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September 28, 2006

Good Thing We Cut Taxes

Following up on the good news out of Iraq, a new congressional analysis shows that we're spending $2 billion a week on the war -- more than twice as much as it cost per week during the first year of operations. The change in spending is coming both from increased combat, but also from "the building of more extensive infrastructure to support troops and equipment in and around Iraq and Afghanistan." Here's how that looks:

All in all, the Congressional Research Service estimates we've spent more than $500 billion on war since 9/11. One might wonder what we're getting for all that money, particularly with the new NIE report showing it's made us less safe from terrorism, but then they'd be weak-kneed Defeatocrats.

September 28, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

"particularly with the new NIE report showing it's made us less safe from terrorism,"

I bet that report concludes Muslims hate us now cuz we are in Iraq.

We should get out of Iraq or they may come over here and attack us on US soil.

Oh, wait.....

We were more safe on 9/10/2001, before we went to Iraq, right?

Posted by: Captain Toke | Sep 28, 2006 5:23:59 PM

Great graph!

I wonder what other wars cost, adjusted for inflation. What do you think WW II cost in 2006 dollars?

Posted by: Fred Jones | Sep 28, 2006 5:53:34 PM

Fred Jones... I just read today that current Defense spending has now exceeded, in adjusted dollars, peak annual outlays during Vietnam.

I made a comment on the cross-post at TAPped about defense spending exceeding the combined GDP of Afghanistan and Iraq. Let me put it another way here: instead of bombing Afghanistan, we could've showered every man, woman, and child with 5 times their GDP per capita (or $4000), and instead of invading Iraq, we could've bought off every inhabitant with 4 times GDP per capita ($13,600)... we could've done that at the outset, and it would only cost as much as it's cost so far.

And, who knows, that might've been the end of it; as it is, the spending is only halfway (?) over.

Posted by: Grumpy | Sep 28, 2006 6:19:56 PM

WW2? WW2? Fred, Iraq ain't Germany, and Saddam ain't Hitler. I'd pay that kind of money to shut down a Hitler, but good god man,this war has not been worth my money, can I get a refund? Wrong move going into Iraq, and the Bush administration has proven over and over that they cannot even do wrong right.

Posted by: jbou | Sep 28, 2006 7:24:01 PM

Shorter Toke: Who cares if we aren't accomplishing anything and it's costing billions to do it? At least we get to kill brown people!

Posted by: Vladi G | Sep 28, 2006 7:29:08 PM

Here's a one-year-old calculation in constant dollars. Even from the Christian Science Monitor.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0829/p15s01-cogn.html#chart

As of a year ago, Gulf War II was more expensive than WWI, GWI, and about 70% the cost of Korea.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 28, 2006 7:31:33 PM

Using the chart Ezra posted and adding it up, looks like the cost of GWII/Afghanistan has risen to about $400B (in 2005 dollars, same as the CS monitor graph).

So we're above Korea.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 28, 2006 7:34:20 PM

All in all, the Congressional Research Service estimates we've spent more than $500 billion on war since 9/11. One might wonder what we're getting for all that money, particularly with the new NIE report showing it's made us less safe from terrorism, but then they'd be weak-kneed Defeatocrats.

Here you go.

Posted by: Phoenician in a time of Romans | Sep 28, 2006 8:46:40 PM

One might wonder what we're getting for all that money,

Republican control of the White House, and both Houses of Congress.

The Iraq 'War' is not a war, so much as the world's most expensive campaign commercial.

And eviscerating Democratic opposition at home, not capturing Bin Ladin, was always the first priority in the 'war'.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina | Sep 29, 2006 12:32:41 AM

mommy, i'm scared!!

Posted by: capt toke | Sep 29, 2006 7:14:25 AM

Why your 'rational'approach of buying off everyone won't work and what the left doesn't seem to understand.

Take a good hard look......

http://tinyurl.com/kkjpr

Posted by: Fred Jones | Sep 29, 2006 9:50:14 AM

It would seem to me that total cost, or even inflation adjusted costs are not a very good comparison. One reason we spend more in Iraq than in Vietnam for example is because we substitute technology for manpower, which explains how Iraq could be more expensive than Vietnam, but also have far fewer casualties.

We also seem to be doing a lot more building of infrastructure than we did in Vietnam.

The best measure of the question of is a war more or less expensive than another war is probably a percentage of GDP. I would guess that Iraq is cheaper in that regard than the other wars mentioned, certainly less than WWII.

Of course that doesn't really tell us anything anyway. The cost is only one part of the equation, the other part is what you get out of it (and also are likely to get out of it) and well as what will happen if you don't do it. Most of these things are not perfectly knowable and subject to a wide range of predictions (guesses.)

Posted by: Dave Justus | Sep 29, 2006 1:31:19 PM

Fair enough, Dave Justus. Broadly, we spent a very large portion of GDP on WW2, and much less thereafter.

It is interesting to note that, despite claims that we're facing an existential threat--like during WW2--we aren't really, really ramping up the response.

Telling.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 30, 2006 1:00:11 PM

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