From the period from 2002 to 2008, the war translates into a cost of $20,900 for a family of four. The Bush administration has already requested $804 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. For the Iraq war only, total economic costs are estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. That would cost a family of four $16,500, the latest report shows.
WOW, how many of us would really take over 16K out of our assets (most of us would have to liquidate our retirement to have that amount of cash available ) and say, “Here President Bush, I’d like to make my contribution towards fighting this perfectly legitimate war in Iraq.” According to the polls, almost no one in the country would do that, but the Bush administration has decided to take it out of our pockets and the pockets of our children and grandchildren anyway. Apparently when you’re a dictator you don’t need the peasantry’s permission to spend their money.
And that’s a LOT of money! Most people can’t even conceptualize that kind of money. What are some other things we could have done for 1.6 Trillion Dollars? Well, for example, we could have converted every car on the road to clean tech, paid for the college education of everyone in the US, and supplied everyone in the US with healthcare…. Bonus: there would be no blood of Iraqi children and countless innocent civilians on our hands.
Even by the most conservative estimates, Americans are paying over
$100,000 per minute to finance the killing of Iraqis, even though most
Americans don’t want to be financing it at all. If you can handle it,
here’s a ticker showing the cost adding up in real time at the link
Sadly, a Lancet study found that the government isn’t just lying about
the money, but that there is also a much larger number of Iraqi deaths
than the government is officially reporting. The study found that
already over 650,000 people have died as a direct affect of this war.
For those unfortunate individuals—the majority of them innocent of any
crime—the war has cost them EVERYTHING.
The report, released earlier this week, also included the "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions, which are all valid costs of this “war”. I put war in parenthesis, because war denotes at least one party fighting against another. However, in Iraq, no one really knows who they are fighting. So it’s more of a situational “every one for his or her self” guessing game since most Iraqis don’t want us there, and the ones willing to fight back are labeled as terrorists and shot. Apparently, it’s a fine line who gets to be called a terrorist, as reports surface every day of another unarmed family shot to death at the dinner table. It’s not too surprising that your average Iraqi isn’t fond of their “liberators”.
Future economic costs will be even greater warns the report. The report estimated that both wars will cost $3.5 trillion between 2003 and 2017. Under that scenario, it would cost a family of four $46,400, the report said. WOW. How are we all going to come up with close to 50K per household to pay for this? We aren’t! No wonder the dollar is worthless and we’re on the brink of the Great Depression Part 2. The report comes as the House and Senate planned to vote this week on another effort by Democrats to set a deadline for withdrawing troops from Iraq as a condition for providing another $50 billion for the war.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev said the report "is another reminder of how President Bush's stubborn refusal to change course in Iraq and congressional Republicans' willingness to rubber stamp his failed strategy — has real consequences at home for all Americans."
The White House is trying to downplay the report, but Israel Klein, spokesman for the Joint Economic Committee, took issue with the White House's dismissive attitude toward the panel's report.
"Instead of dealing with the substance of this report, the White House is once again trying to deflect attention away from the blistering costs of this war in Iraq," Klein said. "This report uses the nonpartisan CBO (Congressional Budget Office) budget estimates and was prepared by the JEC's professional economists using the same process this committee has always used, regardless of which party is in the majority."
However, the committee's top-ranking Republican members — Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rep. Jim Saxton of New Jersey — called on the Democratic leadership to "withdraw this defective report." A joint statement from the two Republican lawmakers said the report is a "thinly veiled exercise in political hyperbole masquerading as academic research."
White House Budget Director Jim Nussle accused the report as being spawned of Democrats who are "trying to distort reality for political gain." Um, Jim, are you being serious? Please tell me you’re not being serious. Please tell me that you actually meant to admit that the Bush administration has long been distorting reality for political gain, because that would make much more sense at this point. But even for those with a delightful sense of humor like Jim, you have to admit this is an expensive “war”, with no end in site, and no clear path to any semblance of “victory”.
"What this report makes crystal clear," said Joint Economic Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., "is that the cost to our country in lives lost and dollars spent is tragically unacceptable." That sentiment was echoed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the panel's vice chair, who said of the Iraq war: "By every measure, this war has cost Americans far too much."
But if you’re a visual person, here’s a handy guide that will let you actually see the physical size of the kind of money we’re wasting at http://www.crunchweb.net/87billion/ . In fact, I don’t think we can even call it wasting, because that implies that no one’s getting hurt, and that there is just “waste” going on. We not wasting, we’re actively funding rape, murder and torture of countless civilians and in many sad instances, we’re financing the death of little children whose short lives were needlessly spent in fear and uncertainty in the midst of a corrupt war. It’s sad. It’s also very, very sad that a once proud nation is financing this slaughter rather than using that inconceivable amount of money to cure the ills of the 21st century. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what good 1.6 trillion dollars could have accomplished if applied toward peaceful, humanitarian operations rather than applied towards “preemptively” attacking a foreign nation without just cause. It’s an interesting idea to think about.
If there’s something you think would be a better use of 1.6 trillion dollars, please comment.
Posted by Rebecca Sato
The End of Oil?
Hell on Earth—Conflict in Iraq is Masking Epic Humanitarian Crisis http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/08/hell-on-earthco.html
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