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Report: Wars cost average U.S. family $20,000

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by ConcordCowboy, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Report: Wars cost average U.S. family $20,000

    Democrats say hidden costs double price of conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21766479/


    WASHINGTON - A new study by congressional Democrats says "hidden costs" have driven the price of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to about $1.5 trillion, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

    That figure is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested, according to the report by the Democratic staff of Congress's Joint Economic Committee, which examines the hidden costs of the wars, the Post said.

    According to the panel, the hidden costs include higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on money borrowed to pay for the wars, the newspaper said.


    The report was expected to be presented on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

    A 21-page draft obtained by the newspaper estimates that the wars have cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000, the Post said.

    The study concludes that the cost to the average family could more than double, to $46,300, over the next decade, with estimated economic costs to the United States reaching $3.5 trillion if the conflicts continue at their current pace, the Post said.

    The Post said the report estimated that war injuries could add more than $30 billion in future disability and medical care costs, including billions in lost earnings for veterans who cannot work because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Members of the panel's Republican staff could not be reached for comment, the Post said.

    The newspaper cited war funding experts as saying that some of the numbers in the report should be met with skepticism.

    The experts said it is difficult to calculate the precise impact of the Iraq war on global oil prices. They also said it was speculative to estimate how much the war will cost over time because situations change daily on the battlefield, the Post reported.
  2. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    the other question i have - and not to just argue for the sake of arguing and go against this - but many times they'll include the cost of the military itself in the overall figure.

    now - well and good, but being a "fixed" cost you get that anyway. meaning if the military costs us $100,000,000 for a year, you've got that cost whether or not they're in iraq or home on leave cooking a brisket.

    for what ammo/missles they use - great. that's more to the point but would these still be used in training exersizes if not in iraq at targets?

    the bigger picture to look at is opportunity cost of what *else* the military could have been doing. now if bush is coming in and asking for above and beyond fixed costs, then that's where i'd look to determine what we're spending.

    spending $200 for a toilet seat in iraq is the same as doing it in omaha in the end.

    when studies like this are done people are usually out to show bad or even good on any given side. if a neutral accoutant came in and had no desire to care what the outcome was, we'd get a more real number.

    as for oil prices and gas being put into the mix perhaps - then how do we compare economies of say the UK or Europe with our own where they routinely pay 3 times even our inflated rates? or do we just focus on the story we want to tell?
  3. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    That's a decent point, Ice. The fixed expenses of the military shouldn't be considered. However, there are a lot of expenses that would not normally be incurred. I mean, when there is an ammunition shortage US-wide, because of military buying, that's beyond normal. National Guard salaries. Increased recruiting and retention costs. Payments to the paramilitary security companies. Etc.

    And there are the hidden costs of things like equipment which is being rapidly being worn out by continuous deployment. That's a hidden cost that is not being mentioned, and will probably get put off til 2009. Given our ability to save soldiers that would have died in the past, we are looking at a lot of disabled veterans of all sorts. That is not going to go away.

    Some of that other stuff is pretty speculative, though not necessarily wrong on its base. There will be hidden costs. But even without the doubling, it will be a trillion dollar war. I do remember Rumsfield saying it would cost '25 billion, 50 billion tops'. That's a big accounting discrepency.
  4. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    no i'll fully agree it's going to cost more to deploy them than just run training exersizes, but that's why i'd want to see what they include as an "added measure" just because of this war.

    we got a lot of things wrong on this one, it seems.
  5. jman

    jman Active Member

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    Heck...how much did it cost for this useless study?
  6. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Likely a hell of a lot less than the cost of this useless war.
  7. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Yeah not only monitarily...but let's not forget the dead soldiers too.

    You can't put a price on that.

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