Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WAR -- The Money [Part 13]

In an earlier post, I mentioned how hard it is to conceive of the number 3 trillion. It is even harder to imagine how much stuff $3 trillion can buy, from private yachts to health care for all Americans. Many charts and graphs have been created to try to get at the size of what the Iraq war is costing us. Here’s an amusing video that takes a stab at it. Needless to say, viewing this comes with a “Please Laugh to Keep from Crying” warning.

Go HERE for the $3 Trillion Shopping Spree

Then it’s back to reality.

The New York Times
April 14, 2008
Views on Money for Iraq War, and What Else Could Be Done With It

WASHINGTON — With long-term estimates of the cost of the Iraq war ranging from $1 trillion to $3 trillion or more, the question naturally arises of what else the country could have done with the money.

The issue occasionally crops up on the campaign trail and in public debate. Senator Barack Obama , Democrat of Illinois, told voters in West Virginia last month that the war was costing each American household $100 a month. “Just think about what battles we could be fighting instead of fighting this misguided war,” Mr. Obama said.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Indiana recently that the war was costing $12 billion a month and was crowding out urgent national needs. “We’ve got to begin not only to withdraw our troops,” said Mrs. Clinton, Democrat of New York, “but bring that money back home.”

On the other hand, Senator John McCain of Arizona, the likely Republican nominee, says repeatedly that success in Iraq justifies any cost and that overspending in other areas is causing the strain on the federal budget. He says the government can afford whatever the war costs as well as a big corporate tax cut if it reins in wasteful federal spending. . . .

But the war in Iraq is largely being paid for off the books, with emergency and supplemental spending rather than from the Pentagon’s operating budget, so Mr. Bush’s figures are a low estimate of the relative cost of the war, analysts have observed . And growing entitlement costs today make such comparisons with previous eras questionable. . . .

Full article is here


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