A story by McClatchy Newspapers this week tried to nail down the price tag for American involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The reporter found the numbers elusive, given the way the Pentagon and Congress do their budgets.
President Obama recently gave the wars a one trillion-dollar price tag. But a recent Brown University study claimed the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States 3.7 trillion dollars … or $12,000 for every American.
The sad part is, it’s all debt. No one asked the American people to be fiscally responsible in paying for the wars with higher taxes. I guess that would have been just too inconvenient.
Comparing costs in the McClatchy story: 38 billion dollars is 40 years of federal funding for Amtrak … or two years of air conditioning for U-S troops in Afghanistan. 385 billion dollars is the cost for the Medicare prescription drug benefit for 2004 to 2013 … or funding for 40 months of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Our thought for today is from Ronald Reagan:
“History teaches us that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”