Falling Off the $1 Trillion Cliff
We fell off an ugly cliff this Sunday. At 10 a.m. on May 30, all of those little cost of war counters that have been furiously spinning away on countless websites crossed the $1 trillion mark. No alarm sounded. No bell rang. But, on the day before Memorial Day, the cost of the wars in cold, hard cash followed the human cost of the Afghanistan war into a new order of magnitude. Just how much is $1 trillion? Let's put it into real-world terms. For that amount of money, you could do fantastic, life-changing things like:
- Provide jobs for 1 million music/arts teachers for a year, and
- Provide health care for 1 million children for one year.
- Buy Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
On June 1, several programs, including extended unemployment benefits, will expire. By the end of the week, 19,400 people will prematurely stop receiving checks, according to data from the Department of Labor. ...By the end of the following week, the number of premature unemployment exhaustions will climb to 323,400. The week after that, 903,000. By the end of the month, 1.2 million.HuffPo's Ryan Grim and Arthur Delaney put that in even more context:
It will be the third time this year that lawmakers have allowed extended unemployment benefits to lapse, and the second time they've decided to leave town for recess fully knowing the lapse would cause panic and confusion among blameless layoff victims -- not to mention what Katz calls a "huge" administrative burden on state workforce agencies.This is a disaster. People are losing jobs or have already been unemployed long-term. And while Congress is "nickel-and-diming" people who are suffering, those cost of war counters keep spinning. Help us get the word out: check out our new Facebook app and show us how you'd spend the $1 trillion wasted on war, and share it with your friends. Then, if you haven't yet, join Rethink Afghanistan on Facebook.