Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eight Year Cost of Iraq War Less Than 2009 Stimulus Package

By: Les Carpenter III
Rational Nation USA

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released some very interesting numbers with respect to the cost of the Iraq war compared to the cost of the stimulus bill passed by the Democratic led Congress in 2009.

CBO numbers published this month in the Budget and Economic Outlook put the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom at $709 billion. This cost includes military operations as well as the cost of training Iraqi forces and the cost of diplomatic operations.

Estimated (projected) costs for the stimulus package  passed in February 2009 was $862 billion. The expected "shelf" life of the stimulus package is two years. And there is serious consideration in some circles that more stimulus will be needed.

The United States deficit for 2010 is expected to come in at 1.3 trillion dollars according to the CBO. A huge increase over the 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion and a 2008 shortfall of $458.6 billion. 

As a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) the 2007 and 2008 deficits where 1.2 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.

The 2010 deficit is expected to be the second largest shortfall of the last 65 years. When compared to the size of the economy the deficit as a percentage of GDP is projected at 9.1 percent. This number was exceeded only by the 2009 figure of 9.9%. Again, these number are as published by the CBO.

The most expensive year of the Iraq war was 2008, the year the surge advocated by General Petraeus and approved by President Bush was in full operation. The total cost of operations in 2008 was 140 billion. An increase of 16 billion over 2007.

What is interesting is this, Randal Hoven of the American Thinker puts the cost of the Iraq war from 2003 to 2008 at 20 billion less than the cost of education spending and less than 25%  the cost of Medicare spending over the same time.

As ill advised and costly as the Iraq war may have been, these comparisons point to the reality that not only do we need to reign the Military Industrial Complex, we also need to look at other spending. Perhaps most specifically entitlements.

In light of the cost of the stimulus package and the likelihood that entitlement costs will continue to skyrocket, the next Congress should put all spending measures on the table for close scrutiny.

Cross posted to Left Coast Rebel.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. RN, since you are talking about the costs of these hideous wars shouldn't you include these costs?

    - Total deaths: Between 110,663 and 119,380
    - Coalition deaths: 4,712
    - U.S. deaths: 4,394
    - U.S. wounded: 31,768
    - U.S. deaths as a percentage of coalition deaths: 93.25 percent
    - Iraqi Security Force deaths: At least 9,451
    - Total coalition and ISF deaths: At least 14,163
    - Iraqi civilian deaths: Between 96,037 and 104,7542
    - Non-Iraqi contractor deaths: At least 463
    - Internally displaced persons: 2.6 million
    - Refugees: 1.9 million

  2. What an observation! And unlike the stimulus money, the Iraq war money actually produced a functioning economy!

  3. Thats so liberal of you Silverfiddle....

    Actually the stimulus money is doing a great job for growth in the Chinese economy...

  4. Sue - Thank you for pointing these statistics out. They are the human cost of war I di not believe you can out a price on that cost.

    Many times the human cost has been neccessary to preserve a greater good. In the instance of the Iraq war such was not the case.

    My purpase for posting was to demonstrate the very real economic cost and reality of the "Bush" war and the "Obama" stimulus.

    By no means was the intent to diminish the human cost. I leave that for another day.

  5. Siverfiddle - Indeed. It certainly did feed the military industrial complex. Of the wars we have fought Iraq along with Vietnam stand out in my mind as "The never shoulda happened wars" for sure.

  6. TAO - So glad the stimulus money is having such great positive impact somewhere! To bad it wasn't here. :-)


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