A List of Things You Can Buy With the Money Donald Trump Spends Avoiding His Wife

You can fund transgender troops' medical costs, even.

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In light of the recent news that Donald “I’m Afraid of Change and Committment” Trump announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military, I wanted to look a bit into how much it would actually cost the U.S. to fund healthcare for trans individuals.

After all, we live in a world where Trump’s regular trips to Mar-a-Lago have already cost taxpayers upwards of $20 million—and that was only in his first 80 days as president, as per CNN. As well, according to data from the the Defense Health Agency, the Department of Defense spent $41.6 million on Viagra, which is a little less than half of the $84.24 million total spent on other erectile dysfunction drugs. Between 2011 and 2015, the total spent on Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra (all erectile dysfunction meds, though sometimes prescribed for pulmonary issues) amounts to $294 million.

According to a report from The Washington Post today, the military currently spends five times as much on Viagra than it would cost them to cover transgender troops’ medical expenses. The oft-cited Rand study into the impact and effectiveness of allowing transgender troops to serve in the U.S. military already exhaustively details the needs and costs to care for the estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender service members active today. The study states that it would cost the government about $2.4 to $8.4 million annually. These costs include things like hormone replacement therapy; “top surgery” (the removal of or enhancement to someone’s breast tissues); “bottom surgery,” or genital reassignment surgery (either phalloplasty or vaginoplasty); and other various costs.

Consider that in Trump’s first 80 days as a fascist puppet mouthpiece “president,” spent $20 million flying to Florida to while away the weekends leaking state secrets and generally being a really awful excuse for any kind of political leader. (I’d have trouble letting this guy run a city-state in any of my Civilization VI games, let alone an entire real country.)

Also consider for a moment that the government is more interested in keeping older retirees active in bed than they are about caring for their active service members’ health. They’re so interested, in fact, that they’ll spend five times as much money making sure they get the brand name stuff rather than the generics. When it comes to just making sure they can get it up even on generic brands, they’ll spend ten times as much.

And make no mistake; this really is about the currently active trans individuals serving in the military. Think about it: the Rand study looked into the potential impact on morale that allowing trans people to serve may have. They looked at other countries who have adopted similar policies, and found that “the effects of foreign military policies indicates little or no impact on unit cohesion, operational effectiveness, or readiness. Commanders noted that the policies had benefits for all service members by creating a more inclusive and diverse force.”

They do admit that the research is a bit limited, but honestly, the same can be said for research into transgender health in general, thanks to the Nazis setting trans prominence, acceptance, and understanding back a million years when they burned down the Institute of Sexology’s library, turning it into a Nazi propaganda center. It seems that this administration is hell bent on reviving that history of ignorance and hatred, drawing from much of the playbook that helped establish the Third Reich; ostracizing trans people (and Black people and women and anyone who isn’t white, cis, or male) is right up there with the rest of them.

Anyway, you came here for a list, right? Here you go.

With the $20 million Trump has spent going to Mar-a-Lago in order to avoid spending the weekends with his wife and the $84.24 million spent on dicks, we’ve got an estimated $104.24 million to play with. I’m not going to argue that we take away that latter benefit from retirees (whatever), but what if we took even half of that and directed it towards helping currently-serving troops? That puts us at $62.12 million. What does that get us?

You see what I’m getting at.

There’s a lot of things that money can buy, and obviously some of these are presented in jest (seriously, who needs that many pairs of that atrocious shoe), but the upper half is all seriousness. That money could be going to some actual worthy causes that are helping people. It’s not that trans people are a burden on the state—which is exactly the kind of equivalency that Trump’s tweets establish—but rather, the state is so caught up in superfluous drains on the budget that meeting basic human needs is beginning to look like an extra impossible luxury. How is that any way to live as a country? How is that any way to live as a human being?

You want to know the difference between Trump’s trips to Florida and erectile dysfunction medication? One keeps a wrinkly boner in heat and the other is Viagra.

(image: Flickr/Tax Credits)

(You’ve got to be shitting me with that Flickr image citation, right? Wow.)

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Author
Jessica Lachenal
Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.