Thursday, January 18, 2007

War in Iraq - $1.2 TRILLION

Yup, you read it right. It was announced this week that the war in Iraq has cost the U.S. taxpayers $1.2 Trillion a year.
According to the Pentagon before the war began, the estimated cost for the war was in the neighborhood of $50 billion.
David Leonhardt writes in the International Herald Tribune that Democratic staff members in Congress largely agreed with the estimate. 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 George W. Bush fired him in part for saying so.
To put it into perspective, it would be like getting a $500 estimate for car repairs and then getting a bill for $120,000.
But what is $1.2 Trillion? Let's write it out: $1,200,000,000,000 or 10 to the 12th power. That's 12 zeroes to the left of the decimal point. A trillion is a million million dollars.
One trillion dollars would stretch nearly from the earth to the sun. It would take a military jet flying at the speed of sound, reeling out a roll of dollar bills behind it, 14 years before it reeled out one trillion dollar bills.
Click here to see another visual image.
Here's another thought, let's count to a billion. But first, let's see how long that will take. I can count pretty fast for a while. I mumble a little, like "sev-sen" for "seventy-seven." After a while (in the 100,000's), it takes me a lot longer than a second for each number. If it takes me a second for each number (which is a little unrealistic), then it would take me about 24 hours to count to 86,400. I can count to a million in less than half a month. It will take me more than 30 years to count to a billion (not a trillion mind you).
At a minimum wage of $5.75, $1.2 trillion would pay the salaries of 100,334,448 Americans for a year.
The National Cancer Institutes budget is $6 billion a year. $1.2 trillion would pay that budget for the next 200 years.
On today's market a barrel of oil (42 U.S. gallons) costs $52. Not bad but think of all the oil you could purchase with $1.2 trillion - more than 23,076,923,076.
It's estimated that the U.S. consumes roughly 20 million barrels a day. So with that knowledge, $1.2 trillion would purchase enough oil for the U.S. to survive on for 1,153 days or 3 years at the current rate of consumption.
According to David Leonhardt, universal preschool would probably cost $50 billion a year. So would a treatment program for heart disease and diabetes.
So that estimated $20 million for 20,000 additional troops in Iraq doesn't sound that bad now does it? How much is your protection worth?


Rick Reynolds said...

My only question, is it morally acceptable to deliver a people from the hands of one who would choose to massacre his own people? Is it humane to afford people the same opportunities that you and I have by living in a free country? Is it significant that these people might have more peace than they did in the tyrannical movement of their former leader?

I have no problem with people who are pacifists and believe war for any reason is wrong. I know good people, who are strong Christians that have this view. The problem I have is with those who object to war because they disagree with the person who led the country into it. I have a problem with putting a price tag on people’s heads and saying "it costs too much to save them". I have a problem with those who want to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan and redeploy to the Sudan. By the way, I think we should be in the Sudan as well. My point is, the Sudanese are embattled in a civil war and every democrat I can name believes that we should be doing something in that region. All the while, they are screaming that Iraq is in a civil war and that is the reason to leave. I also wish that more people would stop complaining and offer prayer, better solutions, and unity. I do not believe that we have to all agree to be unified; however, I do believe that the backbiting and theoretical taunts by those on both sides are exhausting and childish. We need to come together and find avenues to join forces. These are my opinions for whatever they are worth! Thanks for the dialogue!

Jonathan Blundell said...

I think it is morally acceptable to deliver people who are under oppression. After the Holocaust we as Americans said we would never let it happen again.
I have no problem with going to war to deliver people from oppression. And I don't believe the war is wrong or that it's wrong because of who led us there. I just think we need to have more dialog - like this and discuss what's right & wrong and left & right about the war.
But if freeing people from oppression is why we went to war then we should be doing the same thing everywhere - yes in Sudan as well.
Why are we so quick to go to war with Iraq to free an oppressed people and not in Africa?
How many people in Africa could be saved with $1.2 Trillion dollars? How many people in America could be saved with $1.2 Trillion dollars?
How many anti-viral drugs could we give people in Africa and Asia for the extra $20 million it will cost to send additional troops into Baghdad.
I think the same freedoms we have should be afforded to every boy, girl, woman and man on the face of the earth. If we are going to play the role of world police - we need to enforce the same rules/ideas everywhere.