I know how I’m planning to avoid dangerous military service if the draft returns¹: I’ll spend like a Congressman.
Thousands of U.S. troops are being barred from overseas duty because they are so deep in debt they are considered security risks, according to an Associated Press review of military records.
The Pentagon contends that financial problems can distract personnel from their duties or make them vulnerable to bribery and treason. As a result, those who fall heavily into debt can be stripped of the security clearances they need to go overseas.
While the number of revoked clearances has surged since the beginning of the Iraq war, military officials say there is no evidence that service members are deliberately running up debts to stay out of harm’s way.
Damn, they might be on to my brilliant plan.
The problem is attributed to a lack of financial smarts among recruits, reckless spending among those exhilarated to make it home alive after a tour of duty and the profusion of “payday lenders” — businesses that allow military personnel to borrow against their next paycheck at extremely high interest rates.
My brother is in the Navy, and I’d suggest that the first suggestion is the issue. Perhaps this is just another data point suggesting economics education for kids while still in school? Of course, the red flag went up when I read mention of payday loans. Good grief, we know where this
will end up is already going:
Runaway interest rates at payday lending businesses, many of which are clustered outside bases, are another source of the problem. Several states have cracked down on payday lending practices, and President Bush signed legislation this month limiting how much these businesses can charge military personnel.
Is President Bush taking economic advice from that model libertarian, George Allen? He’s clearly absorbed the “trust free people with free enterprise” lesson. All military personnel are now affected because some military personnel may degrade their financial health with stupid loans. Well done.
¹ I do not believe the draft is coming back any time soon. It’s just a literary device, so no crackpot ranting about its inevitable return if we elect Democrats or fail to re-elect Republicans next month.