You’ll have to look far and wide for a media report that explains the details behind the one percent pay raise that Obama gave to the military in the budget he signed today.
What happened was, the House passed its version of the fiscal 2014 Defense authorization bill in June, which included a 1.8 percent pay increase for troops. The formula for determining service members’ annual pay increase is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Cost Index and the growth in private-sector wages; for 2014, that turns out to be 1.8 percent. But under the law (Title 37, Chapter 19, Section 1009) the president has the authority to set an alternate pay raise for military personnel, citing a national emergency or fiscal concerns, if Congress doesn’t pass legislation adjusting the amount or canceling it.
So one would think, what with food stamps going to active military personnel and families having shot up 400 percent, that the Commander In Chief wouldn’t be cutting the modest 1.8 percent. But he did.
All the major media outlets use this template:
- ABC: The comprehensive defense bill Obama signed will give military personnel a 1 percent pay raise.
- AP: The comprehensive defense bill Obama signed will give military personnel a 1 percent pay raise.
- USA Today: Military personnel receive a 1% raise under the bill.
Now if there were a Republican in The White House, first of all, there wouldn’t be a cut. At the very least, the military would have gotten the 1.8 percent increase based on the standard formula. But for argument’s sake, play along. If there were a Republican in the White House that did what Obama just did, the media would be screaming at the top of their lungs, front page above the fold, ‘President cuts military pay 80 percent,” and “President slashes military pay by 80 percent.”
This is a first. The media is actually calling an increase, an increase. After all, one percent is one percent more than zero. In all other circumstances where the Republican party can be demonized, that one percent increase is called a cut. A cut from the 1.8 percent increase that the House passed.
Yet another blatant example of the media covering for their president. At the expense of our troops no less.