What Does $456 Billion Buy?

Posted on 08. May, 2007 by in Economy, News

While there is some disagreement on the idea of troop deadlines for US soldiers in Iraq (and I’m not going to make any sort of political statement), all sides seem to be on board with the amount included in the bill to fund the war.

The total cost of the Iraq war will reach approximately $456 billion in September, according to the National Priorities Project, an organization that tracks public spending.

So, there are a number people that have asked the question: What would $456 billion buy?

  • More Schools: Tagged as the most expensive high school in Massachusetts, at $154.6 million, Newton North High School could be replicated almost 3,000 times using the money spent on the war.
  • More Public Works Projects: At almost $15 billion, Boston’s Central Artery project has been held up as the nation’s most expensive public works project. Now multiply that by 30 and you’re getting close to US taxpayer’s commitment to democracy in Iraq… so far.
  • Free Gas for a Year: US drivers consume approximately 384.7 million gallons of gasoline a day. Retail prices averaged $2.64 a gallon in 2006. Breaking it down, $456 billion could buy gasoline for everybody in the United States, for about 449 days.
  • Reduce Dependency on Gas: With just one-sixth of the US money targeted for the Iraq war, you could convert all cars in America to run on ethanol. TheBudgetGraph.com estimates that converting the 136,568,083 registered cars in the United States to ethanol (conversion kits at $500) would cost $68.2 billion.
  • Free Harvard Education: At published rates for next year, $456 billion translates into 14.5 million free rides for a year at Harvard; 44 million at UMass.
  • Medicare for a Year: In fiscal 2008, Medicare benefits will total $454 billion, according to a Heritage Foundation summary.
  • A LONG-term Contract: The Red Sox and Daisuke Matsuzaka agreed on a six-year, $52 million contract. The war cost could be enough to have Dice-K mania for another 52,615 years at this year’s rate.
  • Feed Everyone: According to World Bank estimates, $54 billion a year would eliminate starvation and malnutrition globally by 2015, while $30 billion would provide a year of primary education for every child on earth. At the upper range of those estimates, the $456 billion cost of the war could have fed and educated the world’s poor for five and a half years.
  • Pay Off Debt: With the federal deficit approaching 8.9 TRILLION dollars, we could at least make a little more than the minimum payments…

What else could $456 Billion buy?


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