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Thread: BAH Going Away?

  1. #11
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    This change would have two very obvious benefits almost immediately:

    It would rid the confusion from the stupid rules that allow roommates living together to both get full single rate while married couples get different amounts.

    It would also keep entire towns/cities from manipulating the real estate market based on known BAH rates.

    Military members need to quit bitching about all the sacrifices we make (or have made) while living in a 3500 sq ft house with 3 cars on a middle management salary.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    It would rid the confusion from the stupid rules that allow roommates living together to both get full single rate while married couples get different amounts.
    I do like this part of the 'what if's' ... a lot
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    This change would have two very obvious benefits almost immediately:

    It would rid the confusion from the stupid rules that allow roommates living together to both get full single rate while married couples get different amounts.
    I believe married couples both get single rate unless there are children...then one of them gets dependent rate and the other gets single rate.

    It would also keep entire towns/cities from manipulating the real estate market based on known BAH rates.
    I'd suppose this is possible if the entire town/city was a heavy military town and isolated from any major housing market.

    ...but, I've not seen this CONUS. BAH normally lags local market conditions, which normally have variables much greater than military BAH.

    Where I've seen something sort of like this is overseas...where the member gets a maximum based on rank, but only gets paid what they actually pay in rent. I've seen property companies/landlords ask the members rank and determine the rent based on that...this practice is, of course, frowned upon and some housing offices I've seen require landlords to post the rent amount before referring members to them.


    Military members need to quit bitching about all the sacrifices we make (or have made) while living in a 3500 sq ft house with 3 cars on a middle management salary.
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    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    military members need to quit bitching about all the sacrifices we make (or have made) while living in a 3500 sq ft house with 3 cars on a middle management salary.
    Depends on where they're stationed.

    The median house size for a family of 4 in the US is 2400 SF. The current Median Home price is $238K. couple that with Skyrocketing Rents and Property Taxes and soon to be normalizing interest rates, & not too many people are going to be buying 3500 SF McMansions.

    A half-way decent 3 Bedroom apartment in Tampa (that's not an hour and half commute or in a 80% culturally diverse hood (with failing schools) is probably gonna run them around $1700 bucks.

    Now, middle-class in this country, used to be defined as having enough money for a average House, 2 cars and being able to afford to help send your kids to college.

    I think it's reasonable to expect that SNCO/Officers, who've dedicated their entire adult lives to service should at least be in the Middle class.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 01-04-2017 at 05:35 PM.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainmaker View Post
    Depends on where they're stationed.

    The median house size for a family of 4 in the US is 2400 SF.
    2400 sq ft is a huge house, especially for a family of 4. I've never lived in a house over 1600 ft and it's been far more than enough. It's about time that the military quit footing the bill for people to live above their means.

    & not too many people are going to be buying 3500 SF McMansions.
    Except those receiving BAH.

    A half-way decent 3 Bedroom apartment in Tampa (that's not an hour and half commute or in a 80% culturally diverse hood (with failing schools) is probably gonna run them around $1700 bucks.

    Now, middle-class in this country, used to be defined as having enough money for a average House, 2 cars and being able to afford to help send your kids to college.

    I think it's reasonable to expect that SNCO/Officers, who've dedicated their entire adult lives to service should at least be in the Middle class.
    Sure...SNCOs and Officers...cuz of course if you aren't/weren't a SNCO or Officer then you couldn't have possibly dedicated your entire adult life to service and haven't earned anything.

    Also, the pay raise (after getting rid of BAH) would be enough for those officers and SNCOs to still be able to still afford the same lifestyle, if they so choose...
    Last edited by sandsjames; 01-04-2017 at 06:05 PM.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    2400 sq ft is a huge house, especially for a family of 4. I've never lived in a house over 1600 ft and it's been far more than enough. It's about time that the military quit footing the bill for people to live above their means.
    C'mon ... I have at least 250 square feet just for my books (real and comic) ...

    But really, it is time for all people to stop living above their means. Some people in the military do, many do not.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Sure...SNCOs and Officers...cuz of course if you aren't/weren't a SNCO or Officer then you couldn't have possibly dedicated your entire adult life to service and haven't earned anything.
    Many people devote their whole lives to working hard; what they work hard at doing will likely have drastic differences in how they are compensated for their work though. If someone does the things they need to do to be a SNCO or Officer, promote through those ranks etc. I would not begrudge them the increased compensation that comes with it as opposed to someone to doesn't want to do those things.

    It is disingenuous to say "I never wanted to be an E7 (or Officer), so I didn't do what would have gotten me promoted", but hold it against those that do.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    Also, the pay raise (after getting rid of BAH) would be enough for those officers and SNCOs to still be able to still afford the same lifestyle, if they so choose...
    Probably so. I don't see a new system (single-pay or otherwise) effectively cutting anyone's total compensation package.
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  7. #17
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    2400 sq ft is a huge house, especially for a family of 4. I've never lived in a house over 1600 ft and it's been far more than enough. It's about time that the military quit footing the bill for people to live above their means.

    Except those receiving BAH.

    Sure...SNCOs and Officers...cuz of course if you aren't/weren't a SNCO or Officer then you couldn't have possibly dedicated your entire adult life to service and haven't earned anything.

    Also, the pay raise (after getting rid of BAH) would be enough for those officers and SNCOs to still be able to still afford the same lifestyle, if they so choose...
    Your argument seems be more of one that military members are just plain overpaid.

    I don't think that is addressed one way or another by moving from allowances to single salary...assuming that whatever is done away with in allowances is added to salary so that the servicemember arrives in basically the same place.

    If we take this proposal at face value, it just provides an even level of comparison for recruiting and retention purposes...so we're no longer saying that Sally McBurgerflipper gets paid more than an E-4, etc....which both entices Sally to stay as a burger flipper and encourages the E-4 separate for the riches of the burger flipping civilian industry.

    As Mjolnir said...this story has been repeated often, usually by people arguing for more military benefits, that the military is underpaid, blah blah blah...this proposal might take away SOME of that bargaining power by illustrating how much servicemembers are actually paid.

    Of course, figures don't lie, but liars can figure...so there will always be a way to skew the numbers to present a favorable argument for whatever it is one is trying to accomplish. Of course, what typically happens is they'll use the examples of servicemembers who make the greatest sacrifices and portray them as typical...when for a many of us they are not typical.

    If you ask me...I think a better system would be to go the other way...smaller base pay and higher allowances...not necessarily BAH and BAS, but Combat Pay, Family Sep, Hazardous Duty, etc. This way, the higher pay goes directly to the people making those higher sacrifices....oh, it also gets paid while the sacrifices are made and does not perpetuate indefinitely in retirement pay.

    This system would also provide Congress with a more immediate and responsive system...allowances could be adjust every year..whereas once a guy has retired and is drawing his retirement pay for 40 years, it's hard to control that spending other than adjust its rate of growth...which can take years to realize

    but, again...the cynic in me says the real purpose for this change is to save the govt. money...which necessarily comes out of the pockets of the servicemembers...some of whom more than earned it.
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  8. #18
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post


    It is disingenuous to say "I never wanted to be an E7 (or Officer), so I didn't do what would have gotten me promoted", but hold it against those that do.
    I'll take 'Sour Grapes' for $200 Alex!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Your argument seems be more of one that military members are just plain overpaid
    Far more $ could be saved by getting serious about Federal Civil service "reform".

    It's high time, we get rid of the sweet benefits packages and 75 days a year of sitting on their fat asses at home.

    Of course then we'd have all the entitled affirmative-action, hires going crazy, about losing their guaranteed checks for life (regardless of performance)
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 01-04-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  9. #19
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Your argument seems be more of one that military members are just plain overpaid.
    Not at all. I think that the military is compensated just about where it needs to be. There is just no need for the tax free BAH/BAS as it currently is. It's like the rest of the tax system...it creates more problems than it helps.

    I don't think that is addressed one way or another by moving from allowances to single salary...assuming that whatever is done away with in allowances is added to salary so that the servicemember arrives in basically the same place.
    It's all about optics. When people get $1400 specifically for housing, the majority are going to find something in that price range which, in turn, artificially drives up the rental costs in the area (which is why I can pay $650 for my mortgage payment while renting the exact same house would cost me $1200 due to the proximity to the AF base. You take away the "housing money" and people won't equate a specific "good price" in relation to their BAH and will try to find cheaper living quarters...in time this will drop rental costs, housing costs, etc...putting more money in the pockets of the military members.

    If we take this proposal at face value, it just provides an even level of comparison for recruiting and retention purposes...so we're no longer saying that Sally McBurgerflipper gets paid more than an E-4, etc....which both entices Sally to stay as a burger flipper and encourages the E-4 separate for the riches of the burger flipping civilian industry.
    I agree with this, though I don't think we're having too many recruiting issues currently...

    As Mjolnir said...this story has been repeated often, usually by people arguing for more military benefits, that the military is underpaid, blah blah blah...this proposal might take away SOME of that bargaining power by illustrating how much servicemembers are actually paid.
    Indeed it does, as it should.

    If you ask me...I think a better system would be to go the other way...smaller base pay and higher allowances...not necessarily BAH and BAS, but Combat Pay, Family Sep, Hazardous Duty, etc. This way, the higher pay goes directly to the people making those higher sacrifices....oh, it also gets paid while the sacrifices are made and does not perpetuate indefinitely in retirement pay.
    Disagree...everyone who joins puts themselves in a position to have to make those "higher sacrifices"...some people go more often than others. Now I'd be ok with different pay based off of different jobs, moving the military away from the communist pay system it currently has...though this would have a serious impact on recruiting to particular career fields...

    but, again...the cynic in me says the real purpose for this change is to save the govt. money...which necessarily comes out of the pockets of the servicemembers...some of whom more than earned it.
    All of whom have earned it and, yes, it is about the govt saving money...it always is.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Probably so. I don't see a new system (single-pay or otherwise) effectively cutting anyone's total compensation package.
    There's no real way to save the govt. money without it negatively impacting servicemembers.

    Remember years ago, we used to get paid on the 15th and the Last Day of the month.

    Someone had the brilliant idea that paying everyone on the 1st of Oct instead of the Last Day of Sep would save the govt. millions of dollars by having one less pay day that Fiscal Year. This worked up until a few years later when the 1st of Oct was on a weekend, so everyone was to get paid in September...causing one EXTRA pay day that year.

    So, the eggheads had a brilliant idea to change is so that when payday was on a weekend, you'd get paid the following Monday instead of the Friday before...that way they never had to pay you at the end of sept.

    This screwed up a bunch of people who had automatic withdrawals on the 1st of the month cuz sometimes you wouldn't get paid til the 3rd or even 4th if it was a holiday.

    Eventually, they changed it back to getting paid before the weekend/holiday...so the govt just lost whatever money they saved that first year...it was all just a shell game anyway.
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 01-04-2017 at 07:20 PM.
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