Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Costs More?

As the final combat brigade leaves Iraq rumblings about cost, and that the war was a financial drain that was the primary factor on our massive deficit, and helped pull us in to the Great Recession.

At first, this seems reasonable. Wars are expensive. Throughout history we have instances of whole empires falling apart due to war expenditure. We have been fighting for roughly 7 years, so that is 7 years of expense. France fell apart after the 7 years war, ushering in the abashment of the French monarchy. Makes sense that today, with the cost of war, the Iraq conflict would surely cost that much.

Then we look at the numbers. The total cost at the end of the war is $709 Billion. Ouch. That is a chunk of change. Not cheap by any standards. Recall this is over a period of 7 years. Surely that much money must have been at least 50% of all spending by the government during that time. Nope. Not even close. What about 10%? That war must have been 10% of all federal spending. Still freezing cold. Try 3.2%. The entire Iraq war was not more than 3.2% of federal spending. Check this out:

The silly fact is that the Federal Government spent more on Education during the Bush Administration than the Iraq war.

Understand this, the US Government spends more on social programs than on anything else. Now, realize that the Obama administration deficit spent nearly $100 Billion more in the first MONTH of his presidency than the Bush Administration did in his entire 8 years. All 8 years. This comes from extensions on TARP, and on the massive stimulus program.

The war did not break us. The war on Poverty, Health Care, and the War on Drugs, has. Had the government been minding its Constitutional duties rather than the bastardization of the Commerce Clause extra curricular activities, this mess would not be a mess.


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