While everyday American taxpayers are battling inflation and struggling to make ends meet, their money is subsidizing small businesses in Ukraine, according to a recent report on CBS News’s 60 Minutes.
In addition to at least $43 billion in military aid, the U.S. has pumped nearly $25 billion of non-military aid into Ukraine’s economy since the Ukraine War began in February 2022, according to the report.
Some of that U.S. taxpayer money has been going to prop up “small businesses,” such as a designer knitwear company in Ukraine’s capital, far from the frontlines.
The owner of the knitwear company, Tatiana Abramova, told CBS News, “Especially in the condition of war, we have to work.”
“We have to pay taxes, we have to pay wage, salary to our employees. We have to work, don’t stop,” she said.
When asked how supporting Ukraine’s economy would help it win the war, Abramova responded, “Because economy is the foundation of everything.”
According to CBS News, the United States Agency for International Development even helped Abramova find customers overseas.
The report said her company supports more than 70 employees and their families.
Abramova told CBS News, “We realize that it’s the aid from government, but it’s the aid from the heart of every ordinary American person.” She said she felt “Grateful. Great.”
This is happening as Americans struggle to make ends meet, according to a Sunday Bloomberg report:
Inflation has cooled down from a year ago, but that’s failing to allay the pain of Americans who are still paying up at gas pumps and grocery aisles.
As a result, there’s a growing disconnect between policymakers, who point to cooling inflation indicators as a sign of progress, and people who are struggling to make ends meet. Even as the Federal Reserve’s favored measure of price gains eases, the cost of food, gasoline, car insurance and other essentials is still elevated after two years of persistent increases. The rate of core inflation stands at 4.3%.
The U.S. aid is also funding seeds and fertilizers for Ukrainian farmers and covering the salaries of all 57,000 Ukrainian first responders.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued that sending aid to Ukraine was a “great deal for America.”
“Here’s what we’ve gotten for our investment. We haven’t lost one soldier. We reduced the combat power of the Russian army by 50%, and not one of us has died in that endeavor,” Graham told CBS News. “This is a great deal for America.”
Ukrainian Army Lieutenant Oleksandr Shyrshyn told the network that Ukrainians are paying “with their lives.”
“And I believe and I hope that their lives cost much more than money, much more than taxpayers’ money,” he said.
Ukraine is ranked the second most corrupt country in Europe by Transparency International, but its politicians insist the country is keeping track of U.S. aid and not letting it get diverted.
However, according to the report, American officials are now investigating four criminal cases involving non-military aid. In addition, 170 Ukrainian government officials — including high-ranking military officers — have been charged in corruption cases just this year.
Now, the Biden administration is asking Congress to approve another $24 billion, which would bring total U.S. aid to Ukraine up to $135 billion since the war began.
However, with American public support for aid to Ukraine waning and a sluggish U.S. economy, more than two dozen U.S. senators and lawmakers say not another dollar should go toward Ukraine.
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