President Donald Trump is upping the pay of those in the armed forces – big league.
On Monday, Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which is a series of federal laws specifying the annual budget and specific expenses of the Department of Defense. The bill’s formal name is the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019,” and it is listed on the White House daily guidance as such, but Trump only referred to it as the NDAA, and never mentioned McCain once when speaking before signing the Act.
In turn, McCain praised the NDAA being in his name and made no mention of Trump.
I'm proud the NDAA is now law & humbled Congress chose to designate it in my name. As Chairman of the Armed Services Cmte, I've found high purpose in service of a cause greater than self—the cause of our troops who defend America & all that she stands for. https://t.co/Gco9E57HdC
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 13, 2018
The NDAA authorizes $717 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year, aiming to boost the total number of active duty military to 487,000 in the Army, 335,400 in the Navy, 186,100 in the Marine Corps, and 329,100 in the Air Force. More importantly for the soldiers and their families, the White House authorized a 2.6% pay rise, which is the largest pay raise in nine years.
It’s not just the military seeing pay increases in the Trump economy. At the end of last month, the Labor Department released a report showing, among other statistics, that American workers just saw their largest wage increases in a decade. “Wages alone gained 2.8% over the past 12 months, which also reflected a near 10-year high.” That doesn’t include the full scope of worker compensation, as that’s just wages. The same Labor Department data showed that in the most recent quarter, fringe benefits grew at a faster rate than wages.
While government employees across the board saw their total compensation (wages plus benefits) increase 2.2% from last year, the increase in military wages alone will dwarf that, showing that the military’s employees are getting better treatment than your typical government agency. Under the previous administration, the military was perhaps the least respected agency.
This is just the latest example of how Trump’s presidency has benefited the military. Trump has greatly loosened the rules of engagement, which helped tremendously in defeating ISIS, and will continue to help in future battles. While Obama blocked 75% of airstrikes requested against ISIS, the Trump administration blocked close to zero.
Given the state of ISIS today, it’s clear which philosophy worked. And given that we’re living in a world where a few belligerent tweets from Donald Trump ended decades of North Korean threats to the U.S., it’s confirmed that the rest of the world knows that we no longer have a leader afraid to utilize the strongest military on the planet.
Meanwhile, back in February (perhaps in preparation for the midterms), the liberal Center for American Progress advocated for stripping the voting rights of those serving overseas, and you know it’s because most lean towards supporting Trump (and Republicans in general).