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Monday, November 26, 2007

Cost of War: How (not) to spend a trillion (or more) dollars?


In the run up to the Iraqi and Afghanistan war (with a March 2003 invasion of Iraq), the Bush administration estimated the Iraq war would cost no more than $50 billion.
Ha! Ha! Fooled Ya!

Instead, depending on your accounting skills, interest payments, which United States dollars (2002 or 2007) you will use, or what counts as a military expenditure, the cost projections run from just over $1 Trillion to over $2.6 Trillion U.S. Dollars. Which it turns out will put it in the WWII ballpark (see above graphic of U.S. War Costs) of what it costs to wage war. Yikes!









NY Times things to buy:
  1. Universal Preschool ($35 Billion)

  2. Treating Heart Disease and Diabetes ($50 Billion)

My things that the United States could have bought with the $1,000,000,000,000 spent in Iraq:

· 4,000,000 homes at a price of $250,000 per pad. In the Midwest, this could reasonably get you a 3-bedroom, 2-bath, 2-car garage home. Given the current mortgage crisis, this would have been a pretty suite (get it, sweet) deal.


· Recently my local school district renovated the high school for $50,000,000. Figuring a 1,000-student facility, this purchase price could build 20,000 schools and educate 20,000,000 kids. More reasonably, I suspect 10,000 schools and 7.5-10 million kids.


· Create 1,000,000 millionaires. 1 in 300 existing Americans, could suddenly become wealthy enough to create businesses, go to school, purchase 1,000,000 cars, 1,000,000 homes and eat everyday without worry. The amount that would be put to use for entreprenuerial ventures would create plenty of wealth on the backside.


· A typical computer system (say a laptop) costs around $1,500 to $2,000 with added software packages, peripherals, security, etc. 500 systems for $1,000,000. One for every man, woman and child in America with $400,000,000,000 left over for high-end systems. Course it would be good for only 2-3 years. But then again, what good has this war been???


· Infrastructure in America is failing. Say a mile of pave road (4-lane with reasonable width) costs $2,000,000. 500,000 miles of road: Two hundred fifty - 2,000 miles in length Interstates. That's enough road to get to the moon and back comfortably.


· $500,000,000,000 payment on Federal Debt would strengthen the dollar a bit.

. $100 per barrel of oil. 10,000 barrels for $1,000,000. 10,000,000 barrels for 1 billion. This is only ½ days worth of usage…in America.

. Nuclear Power Plants are the most effecient of all electrical generators. The cost of a 1,000 MW plant is (estimated) at $5 Billion. Currently, 103 plants provide 20% of the nation's electrical energy. With the right spending we could up this to nearly 60% reliance on Nuclear Power - cost effectively. Too bad 3-Mile Island keeps on being brought up.

War spending is really never constructive at all.

Destruction is the goal. Though I realize we need to be secure, how about using some good old fashion diplomacy before going full tilt to war?

All Americans paid for this Bush-inspired Boondoggle.

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