Skip to comments.Pentagon Proposes Plan to Gut Commissary's Budget
Posted on 01/29/2014 1:11:25 PM PST by SZonian
The Defense Department is discussing a $1 billion cut over the next three years to the commissarys budget in a move that could lead to a widespread closure of stores, Pentagon and industry officials said.
Word of the pending cut comes two months after news that the Pentagons top financial advisor ordered the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to produce a plan to close most stateside commissaries should the need arise.
The commissary agency currently operates 247 stores worldwide. Under the requested closure plan, all but 24 rural stores stateside and stores located outside the continental U.S. would close.
(Excerpt) Read more at military.com ...
This might cause more incidents of “workplace violence” to be sure...
guys running in, shooting up the place, shouting “all o’ you at the snackbar!” because they’re upset about the long line...
Start with Congressional perks!
Why exactly do we need commissaries? You really think a government-operated grocery store is run efficiently?
The commisary was definitely an essential for morale.
Years ago, commissaries and exchanges provided the only low cost shopping options that were available to military families stationed in isolated locations. Today almost every military base has a Walmart Supercenter and several other grocery stores right outside its gates -- all crowded with military shoppers. Those stores have found their way to military markets for two reasons:
1. Almost all military members now have their own cars to reach them; and
2. Military families have the money to buy from them.
Aboard any large base today you'll find McDonald's, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut franchises; similarly, the need no longer exists to justify parallel supermarkets operated and staffed by highly-paid government employees. On-base shopping can be outsourced to any number of regional supermarket chains -- or in total to Walmart, whose nationwide logistical system would require only minor tweaking to meet the demand.
Subsidized military commissaries and exchanges needlessly and inefficiently duplicate what the private sector now already provides. They are no longer needed and no longer contribute to national defense, and therefore should be closed.
Cut out the commissary budget completely. Outsource the whole commissary system to Wal-Mart or Costco or some similar company. Let them have the buildings and run the stores in exchange for a cut of the profits. The private companies will no doubt do a better and more efficient job. The result will probably be a better shopping experience for the servicemen and their families, lower cost for the government, and probably a profit besides.
They are very important over-seas where you can’t get the selection, varieties, “American” items at a reasonable low cost.
Not so much needed here in the states.
I get it overseas, but I see no need for them stateside.
On base the BX/PX and commissary sell certain items at cost and this is a big benefit. Making them go 15-20 miles off base will once again eat away at pay and benefits.
You really don’t understand the real pay system and especially the retirement pay system. The largest part of military retirees right now served years for a small percentage of the pay civilian counterparts received and were promised and even promised in writing that commissary services were part of their overall compensation and retirement compensation. Since retirement pay is essentially little more than static and the retirement is based on base pay meaning if your base pay was say, $35000 it was about 40 to 50% of your total active compensation. When you retire, you receive around 50% for 20 years and up to 75% for 30 yrs. The average is somewhere around 22 years of service. 50% of 35000 20 years ago is now around 30000 today so guess what! That promised 20% savings at the commissary that we were told in writing was a part of our retirement compensation makes a hell of a difference.
One other thing, the commissary IS pretty efficiently run.
The other side effect is that in areas with commissaries, the local chain markets strive to compete in price thus lowering prices for non-military shoppers. When that competition is gone then the local suppliers lose jobs and income, the prices will go up at the chain markets and the population of the area will pay more.
Cut all the perks from congress, limit the vacations a president can take, stop all payments and medical care to all illegals and their anchors, cut the useless special programs the DoD is saddled with by congress that pump money into designated districts. More promised retirement and active duty benefits being cut with about the only thing left being medical coverage. That will be next. You want a base for armed rebellion? This is a big step.
Have you ever served in a location where the nearest grocery store was 30 minutes away? The nearest Wal-Mart an hour away? There are quite a few stateside installations with this situation. Edwards AFB, and Camp Pendleton come to mind...
I will offer some comparisons to some items purchased at a commissary for near cost vs. supporting and subsidizing unionized grocery store workers at a store charging significantly higher prices in order to offset the pay and benefits of unionized employees...
I’ll use the closest town to Edwards as an example...Rosamond has an Albertson’s and is about 30 minutes each way from base housing. Wal-Mart is about another 30 minutes down the freeway.
A 1lb. package of Kraft shredded cheese at DeCA is ~$2.00, at Albertson’s, it is almost $5.00 for the identical package. A gallon of milk at DeCA is ~$3.00, at Albertson’s, you need to buy 2 gallons to get the price down to ~$5.00 per gallon...and again, we’ve traveled off base to get it. Granted, shopping lists...but if you erred then there is a high price to pay.
So how does this cost impact a young family residing on base/post? What “benefit” is there to the servicemember? The need to increase pay will follow once the full import of the financial impact to the junior servicemember has set in...or I guess they could all go on food stamps.
I would ask you to show some evidence that DeCA is inefficient before I engage the potential tar baby/strawman you presented in question #2.
Taxpayers have every right to demand efficiency from the government, but I have yet to see in my more than 30 years of using DeCA the types of gross inefficiency you’re attempting to allude to here.
What is the overall impact to morale with this possibility of closing commissaries vs. the ROI? What, exactly, is the value added in closing them instead of cutting EBT, school grants, Section 8, Congressional perks, etc.?
Are there locations where a commissary is probably outdated? Probably, but I don’t live there. I don’t know the cost of living in that area and I don’t think anyone can tell what the impact will be to prices in that local area once the commissary in that area is closed.
Why don't we cut EBT and all the rest of the welfare programs for social parasites that do nothing to contribute to society and use that money?
Then if there's still problems, get back to me on closing the commissaries.
They are looking to save $1 billion over three years from commissaries, but no cuts to the $2 billion a year free phone program.
From the article...”A recent grocery store study by DeCA found that using the commissary saves shoppers an average of 30.5 percent annually when compared to other stores off base.”
I remember my days many years ago, living on meager military pay. My wife and I could make ends meet by shopping in the commissary. It is as important to military families to have this benefit stateside as it is overseas. It is time to put the screws to this Obumer Admin and his flunkies running the Defense Department!
But of course The Liar In Chief covers his ass on these things, again quoting from the posted article, “Last year, President Obama told Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif. that closing commissaries is “not how a great nation should be treating its military and military families.””
As I pointed out in a previous post, every major base has McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and Pizza Hut restaurants that are better than the government-run snack bars they replaced years ago. These franchised operations don't cost taxpayers a single dime; in fact, they pay the government to operate on its bases. What makes supermarkets and liquor stores any different? They are not.
And as for the lost benefit of heavily-subsidized food and liquor to retirees? Sorry, but the cash retirement is lot better deal than most realize. There are only two types of defined benefit retirement plans anymore: those funded by companies that will have to declare bankruptcy to escape the burden, and those funded by governments which have the power to extract their ever-rising costs from taxpayers. The rest of America already shifted to defined contribution plans - and today's military members may participate in the federal Thrift Savings Plan as an additional retirement source if they're willing to invest some of their own pay. In total, military retirement options are incredibly generous and better than anything available to ordinary employees in the private sector. Enjoy it while it lasts!
What else would you expect to hear from a study conducted by a government agency that is facing the chopping block?
I don't see where anyone here as stated otherwise...sure is a lot of straw flying on this thread...