Trump has officially become that dithering, drunk old man you run into at a local pub who tells you how Billy Joel stole all of his songs from him, even though the song playing on the radio is actually by Bruce Springsteen.
Trump’s latest fake claim-to-fame came on Wednesday, when the bumbling buffoon took credit for issuing the military its “first pay raise in 10 years,” despite the fact that the Pentagon has actually issued annual raises for military personnel every year over the last decade.
Still, during an event for military mothers and spouses, Trump took time to boast about his non-achievement:
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“We just approved $700 billion for our military so we’re going to be having the best equipment ever and next year $716 billion. … That also includes raises for our military. First time in 10 years.”
There is one truth to the statement – Trump did sign off on the fiscal 2018 defense spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and that did include a 2.4% pay increase for the troops.
The $716 billion he quoted is actually a part of the 2019 NDAA, a package that includes an additional 2.6% pay raise for the troops, but that budget has yet to be finalized.
While the 2.4% increase is technically the largest increase in nine years, Defense Department figures show an annual raise of 1% every year for the past nine years for military personnel, proving Trump’s claim to be blatantly false.
That didn’t stop the fame-hungry president from using the “accomplishment” to plug his 2020 re-election bid during his speech:
“Today I’m here to tell you that my administration is totally committed to every family that serves in the United States armed forces. That is why earlier this year I was proud to sign that big pay raise that I’ve already spoken about. And I am proud of it and I guess [there will] be others too. Would you like one sooner, or do you want to wait another 10 years?”
There is truly no low to which this man will not stoop, and no group or individual is safe from his limitless desire for adulation. Ironically enough, that quest has made him the least popular president in modern history.
Trump’s self-serving repurposing of the truth overshadowed the actual point of the White House event today. The meeting was part of a signing ceremony not for an adjustment to military pay grades, but a new executive order meant to increase employment opportunities for military spouses.
The goal of the executive order is to create a veritable signing bonus for future military recruits, where one’s decision to enlist would hypothetically benefit a spouse.
The order directs government agencies to make a combined effort to hire the spouses, as well as make them aware of job opportunities. Under current law, such individuals are already given preference for some federal positions, but the policies are not always followed.
Instead of actually celebrating the brave military personnel who risk their lives so that we may be free, Trump took the opportunity to gloat about something that wasn’t true to presumably grow his military in the event that his boorish behavior ignites the next world war.