Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How Money in Iraq Could Have Been Spent

John Allen Paulos writes: How Iraq Trillion Could Have Been Spent.

The price tag for the Iraq War is now estimated at $700 billion in direct costs and perhaps twice that much when indirect expenditures are included. Cost estimates vary - Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz puts the total cost at more than $2 trillion - but let's be conservative and say it's only $1 trillion (in today's dollars)...

  • 100 years of funding for the EPA
  • 18 years of funding the Department of Education
  • 170 years of National Science Foundation
  • 200 years of National Cancer Institute
  • 28 years of the Department of Homeland Security
  • 1,500 years of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
  • A check for $3,000 to every man, woman, and child in the U.S.
  • A check for $150 for every person in the word.

Put another way:

It would take almost three decades to spend a trillion dollars at $1,000 per second, and if spending at this rate occurred only during business hours, more than 120 years would be required to dispense the sum.

And, of course...

Some might argue that the $1 trillion expenditure in Iraq has made us both more secure domestically and more respected internationally than ever before. Perhaps as many as a dozen people agree with Cheney's recent hallucinatory comment that "we've had enormous successes, and we will continue to have enormous successes in Iraq."

via J-Walk Blog

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