Donald Trump’s ineffective Syria attack could have fully funded Meals on Wheels through 2029

Donald Trump launched U.S. military action in Syria last night which involved 59 Tomahawk missiles, but strangely, they were aimed at unimportant targets. Bashar al-Assad’s ability to continue using chemical weapons doesn’t appear to have been hindered, nor does that appear to have been Trump’s goal. This was essentially military theater aimed at looking vaguely presidential. And it was an extraordinarily expensive stunt that could have funded some of the programs Trump is insisting we get rid of.

This 2014 Department of Defense report pegs the cost at at $1.59 million per Tomahawk missile, based on its request for 196 missiles at a total of $312.5 million on page 5-14 (link). Various media outlets report different costs for the Tomahawk, some higher, some lower. But if we go with the military’s own report, the 59 Tomahawk missiles deployed in Syria last night – at $1.59 million apiece – cost a total of $93.81 million. The overall operational cost is likely to come in much higher; this represents just the cost to build the missiles involved.

The Donald Trump administration recently announced that it plans to zero out federal funding for Meals on Wheels. According to the official financial statement released by Meals on Wheels for the year 2015 (link), the most recent year available, its total expenses for the year were $7,520,538. That means the $93.81 million cost of the Tomahawk missiles used last night could have fully funded Meals on Wheels national operations for the next twelve years, trough 2029.

However, the federal government only funds a fraction of the Meals on Wheels budget to begin with. According to that same 2015 financial statement (link), just $237,252 came from “Government grants.” So the Tomahawk missiles used in Syria last night could have covered the government’s annual contribution to Meals on Wheels for the next four hundred years.

As I’ve explained elsewhere (link), the evidence suggests that last night’s U.S. attack in Syria was mere coordinated military theater between Trump and Russia, aimed at boosting Trump’s approval rating and allowing him to claim not to be a Russian puppet, while doing nothing to impede Assad’s ability to continue his chemical attacks. When you attack an air force base but don’t bother to blow up the airstrips, you’re not attempting that base out of business.

So when I conclude that the cost of the Syria attack could have fully funded Meals on Wheels through the year 2029, and could have covered the government’s annual contribution to Meals on Wheels through the year 2417, I’m not attempting to compare the merits of legitimate military action with the merits of feeding seniors. The Syria attack was not legitimate military action, so the money was squandered on Trump’s personal political gain and nothing more. That’s something to keep in mind as he claims the need to eliminate federal funding for Meals on Wheels and other such projects. Contribute to Palmer Report

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3 Comments

  1. Claudia Groh on April 6, 2017 at 11:41 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Bill Palmer!
    At least you are able to make it readable and somewhat easier to digest. I do not believe this was anything more but stage antic and at the expense of many. After all he did say right before this missile raid, he didn’t want to be president of the world, just the United States. So what the heck did he do and why,. And why has he been sending our military in there before hand?
    I know Putin has been wanting a base there, and Trump and Putin want the oil, so who knows all the evil the two are thinking. But what I do know several people died recently and overall about 400 thousands if not more by another Putin want to be.
    It’s truly hard to get my head around this level of thinking, I just don’t see the need.
    But here we are in it and always the seniors and disabled that take it in the shorts. I am not sure where carma is , but, should she catch up, I’m sure she will be a real “B”
    Wish I knew where Carma lived I would give her heads up!
    This is most likely the saddest event . My heart and prayers are for the Syrians, lord keep them safe, and our troops, as they think they will be fighting ISIS.
    Please hurry up and out this poor excuse as POTUS!

  2. Stanley Weiner on April 7, 2017 at 5:56 am

    How many refugees would that have funded? and lives saved?

  3. Rennie Coleman on April 7, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Looks like something staged for a Reality TV show. Lots of show, little bang for the buck. Everyone knew what would happen and when, so they moved “critical infrastructure” out of the way. We allegedly destroyed 6 planes?? Saw 4 different videos including one from a Russian spy plane. A slap on the wrist, maybe. Trump disallows Syrians to immigrate, so why does he care about how they die? What is the quid pro quo? Putin tells Trump to let ‘er rip, so Trump can get a bump in the polls and delay the Russia probe. Putin tells Assad what to do, which means Putin initiated the sarin bombs from supplies he did not extricate in 2013 (for which he got credit). Putin doesn’t deploy any air defenses, nor does Syria…yet they knew in advance. So Putin and Assad ALLOWED Trump to send some flash bangs to the airbase. Putin then feigns anger and cancels a mutual agreement. Assad feigns ditto anger. Gosh, what will the huge superpower U.S. do next? This was a fabrication to set up the next phase for how Russia is going to entrap the U.S. to do their bidding, while slipping Congress a Mickey. Trump has no outrage unless it’s about him. He is a sociopath, with NO empathy, cares about NObody except for himself. Ever. Even children. Even when he’s caught. This is such a visible BS ploy, but why is the MSM giving credit for this nothingburger? Don’t think that what you see here has the same backstory and human integrity for life that you hold dear. Trump has been given a script to follow. Investigate. Demand. Follow the Quid Pro Quo. This is just another shell game, but with increasingly dire consequences. We need a better plan than just waiting on his incompetence to bloom.

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