On HBO’s Real Time Friday night, host Bill Maher said the Republicans “were such sour pusses” during President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week. “Just in your own self interest, wouldn’t it be good to fake it when he’s talking about American succeses?” Maher wondered. Panelist Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) told Maher why the Republicans were in such a foul mood:
ROHRABACHER: Here we have a president of the United States who is just profusely saying how wonderful he thinks of the military and we know, all of us who are sitting in the audience, he’s trying to gut the military!
Maher, co-panelists Kennedy from Reason TV, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir and even the audience joined in to collectively chastise the California Republican for his blatantly false claim. “That’s absolutely not true,” Kennedy said, later adding, “I love the military. I like my SEALs groomed and ready to go but you have to tell the truth.”
“Can I give you the facts?” Maher asked Rohrabacher. “So far every budget Obama has had has increased military spending,” he said. “This year they’re asking a reduction from $531 billion to $525 billion, 1.6 percent. You mean our freedom is in trouble because of that 1.6 percent?” Maher later added, “How paranoid do you have to be to say that this guy is gutting our military?” Watch the clip:
Of course, Maher, Kennedy, Bashir (and the audience) are right, Obama is not gutting the military, not even close. And while the Obama administration has outlined a plan to reduce military spending by nearly $500 billion over the next 10 years, that figure is taken from levels of projected spending. As the New York Times noted this week, “over the next four years, the Pentagon budget would rise each year, reaching $567 billion by 2017.” The Times adds that “adjusted for inflation, the increases are small enough that they will amount to a slight cut of 1.6 percent of the Pentagon’s base budget over the next five years.”