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$500 Billion and Still Counting....

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By Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson

Lawrence Lindsey, an early economic adviser to Bush, lost his job when he estimated the cost of the war between $100 and $200 billion.  The war costs are now over $500 billion and they talk of it as "only" 1% of GDP, and easily affordable.  If the United States has $500 billion to waste in Iraq, how come everyone in this country doesn't have health insurance?  Why are the schools holding bake sales to raise money?

Sane, The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy said it best in a leaflet prepared for their First Annual Pentagon Bake Sale "The ultimate goal of all this, a leaflet says, is to see the day ''our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.''

See complete quote: New York Times May 23, 1985

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The cost of the war plus the amount in the defense budget is now greater than the amount spent on World War II, adjusted for inflation.  The war in Afghanistan could be all over by now.  Instead, it is expanding after five years, and there is no end in sight for the Bush war in Iraq

Since 9/11 Congress has already approved $510 billion dollars for the following operations.  These appropriations include funding for military operations, base security, foreign aid, embassy costs and veterans’ health care.         

OIF – Operation Iraqi Freedom [Iraq]         

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OEF – Operation Enduring Freedom [Afghanistan]         

ONE – Operation Noble Eagle – [Enhanced military base security]

Although the Department of Defense has not provided Congress with operational costs for previously allocated funds, CRS is estimating 74% for Operation Iraqi Freedom, 19% for Operation Enduring Freedom, 5% for Operation Noble Eagle, and 1% unallocated. CRS goes on to state that generally 90% of funds are for the Department of Defense, 7% for foreign aid and embassy operations, with less than 1% allocated for medical care for veterans.


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When we add the 2007 supplemental request to the mix, we’re looking at more than $600 billion in war costs and we don’t even have an exit plan.

Why is there so much money to waste and so little for what we need?

 

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