War Spending Costs U.S. Taxpayers Dearly

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story in their edition about the effect of war spending on the U.S. economy. Some excerpts:

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost taxpayers $314 billion, and the Congressional Budget Office projects additional expenses of perhaps $450 billion over .

That could make the combined campaigns, especially the war in Iraq, the most expensive military effort in the last 60 years, causing even some conservative experts to criticize the open-ended commitment to an elusive goal. The concern is that the soaring costs, given little weight before now, could play a growing role in U.S. strategic decisions because of the fiscal impact.…

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, has estimated that the Korean War cost about $430 billion and the Vietnam War cost about $600 billion, in current dollars. According to the latest estimates, the cost of the war in Iraq could exceed $700 billion.

Put simply, critics say, the war is not making the United States safer and is harming U.S. taxpayers by saddling them with an enormous debt burden, since the war is being financed with deficit spending.…

In , the Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan research arm of Congress, estimated that the war would cost $1.5 billion to $4 billion per month. In fact, it costs between $5 billion and $8 billion per month.…

The current anti-war movement strategy of trying to discourage military recruitment is welcome and is showing signs of success. But in this war, the U.S. government seems to be relying less on troops and more on money — by funding a foreign army to do our dirty work, hiring contractors, buying votes, and relying on an expensive arsenal that can be deployed by technicians from inside the green zone or from off-shore.

If the U.S. starts to withdraw its troops but leaves its money and its mercenaries behind to continue the occupation, what then for the anti-recruitment strategy?

A tax research wiki has been started at taxalmanac.org. It’s a little rough around the edges at the moment, but as it gathers more contributors it may flesh out into something very useful.