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DoD Replaces Plan It Concedes Put Commissaries At Risk


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Another great Tom Philpott article that clears up all the misconceptions and erroneous arguments. This only half the article. If you click on the link to the article you will find all the sources and support for the article's premise. It is what we all knew all along that have the benefit.




"The Pentagon’s last two budget plans to “reform” the commissary benefit for military families and retirees were driven by a goal to save money, without due regard for preserving the benefit, said a senior Defense official who claims to be leading commissary reforms on a less perilous path.


In a strikingly frank address Tuesday to commissary brokers, suppliers and product representatives at the annual convention of American Logistics Association, Peter Levine, deputy chief management officer for the Department of Defense, confirmed what critics in Congress and industry, and advocates for commissary patrons, had charged for the past two years.


That is, that proposals in the fiscal 2015 and 2016 defense budgets to slash taxpayer support of Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) by as much as $1 billion a year, within two or three years, not only put commissaries at risk but all discount shopping on base, including exchange operations.


The proposals were perceived “perhaps rightly,” Levine said, as “driven by the need for money rather than the need for reform.” In both years, the department had urged lawmakers to make deep cuts to DeCA’s annual appropriation, arguing stores still would survive, in some fashion, if forced to operate more efficiently, that is, more like commercial grocers.


Defenders of commissaries were aghast. They argued that the $1.4 billion commissary appropriation was the foundation of the shopping benefit and, if gutted, discounts would soon disappear. A new Defense leadership team now appears to concede the point, and promises a course change.


“By cutting the appropriation first and looking for efficiencies later, the result would be a significant cut in savings to patrons,” Levine said. With that approach, the “only way to make ends meet would be to raise prices.”


Given the adverse impact on military members, their families, retirees and “potentially on the exchanges because of the cross connection between the commissaries and the exchanges as businesses,” Levine said, Congress rejected these proposals two years straight and they won’t surface again."

The bold and red color emphasis added by me.


Read much more with links and related articles here: http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2015/10/dod-replaces-plan-it-concedes-put-commissaries-at-

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