The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion — roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee.
In case you can’t quite wrap your mind around that puny-looking “1”, that’s $1,600,000,000,000.
And here I am worrying about a paltry half-million dollar mortgage. Silly me.
Future economic costs would be even greater. The report estimated that both wars would cost $3.5 trillion between 2003 and 2017. Under that scenario, it would cost a family of four $46,400, the report said.
You know all those Republicans who are demonizing Democrats saying they want to raise taxes? Well, pardon me, but, um, how in the hell do you suggest these wars be paid for? It is worth noting that the $46,000 bill for every American family is more than most of them make in a year. Doesn’t matter, we’ll still cut taxes on the rich so they won’t be burdened while at the same time their investments in the war industry blossom despite the oncoming depression.
You know what? I’m willing to bet that if we had spent $1.6 trillion on creating new energy technologies, mass producing solar cells, engineering robust electric cars and next generation batteries… well, we would be well on our way to reducing our dependence on oil; probably to such an extent that we wouldn’t have any strategic interest in Iraq or Iran or the Middle East and would not have bothered to get mired in a mess of our own making.
[Excerpts from San Francisco Chronicle/AP]