February 11, 2009

Corporate stimulus, si! Societal stimulus, no!

After an 8-year toot shoveling hundreds of billions of dollars to military contractors, sacrificing American, Iraqi, and Afghani lives to their continuing profits, and running up the biggest debt "in human history", it's impossible to take seriously the people responsible who now decry the expense of the stimulus package which is hoped to remedy some of the destruction they've wrought. It's a little late to be worried about "borrowing from our grandchildren".
Congress has approved a total of about $864 billion for military operations, base security, reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks: Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Afghanistan and other counter terror operations; Operation Noble Eagle (ONE), providing enhanced security at military bases; and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

--The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11; Amy Belasco, Federatio of American Scientists, Oct. 15, 2008

The U.S. government has already spent $904 billion since 2001 to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ... And even if the number of combat troops declines as planned, the final price tag for the wars by 2018 will be between $1.3 trillion and $1.7 trillion, according to a study released by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

--Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan Wars Tops $900 Billion, Report Finds; Alex Kingsbury, U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 15, 2008

The cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could total $2.4 trillion through the next decade, or nearly $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate ... A previous CBO estimate put the wars' costs at more than $1.6 trillion. This one adds $705 billion in interest, taking into account that the conflicts are being funded with borrowed money.

--War costs may total $2.4 trillion; Ken Dilanian, USA Today, Oct. 25, 2007

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion, Iraq is not only the second longest war in U.S. history (after Vietnam), it is also the second most costly -- surpassed only by World War II. ... These costs, by our calculations, are now running at $12 billion a month -- $16 billion if you include Afghanistan. By the time you add in the costs hidden in the defense budget, the money we'll have to spend to help future veterans, and money to refurbish a military whose equipment and materiel have been greatly depleted, the total tab to the federal government will almost surely exceed $1.5 trillion. But the costs to our society and economy are far greater. ... By the end of the Bush administration, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus the cumulative interest on the increased borrowing used to fund them, will have added about $1 trillion to the national debt.

--The Iraq War Will Cost Us $3 Trillion, and Much More; Linda J. Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz (authors of The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict), Washington Post, Mar. 9, 2008
human rights