at least the job creators got to keep their tax cuts.

  • tbonetylr
    6:53 pm on August 10th, 2013 3

    U.S. taxpayers paying for your food at a reduced cost, what a joke. Why don’t they hire a b*** – w**** for each and every on base restroom too.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:58 pm on August 10th, 2013 4

    Jessica Wright again. I’m getting the distinct feeling she needs to choke on her own tongue.

  • 2ID Doc
    7:13 pm on August 10th, 2013 5

    #3 TBone
    “That allows commissaries to sell items at cost — and provide a steep discount, generally about 30 percent, compared with average off-base grocery prices.”

    The subsidy covers overhead, salaries, utilities, etc. When I was in the military it was very much worth the cost savings to shop at the commissary, even as a single soldier; and as a reservist to use my privileges at the nearest commissary, usually tied in with a trip to the PX & Clothing Sales Shop about 50 miles from my home. The cost savings for staples, frozen food and canned goods far outweighed the cost of gas to travel that distance. I know many retirees who retire close to a military installation for ease of access to healthcare & commissary benefits.

  • ChickenHead
    7:22 pm on August 10th, 2013 6

    Where will ajuma buy her ox tails when the American taxpayers are no longer subsidizing the shipping, storage, and management fees?

  • Leon LaPorte
    7:40 pm on August 10th, 2013 7

    In these more enlightened days we must be sensitive of prostitution and human trafficking. I am certainly NOT asserting that Jessica Wright was a drug addled back room butt whore who would turn a trick to get a fix for five US dollars. No, not at all. I am simply asking the question. Was she or did she whore herself? I think this could be an important line of questioning when she goes before the SASC, unless of course, she has already serviced them all. Not saying she has, just asking the question…

  • Twon
    7:59 pm on August 10th, 2013 8

    6- The black market keeps Koreans from doing what should be done, and that’s lowering tariffs and joining the real world of available products.

  • Twon
    8:01 pm on August 10th, 2013 9

    3- Prices are lower but not free. Many still shop off post.

  • johnhenry
    2:20 am on August 11th, 2013 10

    Let’s see, to save costs, the idea is to end the government subsidy. So, one of the reasons for the military’s current pay level is that they–surprise, surprise, surprise–is have the subsidized place for shopping. Oh, and let’s not forget that even with the subsidized store, there are military families subsisting with the use of food stamps. I don’t see a pay raise coming down the pike to remedy either situation. This is just a political ploy. Of course it is. It always is.

  • Simon The Good
    3:26 am on August 11th, 2013 11

    This would hit the married lower enlisted families the hardest. What have they done to deserve this?

  • Liz
    5:04 am on August 11th, 2013 12

    #11 Especially families with children. Really helps with the diaper and formula expenses. This is a huge hardship…especially with the locations. Bases can be in some relatively remote areas, with some slim pickins with stores, especially hard on dependents without cars.

    They’ve been taking health installations out of bases too. Reserve bases have nothing. They’re trying to cross over and train active duty at this base, but have nothing to support them. Most of the enlisted people don’t have transportation and no access to health facilities or much of anything else. It’s a shock to families.

  • William
    7:19 am on August 11th, 2013 13

    Surprise, but MANY enlisted Soldiers spend ridiculous amounts of money on their cars and the accessories for their cars. I never bought a new car until I made SFC, but heck, many PFC bought new cars before I did, spending 1/2 their pay on car payments, insurance, and gasoline. To top it off, many got high interest rate credit cards and kept maxing them out making minimum payments and rotating among off post lenders for monthly loans to buy their furniture and stereo equipment. I cannot tell you how many of these diapers I had to change and how many butts we had to wipe in this respect.

    I am about tired of hearing how under privileged enlisted folks are. yes, there are officers and CSMs make a killing from TDY and under the table deals, but heck, many of the enlisted problems are self-inflicted from selfishness and immaturity.

    Anyone NOT liking how the future for the active duty military can get the F&^%##$ out now any time. No one can say no one knows where every thing is going. Get a job at walmart at their crappy wages and work conditions and see how you can support a family mutha jokas. See how many apply for jobs at a new Walmart and see if you are qualified enough to earn a job opportunity there you b%$^##es…

  • Liz
    7:27 am on August 11th, 2013 14

    #13: I think our nation is better served offering incentives for quality people to stay in the military, rather than forcing them into Walmart jobs. I know a lot of troubled youths who turned into productive, responsible members of the community and the military was their first stepping stone to that. Not so much the case for Walmart and Chickin’ Lickin’ workers.

  • Leon LaPorte
    2:03 pm on August 11th, 2013 15

    I get a little weary hearing about the families. If you want a family, perhaps you should first consider getting a job that will support a family.

  • Liz
    2:41 pm on August 11th, 2013 16

    Family hater.

  • Ole Tanker
    3:32 pm on August 11th, 2013 17

    #13 Hear Hear!!!

    #14 What has America become when a “quality people” is someone who managed to get a High School Diploma.

    Most of these minimum achievers make it in the Army and go on to be overpaid GS’ers.

  • Liz
    3:40 pm on August 11th, 2013 18

    @ “What has America become when a “quality people” is someone who managed to get a High School Diploma.”

    I don’t know, Ole Tanker. That would encompass the majority of our nation’s ‘Greatest Generation’. Didn’t know a quality person had to have an advanced degree.

  • Simon The Good
    4:01 pm on August 11th, 2013 19

    Some of you are forgetting that the military isn’t just a job. It’s an opportunity for a better life for many young people from poor families. Those are the ones who are more likely to make it a career.

  • Simon The Good
    4:03 pm on August 11th, 2013 20

    Besides, isn’t “supporting families” supposed to be “part of the mission”? Or does that stop now that Jessica Wright has some authority?

  • Ole Tanker
    4:23 pm on August 11th, 2013 21

    #18 Exactly! Nail on the head. we have Draft Standards for an All Volunteer pay scale. Oops we failed to raise the standard.

    Don’t remind me! we can’t look to the Officer Corp for any Standards either..well..they always hid behind that Commissioned thing anyway.

    The point is, and you guys can’t get over that entitlement thing. If I am only paying for an High Scchool education, the pay should be more in
    line withe public sector.

    Like I said before folks should be pro payed according to their MOS, like example say a 11B $ 20K a year E1-E4.

    #20 The Army didn’t issue you a family:)

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:02 pm on August 11th, 2013 22

    No Liz. Families are fine, but if you choose to have one, it is a good idea to prepare for your future and get a job so you can support said family. I don’t consider an being a GED, E-1 11B as the optimal situation to support a family. Not to mention, in a strictly military sense, the family is a distraction from the core mission. Look at how much we spend in finite time and resources to support the military family, often to the detriment of soldiers. It is the soldiers themselves which are the core function of the military.

    Unless I missed your sarcasm. ;)

  • Liz
    7:40 pm on August 11th, 2013 23

    Leon, I snark by reflex. It’s my OCD.

  • Angel of Retribution
    6:40 am on August 12th, 2013 24

    I’ve been thinking about this and some other perks which the Regime has been trying to pull off the table. It’s a shame some smart and devious leader generations ago didn’t extend benefits like this to civil servants, particularly DoD civilians. You know nobody would think twice about yanking it then!

  • Duke of Yong Gu gol
    8:28 pm on August 12th, 2013 25

    I guess nobody remembers the law that was passed that prohibits the commissary and the px prices from being more than 5 percent average lower price than surrounding off base retail stores for comparable items.


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