Even if Americans can find some way to justify our baseless attack on a nation which posed no threat whatsoever to the United States, they should have trouble denying the staggering costs of such a fiasco. The New York Times reports on some sobering statistics that underscore the costs to our society in The $2 Trillion Nightmare. From the article:
On Thursday, the Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Senator Chuck Schumer, conducted a public examination of the costs of the war. The witnesses included the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz (who believes the overall costs of the war — not just the cost to taxpayers — will reach $3 trillion), and Robert Hormats, vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International.
Both men talked about large opportunities lost because of the money poured into the war. “For a fraction of the cost of this war,” said Mr. Stiglitz, “we could have put Social Security on a sound footing for the next half-century or more.”
Mr. Hormats mentioned Social Security and Medicare, saying that both could have been put “on a more sustainable basis.” And he cited the committee’s own calculations from last fall that showed that the money spent on the war each day is enough to enroll an additional 58,000 children in Head Start for a year, or make a year of college affordable for 160,000 low-income students through Pell Grants, or pay the annual salaries of nearly 11,000 additional border patrol agents or 14,000 more police officers.
I have posted these types of statistics and details many times before. Even though we have a seriously flawed economy, people just don’t seem to place the blame where it should be: On the hands of an administration that has squandered our money on pointless aggression. As always, I have to wonder how American adults will explain this to their children. Most likely, they’ll claim that “those were different times”, and “we had no idea what was going on.” That excuse has certainly been used before, but it’s hardly a feeling that will keep people warm in unemployment lines or entertained while they’re in hospitals recovering from war injuries.