Hidden costs double war bill

Washington Post article

Ignoring for a moment the hypocrisy of the Democrats criticizing the cost of the wars when they overwhelmingly voted for them in the first place and continually approve funding for endless “emergency” appropriations, here’s an excerpt from the article:

The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts’ “hidden costs”– including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.

That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled “The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War,” estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000.

$20,000 would just about pay for a bachelor’s degree at USI, the local public university. Even if one disputes the figure cited by the study, just the amount so far requested by the administration would cover 2 years, or an associate’s degree at Ivy Tech, the local community college.

And, as Space Cowboy at Shakesville put it, “Even if you want to call bullshit on this report, how can you sit there and tell me that you’re ok with our shoveling out $804 billion for this shit?”

The report also cites the war’s pulling reservists and National Guardsmen away from their jobs and the effect in terms of their incomes being essentially taken out of the economy.

While it is difficult at best to calculate the impact of the Iraq war on oil prices, and so that part of the report may be questionable, it is clear that the price tag just in dollar terms is far higher than even the already-staggering figures put forth by the administration indicate – not to mention the cost in human terms. In fact, Congressional Democrats also reported possible costs of $3.5 trillion if the debacle goes on to 2017.

All this and they still can’t/won’t take care of those they have sent to fight who come back broken, whether physically, mentally, and/or spiritually. In fact, the number of homeless Iraq vets is steadily rising.

While I advocate tax resistance as a protest against the violence perpetrated by the government, it is clear from this report that the financial cost alone to the average person goes far beyond taxes. The effects shown by this report should present a clear reason for us to engage alternative economic practices in as many ways as possible. It is useless for us to talk about peace when so much of what we spend goes to fund violence – whether it is the violence of war or of the sweatshop.


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