September 29, 2005


They're going to start normalizing COLA, giving everyone in Germany the same amount. This means that some folks are getting huge cuts in their paychecks, while we in our community will get more. Because we have always had the lowest COLA in Europe. So we're supposed to feel sorry for families in these other areas who are going to get less money and "end up on food stamps or something"? Families in our area make do.

I never understood how they calculated COLA anyway. My brother-in-law lives 20 minutes from Wurzburg. If he lived in Wurzburg, he'd get double the COLA, regardless of the fact that he already does all of his shopping in Wurzburg. I don't understand how that has anything to do with purchasing power. If we had to buy groceries and clothes on the economy, then I might understand, but we have a PX and commissary for that reason. If you choose to buy that 900 Euro DVD player off post, that's your problem; the government shouldn't have to subsidize it for you. Especially since the PX sells them for $39.

Remember that old article about COLA? "Every time the euro rises one euro cent in value against the dollar, the dollar increase in salary and benefits for local-national employees at the Navy Exchanges is $187,000 adjusted annually." COLA is just one of the ways the US government throws money down a hole in Europe. Send us home, where there is no COLA.


Oh look, more boo-hooing. American military families all over Germany have to pay childcare and phone bills, and people in our community manage just fine with half the COLA you've been getting all along.

Posted by Sarah at September 29, 2005 08:53 AM | TrackBack

Republicans who call for the troops to be brought home before the mission is complete are obviously just not well versed enough in the Administration's reasons for having trooops in Germany.

:) Just funning ya.

Posted by: Pericles at September 29, 2005 12:05 PM

it's the same old story sarah.what i don't think you understand fully is as everything goes up like gas,food,etc you just suddenly get a paycut because of some bureaucrat?there is no way to damage morale quicker than almost like being asked to do more for less coming home from a war zone.or worse getting a paycut BEFORE you get shipped out to the sand.i make over $70,000 a year as a civilian with a union job and good health benefits.the most i made in the military was &13,500.GO NAVY.HAHAHAHAHA.and i just have a high school is a shame that this country is fighting a war and only a small percentage of people are being asked to is time for you to start looking at who is responsible for this fact're a smart lady figure it out.also sorry about the brats in the schools over there.

Posted by: tommy at September 29, 2005 02:03 PM

I'm glad there are people that don't mind serving as civilians overseas...because I sure don't want to go. Every couple of years I'm offered a 3 year tour in Heidelburg to do Operations Research stuff, but I've never felt as home as I do in America. I suppose that if the world were about to end and they needed my big brain over there (just kidding folks...I'm pretty bright, but not Einstein) I'd go. We'd have to have a clause in my deployment agreement about Hefeweizen though! (Love that stuff!)

As far as COLAs and grade creep that occurs in some areas...even here in the states the playing field isn't level. In my command, if you work in the same job I do here in the middle of bumpkinville Texas (according the the DC boys) I'm graded as a GS-12. Were I to take a job in the same command doing about the same job...poof! I'd be a 13 with 14 right around the corner.

While I'm exceedingly frustrated with the leadership/management skills (remember, those can be both good or bad) here...I'm still living like a king in a low cost of living area.

Best of luck fighting the Euro, the PX/Commissary system, etc.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


Posted by: MajorDad1984 at October 1, 2005 02:41 PM

we left ramstein about a year and a half ago after 4 1/2yrs of living in germany. the first year there was terrifying 'cause we didn't know what our pay was going to be from month to month, were living on the economy where we had to save some each month to pay for our oil tank, convert dollars to deutshe marks for rent, and figure out the whole bill paying system. we started seeing that we were coming out far better than we ever did in the state-side bases. my husband was an e6, then e7. we have 3 kids and i am a stay at home mom. we did a lot of shopping while in germany...things we'd never have been able to afford had we stayed in the states! you want to know what was shocking? losing that cola when we returned to the states. we moved to eglin, housing here is extremely tight, as it is around a lot of bases based on info i've had from friends who've also moved back. it took a full year to live again on the lower income and it's still a challenge to make ends meet. while i don't have daycare, my kids are now more involved in extracurricular being the biggest. i know it's difficult making ends meet...we've been doing it his whole career, but it's a dreamworld, and reality comes crashing back when you get back to the states.

Posted by: me at October 2, 2005 01:44 PM