Joe Biden has signed legislation sending $40 Billion to Ukraine. That is in addition to enormous sums of Taxpayer funds already squandered on the nation, which by some estimates exceeds $68 Billion.
Needless to say, we've all read "what could that money have been spent on" articles before. Except most of the time such pieces deal with mere allocation of funds rather than full redirection of them.
That is, whether to spend on policing or the post office, etc.? Seldom is there such stark contrast, or amounts spent so rapidly, as in the case of total liquidation of U. S. coffers for a country the vast majority of Americans have no connection and lack any fundamental interest as with Ukraine.
Since this largesse is repeatedly touted by Biden and Congress as "military money” for Defense, let's concede the issue while keeping our discussion within the "military family” here at home.
As a quick reminder before we begin, the median of Americans earn about $40,000 a year. That means 70 million American Citizens earn less than that amount and many of them are Veterans.
VETERAN POVERTY — 1.5 Million need your help
— About $26,500 each to every impoverished Veteran, which is a colossal sum if you're subsisting on $13,000 a year.
VETERAN STUDENT DEBT — $8,000 a year and $30,000 per graduate
— Nearly 6 in 10, or 60%, of Veterans have taken out student loans citing living expenses, housing and child care as the primary reasons for borrowing.
In case you are thinking about "Veterans Benefits" which may help defer the cost…they do, but often not as touted by recruiters. A Department of Education survey in 2015 found military students received about $15,000 in annual benefits when the average cost of college at the time was $19,500 per year.
Incidentally, by 2019 every branch of the Services had made significant efforts to reduce educational assistance to military Veterans.
Entirely wipe out a $30,000 student debt for over 1.3 Million Veterans.
VETERAN DISABILITY — Immediate help requested
Entirely erase the full medical debts of Veterans in America…every single one of them. And we would still have $39 Billion left over for other things.
VETERAN ADDICTIONS — Worse than you know
More than $36,000 could be spent on each of those 1.1 Million Veterans to get them clean.
HOMELESS VETERANS — 40,000 Strong and Growing
One of the most infuriating aspects of the "unhoused” discussion is it concerns buildings rather than broken souls…Homelessness is a psychological and not an architectural issue.
Most of the homeless Veterans in America today are in that condition over here because of what they experienced "over there” during warfare. As such, Veterans suffering extreme trauma will require intensive care. Such care is notoriously costly, but let's see how much $40 Billion will buy.
Group therapy averages about $80 per session nationwide. Most individuals benefit from approximately 15 sessions over the course of four months. Thus, the price is about $1200 total.
Psychotherapy averages about $100 per session nationwide for the same course of treatment for about $1500 total.
Psychiatry averages about $200 per session nationwide with the same course of treatment for about $3000 total.
Residential treatment facilities will cost between $10,000 and $60,000 a month. For this purpose we will estimate $50,000 a month for cost of $600,000 for a full year of intensive care.
Thus these sums over the course of an annum:
Yet let's be honest, many will require more than a weekly session over a few months.
If we did what ought to have been done immediately when servicepeople returned and pay 1 year of intensive residential treatment for all 40,000 homeless Vets in America the full cost would be $24 Billion total…a little over half what Biden intends to lavish on Ukrainians who never fought a single day for our country.
With that amount the entire problem of homeless Veterans could be solved.
Obviously, there would be exceptions and some may not ever recover. Those might be provided for with that remaining $16 Billion Biden is giving away to foreign soldiers in foreign lands.
Still, overall the problem of homeless Veterans would be virtually eradicated from American life. If we stay out of any more Forever Wars it might be solved in perpetuity.
SUICIDAL VETERANS — 6,000 a year…every year
Veteran suicides have been trending down in recent years. Often this is celebrated as a positive but of course if they are so frequently killing themselves the figure would of necessity decrease on its own.
Well, there are many methods as described above. But merely for the sake of levity during a dark topic, an all-expense vacation to Las Vegas complete with airfare, hotel and…companionship…for a week would run around $200,000.
This includes 7 nights in the 10,000 foot Marcus Aurelius Suite at Caesar's Palace for $25,000 an evening, round-trip flights from anywhere in America, as well as $5,000 a night for a special friend to sleep over.
Total Cost would be $1.2 Billion for those 6,000 Vets…and no doubt Hunter Biden can give tips on discounts.
ANNUAL DEATHS FOR VETERANS — 650,000 a year
If we take the 650,000 deaths a year with the $8,000 unpaid by the government we get a total of about $5.2 Billion. So for the full $40 Billion we would get nearly eight years of funeral payments for American Veterans…which should be done anyway for combat deaths or suicides after having served.
SUPPORT PERSPECTIVES — Ukraine or Russia? How about…America?
It is not the purpose or the intent of this essay to sway anyone to support either Ukraine or Russia in the present military operation. At the same time there are facts and figures worth considering before taking any side in what is essentially a minor border squabble between cousins a half a world away.
Mainly the argument seems to come down to this — If Russia succeeds in taking two small regions about the size of Ohio and Illinois combined then Moscow will march toward taking over the world.
Here are the cold hard facts:
American involvement in this conflict does nothing but prolong the despair, destruction and death.
Most or even all of the hardships faced above by American Veterans could have been solved by spending American money on American servicemen and servicewomen.
Think how dramatically that would affect the health of the nation.
Instead? We witness a massive theft of American public funds to squander on Ukrainian fighters which rather might have entirely resolved the most pressing issues for Veterans of every age.
The operative factor for anyone to remember is what is being advocated is sending hard-earned money of United States Citizens to foreigners to wage battles which have very little impact on the United States itself at the very same instant there is an inordinate amount of need among United States servicepeople.
So next time someone tells you they "Stand With Ukraine”… remember it means no less than standing on the necks of American Veterans.
Guy Somerset writes from somewhere in America.
The West, together with Ukraine, quickly forms a strike corps in order to enter Crimea or cut off the Donbass from Russia