by Ben Freeman and William Hartung,

Congress passed a $45 billion assistance package for Kyiv on the way out the door for the holidays. We put this spending into context.

Last week Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine, arrived in Washington, D.C. to, amongst other things, make the case for why President Biden and the U.S. Congress should provide tens-of-billions of dollars in additional assistance for Ukraine, as it continues to defend itself from Russia’s illegal invasion.

In an impassioned speech before a joint session of Congress, Zelensky thanked the United States for its support of Ukraine and made the case for even more assistance. “We have artillery, yes, thank you. But what we have, it isn’t enough, honestly.”

On Friday, the House answered Zelensky’s plea by passing the omnibus spending bill (largely along party lines) that will fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2023, and includes $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine. The Senate already approved the measure and the president signed it shortly thereafter.

As Responsible Statecraft and others have pointed out, the United States has already allocated $68 billion to Ukraine, so this $45 billion would push total U.S. spending on Ukraine since the war broke out to approximately $113 billion.

There are a variety of measures that can help to put this remarkable amount of U.S. taxpayer money into context. For starters, it’s more aid than the United States has supplied to any country in one year since at least the Vietnam War. It’s also far more than the $84 billion Russia is expected to spend on its military in 2023. In fact, U.S. assistance to Ukraine is more than every country in the world spends on its military, save for the United States and China. The $113 billion is also nearly as much as the omnibus bill allocates for baseline spending at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security combined, and it’s almost as much as the $118.7 billion the United States will spend on medical care for all U.S. military veterans.

Given that the omnibus bill funds the entire federal government in 2023, it’s also useful to compare Ukraine aid to spending on domestic priorities. And, frankly, there’s no comparison. Even by the bill’s own accounting, spending on Ukraine dwarfs spending on most domestic priorities. For example, in the same sentence that Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee responsible for releasing the omnibus bill, announced the massive increase in Ukraine aid, he made clear that this was around $4 billion more than “communities across the country recovering from drought, hurricanes, flooding, wildfire, [and] natural disasters” would receive.

Perhaps most tellingly, if Ukraine were a U.S. state it would rank 11th in terms of the amount of federal funding it receives, according to government spending data. In other words, in the past 12 months Ukraine has been awarded more U.S. taxpayer dollars than 40 U.S. states.

While pundits from across the ideological spectrum proclaim there is no “blank check” for Ukraine Americans should, at the very least, discuss just how big of a check we’re willing to write, particularly with American households reeling from soaring inflation and a stagnating economy that may be headed into recession in 2023.

The question is not whether the United States should support Ukraine, the question is how much Washington should support Ukraine in the months and possibly years to come. While the United States should support Ukraine as it continues to defend itself from Putin’s reckless invasion, it is well past time that Americans had a genuine conversation about just how much U.S. taxpayers should pay for this support.

 

Source:https://responsiblestatecraft.org

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4 COMMENTS

  1. FIRST AMENDMENT PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES (12/20/11)

    Relating to Violations of the United States Constitution

    PUBLIC DEBT

    WE THE FREE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, by and through the Unalienable, Individual Rights Guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution for the United States of America, hereby Petition the President of the United States and the members of the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States Congress for Redress of Our Grievances, to Honor their Oaths or Affirmations of Office and their Constitutional Obligations by responding to this Petition within forty (40) days, providing a formal acknowledgement of its receipt with a rebuttal of its legal arguments and statement of facts, or demonstrating a good faith effort to comply with its remedial instructions.

    WHEREAS, by the terms and conditions of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution for the United States of America, We the People have expressly established a Republican Form of Government, empowering it to act only in certain ways, while purposely and patently restricting and prohibiting it from acting in certain other ways without Amendment, and

    WHEREAS, the public debt is having a devastating, adverse impact on America’s economy and is contributing to the pauperization of Her People, and; WHEREAS, We the People are Entitled, By Right, to public debt that is Constitutionally valid, and;

    WHEREAS, a portion of the debt of the United States was incurred in violation of the principle of Enumerated Powers, and in violation of Article I, Section 8, Clause 5 and Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the Constitution for the United States of America, and

    WHEREAS, the First and Ninth Amendments to the Bill of Rights Guarantees to every American the Unalienable Right to hold the government (public servants) accountable to each and every principle, prohibition, restriction and mandate of the Declaration of Independence And Constitution for the United States of America, NOW THEREFORE:

    WE THE PEOPLE hereby seek the following Remedies and Instruct the President and the members of Congress to respond to this First Amendment Petition for Redress of Grievances as follows:

    1. Within forty (40) days following the service of this First Amendment Petition for Redress, the Congress of the United States, in the exercise of its power authorized by Article I, Section 7, Clause 1 of the Constitution for the United States of America, to originate “all bills for raising Revenue” and in the exercise of its power authorized by Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the Constitution for the United States of America “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts…,” and in recognition of the prohibition in Article I, Section 9, Clause 6 of the Constitution for the United States of America that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,” and in recognition of the principle of “Enumerated Powers,” shall enact a statute:

    (a) establishing a National Advisory Commission on the validity of the Public Debt,
    and;
    (b) calling upon each of the several States to establish their own State Advisory Commission on the validity of the Public Debt, and;

    2. That the sole purpose of the said Advisory Commissions shall be to study, determine and quantify which part of the public debt is void and/or voidable under two principles of law, namely:

    (i) Under the doctrine of the Supreme Court’s decision in Craig v. Missouri, 29 U.S. (4 Peters) 410 (1830), all contracts, agreements, or other arrangements in which any part of the consideration consists or consisted of the emission of unconstitutional “bills of credit” through or under the auspices of any Federal Reserve Bank, “member bank,” or “depositary institution” within the (privately owned) Federal Reserve System are void ab initio and unenforceable in any court of Law of the United States or of any State, and;

    (ii) All alleged “public debts” of the United States, howsoever made and in whatever form, that have been incurred for the purpose of raising revenue to be expended from the general fund of the Treasury in payment of costs arising under a particular budget of the United States are void ab initio and unenforceable in any court of Law in the United States or of any State in the same percentage that the Unconstitutional programs, activities, or expenditures in that budget bear to the total programs, activities, or expenditures therein.

    Furthermore, every lender is legally presumed to know, and must bear full and individual responsibility for, prior to such lending, having performed adequate due diligence and challenging, where appropriate, the intended use of such funds and the Constitutional limits regarding the bona fide, lawful expenditures of money the general government borrows, to the same extent that every official of such government knows and is bound by Law and the Constitution to those same limitations and restrictions of public use, and;

    Specially, if a lender extends a loan to public officials, knowing that his loan will be used for Unconstitutional purposes, or with willful blindness, reckless disregard or negligence regarding the Unconstitutionality of those purposes, the lender has thereby established himself as a participant in a fraud against the American People.

    For the repayment of the fraudulent portions of such loans, there is NO LAWFUL RECOURSE and the American People cannot be held liable for such repayment in any court of Law.

    3. That said Advisory Commission shall be made up of persons selected by a Committee composed of: Dr. Edwin Vieira, Dr. Lawrence M. Parks, Judge Andrew Napolitano, G. Edward Griffin, Ronald Mann and William Bergman, and;

    4. That, within ninety (90) days from the effective date of the said statute, the National Advisory Commission shall submit to Congress a report containing complete and specific drafts of all such legislation as may be necessary and proper for Congress to enact in order to achieve the goals set out in Paragraph 2, ante, for the Government of the United States, and;

    5. That, within sixty (60) days of its receipt of the National Advisory Commission’s report pursuant to Paragraph 5, ante, Congress shall enact such legislation as will achieve the goals set out in Paragraph 2, ante, for the Government of the United States, and;

    6. The President shall cooperate with and assist the Congress and the National Advisory
    Commission in the performance of Paragraphs 1-5 above.

  2. Of course, because hiding and protecting the globalist interest in human trafficking and bioweapon labs in Ukraine are more important than America. The Democratic platform is death to America and the globalist enabling bipartisan traitors are trying to help them. When do the trials for Treason begin?

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