Comparing the cost of the war

Most of us cannot really comprehend amounts in the billions, let alone trillions of dollars. There is no frame of reference. But a new article from the NYT that I found at Veterans for Common Sense may help.  

On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, looked at the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International. Estimates for the total cost run between 2-3 trillion dollars. Thats 2-3 thousand thousand thousand thousand dollars.

Both men talked about large opportunities lost because of the money poured into the war. “For a fraction of the cost of this war,” said Mr. Stiglitz, “we could have put Social Security on a sound footing for the next half-century or more.”

…the money spent on the war each day is enough to enroll an additional 58,000 children in Head Start for a year, or make a year of college affordable for 160,000 low-income students through Pell Grants, or pay the annual salaries of nearly 11,000 additional border patrol agents or 14,000 more police officers.

Thats each day people, not each week, month or year!

The Bush administration has tried its best to conceal the horrendous costs of the war. It has bypassed the normal budgetary process, financing the war almost entirely through “emergency” appropriations that get far less scrutiny.

Mr. Hormats told the committee:

“Normally, when America goes to war, nonessential spending programs are reduced to make room in the budget for the higher costs of the war. Individual programs that benefit specific constituencies are sacrificed for the common good … And taxes have never been cut during a major American war. For example, President Eisenhower adamantly resisted pressure from Senate Republicans for a tax cut during the Korean War.”

Said Mr. Stiglitz: “Because the administration actually cut taxes as we went to war, when we were already running huge deficits, this war has, effectively, been entirely financed by deficits. The national debt has increased by some $2.5 trillion since the beginning of the war, and of this, almost $1 trillion is due directly to the war itself … By 2017, we estimate that the national debt will have increased, just because of the war, by some $2 trillion.”

And we even have to argue about a national health care program? The money is there, for all of the rebuilding and social initiatives we need. But right now, we are letting a madman spend it, unchecked and unaccounted for, by the billions each and every day. Just who is really at fault here, people?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Bush/Cheney, Crime, Indecency, Iraq, Lying Bastards, Military

2 Comments on “Comparing the cost of the war”

  1. Buffalo Says:

    It’s just money. The government has a money tree, don’t cha know? It’s called the middle class tax payer.

  2. irgen Says:

    Who benefited from America’s involvement in wars?

    The defence industries, those merchants of death with their deadly weapons, their latest anti-ballistic missiles and armor piercing bullets will always clamor for wars. And hundreds of thousands of Americans are dependant on these industries.

    Think about it. Trillions of dollars all go down the drain. Did America really liberate the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein? Are they better off now than when Saddam Hussein was in power and they went peacefully about their daily business, working, marketing, schooling and with all utilities in good working order?

    What did America liberate the people of Iraq from. Yes, from the dictator Saddam; but other than that, they brought death and misery on a daily basis on the population.

    Another trillion or two will have to be spent before the next teardrop.


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