Trump Tells Blatant Lie to Combat Troops During Surprise Visit
For well over a year now, those on both the right and the left have criticized President Trump for his failure to visit US troops in combat zones. The criticism heated up even more over the last few weeks after new details emerged about Trump’s possible fraudulent exemption from the military draft and the resignation of his Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
Yesterday afternoon Hill Reporter noticed that the President’s aircraft was being tracked over Turkey, despite no plans of any overseas trips by Mr. Trump. After a couple of hours of speculation, it turned out that the president had finally taken the initiative and had landed at al-Asad airbase in western Iraq, where he spent three and a half hours with our troops. The gesture itself was a good one, one which certainly excited our troops, but the longer the president stayed and the more that he spoke, the more things began to go downhill.
“You protect us. We are always going to protect you. And you just saw that, ’cause you just got one of the biggest pay raises you’ve ever received. … 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,” the president bragged to the troops.
The problem is that this was a rather blatant lie. Every year for the last 11, the US Military has received a pay raise. Below are the actual raises received by military personnel since 2007:
1 January 2007: 2.2%
1 April 2007: 0.5%
1 January 2008: 3.5%
1 January 2009: 3.9%
1 January 2010: 3.4%
1 January 2011: 1.4%
1 January 2012: 1.6%
1 January 2013: 1.7%
1 January 2014: 1.0%
1 January 2015: 1.0%
1 January 2016: 1.3%
1 January 2017: 2.1%
1 January 2018: 2.4%
Trump continued with his lie later during the trip, saying, “They had plenty of people that came up, they said, ‘You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3%, we could make it 2%, we could make it 4%,’ I said, ‘No. Make it 10%. Make it more than 10%.'”
On January 1, 2019 there will be another pay raise. It won’t be 10% like Trump suggested, but rather 2.6%, which would make it the largest raise since 2010. As you can see, however, this does not make it the only pay raise over the last decade, and 2.6% is certainly not close to 10%.