Both President Biden and Congress have sent tens of billions of our tax dollars in the form of weapons, ammunition, and cash to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to help save his regime from Russian invaders. While support for these outlays has come from both Democrats and Republicans, no clear benefit to our country can be detected.
Ostensibly, the claim is that we are trying to save Ukraine’s democracy. But is Ukraine really a democracy? In the past week, Zelensky signed legislation that allows the Ukrainian government to censor news sites, control the flow of information to the Ukrainian people, and shut down news sites that are deemed insufficiently loyal to the government. Zelensky says “we were inspired by revelations that the US government has been doing the same thing.”
US Secretary of State Tony Blinken cautioned against “drawing the wrong conclusion. Censoring the enemies of democracy–whether domestic or foreign–is sometimes necessary. Making our covert suppression of free speech public like Elon Musk has done has needlessly damaged America’s image. Our credibility as a foe of Russian dictatorship has been undermined.”
On the other hand, many members of Congress have accrued substantial profits from well-timed purchases of stock in corporations that manufacture the weapons we are providing to Ukraine. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore) got a 40% return on his investment in defense industry stocks. Rep. Marjorie Taylor (R-Ga) got a 35% return. Blumenauer was irked that Greene also profited from these stocks. “She voted against aid to Ukraine,” he complained. “It isn’t fair that she should make almost money as I did since I had to help with the heavy lifting.”
In related news, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) signed a bill raising state legislators’ salaries by 30% to $142,000 per year. Income from other employment is also capped at $35,000 per year to discourage gainful employment. “We don’t want them to work themselves to death,” the Governor said. “Likewise, there are no limits on gifts from admirers, or investments because salaries are never enough to fulfill all the needs of the people’s representatives.”
By John Semmens