President Donald Trump has atoned for the sins of his predecessors and given the brave men and women of the United States armed forces their “first” pay raise “in 10 years,” according a Wednesday announcement by the president himself — even though, as Military Times notes, service members have received a salary bump every year for more than three decades.
But, please, let’s not allow minor details to spoil this historic moment.
“Today, I’m here to tell you that my administration is totally committed to every family that serves in the United States [military],” Trump told a gathering of military spouses on May 9. “That is why, earlier this year, I was proud to sign that big pay raise that I’ve already spoken about. And I’m proud of it.”
Trump previously spoke on the topic back in March, when he explained to troops in California that the 2018 military pay raise, of 2.4%, was “the largest pay raise you have received in more than eight years.” That is true, and sort of renders impossible the president’s “first pay raise in 10 years” statement this week — but, again, only according to the data. The Trump of today is older and wiser than the Trump of yesterday, who had not yet fully realized the depth of his own benevolence.
The House Armed Services is currently debating legislation that will determine how much additional moolah the troops will receive in fiscal year 2019. The forecast is looking good. “I guess there will be others, too,” the president said Wednesday, referring to pay increases. “Would you like one sooner, or do you want to wait another 10 years?”
The crowd replied with laughter. Of course military spouses don’t want a decade of their husbands and wives getting paid exactly the same amount of money from year to year.
Thankfully, troop salaries have only increased steadily in recent decades. Whether or not the commander in chief knows that, however, is less certain.