Trillion-Dollar War Spending Tanking the Economy
One way to improve the economy that very few candidates are bothering to mention? The massive amount of spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, spending which has surpassed previous estimates. Linda J. Bilmes, a professor at Harvard's Kennedy School who is a "budgeting guru" writes in The Daily Beast that war spending has surpassed her wildest expecations. Along with Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglits, Bilmes is the author of The Three Trillion Dollar War, published a few years back--and now she says three trillioin was conservative, given that we're spending "$3 billion weekly, making the wars a major reason for record-level budget deficits." Adding it all up, she says:
Taking new numbers into account, however, we now believe that our initial estimate was far too conservative—the cost of the wars will reach between $4 trillion and $6 trillion.One of the greatest increases in spending that has led to their new estimate is that multiple deployments are leading to greater trauma, injury, PTSD and other long-term health problems which require treatment.
Similarly, our estimates for the economic and social costs associated with returning veterans can be expected to rise by at least a third—the staggering toll of repeated deployments over the past decade.Another skyrocketing cost is associated with the climbing price of oil, which was relatively cheap when we first sent troops overseas after 9/11. And yet the candidates have been remarkable silent on calling for a faster drawdown of our troops in these unbelievably taxing military engagements. Read the full story at The Daily Beast.