The $40 Billion Betrayal - Ukrainian Supporters vs. American Veterans

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.

AMERICAN VETERANS — What could our Vets do with $40 Billion?

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

  • There are roughly 23 million Veterans in the United States and about 1.5 million live in poverty.
  • Federal Poverty Guidelines qualify an income of $13,000 per year as being impoverished. This includes all of the lower states in America, including California in which the average home costs over $700,000.
  • Any Veteran living in poverty in California would have to work more than 50 years, untaxed and with no other expenses, to earn enough for a typical home.
  • The working poor rate is higher for Veterans with children under 18 than for the general population as well.

What could $40 Billion mean for those 1.5 Million Veterans living in poverty?

— 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.

  • In 2021 Pew estimated average annual student debt for Veterans to be $8,000 per year. Astoundingly, this was $500 more than the average amount borrowed by students not Veterans.
  • Average total debt per borrower is estimated to be approximately $30,000 for all Veteran students.

What could $40 Billion do for Veterans with onerous student debt?

Entirely wipe out a $30,000 student debt for over 1.3 Million Veterans.

VETERAN DISABILITY — Immediate help requested

  • In 2019 about 1.66 million Veterans had a service related disability. While we all feel good when we see advertisements helping Veterans such as "Wounded Warriors" and "Tunnels to Towers" few pause to consider the reason such programs may be necessary. After all, if the government sends men and women off to fight that same government ought to be responsible for providing disability services and suitable housing. Yet every afternoon on every news channel there are commercials begging Americans to fork over cash for things which their taxes should have already paid long ago.
  • While the general employment rate of the larger population is 70% the employment rate of Veterans with a disability ranges as low as 30% by some counts.
  • In post-911 Era the Veteran disability rate is around 40% while the period prior is around 25% meaning looming crisis as Veterans age into the health care system and require more assistance from providers.
  • In 2019 Veterans had a combined medical debt of around $1 Billion dollars.

What could $40 Billion do for Veterans desperate to pay medical bills?

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

  • There are about 1.1 million Veterans addicted to various substances.
  • Around 80% have issues with alcohol with at least 25% dealing with narcotics abuse.
  • In 2015 a study showed 1 in 15 Veterans had a substance abuse problem within the past year.
  • From 2003 to 2009, the beginning of the Forever Wars, there was a more than 50% increase in Veterans seeking help for alcohol abuse.
  • While mortality statistics are hard to come by given prevalence and secretive nature of the use of opioids, magnitude of the problem may be adjudged by the fact from May 2014 to September 2019 the Department of Veterans Affairs alone issued Naloxone to more than 200,000 former Service members.
  • Veterans were two times more likely to die from accidental overdoses than the general population.

What could $40 Billion do to help desperate Veterans dealing with addiction?

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.

  • 500,000. That is the total homeless population estimated to be around.
  • 40,000. That is the amount of homeless Veterans there are in the United States according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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:

  • Group Therapy for the 40,000 homeless Vets in America: $48 Million.
  • Psychotherapy for the 40,000 homeless Vets in America: $60 Million.
  • Psychiatry for the 40,000 homeless Vets in America: $120 Million.

Yet let's be honest, many will require more than a weekly session over a few months.

What could $40 Billion do to fundamentally assist homeless Veterans?

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.

  • Be that as it may, most recent estimates are almost 20 Veterans a day die by suicide. That is far more than die in combat.
  • Incidentally, most are between 55 and 74 when they perish. Some die unclaimed by anyone.
  • Veterans are two times more likely to take their own life compared to peers who did not serve.

What could $40 Billion do to prevent Veterans killing themselves?

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

  • Generally around 650,000 Veterans die every year from all causes.
  • Typically Veterans are entitled to $2000 in total burial benefits. Often the actual payout comes closer to $300 or at best $800, but the higher amount does occur.
  • The problem? Funerals average around $10,000. That leaves $8,000 for Vets to cover in the ideal case scenario.

How could the $40 Billion Biden giveaway compare?

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:

  • Russia has a population of around 120 Million while Europe has a population of around 750 Million.
  • Russia has a Gross Domestic Product of around 1.5 Trillion while Europe has a Gross Domestic Product of around 17.1 Trillion.
  • Even if Russia and Putin were the threats portrayed by American media, they have neither the manpower nor the financial ability to threaten Europe with invasion or occupation in any way.

American involvement in this conflict does nothing but prolong the despair, destruction and death.

AMERICAN DESERTERS vs. AMERICAN VETERANS

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.

  • Elevation of every single impoverished family of Veterans.
  • Significant erasure of student debt for all Veterans.
  • Complete evisceration of medical debt for all Veterans.
  • Complete remediation in the form of counseling, therapy not drugs, for struggling Veterans.
  • Complete eradication of the homeless population among Veterans.
  • Complete vindication of the promises made to retired Veterans.
  • Complete hope for young Veterans.

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.

Author`s name Guy Somerset
Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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