War would cost a cool $85B

Here’s an interesting story from the Associated Press by way of the Boulder Daily Camera: Pentagon puts war cost near $85B. Here’s the lead:

“WASHINGTON ? The Pentagon is telling the White House and Congress that defeating Iraq and occupying the country for six months could cost as much as $85 billion, according to sources ? considerably more than what senior administration officials have said in public.”


Not to put a price on things, but let’s do some math to understand this figure…



First off, there are 284,796,887 people in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that each person (you and me) would be paying $298.46 of our tax money to invade Iraq, boot their government, set up a new government, and hang around until everything seems peaceful. Impressive, no?


Moving to Iraq, the CIA’s World Factbook indicates that their population (2002 estimate) is 24,001,816 and that the per-capita income in Iraq is $2,500 (usd equivalent). Doing the math again, this means that we’ll be paying $3,541.40 per Iraqi to “fix” their country, almost two years wages for each worker.


How different would things be if we just sent $3,500 in cash to each and every Iraqi?

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