According to data from the defense agency picked up by the Military Times, the Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on Viagra and $84.24 million total on erectile dysfunction drugs in 2014. . . which is 10 times the Pentagon’s highest estimate of the $8.4 million that it costs the military to allow transgender persons to serve. Because fuck equal rights, flacid dudes on the loose is very important business, apparently.
This report follows Donald Trump’s tweets on Wednesday announcing a ban on transgender people serving in the military, largely because of “medical costs,” saying, “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” Basic financial analyses showed that, actually, trans troops’ medical costs are far from “tremendous” compared to other things like, you know, four of Trump’s weekend trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort, which are estimated to cost taxpayers $2 million per trip. And, The Washington Post pointed out, the higher estimate for transgender expenses is equal to less than a tenth of the price of a new F-35 fighter jet — or a thousandth of 1 percent of the Defense Department’s annual budget.
Despite Trump’s tweets, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine General Joe Dunford, stated in an internal memo yesterday (obtained by Politico), “I know there are questions about yesterday’s announcement on the transgender policy by the President. There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.” He added, “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.”
Not only are Trump’s statements a blatant violation of equal rights and non-discriminatory hiring practices, but they’re also inaccurate (which should be surprising to no one) in their condemnation of transgender people as a “tremendous” financial burden. Thankfully, as the Joint Chiefs pointed out, a couple of dumbass tweets don’t automatically enforce a change in policy. Crossing our fingers that it never does become a policy change, but these fuckers are on a mission.
Photo: m3ph13 at Flickr Creative Commons
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