Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Fighting the war, no money down...

Worried about the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan? Read how the US is fighting the war on its `credit card'.

The US is spending about $10 billion a month on Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, the total funds appropriated will be nearly $600 billion, close to what we spent on the Vietnam War ($650 billion in today's dollars) and the Korean War ($691 billion in today's dollars).

Rather than paying this money out of current revenues, we're financing it by selling government debt to people like the Chinese and the Saudis. Which, inthe case of the Saudis,is one big reason why the government won't crackdown on the Saudis hard line wahabi jihad preaching mosques and madrassahs.

To be fair, the money we're spending in Iraq and Afghanistan is a smaller slice of the economy than Vietnam, Kore or WWII were...but its all going to have to be paid for at some point. And frankly, some rationing, a campaign to sell American debt to Americans or paying for the war out of current revenues and having to actually balance the books as was done in the past might have made ordinary Americans feel a lot more a part of things.

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