Thursday, March 20, 2008

What Is the Iraq War Costing You?

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MSNBC reports some agreement on what the war has cost the nation as of last fall:

They also agree on the easiest figure to peg: the actual budgetary outlay by the U.S. government so far. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported last fall that $368 billion already had been spent on the Iraq war plus another $45 billion in benefits for the wounded and survivors of those killed in action.

Assuming this total were accurate for the five years we have been in Iraq, which it isn't (see above), that works out to $413 billion for the nation, or based on the $504 billion figure above:
  • $4,681 per household
  • $1,721 per person
  • $341.4 million per day
(This assumes a population of about 300 million). Or consider this:

The US budget for Iraq in FY 2007 came to $4,988/Iraqi. This is triple Iraq's per-person GDP. It's like spending $121,000 per person ($484,000 per family of 4) in the US. Why not just bribe the whole country?

Or consider this outdated (and badly written) breakdown from Wikipedia:

As the total passed 450 Billion dollars, the cost for the Iraq war reached approximately $1500.usd per person in the United States.[8] If the Iraq war were to wind up costing 1.9 trillion dollars, the cost would be over 4.2 times higher ($6,300 per United States citizen.) This would put the expense at $25,000 for an average family of four ( or $32,000 per family if Afghanistan is included.)

As a comparison, with this money he estimates that one could have built 8 million houses, paid 15 million teachers, paid for the child care of 530 million kids, paid for the scholarship of 43 million students, offered social safety net during 50 year to Americans. Stigltz also said that United States help for Africa is only $5 billion soon to be superseded by China. $5 billions correspond to only the spending of 10 days for the war by the United States.

If Bush and the Congress want to create an incentive package for the economy, getting out of Iraq would be a good start.

Are you getting your money's worth?

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