A report released by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service found that the troop surge in Iraq has boosted the monthly cost of the war there to $10 billion. Two billion dollars a month is also being spent in Afghanistan. The total amount Congress has spent since 9/11 is $610 billion. This is almost the same amount that the U.S. spent during the entire Vietnam War. For the 2007 fiscal year Congress has appropriated $166 billion for the wars. This is a 40% increase over 2006. The Pentagon had estimated that the troop surge would only cost $5.6 billion through September, but that number looks dubiously low.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “Think about what $10 billion a month would mean to protecting Americans from terrorism, improving security at our ports and airports, and increasing border security.  Think about what $10 billion a month would mean for the 47 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and for the education of our children.  Think about what $10 billion a month would mean to lowering the deficit so that future generations are not burdened with debt.”

Pelosi said that this is one of the reasons why Democrats will introduce legislation this month to end the war and redeploy the troops. “The American people are outraged at the Bush Administration’s misplaced priorities – that is why Congress will hold the Administration accountable with votes this month to end the war and redeploy the troops. This will include a vote on legislation to begin redeployment of our troops within 120 days and to conclude by April 1, 2008, with the exception of those remaining in Iraq to fight terrorists and protect our diplomats. The date-certain legislation gives our Republican colleagues another opportunity to join Democrats in heeding the wishes of the American people, who want to wind down this war and bring our troops home,” she said.

 When Congress passes the next appropriation for the wars, it will push the total spending up to three quarters of a trillion dollars. Think about what can be done with $750 billion. We could fix the health care problem, and give tax cuts. We could start new programs to encourage small business growth and development in struggling areas. We could build better schools, or fix our crumbling infrastructure. With that kind of money, the sky really is the limit. Instead, what we are really getting for our money are dead and broken soldiers. We are earning the hatred of an entire region of the world, a region which wasn’t too crazy about us to begin with.

We are piling up huge budget deficits that will take decades to pay off. Why are we doing all of this? The Iraqi people were free as soon as Saddam was captured. Are we doing this to prop up a puppet government that may implode as soon as we leave no matter when that is? Was freedom in Iraq worth the sight of tens of thousands permanently wounded young Americans? It makes me sad to think of all the hate, death, and destruction that $12 billion dollars a month can buy. What’s even worse is that I don’t think it was worth it. We have spent so much to perhaps gain nothing. The American people deserve better. The Iraqi and Afghan people deserve better, and world deserves better.

Pelosi’s statement

statistics came from this article

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse 

blog radio 

Be Sociable, Share!