Foreign Military Aid: $95.3 Billion Sounds Like a Lot of Money – So Does Your Cut

On February 13, the US Senate passed a bill including $95.3 billion in taxpayer handouts the Ukrainian, Israeli, and Taiwanese regimes.

Inter-, intra-, and bi-partisan wrangling in the Senate, House, and Biden administration will likely change the exact size and composition of those handouts right up to the moment of final passage and presidential signature, but let’s accept that $95.3 billion as a starting point for how it’s going to get marketed to you and how much it’s going to lighten your wallet.

The answer to the latter question is: About $287 per American. Keep that in mind, because we’ll be coming back to it.

The marketing points will include items like “only 1.5% of what the federal government spent last year!” and “only 11.6% of last year’s US military spending!”

And, of course, the old perennial: “We’re not just giving them the money — they have to spend it in the US, creating jobs by buying weapons and ammunition from American military contractors! It’s like we’re giving it to ourselves!”

No, it’s not like we’re giving it to ourselves — it’s like politicians are giving it to politically connected corporations, minus an “administrative” rake-off for the various involved regimes, at our expense.

What could you do with $287 — or, if your family is average size (3.13 persons), what could you do with about $900?

How about a brand new set of four high-quality tires for your Toyota RAV4 (I’m assuming you own the most popular SUV in America), and a 75″ ultra-high-definition TV for your living room, with enough left over to take the family out for a very nice dinner and a movie on an even bigger screen?

How about a month or two in gas, grocery and utility costs for your household?

Or something in between?

I’m guessing that $287 per person, $900 per family, represents a reasonably big chunk of money, not chump change, to you.

Having it means a better life than not having it.

And it would go further if those “defense” contractors were competing to make things YOU want instead of to make things the Ukrainian, Israeli, and Taiwanese regimes want.

If you want those regimes to have your money, you should be allowed to give it to them. That should be your choice, not Joe Biden’s or Mitch McConnell’s or Mike Johnson’s.

Don’t let them dazzle you with political marketing. They’re just taking your money and giving it to their friends, and that’s all they’re doing.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org).

 

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