Checking National Priorities: The Cost of Bush’s War

While kings, dictators, and ruthless monarchs throughout history have often bled their nations dry by creating needless and pointless wars, there have always been people that stood against these actions.  In the United States, the Bush Administration has pushed the country into a tremendous amount of debt over a manufactured war that has left their friends rich and the majority of their electors in a national crisis.  In many previous posts, I have highlighted the staggering cost of the War in Iraq.  As the situation shows no signs of improving, I feel compelled to post additional resources.

The National Priorities Project provides a counter of the The War in Iraq Costs.  It serves the noble purpose of trying to illustrate to a largely ignorant population the vast damage that has been done to the United States within the last decade.  In order to help “localize” these effects, visitors can choose a location (such as U.S. city or state) and see a comparison of the costs of our war-mongering.  For example, here’s a result of the “trade-off” we’ve made when comparing total Iraq War spending approved to date against positive things that could have been done with the money:

Taxpayers in New York City, New York have paid $17.5 billion for the Iraq War thus far. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

  • 3,219,103 People with Health Care OR
  • 32,680,970 Homes with Renewable Electricity OR
  • 336,904 Public Safety Officers OR
  • 265,842 Music and Arts Teachers OR
  • 2,848,538 Scholarships for University Students OR
  • 919 New Elementary Schools OR
  • 99,228 Affordable Housing Units OR
  • 6,099,879 Children with Health Care OR
  • 1,988,816 Head Start Places for Children OR
  • 202,181 Elementary School Teachers OR
  • 262,346 Port Container Inspectors

Keep in mind that these numbers are for one U.S. city (albeit the largest one). It’s also based only on funds that have already been approved for attacking Iraq (the Bush Administration is constantly asking for more money, with no end in sight).

Of course, Bush’s disasters are hardly confined to the area of old-fashioned violence.  Here are results based on “tax cuts for the riches 10% in FY 2009”:

Taxpayers in Texas will pay $8.8 billion for tax cuts for the richest 10% in FY 2009. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:

  • 2,006,539 People with Health Care OR
  • 6,691,523 Homes with Renewable Electricity OR
  • 203,516 Public Safety Officers OR
  • 154,256 Music and Arts Teachers OR
  • 1,151,612 Scholarships for University Students OR
  • 799 New Elementary Schools OR
  • 104,757 Affordable Housing Units OR
  • 3,773,943 Children with Health Care OR
  • 1,259,575 Head Start Places for Children OR
  • 164,778 Elementary School Teachers OR
  • 141,210 Port Container Inspectors

Sadly, the American people have stood by and allowed all of this to happen.  It’s like we can’t even imagine what beneficial social programs could (or used to) do for the benefit of people. 

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