Iraq War has Cost Grand Rapids $343.5 Million

The Iraq War Has Cost Grand Rapids Taxpayers $343.5 Million

As the anniversary of the United States 2003 invasion of Iraq approaches–and as the economy crumbles further–it’s worth looking at the cost of the Iraq War.

Thus far, the war has cost $604 billion while estimates are that the total cost over time could top $3 trillion.

For those of us living in Grand Rapids, our share is a $343.5 million.

That money could have been used for a number of more constructive uses, as shown by the National Priorities Project’s analysis of what the money could have bought:

  • 129,169 People with Health Care for One Year OR
  • 482,827 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
  • 7,129 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
  • 6,218 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
  • 35,329 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
  • 2,769 Affordable Housing Units OR
  • 256,882 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
  • 51,933 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
  • 4,853 Elementary School Teachers for One Year

This also doesn’t take into account more specific local needs, which could have been considered had the money not gone to sustaining the military occupation of Iraq.

Iraq Costs to Continue

While many people voted for Barack Obama in hopes that the spending on the Iraq War would end, earlier indications are that it will continue for some time.

When Obama spoke in Grand Rapids last October, he said that “ending a war in Iraq that is costing $10 billion per month” would be a way of funding different social priorities. However, Obama has pledged to continue the Iraq War for at least three more years, if not longer.

The continued presence in Iraq will continue to cost taxpayers significant amounts of money. Obama’s first budget includes more Pentagon spending than the Bush administration ever did. This amounts to $534 billion–an increase of $20 billion over last year. Total military spending will be near $664 billion.

Of this, the administration is planning to spend $130 billion on the war in 2010.

Don’t Forget the Human Toll

It’s also worth noting that while this piece looks at the financial costs of Iraq War for those of us living in the United States, the real price has been paid by the Iraqis. They have been killed by the hundreds of thousands, displaced from their homes, and seen their livelihoods destroyed.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

5 thoughts on “Iraq War has Cost Grand Rapids $343.5 Million”

  1. This is a very racist article. Basically they are saying, I don’t want to spend 343 million to help people who live in a country I’ve never been to, but I don’t mind helping people as long as they live in my town.

  2. Was it possible or tolerable to continue to coexist with the regime of Saddam Hussein?

  3. Would inaction have been cheaper? The costs of enforcing the no-fly zones for an indefinite future, the costs of maintaining rather questionable United Nations sanctions on a crumbling regional economy and society, the costs of extinguishing the huge fires set by Saddam Hussein in the Kuwaiti oil-fields, the costs of future fights picked by him and the cost of cleaning up after the genocidal and aggressive adventures which were his government’s raison d’etre.

  4. Tell your leaders and fellow citizens that you oppose this ridiculous waste of resources! Attend the protest at the corner of Fulton and Division on Saturday, March 14 at noon. See the Media Mouse calendar for more information.

  5. The person who posted the three of the four comments above using an insulting name (i.e. “someone with a brain”) probably isn’t worth arguing with, but it’s hard to let such crap go.

    The fallacy of their arguments is pretty obvious, but in case they come back, perhaps they can address the following:

    – This isn’t racist. The racism is in the U.S. occupation. Look at the arbitrary detentions, the use of racist terminology by the military, or the overreaching logic that the Iraqis are animals that can’t control themselves without the paternalistic presence of the United States.

    – The U.S. is not rebuilding Iraq in any meaningful way.

    – If Hussein was such a threat to his neighbors, why had he not done anything since the Gulf War?

    – What about the U.S. support of Hussein for years? Many of the crimes that folks arguing along these lines use–for example the attacks against the Kurds or Iran–were undertaken with either the tacit approval of the U.S. or silence.

    – And as always, a reminder: Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and it was hardly a threat to the U.S.

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