Friday, May 25, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He lied to graduates of the United States Naval Academy about their salaries.

In his remarks today to Annapolis graduates, Trump made quite a few totally false statements. One of them had to do with military salaries. He said, "Going to have new equipment and well-deserved pay raises. We just got you a big pay raise. First time in 10 years. We got you a big pay increase. First time in over 10 years. I fought for you. That was the hardest one to get, but you never had a chance of losing."

This is not only false, but it has Trump taking credit for a raise in military pay he fought against.

By law, military salaries go up automatically every year, and the amount is tied to increases in private sector wages. (Congress can, and occasionally has, passed laws giving even larger raises.)

The last time military pay increased under Trump, it went up 2.4%. This is smaller than several raises signed into law in the last ten years by Presidents Bush and Obama--but it is larger than the raise Trump actually wanted servicemembers to get.

Trump, who missed his opportunity to experience military pay first-hand during the Vietnam era thanks to four college deferments and a sudden case of bone spurs, often seems a bit confused on this subject. He once bragged to an audience of Coast Guard members about how he was increasing the value of their 401(k) accounts--which is a kind of retirement vehicle no member of the military gets.

Why should I care about this?

  • It's bad when the president lies.
  • It's wrong to take credit for things you didn't do, and it's even more wrong to take credit for things you tried to prevent.