Biden has now called on Congress to approve an extra $33 billion in aid for Ukraine.
From the get-go, let there be no doubt that Russia's bloody assault on Ukraine is an outrage
and an affront to humanity. Putin's attack is straight from the playbook of the Nazis, with
might always being right. We at TIPNation therefore condemn the Russian invasion without
question. These are the actions of a tyrannical regime and the cost in human blood and
destruction is shocking. Yet there are though questions that we also need to ask that have an
impact here closer to home. Especially so about the Biden administration’s funneling of billions
and billions of dollars to Ukraine. Nearly $14 billion was initially given to Ukraine following the
Russian invasion. And as if that isn’t enough of an eye-watering figure, Biden has now called on
Congress to approve an extra $33 billion in aid for Ukraine.
There is a mind-set in the West, especially so in the United States, to always give military
spending a free pass. So, fleets of fighter jets worth billions of dollars are never really
questioned, whereas calls for universal healthcare are shouted down as being "unaffordable" or
tantamount to "socialism" (the political swear-word that the right resort to whenever they
don't have a decent argument). Or put another way, the cost of killing is fine, the cost of saving
lives is beyond the realms of public expenditure. The Pentagon backed military-industrial
complex always has the funds and, by extension, so does Ukraine. The American homeless?
Nope – your fault, go pull yourself up by the bootstraps. The American sick? Pay up or face the
very real risks of getting sicker and / or going into medical bankruptcy.
This is not to say that helping the Ukraine is a bad thing. It is not. What is to be said is the
realization that when it comes to war, money is always to be found. Universal Basic Income,
something we at TIPNation passionately believe in, gets shot down in flames for its supposed
unrealistic cost, but meanwhile the Pentagon's yearly budget is now close to a trillion dollars a
year and that’s simply passed with a breezy wave of the fiscal hand.
Of course, the network of the American financial and military interests goes way beyond
Ukraine in both history and current scope. The United States currently has approximately 750
military bases, in 80 countries, straddling the globe. The expenditure on those bases alone is
gargantuan, let alone what is spent on the rest of the military. Yet again, money is always
found for conflict and the toys of war. But never are any meaningful amounts to hand for
domestic issues of huge importance, all of which have been allowed to fester for way too long.
If extra spending on the Ukraine is deemed to be for an “emergency”, what about other
emergencies here closer to home? Isn’t massive economic inequality, with the top four
hundred richest Americans having as much wealth as 194 million Americans combined, an
emergency? Isn’t the estimated half a million Americans, including Vets, living on the streets an
emergency? Isn’t a swathe of out of control, American para-military style police departments,
who without question should be both demilitarized and defunded, an emergency?
Unless you are ultra-rich, today’s America is a socio-economic mess, underscored by white
privilege, police brutality, mass homelessness, decaying infrastructure and medical
bankruptcies that no other Western nation has even a hint of. It is no surprise then that
Harvard Kennedy School Professors Alex Keyssar and Archon Fung have identified the US as
having a deeply flawed democracy coupled with a myriad of social, political and economic woes
that are only going to intensify. And that inevitably impacts Black and Brown Americans the
As a country, we have to start tackling these huge problems. Again, if money can be
magicked up for Ukraine, why can’t it be magicked up in other ways? Why do hundreds of
millions of Americans continue to get the crappy end of the stick? Are we supposed to simply
look away and be numbed to our suffering by watching events in the Ukraine play out?
There has to be a sea-change in how our politics serves us, the people. The established parties,
Democrats and Republicans, offer us nothing. (At least with the Republicans, crazy what you
see is crazy what you get, while the Dems promise change…and then zip).
TIPNation is going to be the spearhead of that seismic change.
In short, if we can put Ukraine straight with seemingly unlimited dollars, surely we can use the
same dynamic to put our own domestic affairs in order too?