Donald Trump

There Aren't 'Tremendous Medical Costs' for Trans Soldiers

President Trump's new ban didn't just "blindside" military brass and disrespect equality under the law, it's founded on a lie.

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Nick Gillespie, Reason

When President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender individuals serving in the military, he specifically cited "the tremendous medical costs" that such troops impose on the Pentagon budget. This is simply false.

Barack Obama had OK'ed trans people to serve openly. According to the two most-recent studies on providing health care for trans people in the military, the costs are in fact negligible. A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve and that costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. That's an increase of 0.04 percent and 0.13 percent. A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2015 found slightly less than 13,000 transgender service members and transition-related care amounted to between $4.2 million and $5.6 million per year. The military's annual health-care budget is around $48 billion a year.

Those numbers are small enough on their own, but they shrink even more when put into context of other medical expenditures. For instance, the Pentagon spends about $42 million a year on the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra and another $23 million on Cialis. According to one estimate, the Navy spends $115 million a year simply to transfer pregnant women from active duty back to land.

Politico reports that Trump's motivation to ban trans troops was driven by his desire to save a House spending bill that provided money for his wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. While the GOP leadership had no brief against trans armed forces, enough lower-ranking members did that the president decided to soothe them with a "snap decision" delivered via Twitter. Although he claimed to have consulted with his "Generals and military experts," CNN reports that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including the group's chairman, was "blindsided" by the announcement. And Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who chairs the Senate's Armed Services Committee, has said that Defense Secretary James Mattis was "surprised" by the announcement. Mattis had recently extended a six-month study about trans troops that was underway. From McCain:

I think generally speaking, it's accepted you consult the secretary of defense before you make a decision that has to do with defending the nation. Mattis was going through a study that they'd done for six months, and he had just extended.

I know what Mattis said, that he wanted to complete the study, and he was surprised.

Military brass are asking for a written directive beyond random tweetstorms and despite huzzahs from presidential advisers, it's far from clear whether such a policy is legally enforceable.

Beyond the immediate issues at hand, the ban on trans military personnel underscores at least two problems for the the president and the Republican Party.

First, Trump's sheer impetuousness when it comes to policy pronouncements is wearying not just to the public but to government actors. Surprising the very people who are supposed to implement and enforce a policy is no way to win friends and influence people. For many reasons—most of which I agree with and support, by the way—Trump has been alienating the deep state (particularly in terms of foreign policy and interventions). This sort of action will exacerbate those tensions and regrettably in a way that will make him less likely to effectively discombobulate the military-industrial complex. The whiff of basic incompetence emanating from the Oval Office (recall the hastily issued immigrant and refugee bans that went nowhere due to rushed wording) is already strong enough; there's no need to triple down on it anymore.

Second, this sort of action shows that the Republican Party has drawn the wrong lesson from Trump's super-tight victory, which is almost certainly the last of its kind for a GOP that remains fixated on culture war issues such as bathroom exclusivity, the war on pot, immigration, and gay marriage. The libertarian position on all these issues—the state should treat all individuals equally under the law, immigrants are a good thing for the country, businesses should create their own policies when it comes to who flushes whast toilet, it's time to focus on more important issues than punishing people who smoke weed—are broadly popular with the American public. Each pulls clear and growing majorities. If the GOP remains the party of the past, it will certainly have trouble topping Trump's 46 percent of the popular vote in 2020 and beyond. That's especially true when Republicans, who control all branches of the federal government, have manifestly failed in repealing Obamacare, passing anything like a "skinny" budget, or generating the conditions for economic growth.

Yes, the the Party of Lincoln has gone exceptionally far on no positive accomplishments in the 21st century (other than ushering endless war, a surveillance state, Sarbanes-Oxley, light-bulb bans, massive deficits, and the like). But eventually Republicans will have to have a message that is more than just "We're not as bad as Hillary or the Democrats." Beyond disrespective individual rights—why shouldn't anyone who wants to serve their country?—the ban on trans service members get Republicans any closer to a vision that might win them the next election.

NEXT: D.C. Circuit tackles 'the Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat'

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  1. For real. Even with the Pentagon’s known propensity for paying hyperinflated prices, butchers’ shears are not all that expensive.

    1. They could just buy Ramsay’s knife at the next GoT props auction.

  2. one man’s tremendous is another’s simply false.

    1. For example: those tits are tremendous!

      1. This is why I come here.

        1. one man’s declaration is another man’s phrasing

    2. Why doesn’t Nick compare it to the cost of the entire federal budget? Or the budgets of the entire world?

      What about an honest comparison to the cost of a regular guy in uniform? That would be too much?

      The rate of depression and other pschiatric disorders in these people should make them disqualified. It’s like flat feet. There is no “right” to serve in the Armed services.

      1. You are right to notice how he compares the cost for the entire force of of over a million people to what it costs for somewhere under 10K. But, doing the math a little further, the Rand study numbers do not make sense. Re-assignment surgery costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, plus the added downtime, and lifetime need for ongoing hormone drug therapy. That cannot possibly average out to the Rand numbers.

        1. How much down time in relation to the average enlistment? Further can they be in combat situations while under going treatment? Would most of their duty be limited to noncombat role She?

  3. Hey Nick, I know you are Ajit Pai’s cock holster and get busy but can you stop with the deflection?

    Of course the medical costs for trans soldier are not tremendous. The only reason you’ll fixate on that is because you rather paint Drumpf and his supporters are uninformed (because idiots is too strong), rather than the vicious bigots wanting to appease the evangelicals on this.

    There is no other reason for this twitterban. Call it like it is, and you may salvage some dignity.

    They are all awful bigots. All those Christians who want the trans folks to go away and die. Or be killed.

    1. All those Christians who want the trans folks to go away and die. Or be killed.

      If the Christchunz prevent them from serving in the military, they’ll surely die! Or be killed!

      1. Maybe I don’t want to pay for the gender confused. You can be disqualified for flat feet, for pete’s sake. The rate of psych comorbidities amongst these people is outrageous. 41% have attempted suicide. Depression and anxiety run 3 times higher or more, etc. Just prior to Trump’s announcement, female soldiers were told to get ready for women in the showers with male genitalia. Insanity.

        There is no “right” to serve in the military, yet. The SJW’s are working on it I am sure. Pretty soon we will have wheel chair bound soldiers in the infantry.

        Common sense? Can’t have that. That is apparently elevated to wanting to kill transgender!

        1. Well, we aren’t that far from it already. The 2-mile run standard for a 55-year-old male is a minute FASTER than for a 19-year-old woman – so the standards have already been greatly watered down. Years ago, I suggested that we should just allow quadriplegics to join the military, because – hey! They can push buttons too!

          Bottom line: Women in the military is basically an affirmative action welfare program. Adding gender-confused individuals makes as much sense. Why not turn out all the looney bins and let them join up too? And heck, why not let all the criminals join up!? What’s that? Bad for discipline? Might not do the job? Wouldn’t keep America safe? Yeah. Same goes for women.

    2. I do think there is a lot of bigotry on the right when it comes to transgendered individuals. But let’s not paint them all with a broad brush. We should treat them as individuals just as we would like to be treated as individuals ourselves. Plus, I also think that there is just plainly a bunch of ignorance on the right about modernizing the concept of gender in the first place, as well as ignorance about what precisely constitutes “mental illness” and an unfair assumption that all transgendered individuals must be mentally ill. Those aren’t based on bigotry.

      1. “Ignorance”? You dismiss the possibility of sound and informed disagreement about the legitimacy of the “gender identity” and “transgender” concepts?

        1. There is a lot of ignorance about trans issues, yes. There are also many arguments that are not based in ignorance. These are not contradictory statements.

          Why don’t you offer your arguments against trans soldiers in the military that aren’t based in ignorance or bigotry.

          1. So much fucking deja vu. He was probably making identical arguments about gays 5 years ago, about women 20 years ago, and his daddy was probably making the same arguments about blacks 50 years ago.

            1. Yes, integrating blacks way-back-when “hurt unit cohesion” because some of the Mighty-White warriors felt less high and mighty, now that they were “no more equal” than the blacks…

              Ditto the Mighty Male warriors a few decades ago after women made serious inroads, and I do hang my head in apologetic shame, and admit that, to at least some extent, I was one of these superior-feeling “Mighty Male warriors”…

              Same thing with trans today. Cost is low, and they have what it takes to serve? Then let them serve!

              My only real reservation is the precedent that they set in the civilian world, w/respect to mandated-coverage “medically necessary” insurance coverage… I would like to get lower insurance prices, by willy-nilly picking what coverage I want, and do not want! I don’t want to pay for someone else’s expenses for getting their gonads re-arranged! So give me a break, and HANDS OFF of my insurance choices!

            2. Maybe he was, maybe he wasn’t. I don’t want to presume that he was.

              It does seem to me, however, that fixating on the cost of gender reassignment surgery is rather much a motte-and-bailey tactic. Their motte, easily defensible argument (we don’t want them in the military because they’re too much of a financial burden!) is a smokescreen for their real argument, which to be honest I am not sure about. Don’t want them in the military because they think the military should only be full of macho Rambo types? Don’t want them in the military because they think the transgendered are mentally ill and therefore a danger to national security? But the reason why I think it’s a motte-and-bailey is because (1) it really isn’t all that much money, (2) the right in general has no problem heaping boatloads of money on the military so financial considerations aren’t exactly on the top of your typical Republican’s mind when it comes to the military, and (3) it’s a really common tactic, one that Democrats use all the time too.

              I was having a discussion on this issue at the Federalist, and a commenter seriously contended that transgendered shouldn’t belong in the military, because, why, just look at what Chelsea/Bradley Manning did. Is that the type of thinking on the right for why they shouldn’t be in the military?

              1. My opinions on this are not stable. But I have trepidation.

                I am one that wonders why people bend over backwards to assure us that being trans is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. So, I do have a concern that there could be mental issues that negatively affect the mission.

                But a complete ban is too broad a brush. Like any other issues, it should be decide on a case-by-case basis.

                So, I guess I my opinion is against the broad ban, but something keeps nagging me about it.

                1. “I am one that wonders why people bend over backwards to assure us that being trans is perfectly normal and nothing to be worried about. ”

                  Speaking only for myself, I don’t regard transgenderism as “normal”. But that is IMO besides the point.

                2. Has anyone heard of drugs with the unintentional side effect of bringing on, or suppressing, one’s desire for a sex change? I have heard rumors of such a drug that suppresses the desire for a sex change, but cannot find it via internet search. I bet the drug inventors are running scared of “tranny wrath”! And hence suppressing the knowledge of this side effect?

                  All I can find is some thing that can be found via the following search string:

                  “Transgender woman, who claims pills for male hair-loss sparked gender change”

                  Concerns male-hair-loss “?drug Propecia, called finasteride, to halt the onset of hereditary baldness”, which feminized his / her body, and brought around the desire for a sex change, according to him-now-her.

                  Anyway? Anyone know of drugs whose side effect is to reduce or eliminate the desire for tranny-change?

                  1. So then Propecia AKA (generic) finasteride sounds like a darned-good choice for an off-label drug use, if you are female, contemplating sex-change to male, and worrying that your marriage might not survive such a sex change? Which is a strong possibility! Try this first, to see if maybe you’d like to stay female, before you make drastic changes?

                    Likewise, if you are male thinking you’d like to go the female route, you might try testosterone injections first? But I am no medical expert here. What other drugs are good choices for this? If y’all will help out here, I will post said drug candidates to my web site? Asking “For my friends”, yuck-yuck-yuck? But no, seriously, just as a public service? ’cause you know darned well, the drug companies are not going to risk “tranny wrath” and “FDA wrath” here!!!!

                    1. https://www.drugs.com/condition … (marry the link fragments here … /gender-dysphoria.html is helpful here? Anyone know more about this?

                  2. According to this, it’s a drug called pimozide.

                    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8839957

                3. It is a method of population control.

            3. Women are a drag on the military.

              There are entire books written about their failure to perform.

              One of my favorites: An IG team visits a base for an inspection and they observe a group of men and women loading ammunition on a truck. They were surprised to find that the women were actually loading the heavy boxes of ammo faster and easier than the men!

              On further inspection, they found that the women were loading EMPTY boxes onto the trucks. (Imagine the chagrin of a front-line soldier who gets a truck full of EMPTY boxes!)

              Turns out, the orders were given by the Base Commander, who was in a very tough spot. Politically, he was required to show that women were “working out” in his unit. But realistically, NONE of the women were strong enough to move the heavy ammo boxes. So he tried to appease both goals – by having the men do the real work – and the women doing “simulated” work.

              That’s a problem that’s nearly universal in the military. Women – can’t – do – the – job.

          2. Because I don’t care if there are “trans” soldiers in the military.

            1. Well then we are on the same page. I really don’t care either.

              1. To elaborate?I’ve never served in the military and know little about military life. I’m content to let our military leaders make the call about whether having service members who present themselves as the opposite sex is a problem for them.

          3. Absolutely–there is a TON of disagreement on trans issues–for example, there are people who think that a system that functions with an ‘X’ and a ‘Y’ chromosome can be something besides binary.

            Or, there are people who sincerely believe that having a mind and a body that don’t mesh ISN’T a severe psychological disorder. As well as possibly being a massive physiological disorder.

            Additionally, there are people who believe that burying the facts about human sexuality in favor of pseudoscience and oppression studies mumbo-jumbo to be ‘modernizing’ ones views on sex and gender.

            Lastly, there are people who will actively deny the simple fact that if your soldier is one of those menstruating, non-prostate owning ‘males’ they’re not going to be able to meet up with the requirements for non-menstruating, prostate owning males–and if you aren’t aware of that before the fact, your squad might have a big invisible hole in it.

            1. “there are people who think that a system that functions with an ‘X’ and a ‘Y’ chromosome can be something besides binary.”

              You mean like this?

              A case report of an XX male with complete masculinization but absence of the SrY gene
              Ghalia Abou Alchamat, Marwan Alhlabi, Muhyiddin Issa , Middle East Fertility Society Journal January 2010, Vol.15(1):51?53,

              or this?

              J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Jan;93(1):182-9
              A 46,XY mother who developed as a normal woman underwent spontaneous puberty, reached menarche, menstruated regularly, experienced two unassisted pregnancies, and gave birth to a 46,XY daughter with complete gonadal dysgenesis.

              Or maybe this?

              Results From a 13-Year Incidence Study in ?rhus, Denmark J.Nielsen and M.Wohlert
              Klinefelter (XXY) syndrome was found in 1 per 596 boys, XYY in 1 per 894 boys, triple X in 1 per 1002 girls, and Turner syndrome (X) in 1 per 2130 girls…. The total incidence of sex chromosome abnormalities was 1 per 448 children or 2.23 per 1000.

              Yes, there are many people who think that. Everyone who’s studied the issue, in fact, and has some medical knowledge.

              1. Sigh.

                Here are your examples–

                XX, XY, XXY, XYY, and XXX

                Do you see a third letter in there anywhere?

                No?

                Binary. That’s what binary means.

                Why is this so hard?

                1. Azathoth… binary tends to mean ‘two’. That list had five combinations of X’s and Y’s and didn’t even include the Turner Syndrome’s “X”.

                  So, Five ain’t “binary.”

                  If you, like many others are fixated on “you’re either a man/male (XY) or woman/female (XX), that argument just died.

                  That’s what makes it ‘hard.’

                  1. “…that argument just died.”

                    Uh, no, it didn’t. First, you have to show that virtually all people who claim to be “transgender” suffer from these chromosomal abnormalities, and that those abnormalities affect their bodies in ways that make it impossible to clearly identify them as either male or female. Otherwise, these chromosomal abnormalities are a red herring.

                  2. Binary doesn’t refer to how many combinations you can have, it refers to how many components there are.

                    XXXYYXYXYYYYXYX

                    is still binary. There are only two components.

                    There is nothing besides male and female–everything else to which you refer is some type of combination of those two, binary components.

                    What I am ‘fixated’ on is this thing that’s known as ‘objective reality’.

                  3. The system is trinary!

                    1) Male
                    2) Female
                    3) Freak

                2. Because……..feelz?

              2. Yes, there are extremely rare cases of genetic or endocrine abnormalities which make it difficult to define certain extremely rare individuals as male or female. This has little or no relevance to the discussion of the “gender identity” concept as popularly promoted. Almost all people who call themselves “transgender” are unambiguously distinguishable as male or female.

            2. There is also principled disagreement on philosophical grounds. “Transgender” people claim that they need to “transition” because their thoughts, feelings, and preferred behaviors do not comport with the sex-linked characteristics of their bodies. The philosophy that holds that ones thoughts, feelings, and preferred behaviors must comport with the sex-linked characteristics of ones body is called “sexism”. Some of us have a problem with sexism.

        2. there are only 5 possible sexual states:
          .
          opposite sexual (90-95% of the tribe)
          same sexual (has side effects)
          both sexual (geniuses! literally, fucking geniuses! they doubled their potential market, genius!)
          auto sexual (conveniently always at hand)
          no sexual (has its advantages)
          .
          there, that pretty much covers it…
          you’re welcome…

          1. No pansexual?

            1. Those are the people who have a fetish for goat legs, right?

              1. No, it’s an appreciation of the restorative powers of earthy pleasures.

              2. Not to be confused with pan-paniscus-sexuals, who like to have sex with pygmy chimps, which are very hypersexual! You should try it some time! It will drive you bananas!

          2. both sexual (geniuses! literally, fucking geniuses! they doubled their potential market, genius!)

            Behold, the gap between reality and perception.

            They’ve mostly cut out 95% of both markets for themselves. From my experience, most women don’t even want to talk to a dude who is willing to admit to being curious about guys (much less being decisively pro-dongle), and most gay men are convinced that the guy is just confused/lying to themselves, and aren’t interested.

        3. “Ignorance”? You dismiss the possibility of sound and informed disagreement about the legitimacy of the “gender identity” and “transgender” concepts?

          There can be sound and informed disagreement.

          Incidentally, “Sound and informed” does not at all describe the opinions that 90% of people hold on the subject, including, apparently, the US President.

          1. “does not at all describe the opinions that 90% of people hold on the subject,”

            90%?

            What’s the point of that? I don’t think you’d be able to support it statistically, so why the overstatement?

      2. OK, so this is how it works: redefine the meaning of biologically defined gender, then redefine the meaning of mentally ill and all is good.
        No wonder “libertarians” are relegated to the fringes of sane thinking.
        Libertarians: cheapskate social justice warriors – all-in for the social governmental projects, they just don’t want to pay for it, and if someone disagrees: throw out the “bigot” card.

        1. Nailed it!

      3. ” modernizing the concept of gender ”
        XX or XY. Thus endeth the lesson for today. And for all time.
        Science denier!

    3. With rare exception, the military health system does not perform elective surgery. What would your reaction be (have been) had Trump said that the military will permit the transgendered to serve, but will not pay for reassignment surgery?

      Just asking.

      1. Aren’t there ongoing hormone treatments, that have had so little long-term experience that the future effects are unknown?
        Most other afflictions, that require constant medication are disqualifiers?

      2. I’m ok with trans serving but not with paying for a transformation. I don’t want to pay for it, also don’t think anyone should get preferential treatment.

        And for FFS why would the military sign someone up to put them on the shelf for however long after being “fixed”. I’m pretty sure if you need a kidney or liver transplant you ain’t getting in. OTOH if trans types simply want to enlist without “needing” elective surgery it’s no skin off my ass.

        1. This is essentially where I come down on the subject as well. You’re trans? Cool. Here’s your M-4. Want me to pay for your transition? No thanks.

          But then, I also don’t want to pay for viagra for veterans either. In fact, I don’t really want to pay for a standing army while we’re talking about the things we’re paying for…

    4. Always assume bad intentions, even when simple incompetence is a better explanation.

      You know, unless you DON’T want to come across as a dishonest hysteric who shouldn’t be taken seriously or allowed out of the house.

      1. I want to have sex with that comment.

          1. If you do, please provide pics. Thanks.

        1. Fine, but good luck getting consent.

        2. Pitching or catching? Asking for a friend…

    5. They are all awful bigots. All those Christians who want the trans folks to go away and die. Or be killed.

      No. We just don’t think downing tons of hormones and mutilating yourself is a really good strategy to deal with a mental issue.

      Apparently, it is more “humane” to applaud them doing so.

      1. There are functionally 3 sexes : Male , Female , and the surgically available Sterile . It is not surprising that the self-sterilized have an extraordinarily high suicide rate . They have already severed there genetic future .

        Taking care of nut jobs is not the mission of the military .

        1. There are scientifically two.
          XX or XY.
          Thus endeth the lesson for today. And for all time.

    6. They are all awful bigots.

      They’re probably goobers too.

      who want the trans folks to go away and die. Or be killed.

      Enough about muslims…

      twitterban

      As legit and effective as a muslim ban…

  4. A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve and that costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. That’s an increase of 0.04 percent and 0.13 percent. A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2015 found slightly less than 13,000 transgender service members and transition-related care amounted to between $4.2 million and $5.6 million per year. The military’s annual health-care budget is around $48 billion a year.

    Those numbers are small enough on their own, but they shrink even more when put into context of other medical expenditures. For instance, the Pentagon spends about $42 million a year on the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra and another $23 million on Cialis. According to one estimate, the Navy spends $115 million a year simply to transfer pregnant women from active duty back to land.

    Reason Magazine: When it comes to men or women, we won’t go soft war boners!

    1. When it comes to our servicemen and women… dangit!

      1. And servicetransmen and servicetranswomen, don’t forget.

        1. servixemen?

          1. Cervixmen?

    2. A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve

      A study with a 20% error. What happened to Rand?

      1. Government specifications, of course.

  5. fuck you cut spending?

    1. Now with more confidence.

      1. FUCK YOU CUT SPENDING

    2. If only that was the reason.

      1. there has to be a reason?

        1. I didn’t realize you were randomly calling for spending to be cut. My mistake.

  6. What we really need is an army of eunuchs. Just steer clear of the whole sex/gender mess and get on with killing people.

    1. Worked for Danaerys.

  7. Whee… this was so fun yesterday I can’t to do it all over again today.

    1. But Tony, eh, I mean Hugh, hasn’t even showed up yet.

  8. If you think there’s any significant support for sharing restrooms and locker rooms with the opposite sex, you need to get out more. That isn’t really a “culture war issue” because the pro side is virtually nonexistent.

    1. But which sex is ‘opposite’?
      Is it a transgender before, a transgender after, a homosexual with matching XX .vs XY, a heterosexual with the opposite XX .vs XY, or what exactly there days?
      Why is there such a fuss (primarily) about a female soldier sharing facilities with a woman ‘of different physiology’ as opposed to a woman who happens to have sexual desires for other women? Either way, someone is going to see you naked.

      1. The “fuss” is the conflict between feminists who want to obliterate any social recognition of the differences between the sexes and the reality-based community who demand the right to continue to notice that the human race consists of males and females. The attempt to substitute the concept of “gender identity” for the physical reality of sex for all purposes is a tactic in this conflict.

        “Either way, someone is going to see you naked.”

        Making it increasingly difficult and unacceptable for people to see each other naked is part of the plan. The people who want to erase sex differences promote the idea that what you have between your legs is an entirely private matter that one should never be forced to share with others. That’s why gym showers have disappeared from public schools.

        Many have expressed puzzlement about the leftist/feminist affection for Islam. They shouldn’t be puzzled. It’s obvious why someone who opposes recognition of sex differences would find a burkha appealing.

  9. This is simply false.

    And irrelevant. I think every self-respecting libertarian can agree that taxpayers should not be on the hook for elective surgery of military personnel. And as a practical matter, combat effectiveness is the only thing that matters for the function of the military. Leave the identity bs and social engineering out pls.

    1. Or elective hormone use.

      1. This. WTF?

    2. the costs are in fact negligible

      A penny saved…

    3. “snap decision” delivered via Twitter.

      So it’s not official policy yet…

    4. it’s far from clear whether such a policy is legally enforceable.

      If a draft is legally enforceable despite 13A…

    5. I am personally fine with the idea that the benefits for combat soldiers, as employees of the government, should be comparatively generous. After all it’s a job where there is a statistically significant chance of death while on the job. So my outrage meter doesn’t go to eleventy when I hear about soldiers getting benefits that would make my eyes roll if those same benefits were to go to some bureaucrat at the Department of Silly Walks. But, if we go the other route, and make the benefits rather parsimonious – which I can completely understand as well – it should be done consistently. No money for gender reassignment surgery, and no money for sex drugs either.

      1. I’m with this. Both gender reassignment surgery and Viagra should be considered elective. the military should only be paying for what’s medically necessary.

        Now, if the medical benefits were in the form of contributions to a private insurance plan, the answer might be different. Why not avoid the mess and just stop running the VA as a separate, government-run, healthcare system? Instead, offer a range of private insurance plans just like a private corporation, or subsidize the purchase of private medical insurance. Military medical care should be reserved for combat situations only. Soldiers in peacetime or non-combat duty can go to a private doctor like everyone else.

        1. ^this

        2. Yes. SLD: the military needs some major cuts, and i’m NOT talking reassignment surgeries.

        3. I’m with this. Both gender reassignment surgery and Viagra should be considered elective. the military should only be paying for what’s medically necessary.

          Viagra restores normal functionality.

          This is as absurd a comment as “Well, we should pay for birth control because insurance covers Viagra”, ignoring the whole “One treatment returns a body part to normal function while the other prevents that”.

          1. This is as absurd a comment as “Well, we should pay for birth control because insurance covers Viagra”, ignoring the whole “One treatment returns a body part to normal function while the other prevents that”.

            1. ThIs Is As AbSuRd A cOmMeNt As…

          2. I think we just learned something about the contents of damikesc’s medicine cabinet that no one wanted to know.

            1. I think we just learned something about the contents of damikesc’s medicine cabinet that no one wanted to know.

              Being aware that ED is, by definition, part of a man’s body not working seems obvious to me.

          3. damikesc is completely correct. Men with ED face serious problems like not being able to conceive children. It is a medical problem.

            If guys use fraud to get it, that is irrelevant to the fact that it is a real medical condition that needs treatment and viagra is a legitimate treatment.

            1. And birth control is a legitimate treatment for a variety of medical issues.

              This is a fun game!

              1. What if gender reassignment surgery is a legitimate treatment for the medical condition of gender dysphoria? What then?

                1. That right there is the crux is the issue. How to define elective? Legitimate?

                2. If a sex change procedure successfully treated sex dysphoria, would not the patient be left once again in the “wrong” body? Isn’t the best you can say about a sex change procedure is that it is an accommodation to sex dysphoria?

              2. Absolutely should birth control pills be covered for medical issues. I didn’t say anything about being opposed to that.

              3. “And birth control is a legitimate treatment for a variety of medical issues.”

                Listen, I really, really don’t want to involve myself in this discussion, but you really don’t see the problem with what you’re doing there?

                I don’t have the statistics but I believe the cases you’re discussing there are a small percentage of the people who use birth control.

                I don’t really understand why this gets forwarded as an argument for birth control in general.

                But it seems endemic to many debates these days. Find a corner case, and generalize it to an entire population.

                What’s the point?

                I don’t think anyone would say a cadet with endometriosis should do without birth control, so I don’t see how it advances the discussion.

                Yet, it happens constantly.

                1. You’re right Mmmmmm and it makes me sad to see people, especially libertarians, deploy such bad-faith arguments.

                2. Listen, I really, really don’t want to involve myself in this discussion, but you really don’t see the problem with what you’re doing there?
                  What’s the point?

                  Picking and choosing which medical issues are and aren’t legitimate – especially in a theoretical sense – is a pretty pointless conversation especially when compared to the rest of the Department of Defense budget. So yes, what’s the point?

                  1. I mean, what is the point of any of our arguments here.

                    1. It’s that the only time we get worked up about an issue is when it involves the culture war, especially when it’s under the guise of cutting spending, while somehow ignoring the overall massive increase the military is going to receive. Because hey, I should jizz myself because Trump tweeted about maybe saving eight million, which is the almost the cost of two of his Florida trips.

                  2. Well, my point was you’re intellectually dishonest.

              4. And birth control is a legitimate treatment for a variety of medical issues.

                And in those few cases, they got covered.

                For prevention of pregnancy? Wasn’t and should not be covered.

              5. Birth control pills are a covered expense under all medical plans when they are prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of problems other than preventing conception–like endometriosis.

                Are people simply unaware that there are a variety of products, that are covered when prescribed, for both men and women, whose sole purpose is the restoration of normal sexual functioning?

                Restoring function is what medicine is all about.

                Surgically altering someone’s appearance is possible–but it is elective–it is not needed.

                1. Why don’t we all just let consumers decide what sort of shit they want their medical plan to cover? If they want to subsidize insurance companies by paying for stupid shit birth control via a middle-man, that’s their business.
                  And how expensive is viagra? Is that really such a calamitous medical expense that you need insurance to keep you from going bankrupt from using it? Just pay for it under the deductible using your HSA, Duh.

            2. Men with ED face serious problems like not being able to conceive children. It is a medical problem.

              Many insurance plans do not cover IVF or any fertility treatment for women. It is not an “essential benefit” under the ACA.

              This is what fucking socialized health care reduces us to. My problem is a legitimate medical problem and everyone should subsidize it!!!!!! No it’s not! MY problem is a legitimate problem that everyone should pay for! BAH Birth control is stupid and I shouldn’t have to pay for it! But WHY do I have to pay for YOUR Viagra! Not fair! EVERYONE SHOULD PAY FOR MY FREE SHIT BECAUSE IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR FREE SHIT!!!

        4. Oh well it goes without saying that the VA should be privatized. But the issue of who pays for which expense would still remain.

          1. Not entirely. If the VA simply says it will pay for one of three standard medical plans then it’s up to the market to decide what a standard medical plan covers. Consumer choice. If someone wants something extra they can shell out a bit more than the subsidy. Anyway, gender reassignment probably is uninsurable, since it doesn’t exactly happen as a random event.

      2. Viagra restores normal function.

        Said loss of function something that can be attributed to factors of service.

        Gender re-assignment surgery does not restore normal function. It provides a purely visual approximation of the desired solution.

        None of which can be attributed to factors of service.

        1. Yeah, but erectile dysfunction won’t get you killed in combat, nor is it something that needs to be cured immediately, like in a combat medical tent.

          This entire issue would go away if the VA was replaced by a private insurance system. Why the fuck does the military need to be running hospitals for vets in peacetime in the US? It doesn’t. It could just send them to a normal hospital and pay the bills for it.

          1. I suspect, if one were to do a bit of research, one would find that the Viagra prescriptions are not going to active duty personnel for the most part. They are restoring normal function in those who have already served.

            Paying for John to get a set of bolt-on tits and perpetual HRT so she can be Jane , however, is not restoring normal function–whether or not they’ve served.

            Gender re-assignment should be treated like any other form of plastic surgery–covered if it’s reconstructive, out of pocket if it’s not.

      3. Agreed, Viagra etc. are elective.
        If you need that kind of help, get it yourself.

      4. Money for sex drugs is ok if the military created the need for them in the first place. The risks involved with serving in the military are hardly limited to just dying. Long term injuries, extreme psychological problems not limited to PTSD, etc..

        A lot of people who serve in the military end up effectively aging much faster than their civilian peers. So it’ not out of the question that a 35-40 year old service member have served 15+ years active duty could develop a service related injury need for erectile disfunction drugs.

  10. But eventually Republicans will have to have a message that is more than just “We’re not as bad as Hillary or the Democrats.”

    The demagogues on the right are doing their best to make quaint concepts like “policy” and “principles” to be a thing of the past. They know how their bread is buttered. Nobody is successful in talk radio or cable news talking about policy for 3 hours a day. Success comes when you demonize the other side as wanting to rape your children and starve your grandma on Monday, and then wanting to starve your children and rape your grandma on Tuesday.

    I have been utterly surprised on how little of a discussion about *real policy alternatives* to Obamacare there has been this year. Nobody is talking about HSA’s or HDHP’s. Nobody is talking about getting rid of the employer deduction and instead extending it to all individuals. Nobody is talking about medical licensure reform. Well, Reason talks about it a little bit. But frankly it’s only even barely covered here at Reason. Nobody is talking about extending insurance portability across state lines, which was one of the most common Republican talking points from just a few years ago. It’s sad really.

    1. That’s because the politicians and their owners already have the health care system they want.

      1. I agree that most people who have the power to do something about Obamacare are more or less insulated from its direct effects. But postulating this insulation as the REASON why they haven’t done something about Obamacare is really just an ad hominem argument.

        1. That’s not what I was saying. The system we have benefits the owners of the politicians. That’s why the politicians don’t want to change it. They don’t care what’s good for the rest of us.

    2. It’s been quite comical watching Trump bitch and moan about the GOP healthcare bill failing when he’s been spending all of his time causing needless controversies like this one and bitching about leaks to the press instead of, you know, making some kind of public case for this policy he believes is so vitally important.

      Maybe his strategists realized that the bill’s popularity would be inversely proportional to the amount of time Trump spent talking about it.

      1. instead of, you know, making some kind of public case for this policy he believes is so vitally important.

        That would require him having some idea of what’s being debated, and what the bill contains. He just wants a bill on his desk so he can sign it like he said he would. He has no interest whatsoever in what’s actually in that bill.

  11. The way everyone fights his every word tooth and nail can only mean that Trump wants a trans force.

  12. the Republican Party has drawn the wrong lesson from Trump’s super-tight victory, which is almost certainly the last of its kind for a GOP that remains fixated on culture war issues such as bathroom exclusivity, the war on pot, immigration, and gay marriage

    Yeah, it’s the Democrats’ turn to be fixated on their culture war issues!

  13. Those numbers are small enough on their own[…]

    That’s my money you’re talking about, Nick. Don’t be so cavalier about it.

    Politico reports that Trump’s motivation to ban trans troops was driven by his desire to save a House spending bill that provided money for his wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.

    That’s all fine but then don’t say that having trans-gendered individuals in uniform doesn’t cost anything. You can ascribe nefarious or ulterior motives to the president’s action but don’t then say that what the previous defense secretary did was because it was going to be cheap.

    1. Transgender, not trans-gendered.

  14. 20 trillion. fuck it.

  15. I am not in favor of a blanket ban on the transgendered in the military. Frontline troops aside, the military may need a brilliant JAG or translator who happens to be transgendered. Trump’s off-the-cuff policy pronouncement was stupid. That said…

    The US Military doesn’t really give a shit about Nick Gillespie’s version of equality before the law. You don’t have a right to serve in the military. And to hell with the Republican Party, but I hardly think they ignited this particular culture war issue (I’m sure this counts as “whataboutism”). I also didn’t know the GOP was responsible for a “lightbulb ban”.

  16. message that is more than just “We’re not as bad as Hillary or the Democrats.”

    Has Nick seen Team Blue messaging lately? Not to dismiss the failures and retardation of Team Red.

    1. Better Ingredients, Better Pizza?

      1. They had one something along the lines of “at least we’re not the other guys”.

  17. President Trump’s new ban didn’t just “blindside” military brass and disrespect equality under the law, it’s founded on a lie.

    No right to serve, so no “equality under the law” issue. Trannies will cost more to serve — but it is always nice to see Reason writers opine on the need to spend more government money to make their preferred groups feel good about themselves.

    Barack Obama had OK’ed trans people to serve openly.

    Perhaps having “a pen and a phone” isn’t enough.

    A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve and that costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. That’s an increase of 0.04 percent and 0.13 percent.

    So, again, the “government is too big and spends too much” Reason magazine editors are arguing for the government to spend more money so some people feel good about themselves.

    Those numbers are small enough on their own, but they shrink even more when put into context of other medical expenditures. For instance, the Pentagon spends about $42 million a year on the erectile-dysfunction drug Viagra and another $23 million on Cialis. According to one estimate, the Navy spends $115 million a year simply to transfer pregnant women from active duty back to land.

    …then they bitch about expenses elsewhere.

    Cannot figure out why Libertarianism isn’t taken very seriously.

    1. Cannot figure out why Libertarianism isn’t taken very seriously.

      ‘Cause people keep putting up bolded walls of text in our funnest comments sections.

    2. Cannot figure out why Libertarianism isn’t taken very seriously.

    3. Obama’s ok, so “one man, one vote, one time” and policy is set in stone forever?

    4. NYC spends too much on bathroom.
      Regulations cost money.

    5. There are those of us who have noted that the extra expense associated with pregnant female troops is a good reason to restrict the role of females in the service.

      1. “…the extra expense associated with pregnant female troops is a good reason to restrict the role of females in the service.”

        It’s also a good reason for small businesses not to hire young women for critical positions.

  18. So again, what physical training standard should a trans soldier be judged by, male or female?

    Should soldiers of the opposite sex allowed to refuse to share open dormitory facilities with a trans soldier, even if it makes the trans soldier feel bad?

    1. If a trans soldier is sexually assaults someone or is sexually assaulted by someone, how does that statistic get reported?

      Will it be okay to post nudes of a pre-op trans Marine after they’ve transitioned? I’m only asking because I’m pretty sure Crusty would like to know the answer.

    2. If a trans man and a trans woman get drunk and screw, which one is the rapist?

  19. Forget the expense involved, how about the mental Illness factor? Should schizophrenics or those with autism be allowed to serve? If you’re skinny but believe you’re fat and thusly vomit after every meal then you have a mental illness. If you’re white but believe you’re black and thusly head up a chapter of the NAACP then you have a mental illness. If you were born with a penis but believe it should be a vagina and thusly want to mutilate yourself (at taxpayer’s expense) then you have a what? That’s right. The military is for making war, not a proving ground for cultural and social experimentation. Giving women combat roles despite their physiological inferiority to men and all of the implemented double standards to make it so is bad enough. If this is about equality of rights Nick, then explain to me please, because I see nothing but preferential treatment for transSEXUALS that the average grunts do not receive.

    1. If this is about equality of rights Nick, then explain to me please, because I see nothing but preferential treatment for transSEXUALS that the average grunts do not receive.

      Ironically, that capitalization makes me read the line in the voice of Tim Curry’s character from Rocky Horror. Heh.

      Oh, also, your ideas are uninformed and terrible. Good day.

      1. “Gender” is for determining pronouns “sex” is for determining genetic makeup. Hence the accentuation. The recent manipulation of the definitions seem deliberate and bugs the fuck out of me.
        “Your ideas are terrible and uninformed ” is one hell of a retort my friend. It’s about as convincing as shouting “you’re a dumdum!” then running home to mommy.

    2. I’m not taking a side on the trannies in the military issue. But I would point out that not all mental abnormalities are mental illnesses. It’s only an illness if it negatively affects your ability to go about your life. I’m sure many transgender people are mentally ill by that standard. But I don’t think all are.

      And not all mental illness is equally debilitating. Schizophrenia is a serious psychotic disorder and should probably disqualify someone from military service. Less severe autism might not necessarily be so. I could imagine some people on the Asperger end of the spectrum being pretty valuable in certain roles.

      1. Zeb, that is a wonderfully thoughtful and useful comment. I know that it’s not uncommon for engineers to be on the “spectrum” and those people can focus like crazy.

        That said, the mission is what matters. I have no problem with women in the military in combat roles, but they have to be able to do the job with no qualifiers whatsoever.

      2. I could imagine some people on the Asperger end of the spectrum being pretty valuable in certain roles.

        Like Ben Affleck in that movie. What was it called, again? Oh, right, Batman vs. Superman.

        1. Ben Afflected starring in Bateman vs. Supuerman ll: the drivel continues!

      3. Having chronic anal fissures will keep you out of the military. So why wouldn’t an inverted penis? I find it fascinating the recent blurring of the lines between cross dressing and transsexualism. There’s a sea of difference between wanting to wear angora sweaters and wanting to lop your dick off. Apotemnophilia is a mental (or neurological) disorder (or illness, it’s semantics) whereby a person yearns to amputate their own limbs. So you want to cut off your arm or your pecker, what’s the difference? I don’t blame transsexuals for having a disorder, but they don’t need normalization, they need therapy. And the military doesn’t need the headache, they need to focus on how to effectively kill brown people for the likes of John McStain.

        1. Ugh, I really didn’t need to know why you weren’t accepted into the Marines.

          1. I’m too big of a pussy to have joined the military. I know who I am.

        2. I’m not advocating any particular policy for the military.

        3. You misplaced the ‘t’ in John’s last name.

  20. I am uncomfortable in my own body and want to change it.

    Seems inconsistent with joining the army where the whole point is they change you to suit their needs.

    I guess I can see where you hope the structure will straighten out your confusion but I am not sure the drill sergeant is trained for that.

  21. I think no one should give important to these tweets by Trump and focus more on Obamacare repeal. Trump tweeted this crap to sidetrack the discussion from Obamacare to Transgenders.

  22. Seems to me that with the cost so small, and being trapped in a gender you don’t like are so consequential, then I think it wouldn’t be much trouble for the “vast” LGBTQ community to come up with several million $$ in contributions each year so these poor folks could get their gender re-assignment surgery. Same for Viagra – “Get It Up for Our Troops” could be a new non-profit organization for the vets and flag-wavers to support.

    1. Viagra is not just some fun drug that guys take to last longer “for her pleasure!”. (And I’m not even sure if that is what people want it for if it’s elective)

      It’s a drug that treats a medical disorder. It should therefore be covered like any other drug if the insurance plan has that kind of coverage.

      That guys use fraud to get it for fun is irrelevant.

    2. Now THAT’S a libertarian point of view! Voluntarism.

  23. Rockefeller Republ…..er….’libertarians’ for government spending!

    1. Whooosh!

  24. ” we refuse to treat the military like an ideological petri dish”

    Except for nation building and bringing democracy to the world, of course.

  25. A lot of huffing and sputtering is happening over the wrong thing. The weakest argument against allowing transgendered soldiers to serve is the cost of healthcare. Transitioning is not a one-time event. We can tiptoe around the issue all we want, but the fact remains that a transgender person requires lifelong hormonal maintenance to achieve the secondary sex characteristics that they wish to retain. This includes daily and weekly oral, transdermal, and injectable treatments just to keep those juices flowing. Blood work is required to make sure they got it right, at least in the early stages.

    If you’re in an actual combat situation, you’re getting food, water, emergency medical care…and that’s about it. No one is flying your hormones to you on the front lines so you don’t crash headfirst into a debilitating and suicidal depression (remember, the importance of transitioning has always been supported by claiming that a person’s literal mental health was on the line).

    If you need constant medical maintenance FOR ANY REASON, you do not belong in the military.

    1. Cogent points my friend!

    2. This. Costs are not the most relevant factor, military efficiency is. Transgenders add new supply and medical problems that are entirely unnecessary and do nothing but bog operations down. This is not like racially integrating the forces, which brought in major benefits by opening up massive manpower pools that were on an equal or better footing than the pre-existing forces. This is tying weights around the military’s neck with no real benefit.

    3. So no diabetics? What about people with thyroid issues? Birth control?

      Also, being on the front lines are not the only jobs in the military.

      1. Thyroid issues can disqualify you if you require constant medication, and I know several types of diabetes do as well. For birth control, the opposite, pregnancy, is actually a far greater concern in terms of military efficiency.

        At current time, with the large amount of people consistently applying for the American military, it remains an option (and a better one) to recruit the person without existing medical issues over the one who does.

        1. it remains an option (and a better one) to recruit the person without existing medical issues over the one who does

          So why not let it remain an option rather than issue a blanket ban?

          1. Again, see above, military efficiency. Due to the medical nature of a post-op transgender you would require additional supplies added to the logistics system and an expansion of the medical system in order to cover them. These are entirely unnecessary and do not serve to benefit the military in any way, they solely exist in order to allow transgenders to serve. This is the standard issue with any pre-existing medical problem, and why they screen people out based on them.

            If transgenders represented a large manpower pool or offered unique skillsets that improved efficiency (for example, as someone noted above, the Israelis use autistics for specific roles) that might balance out and justify that problem, but that’s simply not the case.

            1. This is the standard issue with any pre-existing medical problem, and why they screen people out based on them.

              So why not allow that to continue to be the case instead of issuing a blanket ban? Why shouldn’t service be predicated on individual ability rather than membership in a banned category?

              1. The problem here Square is that you’re viewing them as an identity group, rather than people with a medical condition. Their individual ability is utterly irrelevant to the fact that they have a pre-existing medical condition.

                1. The problem here Square is that you’re viewing them as an identity group, rather than people with a medical condition.

                  I would say the case is just the opposite.

                  If the problem is a pre-existing medical condition, then bar each individual with a pre-existing medical condition entry for that reason, rather than constituting them as a identity group and then banning them wholesale.

                  If an individual presents in every way as normal and fit for service and not needing special accommodation, why ban them?

                  Don’t we already have all the mechanisms in place for turning away people with special medical needs without having to constitute a new identity group and then issue a blanket ban on them?

                  1. If an individual presents in every way as normal and fit for service and not needing special accommodation, why ban them?

                    This is exactly what I’m talking about Square, they are not ‘fit for service’, they have a medical condition and require special accommodation. The military is not talking about crossdressers or transvestites when they are talking about transgenders (crossdressers themselves have entirely separate issues associated with them).

                    Don’t we already have all the mechanisms in place for turning away people with special medical needs

                    Yes, we do, and we define them based on what their condition is, i.e. if you have hepatitis you’re not allowed in because you have hepatitis. So you are simply including transgender in with all the other immediate disqualifiers.

                    1. I think in part we’re disagreeing on the implication that “being transgender” necessarily means “needing your employer to pay for all kinds of medical benefits.”

                      If this were really about cost then the debate would be about a declaration that the military is no longer going to cover medical costs or make accommodations for medical needs tied to gender dysphoria.

                      That would be addressing a medical condition that some individuals have that the military may rightly decide it doesn’t want to deal with.

                      But that’s not what Trump has declared. He referenced “transgender people” as an identity group and then declared that no one who is a member of that group is to be accepted into the military. Period. And then tacked on as an afterthought that this will save money on their medical expenses.

                      IMHO, people should be evaluated on their abilities and liabilities as individuals. Treating people as collectives is unproductive. It may be the case that saying “we’re not going to cover or accommodate your gender dysphoria issues” would filter out all transgender people in practice. So why not let the mechanism work that way on a non-collectivist principle?

                    2. Regardless of the reason why it has occurred it is the correct discussion. Transgenderism, as defined by the military, is a pre-existing medical condition. It is not ‘collectivism’ to disqualify people based on medical conditions, and pretending it is such is reflective of an ignorance of the issue. I note that no one here is lamenting the evils of the military not allowing people with Crohn’s or any other medical issue to serve, the only one they do care about is the one that is politically relevant. It’s a transparent inconsistency that shows how stupid the entire debate around this is.

                      Fortunately on its good days the military doesn’t give a shit about virtue signalling about this week’s cherished identity group.

                    3. It is not ‘collectivism’ to disqualify people based on medical conditions, and pretending it is such is reflective of an ignorance of the issue.

                      You’re redefining the terms of the discussion. Trump did not say “we are adding gender dysphoria to the list of pre-existing medical conditions for which we bar people from military service.” You’re choosing to reframe it that way, I assume in order to counter what you see as rampant TDS – but you’re verging on what I could only call TDS-DS.

                      What Trump said was “please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.”

                      Trump collectivized them. If this really is about finding costs to cut in the military, why is this the one and only idea that they came up with?

                    4. Actually, what Trump said is that after discussing with his military advisors, he came to that conclusion. Guess what his advisors probably said to him? Exactly what I’m saying. This is not some new issue, it’s been a discussion in various militaries for years.

                      I’m not attempting to ‘counter TDS’ I’m pointing out the likely real reason why this has gone forward to a crowd that is largely more obsessed with virtue signalling and exposing their pure ignorance of the issue (more directed at Gillespie and others than you).

                    5. Guess what his advisors probably said to him? Exactly what I’m saying.

                      This is what I’m saying. You’re starting with what Trump actually said and then revising it to what he “probably” meant based on “what his advisors probably said to him” in the context of a conversation you hope he’s participating in.

                      In fairness, no one ever knows what Trump means by anything, and a tweet is not an executive order. It’s just Trump expressing an opinion publically. It may come after an extensive round of meetings whose content he only partially understood, and he’s saying what you hope he’s saying in a clumsy way. It could be he woke up in the middle of the night in a Breitbart fever dream and just farted it right out.

                      We’ll probably never know.

                      I think what a lot of us are pointing out is that the effort to pretend that there’s a serious policy proposal behind Trump’s tweet may be misplaced. The effort to pretend that this is driven by real budget concerns and not culture war signaling is likely misplaced. Because if it really were about budget concerns, the content would have been significantly different. This is about attacking an identity category in order to trigger a new round of culture wars.

                    6. If they really were plagued by the cost of caring for all the transgender people currently in the military they could have pointed to more specific things and framed more specific policies than “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.” That’s an attack on a collectivized identity group, clearly and explicitly, and with little pragmatic content to boot. You have to pretend he’s saying something very different from what he’s actually directly saying in order to see it otherwise, regardless of that the “real issue” may be to the “military experts.”

                    7. What Trump said was “please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.”

                      There are a variety of conditions that are lumped casually under the mantle of ‘transgender people–gender dysphoria, body dismorphia, autogynophilia, to name just a few. ‘Transgender people’ is a lot less letters than writing them all out in a 140 character limited medium.

                      It is not ‘singling out an identity group any more than this would be–

                      What Trump said was “please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow paralysed individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military.”

                      That blanket ‘paralysed’ covers a lot of conditions. As does ‘transgender’.

              2. Because it’s not the military’s job to be an accommodation organization to help the self esteem of outlier groups.

      2. ‘So, no diabetics?” Nope.
        “What about thyroid issues?” Nope.

        Birth control is, as John mentions, is to prevent a greater burden. If women are to be in the military, such concessions must be made, and it’s worth mentioning that the ability to become pregnant is not the result of an intentional choice of the female soldier in question, unlike the choice to undergo a sex change.

        To speak to the issue of not placing them in front line jobs, I do not think that that would ever be a satisfactory solution to transgender activists. It is commonly accepted that participation in actual battle is a strong factor in moving up in one’s military career. To shut out an entire group of people from that would never fly.

        1. n. If women are to be in the military, such concessions must be made

          Not that you are making this argument, but if women are in the military, shouldn’t they be encouraged to have I.U.D.’s implanted, in order to prevent pregnancy, and for a large percentage of women, temporarily stop their periods?

        2. To speak to the issue of not placing them in front line jobs, I do not think that that would ever be a satisfactory solution to transgender activists

          If we don’t ban them altogether, some people might call for further concessions. Excellent logic for banning them altogether!

      3. This is the extremely long list of things that can keep you out of the military. A lot of them are far less serious than needing hormone replacement therapy on a daily basis, and it cannot be emphasized enough that transgender activists stress the emotional and psychological necessity of transitioning, so hormone replacement therapy in that context can surely be considered something akin to an anti-depressant.

        I know a young man who just joined the Navy. He took Adderall in early adolescence for ADHD. He took his last pill over 6 years ago. He was gently advised by several people to give a less than honest answer about whether he’d ever taken it, or was even diagnosed with ADHD.

        http://www.military.com/join-a…..tions.html

        1. So why not reject people who need ongoing medical treatment on those grounds alone? What do we gain by adding in “and no transgender people under any circumstances whatsoever”?

          1. How many transgender people do not need hormone therapy?

            According to this FAQ:

            Will I always have to take hormones?
            Yes, you will need to take hormones for the rest of your life if you
            want to maintain the feminising effects of oestrogen or the
            masculinising effects of testosterone. If, at any stage, you decide to
            have your testes (trans women) or your ovaries (trans men) removed
            by surgery:
            ? your dose of hormones will usually be reduced but it should still
            be enough to produce the effects that you need and to keep
            you well, and to protect you against osteoporosis (thinning of
            the bones) as you get older, and
            ? if you are still on hormone blockers, you will stop taking them

            altogether

            http://www.teni.ie/attachments…..0047db.PDF

            So it looks like any actual transgender person will have to be on hormones for life. This doesn’t look like an optional thing.

            So I don’t understand what you’re saying here. If every transgender person living has to have a constant set of hormone therapy, your point is absolutely irrelevant. In fact, it’s kind of silly.

      4. Diabetics are precluded from joining the military.

        It was a nice try though, please accept your consolation prizes as you leave.

      5. So no diabetics? What about people with thyroid issues?

        Both are indeed bars to military service.

        Birth control?

        Birth control is not a medical necessity; you can practice abstinence. If you fail to practice abstinence in a military setting, that is a disciplinary problem, not a medical one.

    4. I’m curious to know how many of these 1,362 to 13,000 transgenders are in combat roles – I suspect very few.

      1. I’m curios about the 10,000 discrepancy….sounds like somebody’s guessing.

        Or possibly just pulling numbers out of their asses.

  26. I am old enough to remember when being a ‘libertarian’ meant keeping the government out of your wallet and bedroom. Now, it would appear that it means sometimes keeping the government out of your wallet (remember, carbon taxes are totes cool and any tax deduction you receive is actually a subsidy now) and not out of your bedroom if it is furthering the ‘right’ social agenda (you can’t de-fund Planned Parenthood or transgender surgery).

    You could make the argument that nearly any cut to government expenditures is insignificant. So, we shouldn’t cut anything or not add spending, unless we’re tackling Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? What part of ‘fuck you, cut spending’ doesn’t Gillespie understand?

    1. There’s wisdom in your years! Since the advent of Trump REASON has been trying to circle the square by attacking everything Trump does while failing miserably at making their arguments sound libertarian.

      1. Pretty much.

  27. Would this be at all more palatable to libertarians (generally) if Trump was also slashing things left and right, cutting through budgets on all levels of federal government? We keep shifting focus to the culture wars, it seems, and forget that we can’t afford this. We can’t afford any of this. This country is in serious economic trouble.

    I’m not saying that the cost of accommodating transgender troops is breaking the bank. Seems like there has to be some cost to doing it. What I am saying is that some very hard choices are going to have to be made if there is hope of reversing financial course, and if fiscally responsible libertarians can’t even abide this regrettable but relatively minor cut, there is no hope when it comes time to cut big ticket entitlements.

    1. …there is no hope when it comes time to cut big ticket entitlements.

      (That time having come, of course, several decades ago.)

    2. Trump’s proposed budget increase was like 40 billion, and Congress added on to that, so the fact that this is a spending issue is ridiculous.

      If the budget was being slashed all over, and integrating transgendered was considered too much of a cost, then I’d probably agree with you, but we are far from that point.

      1. So your argument is “but, they’re not cutting here, so I don’t think they should cut there”? Then why should any cuts be made, if they aren’t cutting somewhere else that you would prefer they cut from?

        1. That’s exactly my argument. Nailed it!

      2. If the budget was being slashed all over, and integrating transgendered was considered too much of a cost, then I’d probably agree with you, but we are far from that point.

        ^ This.

        I don’t think what’s going is “libertarians supporting government spending because culture war.” I would characterize it as “libertarians calling bullshit on the stated reason for banning transgender people from military service.”

        Lots of defenders of this policy in this very thread can’t even keep their heads straight on this and want to pretend that the argument is over forcing transgenders to be accepted in combat duty situations no matter any limitation, when the argument is actually over banning transgenders from any military services whatsoever.

        I short, I don’t think anyone is arguing that the spending situation is good, just that these arguments coming from Team Red to support Trump’s off-hand policy decision are disingenuous covers for pointless culture war posturing.

        1. I would characterize it as “libertarians calling bullshit on the stated reason for banning transgender people from military service.”

          Yes.

          1. What difference does it make what reason someone else has for policy we like or dislike?

        2. Who has two thumbs and doesn’t think transgender is a mental defect? This guy who’s using his thumbs to point at himself. Who doesn’t have a problem with transgender serving in the military? Yours truly and his two thumbs. Who has a good idea why Trump made this decision and it’s not economic? Again, the two-thumbs guy.

          Ear-regardless of all of that, this is not a good sign to me if this relatively minor cut can’t happen from a libertarian perspective because it’s done for the wrong reason.

          1. If Trump is listening to his military advisors (and judging by his dropping the torture idiocy because Mattis convinced him that it’s stupid, he does) this probably has more to do with military experts arguing the sheer pointlessness of transgenders in the military rather than some imagined bigotry.

            1. I don’t know – the Joint Chiefs of Staff seem to have been caught pretty off guard by this.

            2. While I think it’s probably true, generals at that level are generally (get it?) an unholy mix of politician and bureaucrat.

              1. Fair enough.

          2. Ear-regardless of all of that, this is not a good sign to me if this relatively minor cut can’t happen from a libertarian perspective because it’s done for the wrong reason.

            But that’s the thing – I don’t think that’s what this discussion is actually about.

            If the transgender ban had actually emerged from some conversation about cutting costs in the military, there would be other suggestions for how to reduce the financial burden of the military. For example, saying the military will no longer pay medical expenses related to gender dysphoria.

            But that’s not what the conversation is. It clearly started with “let’s ban transgenders from the military,” and “it’ll reduce costs” is a clearly very half-assed ex post facto rationalization.

            This guy with two thumbs will turn them both up enthusiastically for just about any proposal to cut spending if that’s what the point of the proposal actually is. This is sort of like the gay marriage thing – my question is: why are these people in particular being singled out as a cost problem, when nothing else about the military is.

          3. Yeah……..fortunately people who understand the military far better than you are calling the shots Fist. As you are completely wrong. Trannys absolutely do not belong i the military any more than a whole bunch of folks for a myriad of reasons.

            I personally don’t give a fuck why Trump made this decision. It was the right call. Case closed.

            1. Case reopened. I am saying that, while I think that transgenderism isn’t some psychosis and would like the transgendered who want to serve be able to, I don’t disagree with Trump’s decision. I don’t like Donald Trump and don’t consider him a thoughtful leader. I don’t necessarily doubt his motives, insomuch as he actually has any coherent ones, just his judgment, insomuch as he shows any. That he’s not Hillary Clinton is really his only saving grace. He’s untrustworthy as a libertarian ally. I fully expect the regulatory environment to return to full speed ahead by the time he leaves office.

              By I digress. I believe there is a cost to accommodating transgender troops, and we can’t afford these kinds of costs, big or small. This ship is going down, and we’re all here throwing deck chairs at each other. Costly ones at that. I rest my case.

        3. When someone is assigned a duty in the military, it is due to their particular aptitude, but it is always assumed that they can also fight if they have to. The concept of military service assumes a degree of health that is optimal, and as such people who require chronic health maintenance are simply not good candidates.

          Military service is not the same as civilian employment. There are to be no “reasonable accommodations” because anything that would be reasonable in a peaceful civilian environment quickly becomes an unreasonable – and frankly dangerous – burden on the unit.

          It bears repeating: If you need more than food, water, and emergency medical care, you are not fit for military service.

          If, by your very nature, you need to be stuck at a desk job, the military is not for you.

          1. If you need more than food, water, and emergency medical care, you are not fit for military service.

            Fine.

            Is needing “more than food, water, and emergency medical care” particular to just transgender people such that simply saying “we ban all transgender people from serving in any capacity whatsoever” is an effective solution to this particular problem?

            Why not just say “we ban all people who have special medical needs regardless of what those are?”

            1. Why not just say “we ban all people who have special medical needs regardless of what those are?”

              Diabetic activists aren’t demanding the military let diabetics serve.

              Only one group who have special medical needs are making this demand.

              Why mention ALL when ONE is the issue?

  28. This seems like a no-brainer to me from a libertarian standpoint. Anybody who wants to enlist and serve and is capable of meeting the description of the job should be welcome. Paying for elective surgery or medication, no matter what it is, shouldn’t come from the taxpayers.

    What am I missing? Why is this a difficult subject?

    1. Because they are nuttier than fruitcakes and do not belong in the Military. We don’t need people in the Military with mental problems you know like Chelsea Manning. The next thing you know they will start complaining about retarded people not being able to join! It is a fighting force.

    2. Paying for elective surgery or medication, no matter what it is, shouldn’t come from the taxpayers.

      How is that going to work? How are people going to privately pay for, and obtain, hormone treatments, counseling, and corrective surgery while deployed on military bases or overseas? Who is going to pay for the medical leave time?

      There is a long list of medical conditions that prevent you from joining the military. Gender dysphoria is a medical condition, and one that is pretty serious and expensive compared to the many that are already excluded.

      And that’s just taking into account the inevitable medical costs and issues associated with gender dysphoria. In addition to those, there are also the strong predisposition for suicide and depression that go along with gender dysphoria and gender reassignment.

      Anybody who wants to enlist and serve and is capable of meeting the description of the job should be welcome.

      Yes, and people with gender dysphoria are “not capable” in the same sense as people with a host of other medical conditions are “not capable”.

    3. Leo it’s not a no-brainer, It’s just no-brained.

  29. Man, people sure do love the tranny threads.

  30. costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.

    Well, Nick, since you’re a libertarian and all about volunteerism, why don’t you cough up a check to cover that?

  31. So is the marine motto “Semper Fidalis” or is it “Severd Phallus” ?

    1. “Semper Fudge”

  32. Total costs for trans people are less, because there are so few of them. The reason there are so few of them, is that the surgery is expensive and drastic. Balls are castrated, and the inside of the penis removed. This procedure costs at leat $100,000 per trans person.

    In the present US military, this is paid for by tax dollars. When did you stop being a libertarian, to make the transition to a social justice warrior?

  33. NICK! The last paragraph should have been cut. Did someone pay you for this? It is scattered, lacks transitions, basically sucks.

  34. “immigrants are a good thing for the country,” Yes, but the issue is not about legal immigration. It is about illegal entry, especially by unvetted military-aged young men many of whom are inclined to shout “Alahu Akbar” quite inappropriately. If the author of this editorial piece doesn’t know that, what other errors occur?

  35. For God’s sake I hear some people comparing this to blacks in the military. Black Americans have fought in just about every major war in this country. Why is it supposedly reasonable people want to compare Black people to mental ill individuals. This is not an issue and we do not need Transgenders in the military. If you have any sort of deformity or mental issues you will not be accepted. The US military is supposed to be a lethal fighting force, not a social program for libs to destroy as always.

    The sheer insanity of all of this, this is supposed to be Reason!

    1. Comparing trannys to black is racist against blacks.

  36. For God’s sake I hear some people comparing this to blacks in the military. Black Americans have fought in just about every major war in this country. Why is it supposedly reasonable people want to compare Black people to mental ill individuals. This is not an issue and we do not need Transgenders in the military. If you have any sort of deformity or mental issues you will not be accepted. The US military is supposed to be a lethal fighting force, not a social program for libs to destroy as always.

    The sheer insanity of all of this, this is supposed to be Reason!

  37. For God’s sake I hear some people comparing this to blacks in the military. Black Americans have fought in just about every major war in this country. Why is it supposedly reasonable people want to compare Black people to mental ill individuals. This is not an issue and we do not need Transgenders in the military. If you have any sort of deformity or mental issues you will not be accepted. The US military is supposed to be a lethal fighting force, not a social program for libs to destroy as always.

    The sheer insanity of all of this, this is supposed to be Reason!

  38. A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve and that costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually. That’s an increase of 0.04 percent and 0.13 percent

    You can apply that reasoning to most of the medical conditions that currently bar people from joining the military. The fact remains that gender dysphoria is a costly medical condition, requiring major surgery and lifelong drug treatments. It is also strongly associated with suicidal thoughts and depression. There is no rational reason to admit people with gender dysphoria when we exclude people for a long list of simpler and cheaper medical conditions.

  39. The whiff of basic incompetence emanating from the Oval Office (recall the hastily issued immigrant and refugee bans that went nowhere due to rushed wording) is already strong enough; there’s no need to triple down on it anymore.

    I am an immigrant. I do think immigrants are a good thing for the country. I encourage legal immigration. I think we should streamline it and make it simpler. Trump says so. Bill Clinton said so.

    However, refugees aren’t immigrants. Neither are business travelers, nor illegal migrants.

  40. I agree with the thrust of the article, but the mathematical reasoning is wrong. Talking about everything in bulk doesn’t provide a decent measure of whether the medical cost of transgender service personnel is excessive compared to the value they provide to the military.

    This kind of reasoning is similar to the logic of the 55MPH speed limit — measuring total lives while ignoring the value to each individual.

    So I “did the math”. The article says there are between 1,362 and 6,630 transgender personnel in the military. That’s an awfully wide range. And the total cost is between $2.4million and $8.4M. So the cost _per person_ is between $362 (2.4M/6630) and $6,164 (8.4M/1362). Online research gives the total active duty strength as 1,281,900, and total healthcare costs at $48B. So each active duty person costs $37,444. Even the _worst_ case is small (16%) compared to the average. The best case is vanishingly small: less than 1%.

    The “real” answer is somewhere in that range, probably toward the low end. THAT justifies keeping transgender people in the military!

    1. Umm, you’re aware that the added cost was ON TOP of what is already paid for the average soldier/recruit, right?

  41. Of course the costs are “tremendous” on an individual basis, but the total of budget line items for trans-soldiers will be higher than non-trans-soldiers.

    Then there is the very significant ongoing cost and time of indoctrinating, er, “training” millions of others in the military to deal with trans-soldiers..Sensitivity training so you don’t say or do something that might offend a trans-soldier cause your might hurt zi’s feelings, which could get you administrative punishment and/or courts-martialed.

    Then there is affirmative-action and bathroom and shower facilities. There will be recruitment quotas be for trans-soldiers.

    A non-trans applicant to join the military will be disqualified from serving if they have pre-existing medical/mental conditions from a long list of such things. One reason is money, but also the very real issue of providing necessary ongoing care under conditions of war.

    Finally, morale. This is just my opinion as a former USAF officer and pilot and as person who had a trans uncle (m->f) who committed suicide two years after “reassignment” surgery (I hate that term…), but I don’t see much upside to trans people in the military.

    Other than the continued deterioration of morale, standards and conduct in the military and with that, decline in capability.

    But as to dollars – trans-soldiers will cost more in a fully-loaded sense than a non-trans-soldier. The training and legal proceedings will cost 1000 times what the medical costs will be.

    1. I don’t see much upside to trans people in the military.

      Ugh! Utilitarian thinking applied to a utilitarian institution? wrong-think alert.

      Don’t you realize that the military is just a platform for political grandstanding? You act as though we’re paying for practical security needs rather than patriotic feels-mongering

    2. Very well stated.

    3. Well put. Unfortunately, the social justice wing here is unlikely to engage any of those points.

  42. Trans individuals who are committed to it must take hormones for life. Needing constant medication is not compatible with military life, especially combat. Trans male to female will want to bunk with the girls and shower with them. No one sees this as a discipline problem? Sure seems problematic to me. No privacy in the military.

    1. It is a morale problem but not to most of those who have never served.

  43. Oops, Nick, you should have waited for Tucker’s broadcast today to find out the real figures.

  44. Even a penny spent on this foolishness is too much.

  45. Even a penny spent on this foolishness is too much.

  46. “Trump has been alienating the deep state (particularly in terms of foreign policy and interventions).”
    GOOD! These bureaucrats need to be more alienated.

  47. What a sexist piece of clap trap drank the feminist libtard purple koolaid. Let’s look at erectile dysfunction drugs and their costs. These numbers are inflated as they include non active duty veterans and the majority of the drugs are prescribed for older men and those with injuries. As stated the drug is to fix a “dysfunction”, so are we saying that sex change is to fix a dysfunction? Actually it IS classified as a mental health disorder but the sex change doesn’t “cure” it, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/06/15145/. This one is so far left I thought I was reading a HuffPo piece.

    1. Agreed. I just watched a group of psychiatrists say that gender reassignment is over-done and many who get it regret it afterwards. The military is for fighting, not surgery.

  48. Why should the taxpayer pay for anyone’s gender reassignment surgery?
    In the case of our military, how much time will be wasted with mandatory sensitivity training vs warfighting training?
    One supposes that battle deaths would be written off as a necessary part of SJW training.

  49. Time for a little arithmetic :

    According to this article there are between 11360 and 6630 transgenders in the military. Lets split the difference and say 4000.

    How many will seek reassignment surgery? According to the “Washington Free Beacon” about 25% of transgenders in the civilian world seek surgery. We can safely assume that, if Uncle Sugar is paying for it, it will be higher in the military. Let’s just assume 50%. According to some medical cost web-site I found on the internet, sex reassignment surgery costs between $40-50K on average.

    So, 50% of 4000 x $45K = and you get $90 million. Plus, about 280 days when the patient is unable to work but, since they’re in the military, will get room and board. 2000 x 280 days = 560,000 work days or 1534 man (sorry, person) years we are paying for but not getting. I don’t know what the average pay in the military is these days but say it’s $30K per year (wild ass assumption, I admit). 1534 x $30K = $46 million.

    So, we now have $136 million in costs and we haven’t even considered the influx of transgenders wanting to join the military for free surgery.

    And, we didn’t get shit for it. Not one new F-22 or cruise missile or even an e-tool.

    1. Thank you for mentioning that this problem was growing as people join just to get this surgery.

  50. A good purge can do a lot to increase social conflict.

  51. I don’t think $1.3 Billion over 10 years is a small amount. Viagara is a pill. Transgender surgery is major surgery, and the cost of doesn’t include the cost of hormones for years. There are still psychiatrists who believe transgender is a mental illness, and who say that contrary to what LGBT groups say, gender reassignment surgery is very risky and often leaves the patient unhappier than before.

    What happened to Libertarians who want the government to spend LESS money? People are joining the military just because it’s a good way to get Uncle Sam to pay for their gender reassignment surgery. Ridiculous.

    Tried to link the Free Beacon $1.3 B story but wasn’t allowed

  52. Politics is a dirty game. However, the Chief has genuine reasons. They are his beliefs

  53. In any other set of circumstances, someone who insists that something is true that clearly, palpably and provably isn’t is considered insane, and if they try to mutilate themselves to make their delusions real, they get locked up. But thanks to our millennial friends, “transgenders” are coddled and indulged.

    Not only should “transgenders” not be in the military, they shouldn’t be anyplace but Arkham Asylum or its equivalent. If I decided I was really Kaiser Bill, and ran off to the hospital to demand that they surgically wither and shorten my left arm, would they do it? Not only no, but HELL NO!!! They’d throw me into a locked ward and there I would stay.

  54. It is disingenuous to compare the cost for the entire force of over a million to what it costs for a group of somewhere under 10K. Also, the Rand numbers do not add up. Re-assignment surgery costs in the tens of thousands of dollars, plus the added downtime, and lifetime hormone therapy. About equality: Why do trans get to decide with whom THEY refuse to share facilities because of their comfort (i.e., non-trans of the same-sex), but the rest of us do not? How is it ‘equal’ that trans can use performance enhancing hormones in sports, but the rest of us may not? Why can trans unilaterally declare that being trans is NOT a ‘pre-existing’ condition? Is it genetic or isn’t? Why can trans ENLIST with the understanding they will need expensive, complex, surgery, downtime, and a lifetime of therapy, but not any non-trans with any other correctable medical condition? And, what gives the trans the unilateral right, through non-discrimination laws that outlaw the right of private businesses to manage their own bathrooms and showers, to define for everyone else what counts as a man or woman, or how we are required to think about sex and sexuality? As a long-time gay activist, I support trans full rights to live in peace however they want. But, the state has no business telling people how they must think about sex and sexuality, and has no business validating anybody’s choices with tax money (not for Christians, atheists, gays, or trans), or forcing school children to do so.

  55. Sweet merciful heaven! Are you actually sourcing back to Politico? Why not Snopes? Vox? The NYT or WaPo? I know a drunk under the overpass who’s more reliable and honest. He admitted he’d go buy booze with the $5 I gave him, so I gave him another $5.

  56. There being no ‘immediate issues’ at hand, the ban on trans military personnel underscores at least two wins for the the president and the Republican Party.

    First, Obama’s sheer impetuousness when it came to policy pronouncements is what put Trump in office. While surprising those who will implement and enforce an ill-conceived policy was his style, Obama tried anyway. No initiative he championed has maintained a place in the American mind, a few were in the teens of those important to us. This is but one of the stupid things Obama did to irritate America and Trump is playing to those, not media thugs and Leftist bullies. The whiff of basic incompetence that emanated from the Oval Office dates back to Washington, for no man is perfect. But Trump keeping a promise is somehow worse?

  57. Second, the fact that the Republican candidates ran away from Trump because of campaign consultants’ advice, cost them 4 Senate seats by my count. Hillary was no bandwagon, while Trump speeches drew more protesters than her carefully orchestrated garden parties (One had more press and staff than ‘real people’). As for the GOP missing the Message, Nick, they still haven’t figured out why Reagan won! Issues such as bathroom exclusivity, the war on pot, immigration, and gay marriage are what got actual voters to the polls, the very people McCain and Romney scorned. Libertarian positions are a good, but simplistic and out of touch. Local Libertarians see the war on MJ is not high on anyone’s list that actually go to the polls, Much work still must be done. Policies that are punishing people who smoke weed are ingrained with the American psyche, no matter the views of Libertarians. While each pulls in growing numbers, they do not get the voters. No winning candidate I know of had a single Libertarian priority issue among the top 5 they campaigned on. Then again, I’m in AL.

  58. Third, the issue isn’t ‘immigration’, too many Americans are a generation or so removed from true immigration for that. The media knows this and paints any objection as ‘racist. I do not know a single person in AL that is against immigration (though I have a cousin…). These are not Illegal immigrants we worry about, but the CRIMINAL ALIENS. Actual, legal immigrants are hardworking and buy into the American dream. Criminal Aliens are here to steal the jobs of Americans and depress wage. MS13 is in the news of late, but they are only the biggest and most violent, representing less than 1/5 foreign criminals in gangs. They are not here in strength, a small but local ‘shake down’ operation known as ‘Poco something’ ‘rules’. Executed 5 men in an apt a few years back. All were ‘illegal immigrants’.

    I have to wear rose colored glasses to see, you shouldn’t.

  59. “A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2015 found slightly less than 13,000 transgender service members and transition-related care amounted to between $4.2 million and $5.6 million per year. The military’s annual health-care budget is around $48 billion a year.”

    This kind of reasoning is why government never shrinks.

    “A 2016 Rand study done for the Department of Defense calculated that between 1,362 and 6,630 trans people serve and that costs associated with transitioning would increase military health spending by between $2.4 million and $8.4 million annually.

    So take the lowball figure of $2.4m / 6630, $362, and you have to ask why can’t they just pay for their own medical cost. Take the highball if $6,167 per trans person (these ranges seem pretty innocent until you crunch the numbers) and you end up with Trump’s logic.

    The basic point, though, comes down to individual responsibility, which I used to think was part of the libertarian canon. But this is what you get for putting a so-called libertarian think tank in Cali-fucking-fornia.

  60. My son was denied serving in the Marines because the tattoo on his leg was too large. He enlisted in the Navy as a result. I have another son who served 2 tours inIraq as a Marine. Both say the same thing – transgendered and even most females do not belong in combat units – they simply don’t have the physical strength required to do the job. There were many women on the Navy ship who served admirably and did the job very well – but they did not serve in a combat unit.

    I don’t want anyone else sons to be lost in combat because the person who is supposed to have their back cannot physically do what’s required. Flack vests weigh 40 lbs. and field gear another 80 lbs. – anyone not strong enough to carry this load plus possibly have to rescue/carry a wounded comrade out of danger does not belong in combat. Women are simply too small and transgenders , by virtue of their drug theraphy are reducing muscle mass and rendering themselves inappropriate for the job at hand.

    The military has one mission and social experiments are not the venue for it.

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  62. Horse____, Mr. Gillespie. Usually you’re good, but this time I see that same nonsense about “it’s ONLY zero-zero-zero percent so-and-so, therefore there is no problem.” This makes me irritated with my libertarian buddies. How about zero cost to the military for personal medical procedures, and THEN persons can apply for military service. This is the libertarian I have been, as it gives the most liberty to everyone, particularly us taxpayers.

  63. A few points:
    1. Many of the exclusions if taken individually, wouldn’t cost much relative to the total DOD budget. 9% of age eligible adults have hypertension. Treating the condition is cheap relative to the DOD budget; a pill a day till it’s under control. That’s not a reason to not exclude them. If we took all the conditions that are easier, and/or cheaper to treat and/or accommodate, that trans people it would get really expensive and readiness-damaging real quick.
    2. The military spends way too much money. That’s not a reason to spend any more taxpayer cash on other unnecessary expenses.
    5. If it’s decided to allow trans people to serve, then their known extra cost in money and readiness should be reflected in their contract. I.e., they would have to serve 6 years, instead of 4. Or, have their bonuses revoked, etc…
    6. There are costs in time and money not reflected in the per/trans costs. If there are only 10 trans people in the military, the costs of training and accommodations are the same for if there were 5,000. Units that never see a trans person (most units) still have to spend time on mandatory training, EEO training, paperwork, etc…
    7. A major barrier that trans people face in transitioning is the monetary cost. If a trans person could sign a 4 year contract, and get all their costs gratis on the taxpayer, it would be a hell of an incentive for younger trans people to join.

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