Thursday, January 18, 2007

Your Tax Dollars at Play

NYT has a great piece by David Leonhardt titled What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy. You read that right -- the current estimates of the price tag for Iraq are now $1.2 trillion. Here's what Leonhardt says we could've spent it on instead of getting Bush re-elected so that his cronies can make even more money through Halliburple and sweet, sweet oil.

For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public health campaign — a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives.

Combined, the cost of running those programs for a decade wouldn’t use up even half our money pot. So we could then turn to poverty and education, starting with universal preschool for every 3- and 4-year-old child across the country. The city of New Orleans could also receive a huge increase in reconstruction funds.

The final big chunk of the money could go to national security. The recommendations of the 9/11 Commission that have not been put in place — better baggage and cargo screening, stronger measures against nuclear proliferation — could be enacted. Financing for the war in Afghanistan could be increased to beat back the Taliban’s recent gains, and a peacekeeping force could put a stop to the genocide in Darfur.

And, TGOT, don't event think about posting a "freedom costs" comment -- I feel 10 times less safe with Bush's policies than I ever did, and wiretapping and torture doesn't make me more free.


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