Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Financial Cost Of Fear

Steve Clemons boils down the numbers:
Secondly, if one takes the approximate amount the United States was paying to "feel safe" on September 10, 2001 and account for inflationary growth since, the cumulative amount in just defense spending since is roughly $2.7 trillion. That doesn't include other domestic expenditures for Homeland Security which would make the collective bill even higher.
He acknowledges that comparing defense spending to other spending is an apples to oranges comparison, but it seems clear that costs of feeling safe have dangerous consequences:
To put the comparison in context, $2.7 trillion in economic activity in the private sector equates to approximately 6 million jobs sustained over the period between the 9/11 terror attacks and today.

Big, costly, unpaid-for wars are undermining the economic health of the country -- and are robbing growth and opportunity from the future to pay for these military objectives today.

It is a good debate to have whether the invasions of Iraq and the ongoing 'ownership' of the Afghanistan conflict have been worth the investment or not -- but not tending the economic health of America's core has been a strategic failure of enormous magnitude.
Six million jobs lost, $2.7 trillion borrowed, and lost civil liberties are high price for wars that have had a less than desirable result.

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