Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Macro Perspective: One way war keeps poor people poor

Coffins draped in flags, Santa Monica BeachImage by Eleventh Earl of Mar via Flickr

I just watched a trailer for a documentary titled “Rethink Afghanistan,” produced by the Brave New Foundation. The documentary argues that the resurgence of the Afghanistan war will cost the U.S. $1 trillion. (Meanwhile we’ve already spent over $185 billion on it.)

I also just discovered that Obama plans to take another $17.75 from each of us to send more weapons to Israel.1 So all this got me thinking: How much do all these ongoing conflicts cost me?

Well, there’s a great website from the National Priorities Project called where you can break down the monetary cost since 2001--to your community or to yourself--of the Iraq war or the Afghanistan war (or both wars together). How much has each war cost you, the entire state of Alabama, or your favorite Rhode Island town? You can check the site to find out. Best of all, watch the total cost to the U.S. tick ever higher!

Anyhow, I found that the total cost of Afghanistan and Iraq combined, per taxpayer since 2001, has been $6,349--or nearly $800 per taxpayer per year. And this is only set to increase. Add to that the other military costs like the aid to Israel mentioned above, and, well, that’s too much for a person like me.

I want a larger tax return. I want my money back. Don't you?

[1] See this article, from U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

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