Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hey Buddy, Can You Spare 1.2 Trillion?

What is your pet project?

If Nancy Pelosi called you up and guaranteed funding for whatever you would like the government to do, what would you request?

Universal health care, rebuild New Orleans, fund research on alternative fuels, really address poverty? Whoaaaa we can’t have all that, its way too expensive you say, right? According to this New York Times article, (in the business section, no less), we’ve already spent it on Iraq. Click on the above graphic to bring it into perspective.
This little tidbit should whet your appitite for the whole article:

In the days before the war almost five years ago, the Pentagon estimated that it would cost about $50 billion. Democratic staff members in Congress largely agreed. Lawrence Lindsey, a White House economic adviser, was a bit more realistic, predicting that the cost could go as high as $200 billion, but President Bush fired him in part for saying so. These estimates probably would have turned out to be too optimistic even if the war had gone well. Throughout history, people have typically underestimated the cost of war, as William Nordhaus, a Yale economist, has pointed out. But the deteriorating situation in Iraq has caused the initial predictions to be off the mark by a scale that is difficult to fathom. The operation itself — the helicopters,the
tanks, the fuel needed to run them, the combat pay for enlisted troops, the salaries of reservists and contractors, the rebuilding of Iraq — is costing more than $300 million a day, estimates Scott Wallsten, an economist in Washington.

At this point the estimate begins to differ on the long term cost of the war. If you read the side bar, these estimates have risen since they were published. Even the most conservative put it over a trillion dollars. I strongly urge you to read the entire article and its accompanying reports.

We often focus on the human cost of the war, (and rightfully so), but this is a cold slap in the face when you consider who is financing this war; the poor, the sick, the uneducated children. This, my friends is the true face of the Republican Party. We will never be able to afford universal health care, or true educational reforms, or to feed our hungry, but we can give tax cuts to the richest Americans, and all the while throw stomach wrenching amounts of money into the desert sand to appease the narcissistic, masturbatory urges of our dick-wad mass murderer in chief.

When will America wake up?

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