Anne Thompson

Senator McCain Gets a Schooling

The Politics
George Bush, John McCain, and their conservative allies believe that the Iraq war has been worth the cost. About two-thirds of Americans disagree, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll. Apparently, conservatives don't understand "opportunity cost" -- the basic economic concept that when you choose to buy one thing, you can't use that money to buy something else.

The Facts
The cost of Iraq in lives lost and scarred is incalculable. It has also had staggering economic costs here at home.

So far, the federal government has authorized $656 billion for the Iraq war. Of that total, $152 billion was appropriated to fund the Iraq war during the current fiscal year. [Congressional Research Service] That amounts to more than $12 billion per month and $416 million per day. These figures include neither operations in Afghanistan nor anti-terrorism programs elsewhere around the world nor the costs of caring for the wounded or replenishing our arsenals. Iraq war costs do include $34 billion spent for construction projects in Iraq, training and equipping Iraqi soldiers and police officers, contracts with and grants to Iraqi organizations and businesses, and funds used to prop up Iraqi government operations.
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