Moral Outrage
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U.S. war escalation escalates destruction of U.S. economy

Congress is expected to vote later this month on $33 billion in further “war funding” to pay for sending 30,000 troops to Afghanistan — most of whom are already there or soon will be.  In addition, an extra $2 billion is being requested for aid and “civilian” operations in Afghanistan (much of which may actually go to the Afghan military and police), and $2.5 billion for the same in our almost forgotten war in Iraq.

So what could $33 billion otherwise purchase? Well, for example, there’s a bill in the Senate that would prevent schools from laying off teachers in all 50 states for a mere $23 billion.  Another $9.6 billion would quadruple the Department of Energy’s budget for renewable energy.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Congress has already approved $345 billion for war in Afghanistan, not to mention $708 billion in Iraq. As economists Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz demonstrated in The Three Trillion Dollar War, adding in debt payments on moneys borrowed to fight war, long-term care for veterans wounded in it, the war’s impact on energy prices, and other macroeconomic impacts, the current tax bill for the Iraq War must be at least tripled and probably quadrupled or more to arrive at its real long-term cost.  The same obviously applies to the Afghan War.

The fact is that military spending is destroying the U.S. economy.

[Excerpts from Toms’s Dispatch]

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One Response to “U.S. war escalation escalates destruction of U.S. economy”

  1. Some updated figures via USA Today article:
    The monthly cost of the war in Afghanistan, driven by troop increases and fighting on difficult terrain, has topped Iraq costs for the first time since 2003 and shows no sign of letting up.

    Pentagon spending in February, the most recent month available, was $6.7 billion in Afghanistan compared with $5.5 billion in Iraq. As recently as fiscal year 2008, Iraq was three times as expensive; in 2009, it was twice as costly.

    The shift is occurring because the Pentagon is adding troops in Afghanistan and withdrawing them from Iraq. And it’s happening as the cumulative cost of the two wars surpasses $1 trillion, including spending for veterans and foreign aid. Those costs could put increased pressure on President Obama and Congress, given the nation’s $12.9 trillion debt.


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