September 11, 2011
Bush’s Two-Trillion-Dollar Baby is 10 Today
From Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz:
Today, the US is focused on unemployment and the deficit. Both threats to America’s future can, in no small measure, be traced to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Increased defense spending, together with the Bush tax cuts, is a key reason why the US went from a fiscal surplus of 2 per cent of GDP when Bush was elected to its parlous deficit and debt position today. Direct government spending on those wars so far amounts to roughly $2 trilllion — $17,000 for every US household — with bills yet to be received increasing this amount by more than 50 per cent.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at September 11, 2011 11:33 AM
The costs are even greater. Stiglitz now says that $3-5 trillion is a conservative estimate. In my own latest post, I note some of the lost opportunity costs, the cost of "re-organizing" government around the Orwellian-named "department of homeland security", the rise of privatized armed mercenary forces, the corruption inherent in such no-bid, cost-plus contracts as oil patch Cheney cronies like Haliburton received, etc. etc. The point being: what if, instead of sinking all that wealth in making war, we'd instead invested in infrastructure, new industries, and social welfare (inter alia); how might those things have progressed over the last 10 years?