Yes, by a substantial amount
Yes, but only a small amount
We should increase the size of our armed forces.
MOAA: Military Officers Association of AmericaMilitary Pay Raise Gap
First thing to note is this:
ECI = Employment Cost Index, which is basically measuring the gap between military and civilian jobs.In 1999, Congress acted to set military pay raises at ECI plus .5% each year for the period 2000 to 2006. Congress subsequently authorized higher pay raises in 2000, 2001, and 2002, including extra "targeted" increases for members with specific grade and longevity combinations (mostly mid-grade and career NCOs and officers).
In 2007 through 2010, Congress continued to provide raises in excess of the ECI in the interest of continuing to close the gap. For 2010, Congress called for a 3.4% raise -- .5% higher than the Administration's ECI-based budget request.
Obama's proposed pay increase was based on the ECI. Why was the proposed pay increase so small? Because civilian pay did not go up much. Now, let's look at the whole picture over the course of time. The highest comparability gap was in 1998 and 1999, when it was 13.5 %. Today, it is 2.4 %. Last year it was 2.9 %, which is the level that Obama's proposed military pay raise would have reduced only trivially(remember, ECI + .5 %). In other words, with military pay very close to civilian pay, and civilian pay not going up much, and people making a big deal out of spending, Obama proposed giving a raise slightly higher than civilian pay went up.
Fiddling While Rome Burns
Carthago Delenda Est
"I used to roll the dice; see the fear in my enemies' eyes... listen as the crowd would sing, 'now the old king is dead, Long Live the King.'.."
We could dramatically reduce the budget while improving readiness if we could reform our grossly corrupt and inefficient procurement method. The f-22 raptor was built in 44 different states purely to give pork to every congresscritter so they would vote for it. There are only a tiny number of players who get every contract and cost overruns are the norm for every project. I'd say we need to force competition into the industry. Using off-the-shell commercial products or license built foreign designs will require the pricing be competitive with reality rather than simply the only game in town.
A raise that is over the ECI, as the Obama proposed raise was, will lower the pay gap, not open it. Civilian pay went up very little in 2009, which is why the proposed pay raise for the military was small. Facts are good, and I supplied a linked source for mine.