The Cost of the Iraq War

The war in Iraq is burning money at the rate of
$250,000 a minute according to Gordon Adams, a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars.

Writing about the costs of the Iraq war, Gordon Adams offers a breath-taking picture of the rate of spending in the current issue of Foreign Policy. Adams writes about emergency fund requests; requests for funds that don’t go through the same budget process that is required for budgeted items and, therefore, receive less scrutiny by lawmakers. Under these allocations Adams breaks out spending per minute. It’s staggering. At the current rate of $10 billion a month, the per minute expenditure is $250,000. Adams writes in the time it takes to turn a page in his magazine almost $1 million will be spent. He reminds us the White House said the war would cost $50 billion. It’s closing in on ten times that amount.

To see what could be funded with these amounts the National Priorities Project provides a running meter which compares data about pre-school, kid’s health, college scholarships, public housing, or public education. You can check how war spending equates to these programs in your state and city.

A different comparison is provided by Casey Adens-Wansbury in an op-ed published by Tom Paine. com. Adens-Wansbury writes, “Health coverage can be provided to every child in America in 2007. The funding necessary to expand coverage to all children and pregnant women would be the equivalent to just nine days of Defense Department spending in 2007, and three months of the tax cuts to the richest one percent of Americans this year.”

These are the financial costs. The human toll is considerably different and I haven’t even attempted to address these.

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