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Maryland taxpayers have paid $4.4 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that that amount of money, the state could have provided 139,730 four-year scholarships for university students. This year, Maryland’s governor, Martin J. O'Malley, cut $37-million from higher-education spending. (1)

Virginia taxpayers have paid $6.2 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that that amount of money, the state could have provided all 1,051,356 uninsured Virginians with healthcare for a year, 64% of the uninsured for a second year. (2)  

District of Columbia taxpayers have paid $978.9 million for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that that amount of money, the state could have provided 16,663 elementary school teachers for one year. The D.C. public school system has only 3,800 teachers, and severe teacher layoffs have recently been announced. (3)

Arizona taxpayers have paid $3.1 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that that amount of money, the state could have provided 23,898 affordable housing units. Arizona has one of the country’s highest foreclosure rates, and one in every 30 homes across Arizona received at least one foreclosure filing during the first half of the 2009. (4)

California taxpayers have paid $28.9 billion for total Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that that amount of money, the state could have provided 51,461,442 homes with renewable electricity for one year. California has the country’s highest carbon monoxide emissions, releasing 7,710,111 tons of carbon monoxide every year. (5)

Sources:

(1) http://chronicle.com/...

(2) http://covertheuninsured.org/...

(3) http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

(4) http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/...

(5) http://www.scorecard.org/

Click here to read more on related issues on our Winter'09 Peace Letter-The Afghanistan Issue.
Winter'09 Peace Letter-The Afghanistan Issue.

Originally posted to WashingtonPeaceCenter on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 09:46 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  love it. (7+ / 0-)

    as i was at the gym yesterday, two fellas were talking about the health-care plan...and one guy was calling obama all kinds of names and talking about how this was going to bankrupt his kids and grandkids...and how it was all progressives to blame.

    I just looked at them and said. "good thing war is free and we haven't spent a dime on war in the last decade"  doubt it got through...but I'm so sick of those who are complaining about "bankrupting our future" because we want to make health-care more affordable.

    •  I agree-good reply. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mos1133, dmw97
      •  thank you...i also have a buddy who (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Silverbird, buddabelly, dmw97, Azazello

        works for a defense contractor...i'm not sure exactly what he does...but for a while he was trying to find people who spoke arabic, or poshtu, or any of those languages to go over to afghanistan...this 23-25 yr old (i'm not quite sure of his age) is making 6 figures while those in uniform are making shit.  Plus when he goes out at night, he gets to call a car service to get him, at the companies expense.  The funding for his company is the gov't, aka tax payers.  So the argument that we're taxed too much because of health-care or education is bullshit.  We're taxed too much because our military has outsourced a lot of its jobs to companies who are over-paid.

  •  war spending (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flaming Liberal for Jesus

    What's the source for the amounts?

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 09:52:16 AM PST

  •  A key aspect of defense spending is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina

    it is carefully and widely distribute throughout *all* congressional districts.  Making it almost impossible to cut . . . .

    On the plus side, think of it as "economic stimulus"

    •  Which is why after all these years, that these (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Flaming Liberal for Jesus, dmw97

      wars are still being fought, not for Mission Accomplished, because after all these years, the mission has changed so many times, that we would not know what success is at this point.

      The point of these wars is to keep them going for the profit of those making money off these wars, and they keep filling the purses/wallets of those in congress to do so.

      Congress always finds the votes for war funding, strangely, while decrying social programs, and yelling about the defecit.

      carefully and widely distribute throughout all congressional districts.  Making it almost impossible to cut . . . .

      In a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste time voting.

      by allenjo on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:31:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Just Had A Similar Conversation With A Friend (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mos1133, dmw97

    from high school (back in the early 80s). He works in a research lab at MIT (not a professor). Very smart guy. Just has a BA but was able to show it was smarter then most after he got out of the Air Force. He makes a good living. He wife says at home. His youngest, a four year old, has shown a real interest in math. The little guy likes numbers (which both myself and my friend do not).

    He openly wondered if that would be nurtured in the public school he will be attending. Nurtured like so many of the foreign students all around MIT that he talks with that from an early age get a state funded education that appears to be far superior to anything but the most "elite" (and rich) US children gets today.

    We pondered the same question you asked, what if we would spend less money on wars and our military, and more on education.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:02:18 AM PST

  •  Sorry-disagree.Taxpayers didn't pay those amounts (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, greenskeeper, kck, dmw97

    And that's why the war's costs have not been as unpopular as they should have been.

    Taxpayers borrowed those amounts.  They didn't pay them.  During the Bush years, federal taxes, especially on the highest income taxpayers, declined.  

    With tax rates fixed or lowered and the federal government having taken on massive expenses in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Bush deficits reaching astronomical levels, it cannot be concluded that taxpayers paid for these wars.

    Taxpayers may pay for these wars in the future, but have not done so yet.  

    Also when you make these comparisons with what could have been purchased, you also have to ask whether it would have been politically possible to borrow for these alternative purposes, and the answer often is no.

    •  Agreed somewhat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HamdenRice

      The juxtaposition of state expenses like Nat'l Guard, lost workforce, etc. and other things that could have been done with that money it a good one. But the amounts must be sourced with links and have real pocket-book impact. State tax increases due to unfunded federal mandates and deficits can be related to real pocket-book impact but it's not done here. Even the linked article lacks sources and is more flash than fact. There's an audience for that but not here so much.

      HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

      by kck on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:34:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unthinkable. Instead, do it this way: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, buddabelly, dmw97

    Because we are in Afghanistan and there's no black-and-white solution like just walking away..........

    The best thing would be to pass a PATRIOT TAX and sell PATRIOT BONDS to pay for the wars a.s.a.p.

    Those who profit from wars get charged the most.
    Those responsible for getting us into the wars, they should stand up, take out their checkbooks in a public ceremony and pay their fair share first.

    Treat yourself to a free online pamphlet by America's most decorated Marine of the 20th Century:

    http://www.lexrex.com/...

    Media Reform Action Link http://stopbigmedia.com/

    by LNK on Tue Feb 23, 2010 at 10:51:47 AM PST

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