When the Sunday morning political pundits began talking last year about the tab for the war in Iraq hitting $1 trillion, Rob Simpson sprang from his sofa in indignation.
“Why aren’t people outraged about this? Why aren’t we hearing about it?” Simpson said. And then it came to him: “Nobody knows what a trillion dollars is.”
The amount _ $1,000,000,000,000 _ was just too big to comprehend.
So Simpson, 51, decided to embark “on an unusual but intriguing research project” to put the dollars and cents of the war into perspective. He hired some assistants and spent 12 months immersed in economic data and crunching numbers.
ONE TRILLION DOLLARS!
And McCain wants to keep on spending OUR MONEY on war when there are so many other things we need to be doing with this money.
He calculates $1 trillion could pave the entire U.S. interstate highway system with gold _ 23.5-karat gold leaf. It could buy every person on the planet an iPod. It could give every high school student in the United States a free college education. It could pay off every American’s credit card. It could buy a Buick for every senior citizen still driving in the United States.
I think it is significant in these harsh economic times to point out the obvious…..It could pay off every American’s credit card.
What an economic stimulus that would be. Or…..
It could give every high school student in the United States a free college education.
I read once on this very site someone refer to the spending of the Bush/McCain Republican party as “stealing our children’s future. Well, they were right in a way. They just stole our children’s education. But there are other ways to spend that $4566 PER SECOND they are spending in Iraq.
America could the double the 663,000 cops on the beat for 32 years. It could buy 16.6 million Habitat for Humanity houses, enough for 43 million Americans.
With the housing crisis the way it currently is, 16.6 million homes would be a blessing to a lot of families….especially those hit hardest by hurricanes. There are many people who lost their homes in Katrina, that 3 years (and counting) still have not recovered what they once had and may never recover even though they are hard working Americans. And what about all those people who lost their homes in Hurricane Ike or those who will be hurt by storms in the future?
Since crime is a big deal in many communities, imagine what society would be like if we could add more police. On 2nd thought, maybe that one’s not such a great idea. We don’t need a freaking police state.
It’s too recent to make Simpson’s list, but that $1 trillion could also have paid for the Bush administration’s financial bailout plan, with $300 billion to spare. It might not be enough, however, to pay for the war in Iraq. Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz has recently upped his estimate of the war’s cost to $3 trillion.
Get that? Iraq could end up costing us 3 TRILLION DOLLARS! Maybe more if McCain gets control of our military as commader in chief. He has already clearly demonstrated as well as admitted he’s NOT GOOD WITH ECONOMICS. Perhaps that is because he graduated from the Naval Academy 2nd to last in his class.
Simpson created a Web site companion to his book that lets you go virtual shopping with a $1 trillion credit card. Choices range from buying sports franchises to theme parks, from helping disabled veterans to polar bears.
Click on Air Force One, the president’s $325 million airplane. The program asks: “Quantity?”
“At one point we couldn’t find anybody who actually stuck with it long enough to spend $1 trillion,” Simpson said. “It will wear you out.”
And what are we getting for our money? Crap!
A huge American-financed wastewater treatment plant in the desert city of Falluja, which United States troops assaulted twice to root out insurgents in 2004, was supposed to be the centerpiece of an effort to rebuild Iraq, a country smashed by war and neglect, and bring Western standards of sanitation.
Instead, the project, which has tripled in cost from original plans to $100 million and has fallen about three years behind schedule, has become an example of the failed and often oversold program to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure with American dollars and skill.
The project was so poorly conceived that there is no reliable electricity to run pumps and purification tanks, and no money left to connect homes to the main sewer lines, which now run uselessly beneath Falluja’s streets, according to a report by federal investigators to be released Monday.
As Charles Schultz’s character Charlie Brown would say…..Good Grief!
PS — In the time it took most people to read this blog, we have spent $547,920 in Iraq.