Why exactly do we need commissaries? You really think a government-operated grocery store is run efficiently?
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.
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.