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mazingerz88's avatar

How much did the war in Iraq contribute to the US deficit today?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18445 points ) August 20th, 2012

I’ve heard people say Bush didn’t pay for invading Iraq. What does that mean exactly? We didn’t raise bonds like in WW2? Didn’t raise taxes to pay for bringing down Hussein? I just don’t understand the process and eager to understand. Where did the money come from then to finance the almost trillion? bucks spent there?

And how much does this amount add to our present deficit today? No one seems to talk about how the Bush war decisions years ago are still impacting the present day deficit. Is that the case really or Obama is solely to be held responsible for everything now?

If anybody could explain the movement of the war money spent in Iraq from its inception leading up to today, that would be much appreciated.

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14 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

The numbers are all over the map. I have heard $1.6 Trillion. But, arguably a lot of that went to employ people (soldiers, defense contractors, defense industries, hospital workers, etc. ) who would not be employed now.
I have also heard that would be the tab for national health care in America. But, again you get arguments from both sides.
I’m sure others will come up with better/different numbers.

_Whitetigress's avatar

To add to @LuckyGuy The spending in technology research is outstanding as well as employing the scientists and engineers behind the weaponry, for every single branch of the military.

woodcutter's avatar

This is why I would like to see taxes severely increased to go to war to pay for it.Unless there was indisputable imminent danger leaving us no choice. There would be fewer wars. WE used to ration everything during WWII to help with the war effort but now you’d hardly know we were fighting a war if not for seeing it in the news. Even the wealthy tightwads would re assess just how important a given war would be if they were actually asked to pay for it.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter Amen to that. Unless we all are willing to contribute our pound of flesh, the cause isn’t worth a war.

woodcutter's avatar

If we fought wars right here in our own turf there will be lots of pounds of flesh contributed. There would be no draft dodging even if you are a conscientious objector or some Wall St. turd, if the fight came to you…You’re gonna fight. Personally I would rather fight right here. Home field advantage and it would mean more. Thats the only thing that would bring our country together now which is a shame but if it comes I hope it happens before I get too old to wipe my own ass properly.

ETpro's avatar

@woodcutter No argument here.

jrpowell's avatar

He used what is referred to as “supplemental spending”. It was pretty much the equivalent of your spouse hiding a credit card from you. One of the first things Obama did was to put the wars “on the books”. This obviously made it look like Obama was a drunk and making it rain in a whorehouse. All Obama did was make the cost show up on our balance sheet.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Yep. I agree. Taxes should have been raised (not reduced!) to fund the war. Everyone should feel some of the pain. Mailing us the $600 Bush refund payment was shameful.
If I were king, I’d have raised the funds by adding a “War Tax” of $3 per gallon to the price of gasoline and diesel fuel. At the typical usage rate of 140 Billion gallons per year that tax would have funded the war. It would also have been a hard incentive to end the hostilities while encouraging conservation, and alternative energy development.
But, it would also be political suicide because most people believe in sacrifice as long as it’s the other guy who’s doing the sacrificing.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Most of the deficit can be attributed to the war in Iraq & the on-going war in Afghanistan. The military budget is horrendously huge & it gets most of our tax money. What the military does not get, goes to the various ‘secret services’ – most of all to the DHS & the CIA.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Actually according to 2011 numbers , Medicare/Medicaid and Social security dwarf defense.
Medicare /medicaid was 23% $0.835 T
Social Security 20% $0.725 T
Defense 19% 0.700 T

We need to get more people working and paying into the system and reducing the number of people drawing out of the system. It will be painful but necessary.
What would I do?
I’d raise the retirement age.
I’d make it more difficult to get disability.
I’d require copayments for every medical transaction
I’d increase taxes on on super wealthy.

I’d also be assassinated within a week

Yetanotheruser's avatar

When the Bush administration took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the costs were kept “off the books”, and were paid for with “special appropriations”. When the administration changed in 2009, it was decided (correctly so, IMHO) that the costs belong in the official budget. This has added approximately $2,000,000,000.00 (two billion…I like to show the zeroes; it reminds me how much money this really is). Many experts agree that the total cost of these wars, including veterans’ care, will top $4,000,000,000,000.00 (four trillion…again, count the zeroes).

As far as the movement of the war money…I have heard stories (unconfirmed, but from sources I trust) about pallets loaded with United States currency—cash…up to $12,000,000.00, that just “disappeared”.

flutherother's avatar

The Congressional Research Service says the Iraq War has cost the US $806 Billion.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@flutherother That seems like a low number but that’s ok. For my example let’s call it $1 T.
Politicians will have a field day spinning it the way they think Americans will vote. For example, let’s see how they charge that $1T to the deficit . Do they do it ratiometrically or in total? If defense is 19% of the budget do they only blame it for 19% of the deficit and say Social security and Medicare are 43%? Or do they play with the numbers and estimate the next 5 years and say “Over the next 5 years it will be the size of our entire current deficit”.
Any way you look at it we need to spend less and earn more . And everyone should feel the pain.

woodcutter's avatar

Why should the soldiers and families of soldiers be the only one’s doing the hurting ? If a war is really necessary then let’s all hurt a little. If you own a firearm you are a citizen soldier whether or not you want to be. Iraq was such a screw up and they fucked Powell in his ass just to sell it to us. What person in America was more trusted than Powell back then? I can’t think of one.

There’s a reason why Russia and China and pretty much every other country signed on to this now shelved international arms treaty. None of their subjects have any firepower except their criminal elements and they don’t want any wild cards here in this country waiting for them if it ever comes to that someday.

These two bit dead enders called terrorists are so pas’e I can’t think of anyone who worries about them.
If Syria devolves into the situation that causes the US to go in I hope we charge the hell out of them for our trouble. No more dying for free. They have the money, Take all Assads.

Somalia still has an unpaid invoice for all the crap we went through that had none of our best nterests in the mix anywhere. Time for all these “liberations” to have a price tag.

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