Hannity's double whammy: falsely claims Obama is cutting troops' pay and military spending

Sean Hannity falsely claimed that President Obama is “cutting troops' pay” and “cutting back on the military spending now as we speak.” In fact, the Obama administration requested an increase in soldiers' salaries and also requested a larger overall defense budget for fiscal year 2011.

Hannity's falsehoods: Obama is “cutting troops' pay” and “cutting back on the military spending”

Hannity falsely claims Obama is “cutting troops' pay.” On the May 14 edition of his Fox News show, Hannity falsely claimed of Obama, “He's cutting troops' pay right now as we speak.”

Hannity: Obama is “cutting back on the military spending.” Hannity added: “He's cutting back on the military spending now as we speak. The only area he wants to cut is the military.”

Reality: Administration is cutting neither soldiers' salaries nor defense budget

Pentagon requested 1.4-percent increase in soldiers' pay. A summary of the fiscal 2011 defense budget clearly states that the “President's request for FY 2011 includes” a “Pay Raise.” The summary continued: “The FY 2011 budget includes an increase of 1.4 percent for civilian salaries and military basic pay. The pay raise is equal to the full Employment Cost Index, as prescribed by law, and it will keep military and civilian pay increases in line with those in the private sector.” [Defense Department press release, Summary of the DOD Fiscal 2011 Budget Proposal, 2/1/10]

Wash. Post: “The Pentagon wants a pay raise of 1.4 percent for service members.” The Washington Post reported in a May 8 article: “The Pentagon wants a pay raise of 1.4 percent for service members next year, an increase based on the Employment Cost Index, which the Labor Department uses to measure private-sector salary increases. Congress, as it has for the past several years, has indicated it favors a slightly bigger bump, of 1.9 percent.” A February 1 McClatchy Newspapers article also reported: “The [requested fiscal 2011] budget provides for a 1.4 percent pay raise for the military and an increase in the deductible that military families pay for their health care, the first since the plan, TRICARE, began in 1995, Gates said.”

Overall fiscal 2011 request increased defense budget by billions of dollars. According to the Department of Defense: “The fiscal 2011 base budget request represents an increase of $18 billion over the $531 billion enacted for fiscal 2010. This is an increase of 3.4 percent, or 1.8 percent real growth after adjusting for inflation. The DoD needs modest real growth to maintain, train, and equip the forces that sustain our wartime efforts.” [Defense Department, 2/1/10]