While he was in Iraq Wednesday, President Donald Trump told members of the U.S. military that he had secured for them a massive pay raise of “more than 10 percent,” their first increase in several years:
“Is anybody here willing to give up the big pay raise you just got? You haven’t gotten one in more than 10 years. More than 10 years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.”
Problem is, the amount of the pay raise and when military personnel last got one isn’t the least bit true. As HuffPost reports:
“In fact, military members have seen a pay raise in each of the last 10 years, ranging from 1 percent to 3.9 percent, according to the Defense Department. They even saw pay bumps when other federal workers were subjected to a three-year pay freeze in the wake of the Great Recession.
“The pay increase for 2019 passed by Congress and signed by the president in August will be 2.6 percent, the largest since 2010. It is not far above last year’s raise for troops, which was 2.4 percent.”
The president bragged on himself not once, but twice, adding this about the fictional double-digit pay raise:
“We had plenty of people that came up. They said, ‘You know, we can make it smaller. We can make it 3 percent. We can make it 2 percent. We can make it 4 percent.’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.'”
Conservative pundit Bill Kristol let Trump have it on Twitter:
Trump to the troops in Iraq:
“You haven’t gotten [a raise] in more than ten years. More than ten years. And we got you a big one. I got you a big one….I said no. Make it ten percent. Make it more than ten percent. Because it’s been a long time.”
Just FYI, none of this is true.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 26, 2018
“Trump has claimed the military budget he signed was the biggest ever ― it isn’t ― and he’s taken credit for passing a law that allows veterans to use private doctors if they can’t get quick care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. That law was actually signed by Barack Obama.”
Next week, Trump will probably claim the pay raise was 50 percent and includes a free pickup truck.
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