Couldn’t We Have Spent The Money Better On Ponies?

Remember back in 2003 when Donald Rumsfeld (hereafter referred to as The Butcher of Baghdad) said the war would pay for itself in Iraqi oil revenue? Remember when the dunderheads at the DoD were tossing around figures like $200 Billion, as if it was pocket change we were scraping together to buy a pizza? Well, a funny thing happened on the way to Baghdad. The war in Iraq has actually cost $3 trillion. for the number-inclined that looks like this:


And I wonder, what could this amount of money have been used for instead? According to my back of the post-it note math, quite a lot:

We could have bought 12 trillion gum balls.

A 30 inch plasma screen TV for every home in America with enough left over for a year’s subscription to Tivo.

We could buy a 100 foot yacht for every one of the 3,077 counties in the the Continental United States.

We could buy 3 ponies for every child in the US, and pay for their feed and upkeep for 5 years.

Every US citizen could have received $10,000 apiece. Talk about economic stimulus!

Any high school senior who graduated in the last five years could have gone to any Public University they wanted to, all tuition and books paid for.

It would also provide $2000 worth of Universal Health Care coverage a year for the last five years for every single American.


[…] in the best-case scenario in which the U.S. withdraws all combat troops by 2012 and fewer veterans need medical and disability pay, [estimates range] to more than $5 trillion. Add in the cost to the rest of the world, and the price tag could exceed $6 trillion.

You know what that means! More ponies for everyone!

2 thoughts on “Couldn’t We Have Spent The Money Better On Ponies?”

  1. Ouch. It is indeed horrendous, and makes me glad I’m not an American tax payer…

    I’ve actually just posted a review of a paper by an academic in 1999 that describes much of (and provides suggestions for preventing) the problem in Iraq over the last 5 years. If only politicians and generals listened to academics a bit more.

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