Posted BY: William Sullivan

As American taxpayers paying into Social Security, today stare down the barrel toward substantial cuts to their own benefits, estimated to take place in 2034, they can at least take solace in knowing that all categories of Ukrainian pensioners will get a 20% raise in March 2023.  “As early as this March,” says Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, “the government will index pensions by 20%” for about 10 million Ukrainians.

Indexing the payments “is not mandatory according to the Law of Ukraine on the State Budget for 2023,” but benevolent President Zelensky has instructed them to reprice the benefits upwards anyway.

And why wouldn’t he?  His government is swimming in American cash.

Americans have spent more than $100 billion on aid to Ukraine.  And, as the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian government is undoubtedly well aware, money is fungible.

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This is an example of a common shell game that politicians love to play with the rubes when it comes to government spending.  The Ukrainian government could have certainly diverted government spending from its pension outlays toward its own national defense in a time of war while calling for foreign aid to support its pension program, and the fiscal effect might have largely been the same.  It’s just more politically defensible for Ukraine to continue paying uninterrupted pensions while demanding that massive amounts of foreign aid are needed to finance its national defense. 

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