Thursday, September 20, 2007

Iraq War Cost Update - Your Share is $1,523 Plus Interest

The National Priorities Project has calculated that the "incremental cost" of the Iraq War will hit $456 billion on September 30, 2007. This is money already spent, and does not include any future costs such as the medical treatment and disability benefits for soldiers wounded in Iraq - costs that will be giant in their own right.

"Incremental" means money that we would not have spent if we had not gone to war. For example, regular salaries of troops are not incremental, but combat pay is. Buying vehicles to replace those that have been worn out early or blown up in combat is incremental. You get the idea.

In 2003, when we invaded Iraq, that country had a population of about 25 million men, women, and children. As of September 30, 2007, the U.S. will have spent an "incremental" $18,280 for each of them in our effort to create a working, friendly democracy in Iraq. Or, to put it another way, George Bush has already spent $1,523 on Iraq for every one of the 300 million Americans.

Maybe you don't think this is a lot of money. Here's yet another way to think about it. George Bush could have taken the $1,523 and put it into a Social Security lock box for each one of us, to compound until we retire. If we were 18 this year, that money would grow by about $8,500 until we retired at 65. Now, here's the really bad news: since Bush borrowed this money and added it to the national debt which will not be repaid, we and our children will be paying out $8,500 in interest on this $1,523 over the next 47 years - and a good chunk of that will be going to Chinese investors.

The next time you meet an Iraq War Hawk, remind him or her of the amount his family has spent on the war to-date. For a family of five, that's $7,500, not counting the future medical costs or interest on the debt. Have the results been worth it?


Ron Davison said...

I think for the next war, the supporters should have to go door to door to raise the money - in advance. "Would you like to donate $1,500 to create a beacon of peace and democracy in the Middle East? Oh, you have a wife and children? I mean, $6,000. Please?" It could be the best way to ensure peace.

Shore-Leave OIC said...

I would glady donate $6000 for a beacon of peace..democracy I'm not to sure about, maybe if their constituion looked like ours and everyone had freedom that a democratic process couldn't erode, (supposedly like our role model) then yea, they would get $6000 from me.