The Truth when critiquing bigots

I don’t doubt that Congresswoman Hartzler is anti-LGBT, or that she deserves criticism but the headline: Congresswoman: Trans People In The Military As Dangerous As ISIS is not only not a quote, it is a misrepresentation of her stated position.

It is true she’s against “transgenders” (her usage) in the military, apparently thinking that Rand’s study was off by a factor of 1000 when estimating costs. I’m not convinced that the congresswoman’s math skills are up for the task of multiplying the currently accepted number of 15,500 in the entire military (active and reserves) stated in a Williams Institute study with a proper amortized estimate of yearly transgender services costs.

There’s no particular reason to believe costs would change much other than allowing for active medical intervention and even if 15,500 people, not all of which are male, or want SRS were to ask for it, $30k, 15,000 is 450m not the 8b that she states. Even if all the surgeries were done (FFS and BA) it would only climb to around 1b, but that’s the total cost, not the yearly expense. They don’t get 15,000 new transgender personnel every year. It’s a volunteer service and many people serve for many years.

In anycase it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the overall health care costs and transgender service members have always been there and will continue to be there. Forcing people to hide it isn’t a particularly healthy way to deal with it.

What she really didn’t do was compare transgender people to ISIS. We don’t do ourselves favors by making ad hominem attacks rather than stating the real cause for concern. It might make a better headline, but it should be beneath those who claim to speak for us to libel someone to make a point.


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