Israeli soldiers are seen near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Monday, March 4, 2024.

Israeli soldiers are seen near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, Monday, March 4, 2024. / AP

There's been a lot of disagreement in Congress and in the country about whether the U.S. should continue to financially support the wars in Ukraine and Gaza.

Some taxpayers don't think the U.S. should give Ukraine any money to fight off Russia's invasion. And some taxpayers have concerns about how they might be funding weapons that have been used to kill civilians in Gaza. And there are questions about how much individual taxpayers contribute to war efforts, generally.

So in this episode, we attempt to do the math: The average taxpayers' contribution to Israel and Ukraine. It's not so simple. But in attempting to do this math, we get this window into the role of our tax dollars on foreign assistance, and how the U.S. sells weapons to other countries.

Further Reading:

Congressional Research Service Reports:

Ending Cash Flow Financing to Egypt: Issues for Congress
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
U.S. Foreign Aid to Israel

State Department Fact Sheets:

U.S. Arms Sales and Defense Trade
U.S. Security Cooperation with Israel


Defense Security Cooperation Agency: Major Arms Sales
U.S. Aid to Israel in Four Charts

Appropriations/Supplemental Aid:

National Security Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2024
Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022
Continuing Appropriations and Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2023
House Appropriations Bill

This episode was hosted by Sarah Gonzalez and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler and edited by Jess Jiang. It was fact-checked by Sierra Juarez and engineered by Robert Rodriguez. Alex Goldmark is our executive producer.

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