Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mind numbing: $2.4 Trillion for Wars

The Congressional Budget Office has released a rather long report which concludes the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may cost $2.4 trillion dollars over the next decade. This is the same CBO which so many misquoted in their fight against the new SCHIP bill, 1.4% of the war tab for comparative purposes, because it is a trusted source of information.

With such a mind numbing figure before us as a nation, so largely attributable to mismanagement and lack of oversight, President Dwight Eisenhower's "The Chance for Peace" speech comes to mind. While the figures may have changed, the point remains the same:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more
than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

These plain and cruel truths define the peril and point the hope that come with this spring of 1953. This is one of those times in the affairs of nations when the gravest choices must be made, if there is to be a turning toward a just and lasting peace.

It is a moment that calls upon the governments of the world to speak their intentions with simplicity and with honesty.It calls upon them to answer the questions that stirs the hearts of all sane men: is there no other way the world may live?

1 comment:

Theresa said...

And Scott Garret, a member of the House Budget Committee didn't even bother to attend the hearing. From Think Progress:

The House Budget Committee held a hearing today to receive testimony regarding the CBO’s estimate that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars may total $2.4 trillion. Only one Republican member of the committee attended. Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) noted their absence:

Doggett: “I assume, by Mr. [Paul] Ryan (R-WI) being here, that every member of this panel, including every Republican member on that side of the aisle where all the seats are vacant, received notice about this hearing about the cost of war in Iraq?”

Spratt: “I’m sure they did.”

Doggett: “And when was this notice of the hearing sent out?”

Spratt: “Seven days ago, as required by the rules.”