Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 19 Blogswarm -- Denounce the War -- Five Years On: A Million Dead.

[click above image, to enlarge it.]

. . .At the outset of the Iraq war, the Bush
administration predicted that it
would cost $50 billion to $60 billion to
oust Saddam Hussein, restore order and
install a new government. Now, five years
later, the Pentagon says the cost of the
war is "roughly $600 billion and counting". . .

-- Joseph E. Stiglitz,
Nobel Prize-Winner,

there are hundreds of reasons to oppose
this awful, insane, greed-driven, attempted
oil-grab of a land war in iraq (and afganistan). . .

this post -- as part of this blogswarm,
will focus on the forced economic trade-
offs we made, by choosing to fund this
war, rather than address our own domestic
problems more adequately. all data is
courtesy of the national priorities project.

[if you follow the above link, you'll
be able to get all these same figures,
for your very own town, county and/or state.]

So, what ELSE could our war-dollars buy?

Well. . . taxpayers in my town have paid $204.5 million for the Iraq War, thus far. For the same amount of money, we could have provided:

  • 85,426 People with Health Care, or

  • 271,952 Homes with Renewable Electricity, or

  • 4,208 Public Safety Officers, or

  • 3,567 Music and Arts Teachers, or

  • 20,694 Scholarships for University Students, or

  • 14 New Elementary Schools, or

  • 1,483 Affordable Housing Units, or

  • 140,932 Children with Health Care, or

  • 30,270 Head Start Places for Children, or

  • 3,143 Elementary School Teachers.

  • Taxpayers in my metropolitan-city area have paid $5.5 billion for the Iraq War thus far. For the same amount of money, we could have provided:

  • 2,284,797 People with Health Care, or

  • 7,273,635 Homes with Renewable Electricity, or

  • 112,543 Public Safety Officers, or

  • 95,393 Music and Arts Teachers, or

  • 553,491 Scholarships for University Students, or

  • 365 New Elementary Schools, or

  • 39,657 Affordable Housing Units, or

  • 3,769,381 Children with Health Care, or

  • 809,591 Head Start Places for Children, or

  • 84,067 Elementary School Teachers.

  • The Bush Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 -- Iraq War Costs, Yet to Come

    As the economy falters, the Cheney and Bush proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2009 would ignore the needs of Americans by cutting basic services, increasing tax cuts for the wealthy and pushing military spending to new highs. It would allow billions more for the war in Iraq at the expense of investments in my state's future.

    War, Military Costs Would Escalate

  • Pentagon spending would increase by $35 billion, to $541 billion, higher than at any time since World War II. At the same time, Federal Aid to State and Local Governments would fall by $19.2 billion.

  • The war in Iraq has already cost $522.5 billion -- $28.3 billion from my state. The Pentagon has acknowledged that full war funding for 2009 will reach $170 billion, of which an estimated $139 billion (see graphic) will be spent on Iraq.

  • Public Investment and the People of Illinois Would Suffer

    The budget would cut back over 100 federal programs to address community needs -- the impact of just four of those programs, in my state:

  • $ 44.4 million in cuts for Community Development Block Grants, which benefit 376 communities;

  • $ 18.4 million in cuts for Low-income Home Energy Assistance;

  • $ 22.8 million in cuts for Social Services Block Grants; and

  • $ 20 million for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

  • The total amount of these cuts, $105.7 million, is what my state's taxpayers will spend on the Iraq war in just 7 hours. IN SEVEN HOURS!

    Meanwhile, the Wealthy Get Huge Tax Breaks

  • If made permanent, the Bush tax cuts would cost $2.4 trillion over ten years.

  • Seventy-four percent of the benefits would go to the richest one-fifth of Americans.

  • Tax cuts for the top one percent of households will average $60,000 per year.

  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Notes: NPP’s estimate of the cost of the Iraq War includes only incremental budgetary costs, not interest costs or future costs. The figure for funds already allocated is based on NPP analysis of legislation appropriating funding for the Iraq War. Iraq War costs for the remainder of fiscal year 2008 are from an NPP analysis of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009 Supplemental Proposals.

    Projected war costs for fiscal year 2009 are based on testimony by Defense Secretary Robert Gates before the Senate Armed Serves Committee on February 6, 2008. NPP estimates assume the same allocation of funds to Iraq and Afghanistan as proposed in the President’s Supplemental Budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2008.

    State-level cuts are based on tables in the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009, Analytical Perspectives, Ch 8. Number of potential Community Development Block Grants communities are from HUD. The rate of inflation used was 2.1%, the CPI in Analytical Perspectives, Ch. 12.

    Greenstein, Horney, and Kogan, The Dubious Priorities of the President’s FY 2009 Budget, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 4, 2008.

    Arone-Dine, The Skewed Benefits of the Tax Cuts, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 4, 2008.

    Tax cuts for richest 1% are based on Urban Institute/Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center calendar year estimates applied to fiscal year 2009. Community Development Block Grants assist local governments with community and economic development projects that primarily benefit low- and moderate-income people. Social Services Block Grants provide states with funds for childcare and employment services, admissions or referrals for institutional care, services to prevent neglect or exploitation, and other community services.


    Anonymous said...

    Well done.

    Cost is a very important issue. Not only does the waste of money harm our economy, but Republicans don't understand loss unless it comes in the form of green mail.

    You might just get the attention of a few. :)

    condor said...

    thanks, capt. kona!

    welcome to this small outpost
    for the return of sanity. . .

    do look back in, from
    time to time. . .

    n a m a s t e

    DandelionSalad said...

    Hey nolo! Great post here for Blogswarm. The entire Iraq war/occupation is obscene. Keep up the great work getting the info out as our corporate media isn't doing so.

    condor said...

    thanks, DLS!

    c'mon back, now, ya' hear?

    n a m a s t é

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