The cost of war vs. the cost of earmarks

Not long ago I wrote about the earmarks secured by the Iowa delegation in 2007. I commented,

I also get a little tired of self-appointed taxpayer watchdogs expressing righteous indignation about this or that project that got a few hundred thousand dollars from the federal government. The Pig Book shows that the more than 11,000 earmarks in 2007 accounted for about $17.2 billion in federal spending.

Meanwhile, the U.S. spent several times that amount on the continuing war in Iraq in 2007, with little to show for it besides more American casualties.

Today bonddad wrote a great piece called We Can’t Afford The War Anymore. Click through to see the graphics, but here is the key paragraph:

According to the Congressional Budget office, this war has cost $752 billion dollars.  Let that figure sink in — $752 billion dollars.  And it’s getting more expensive.  According to the same report, the yearly increase in costs are increasing at a high rate.  In 2003 total appropriations for the war were $76 billion.  In 2007 they were $165 billion.  And the increase in cost is largely from the ongoing operations.  Operation and Maintenance costs were $46 billion in 2003 and $92 billion in 2007 — a doubling of costs within 5 years.  In addition, procurement expenses over the same period of time increased from $10 billion to $51 billion.  So, the longer this war progresses, the more expensive it gets.

The Iraq War cost nearly ten times as much in 2007 as all earmarks secured by all members of Congress combined.

Remember that next time some Republican rubber-stamp for George Bush’s Iraq policy complains about wasteful government spending.

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