We all know the winners and losers in war. The soldiers & civilians lose while arms merchants, investors and pols win, thanks, in large part, to legislation opening up the government pocketbook funded by us rubes.
To whit ...
- Members of Congress profited from selling defense company stocks, many after voting in favor of sending billions in weapons to Ukraine.
- While unforeseen demand has left top weapons makers scrambling to meet production targets, defense stocks are performing well overall, according to Investopedia.
- Several Republican lawmakers bought defense stocks but voted against Ukraine aid.
It gets better ...
Congress approved more than $20 billion worth of military aid to Ukraine between Jan. 24, a month before Russia invaded, and Nov. 20, including $12.7 billion in direct drawdowns from existing U.S. weapons stocks, according to data compiled by the Council on Foreign Relations. To make up for that aid, top defense companies have boosted production, and lawmakers trading on company stocks saw a financial windfall as a result, according to publicly available stock trading data.
Overall, Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon netted the highest average returns on defense company stocks since 2021 at 40%, according to a chart published Tuesday by Unusual Whales, a site known for exposing how members of Congress profit from trading related to legislative issues. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who has voted against Ukraine aid, was the top Republican at 35.5%.
Follow the money/rev XXX
Republican Florida Rep. John Rutherford and Blumenauer each bought up to $15,000 in Raytheon stock the day of Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24. Rutherford claimed in his disclosure that his advisers erroneously purchased the stock, and it was sold on March 14 for a 3% gain, according to Unusual Whales.
Rutherford, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and Blumenauer voted for a $40 billion supplemental military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine passed in May, the Congressional Record shows.
Former Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa sold Lockheed Martin stock for a profit in November, after voting in favor not only of the May supplemental package, but also for a September emergency funding bill that authorized an additional $12 billion for Ukraine and the omnibus spending bill passed in December, which includes an additional $45 billion in Ukraine aid, according to the Congressional Record.
Public funding for the few works, right?