WASHINGTON (AP) - The economic costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to total $1.6 trillion - roughly double the amount the White House has requested thus far, according to a new report by Democrats on Congress' Joint Economic Committee.
The report, released Tuesday, attempted to put a price tag on the two conflicts, including "hidden" costs such as interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars, lost investment, the expense of long-term health care for injured veterans and the cost of oil market disruptions.
The $1.6 trillion figure, for the period from 2002 to 2008, translates into a cost of $20,900 for a family of four, the report said. The Bush administration has requested $804 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, the report stated.
For the Iraq war only, total economic costs were estimated at $1.3 trillion for the period from 2002 to 2008. That would cost a family of four $16,500, the report said.
Future economic costs would be even greater. The report estimated that both wars would cost $3.5 trillion between 2003 and 2017. Under that scenario, it would cost a family of four $46,400, the report said.
And who ends up getting this 3.5 TRILLION dollars? Think about it. The main recipients are the defense contractors and suppliers who have a very powerful lobby. Corporations that supply the bullets and the planes and the hum-vees and the tanks and the food and the uniforms and all the rest of the supplies do quite well, thank you. Their main worry is about their bottom line – they are not concerned that this money could have been better spent on our own citizens health or education or housing or even paying down the national debt. They just want to have the government keep on paying them for more and more product. If a few soldiers die, that's what they get paid for. That is the callous attitude that they all assume. Since World War I, they have become a greater and greater drain on our economy. What do we gain with all this firepower? How has it helped us? How will it help us in the future?