Thursday, May 27, 2004

Iraq War Will Cost Americans $4,000 Per Family

SEAN GONSALVES, CAPE COD TIMES - According to Doug Henwood, author of "After the New Economy," $4,000 is the amount that each household will have to fork over in taxes to foot the Iraq occupation bill. "I feel a little callous about talking about the economic impact of the war in Iraq, which seems like an afterthought next to the human toll. But at a time when civilian budgets are being cut at every level, when clinics are closing and professors at our public universities have to pay for their own photocopying because there's allegedly not enough money, it's amazing how much we're spending," Henwood says.

Henwood pegs the military costs in Iraq to date at about $143 billion, with the tab rising $4 billion to $5 billion a month. Reconstruction has cost about $20 billion so far, with another $50 billion to $100 billion still needed, Henwood reports.

"If the occupation goes on for three years, which is what the military pundits say is likely, the total bill could come to $362 billion. Add to that an estimated 0.5 percent knocked off GDP growth because of high oil prices, and that's another $50 billion," he says.

Add it all up, and the bill comes to nearly $4,000 per household, not including interest. "I wonder how people would react if they got a bill from Washington for that amount," he said.

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