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Sunday, June 22, 2014

WHAT COULD THE $6 TRILLION COST OF THE IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WARS HAVE BOUGHT US INSTEAD?

According to Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will end up costing us $6 trillion.  When President George W. Bush attacked Iraq,  Director Lawrence Lindsey (right) of the National Economic Council made a statement that this war would cost between $100 billion and $200 billion, and so irritated the White House for this "ridiculous" overstatement, that he was forced to resign.  Dividing the $6 trillion by $200 billion, Lindsey underestimated by at least a factor of 30.

What have been other major federal government expenditures:
  • Manhattan Project:  this effort to build atomic bombs in World War II cost $2 billion ($26 billion today)
  • Apollo Project:  Man to the Moon cost $25 billion ($118 billion today)

Today:

  • 5,218 are structurally deficient...only in Pennsylvania!
  • Average age of U.S. bridges:  43 years
  • Cost to repair all bridges in the nation:  $106 billion

Higher education:
  • cost of academic year at a state college:  $22,826
  • students in 629 states colleges:  6,837,605
  • total cost of these students/year:  $155 billion

Cost of controlling global warming by halving global emissions by 2050:  $45 trillion

The whole point of this posting is that global warming is more than a thousand times the financial challenge, combined, faced by the Manhattan and Apollo Projects.  The Middle East War budget?  Puny.  If it is possible to totally eliminate the military budget of the world for the next quarter century, and apply this total towards controlling carbon dioxide, this sum would still fall short:  $44 billion versus $45 trillion.

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