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Old 02-02-2006, 06:04 PM   #1
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Normal Price of Iraq War: $750 billion - $1.2 trillion

according to Harvard and Columbia University professors.

h t t p : / / w w w 2 .gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/cost_of_war_in_iraq.pdf
(delete spaces)


Quote:
Congress has already appropriated more than $357 billion for military operations, reconstruction, embassy costs, enhanced security at US bases and foreign aid programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Quote:
The costs of the war in Iraq that have been reported in the media have almost exclusively focussed on one type of cost - the $251 bn in cash that the government has spent on combat operations... additional costs include disability payments to veterans,... the cost of replacing military equipment and munitions..., the cost of medical treatment..., the costs of transportation...recruitment costs..., interest on the money [the government] has borrowed to finance the war.

...

We have estimated the budgetary costs using two scenarios. Both scenarios are based on the troop deployment projected by the Congressional Budgetary Office. Our "conservative" scenario...the direct cost to the government are likely to exceed $700 bn.

Under a second, "moderate" scenario...this would raise the cost of the war to over $1.2 trillion.
Of course, this is not meant to put too fine a point on the monetary cost in relation to the human cost.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Price of Iraq War: $750 billion - $1.2 trillion

Quote:
Originally posted by 2numb2feel
according to Harvard and Columbia University professors.

h t t p : / / w w w 2 .gsb.columbia.edu/faculty/jstiglitz/cost_of_war_in_iraq.pdf
(delete spaces)






Of course, this is not meant to put too fine a point on the monetary cost in relation to the human cost.
Total spending on the Iraq War, related cost, and the military amounts to 4.2% of USA GDP currently. Total cost of just defense spending on average during the peacetime of the Reagan years in the 1980s was 6% of USA GDP.
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Old 02-09-2006, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Re: Price of Iraq War: $750 billion - $1.2 trillion

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Originally posted by STING2


Total spending on the Iraq War, related cost, and the military amounts to 4.2% of USA GDP currently. Total cost of just defense spending on average during the peacetime of the Reagan years in the 1980s was 6% of USA GDP.


I'm not exaclty sure that "peacetime" is an accurate way to categorize the "Cold War" Reagan years, when the US was contending with a superpower. Bush is supposedly (publicly) dealing with Al Qaeda...hardly the USSR.



Quote:
Defense spending approaching Cold War high
By PAMELA HESS
UPI Pentagon Correspondent

WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- As U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shops his $439 billion, 2007 Pentagon budget request on Capitol Hill this week -- not including about $100 billion in war costs -- he is circumventing sticker shock by pointing to this measure: As a percentage of the economy, the defense budget is at historic lows.

What he does not say is this: As real spending goes, the Pentagon's budgets are now approaching the high-mark of the Reagan era, when the United States was squaring off against a superpower in the height of the Cold War.

Rumsfeld compares defense budgets as a percentage of gross domestic product; that is, the total value of all the goods and services produced by the country in a given year. Rumsfeld was teed up to discuss these numbers by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

"When I came to Washington in 1957 and served in the '60s in the Congress, the Kennedy and Eisenhower period, it was 10 percent of GDP," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. "When I was secretary of Defense 30 years ago, it was about 5 percent. And today it's about 3.6 or 3.7 percent. So it's not a large fraction of the gross domestic product. And certainly this country is perfectly capable of spending whatever it is we need to provide for the security of the American people."

On Wednesday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., did the honors of introducing the GDP metric.

"I think that our nation needs to understand that even with all of the publicity that's been attendant, our military spending and the fact that the war-fighting theaters are on the TV every day, we are spending about 3.9 percent of gross national product on defense. Under the John Kennedy administration, we spent 9 percent of GDP on defense, and under the Reagan administration we spent 6 percent of GDP on defense," Hunter said. "So 3.9 percent of GDP on defense is not too much. It's much less than we did under previous administrations. And I think that we need to look seriously at raising that top line."

In 1963, the height of spending under the Kennedy administration, the Defense Department had a $53.5 billion budget, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. Expressed in fiscal year 2006 money, that is $392 billion, or about 9 percent of the GDP, which was about $4.1 trillion.

President Ronald Reagan's defense budget in 1982 was $185.3 billion, $373.6 billion in FY-06 dollars, or 5.7 percent of the $3.2 trillion GDP. By 1987, the Reagan defense budget had risen to $471.3 billion in FY-06 dollars, or 6.1 percent of a $4.6 trillion economy.

Defense budgets fell through the 1990s after the Cold War ended under the senior Bush and then Clinton administrations. But at the same time the gross domestic product nearly doubled. By 1998, the defense budget was $325.4 billion in FY-06 dollars, 3.1 percent of an $8.6 trillion GDP.

In 2002, the first complete Bush administration defense budget was $386.2 billion in FY-06 dollars, or 3.4 percent of a $10.3 trillion GDP.

In 2003, the defense budget increased to $438.8 billion, 3.7 percent of the $10.9 billion economy.

In 2006, the defense budget hit $428.5 billion, according to Pentagon numbers, 3.3 percent of the $12.8 trillion economy. CSBA calculates the defense budget as somewhat higher -- $447.4 billion.

The numbers from 2003 and on, do not include the supplemental appropriations to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are nearing a total of $400 billion.

That is nearly the amount of money the United States spent on defense during the height of the Cold War, when there was a peer competitor in the Soviet Union, said CSBA's director for budgetary studies Steven Kosiak. Reagan is credited with winning the Cold War and causing the disintegration, in part by forcing huge defense budgets on the weak Soviet economy as Moscow tried to keep up.

Christopher Hellman, a defense analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation rejects Rumsfeld's use of the GDP as a point of reference.

"The GDP argument is the last refuge of scoundrels," Hellman told UPI Wednesday.

"Comparing (the defense budget) to GDP is a measure of the program's burden on the U.S. economy. Spending levels are a (measure of a) program's burden on the American taxpayer.

"It's a fallacious argument," he said. "Tying our level of spending to defense to the number of cheeseburgers consumed by Americans is not a good way to measure our strategic requirement."


Hellman offered the counter-argument: What if gross domestic product decreases?

"If you are going to decide what is an appropriate defense budget based GDP, what happens if the economy tanks? Are you going to cut it in half?" he said. "They only want to tie it to GDP when GDP is going up, not when it's going down."

© Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved

http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism...8-031215-8628r.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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Re: Re: Re: Price of Iraq War: $750 billion - $1.2 trillion

Quote:
Originally posted by 2numb2feel




I'm not exaclty sure that "peacetime" is an accurate way to categorize the "Cold War" Reagan years, when the US was contending with a superpower. Bush is supposedly (publicly) dealing with Al Qaeda...hardly the USSR.






http://www.upi.com/SecurityTerrorism...8-031215-8628r.
The fact remains, to know the real cost of the war to this country in financial terms, you need to compare the level of spending to current GDP. As a percentage of GDP, defense spending today, even with the other appropriations, is lower than at most if not all times during the Cold War.

But lets just compare it to the peace time of the Clinton era in 1998 when the United States was spending 3.1% of GDP on Defense. Today the figure even with the additional spending outside the actual defense budget on Iraq would only be 4.3% of GDP. So right now, with wartime occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States is only spending 33% more than it did during the peacetime of the Clinton era on defense, as a percentage of current GDP.
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Old 02-12-2006, 06:15 AM   #5
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Is this included all the medical costs after the war ? I think that will be much more then the 33 % extra if you compare it with peacetime.

I mean, all those amputated limps and mentaly distorted soldiers.
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Old 02-12-2006, 03:16 PM   #6
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Originally posted by Rono
Is this included all the medical costs after the war ? I think that will be much more then the 33 % extra if you compare it with peacetime.

I mean, all those amputated limps and mentaly distorted soldiers.
US defense spending on average per year, plus the supplemental spending on Iraq & Afghanistan which covers all the rest, comes out to 561 Billion per year. Thats only 4.3% of GDP today and is only a 33% increase from where it was in 1998 as a percentage of GDP. Oh, and yes this includes all the medical cost.
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Old 02-13-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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As the article above correctly points out the GDP is a poor reference point but more importantly, in the context of this thread, it is a red herring. One should not be distracted. Please stick to the issue, which is as follows;

The above researchers have found that the war will cost between $750 bn and $1.2 trillion. That is "only" slightly more than the $50 bn originally estimated by the Bush administration, and "only" slightly more than the $200 bn originally criticized as an "overestimate" when they were selling the war to the public.

The purpose of this thread is to provide one more example of what is either incompetent accounting or grossly dishonest salesmanship on the part of the Bush administration. Pick your poison. Neither one is very flattering.
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:38 PM   #8
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1.2 trillion?

1200+ Americans killed?

50,000 Iraqi's killed?

It will ALL be worth it in the end you all will see.


There will be Democracy in Iraq

We WILL FINALLY find the WMD's

Also the conection Saddam to Osama

The Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Nicole Simpson's Murderer.












WTF has this country gotten itself into?

In the immortal words of Saddam himself:

He's on trial for killing 200 Iraqi's
When will Bush stand trial for the deaths of 50,000 Iraqi's?
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Old 02-13-2006, 06:43 PM   #9
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About the same time that Clinton and Albright are brought up for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2numb2feel
As the article above correctly points out the GDP is a poor reference point but more importantly, in the context of this thread, it is a red herring. One should not be distracted. Please stick to the issue, which is as follows;

The above researchers have found that the war will cost between $750 bn and $1.2 trillion. That is "only" slightly more than the $50 bn originally estimated by the Bush administration, and "only" slightly more than the $200 bn originally criticized as an "overestimate" when they were selling the war to the public.

The purpose of this thread is to provide one more example of what is either incompetent accounting or grossly dishonest salesmanship on the part of the Bush administration. Pick your poison. Neither one is very flattering.
The article is wrong in that conclusion. The only accurate way to show the cost to the nation in financial terms is to compare the cost of the war and related cost to GDP. GDP is the wealth of the country and the financial strain on the country can only accurately be measured when it is compared to total wealth.

The Bush administration never officialy sited a figure of what the war would cost or how long it would last because those things were simply unknown. Can you actually find a single war the United States was involved in where the sitting administration announced that x war would last x amount of time and cost x amount of money? The "selling of the war" lasted about 30 days, from September 12, 2002 to October 13, 2002 when congress passed the resolution.

The fact remains, the financial cost of the war's in Iraq and Afghanistan are less than Ronald Reagans 1980s peace time Defense build up. Its also not much more than the late 1990s Clinton Defense draw down, when Defense spending as a percentage of GDP hit a 50 year low.

The only thing that is grossly dishonest is ignoring the fact that in financial terms, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a less costly strain on the country than most prior wars, and in fact most peace time periods since World War II.
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Old 02-13-2006, 10:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by YBORCITYOBL
1.2 trillion?

1200+ Americans killed?

50,000 Iraqi's killed?

It will ALL be worth it in the end you all will see.


There will be Democracy in Iraq

We WILL FINALLY find the WMD's

Also the conection Saddam to Osama

The Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny and Nicole Simpson's Murderer.












WTF has this country gotten itself into?

In the immortal words of Saddam himself:

He's on trial for killing 200 Iraqi's
When will Bush stand trial for the deaths of 50,000 Iraqi's?
1.7 million Iraqi's died while Saddam was in power engaged in actions started by him or in fact the target of such actions. The majority of Iraqi's killed in Iraq over the past three years have been the targets of insurgents and terrorist. Coalition forces do not target innocent civilians. What ever the true Iraqi civilian death toll is, it would be substantialy lower if the insurgents and terrorist were not engaged in their activities.

Saddam had 12 years to verifiably disarm of all WMD as required by the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement. He failed to do so which is why he had to be removed in order to insure the the security of Persian Gulf energy supply, vital to the planet's economy.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:17 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


The article is wrong in that conclusion. The only accurate way to show the cost to the nation in financial terms is to compare the cost of the war and related cost to GDP. GDP is the wealth of the country and the financial strain on the country can only accurately be measured when it is compared to total wealth.

The Bush administration never officialy sited a figure of what the war would cost or how long it would last because those things were simply unknown. Can you actually find a single war the United States was involved in where the sitting administration announced that x war would last x amount of time and cost x amount of money? The "selling of the war" lasted about 30 days, from September 12, 2002 to October 13, 2002 when congress passed the resolution.

The fact remains, the financial cost of the war's in Iraq and Afghanistan are less than Ronald Reagans 1980s peace time Defense build up. Its also not much more than the late 1990s Clinton Defense draw down, when Defense spending as a percentage of GDP hit a 50 year low.

The only thing that is grossly dishonest is ignoring the fact that in financial terms, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are a less costly strain on the country than most prior wars, and in fact most peace time periods since World War II.


The points above are laden with politically charged rhetoric and completely ignore the US’ role in creating the "insurgency", "terrorists" and even its role in Saddam Hussein's own murderous regime. The article above dismisses your contention about the GDP and I would say fairly successfully. You keep reiterating exactly what the article dismisses. Ignore these at your own peril. Regardless, in the remainder of this thread, please stick to the issue, which is outlined in the post above. Allow me to repeat it;

“The above researchers have found that the war will cost between $750 bn and $1.2 trillion. That is "only" slightly more than the $50 bn originally estimated by the Bush administration, and "only" slightly more than the $200 bn originally criticized as an "overestimate" when they were selling the war to the public.”

Now, the point is the Bush admin’s dishonest or negligent accounting. You say, “The Bush administration never officialy sited a figure of what the war would cost or how long it would last because those things were simply unknown.”

That’s completely false.

1) White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the high limit on the cost to be about $100-$200 billion. (9/15/02)

2) Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget called Lawrence Lindsay’s estimate “very, very high” and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion. (9/17/02)

3) “Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”-Donald Rumsfeld (1/19/03) discussing the reconstruction costs.



The costs may not have been known but that is not what they told the public when selling the war – this is a trend we can now identify with this administration. Again, it is either a function of incompetence or gross dishonesty as are any attempts to excuse such blatantly misleading figures.

As much as it serves a war supporter's purpose to frame the debate in terms of the GDP and regardless of the problems with such a measurement, that's not the focus here and I'm not going to get sidetracked discussing economic theory. This is about deceit and dishonesty on the part of the Bush administration.
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2numb2feel




The points above are laden with politically charged rhetoric and completely ignore the US’ role in creating the "insurgency", "terrorists" and even its role in Saddam Hussein's own murderous regime. The article above dismisses your contention about the GDP and I would say fairly successfully. You keep reiterating exactly what the article dismisses. Ignore these at your own peril. Regardless, in the remainder of this thread, please stick to the issue, which is outlined in the post above. Allow me to repeat it;

“The above researchers have found that the war will cost between $750 bn and $1.2 trillion. That is "only" slightly more than the $50 bn originally estimated by the Bush administration, and "only" slightly more than the $200 bn originally criticized as an "overestimate" when they were selling the war to the public.”

Now, the point is the Bush admin’s dishonest or negligent accounting. You say, “The Bush administration never officialy sited a figure of what the war would cost or how long it would last because those things were simply unknown.”

That’s completely false.

1) White House economic advisor Lawrence Lindsay estimated the high limit on the cost to be about $100-$200 billion. (9/15/02)

2) Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget called Lawrence Lindsay’s estimate “very, very high” and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion. (9/17/02)

3) “Well, the Office of Management and Budget, has come up come up with a number that's something under $50 billion for the cost. How much of that would be the U.S. burden, and how much would be other countries, is an open question.”-Donald Rumsfeld (1/19/03) discussing the reconstruction costs.



The costs may not have been known but that is not what they told the public when selling the war – this is a trend we can now identify with this administration. Again, it is either a function of incompetence or gross dishonesty as are any attempts to excuse such blatantly misleading figures.

As much as it serves a war supporter's purpose to frame the debate in terms of the GDP and regardless of the problems with such a measurement, that's not the focus here and I'm not going to get sidetracked discussing economic theory. This is about deceit and dishonesty on the part of the Bush administration.


Its rather simple. GDP is the measure of the total wealth of the country. Government spending is a fraction of that, and Defense spending as well as spending on the war in Iraq an even smaller fraction. If you want to know the strain that defense spending is putting on the economy, you simply compare the amount that is being spent to the total wealth of the country. When you add in defense spending plus the supplemental spending, one finds that the United States is spending about 4.3% of GDP on Defense, to include all cost related to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is lower than defense spending during the 1980s as well as only being 33% higher than defense spending under Bill Clinton at the height of the 1990s drawdawn.

1) Its not dishonest or negligent for someone to produce an ESTIMATE of the cost of a particular operation. Your also taking a figure out of context which always is set for a specific time period and will, usually also state that there many unknowns that could radically change the cost.

2) & 3) This estimate was likely based on an assumption that US forces could be withdrawn in large numbers a few months after the removal of Saddam.

But the Bush administration NEVER stated when US forces could be withdrawn from Iraq. They never specifically stated how many days, weeks, months or years the war would last. The above estimates were honest estimates but done with certain parameters in mind. The administration never officially picked either figure or stated what the war would cost or how long it would last.

I challenge you to find a single administration in US history that predicted the cost of any war the United States has ever fought in! I think you'll find virtually every administration in US history could fit into your interpretation of what is "dishonest" and "incompetent".
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:09 AM   #14
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lol, who hit the repeat button again?
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:31 PM   #15
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That leaves little work for me to do. The Bush Admin issued an estimate (1/20th the actual cost), which you say is calculated for a specific time frame. Yet, as you admit, no time frame was ever provided. There are only two possible conclusions that can be drawn from this:

1) There was no time frame and the estimate is baseless (dishonesty).
2) The time frame was so grossly underestimated that it is the result of complete incompetence.

Or are you expliaining that it's ok for leadership to be dishonest and incompetent at the expense thousands of lives because everyone does it?




Quote:
Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 by the Daytona Beach News-Journal (Florida)
High Cost of Rumsfeld Baloney Calls for Pay-As-You-Go War
by Pierre Tristam

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations on Friday, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld described the importance of "non-traditional" American propaganda in the Middle East to counter that of insurgents and terrorists. That means buying, planting or inventing news to suit American strategic goals. Rumsfeld was dismayed that "this has been portrayed as inappropriate," and spoke of how the backlash has led "to a 'chilling effect' for those who are asked to serve in the military public affairs field" -- the first time in recorded memory that censors and fabricators have been described as victims of a "chilling effect." Pressing the catatonic homage to George Orwell, Rumsfeld said "we will need to do all we can to attract supporters to our efforts, to correct the lies being told which so damage our country, and shatter the appeal of the enemy." We will indeed.

In this ongoing "global war on terror," Rumsfeld and his Pentagon top the list of lies that so damage our country in one continuing regard: the cost of war. It wasn't so long ago that Larry Lindsey, the White House's top economic adviser, was fired for suggesting publicly that a war in Iraq could cost up to $200 billion. Jan. 19, 2003, two months before launching the invasion, Rumsfeld was asked about potential costs in an ABC News interview: "The Office of Management and Budget estimated it would be something under $50 billion," Rumsfeld said. His interviewer interjected: "Outside estimates say up to $300 billion." Rumsfeld's immediate answer: "Baloney."

Hold the rye. In October the Congressional Research Service calculated that war costs in Iraq alone have exceeded $250 billion, and will be in excess of $300 billion by the time spring training rolls around. Total terror war costs add up to $357 billion. That includes Afghanistan, military aid packages and "enhanced" security at foreign American bases. It does not include domestic security and added costs to the Veterans Administration. It does not include the $70 billion "supplemental" war appropriation the White House is seeking for the remainder of this year. Those costs would push the total terror war bill closer to the $600 billion dollar mark.

Baloney? The Pentagon's fattest recurring lie, enabled by a complicit White House, is its annual budget: It hasn't included any of those "supplemental" costs since the perpetual wars for perpetual peace began in 2001. The Pentagon submitted a $439 billion budget earlier this month. Unless those soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and bivouacking in a dozen countries around the region are drawing checks from the Salvation Army rather than from American taxpayers, the more accurate budget figure is somewhere around $560 billion, because annual war costs are now $120 billion, or more than twice the monthly costs of war in Vietnam. Lying about war costs suits taxpayers, whose contribution to the war effort (other than taxes) hasn't gone beyond those $2 magnets of craven patriotism adorning gas-guzzlers' bumpers. And it makes cashing in on tax cuts -- while more soldiers get maimed and killed for lack of proper armor -- a happier, guilt-free experience.

Many taxpayers don't give a hoot about the wars because they affect them neither in the wallet nor in the heart. Most of the soldiers losing life and limbs are recruited from the working-class stiffs. They're glorified in the abstract but scorned in everyday realities of a society that could care less about its working poor's families: Harvest our crops, serve our meals, baby-sit our children, clean our schools and shut up already about being uninsured, on subsistence wages and no hope of upward mobility. Compared to that, of course the army is an adventure.

There's no need for a draft to make the rest of us have "a stake" in the nation's military burden. That would still exempt most people while encouraging a cannon-fodder mentality. A stiff, precise, necessary tax wouldn't be so forgiving. It's time for a war tax. As long as these vague wars on terror last, let us pay for those not-so-vague costs now, in a pay-as-you-go system, rather than shift the debt to the next generation. Apply it with just two exceptions: Families with servicemen and families or individual taxpayers below middle class earnings. Per-capita costs of just those "supplemental" war bills are running at $400 per American per year, which would translate to well over $1,000 per actual taxpayer. It's one flat, painful tax I'd embrace in a second. Make it a line-item on payroll stubs, like Social Security and income taxes. Make the jingoes happy and call it the national security tax. And adjust with every additional appropriation. Then watch how Americans, pinched where it counts, will react to waging mad, pointless wars on their immediate dime year after year. When the wallet is at stake but the nation isn't, patriotism is like so much baloney: It's pork for propagandists, and no match for truth.

In addition to cheeseburgers, the latter highlighted portion - regarding the average cost to taxpayer - illustrates one of many inherent problems (in this case, an omission) that comes with a GDP-based measure.
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