Thursday, December 30, 2004


[UPDATE: January 31, 2004 -- President Bush announced a tenfold increase in US aid, pledging $350 million.]

For perspective: the $35 million dollars in aid that the US has committed to tsunami relief efforts equals the cost to America of fighting the Iraq War for little more than three-and-a-half hours.

How does this compute?

According to "Project Billboard" the War has cost America more than $157 billion thus far. "Cost of War" more conservatively puts the number at $147.6 billion (as of 6:00pm EST, 12.30.04).

America has been at war in Iraq for approximately 654 days. So, taking the more conservative number above, that means:

654 days X 24 hours = 15,696 hours;

$147.6 billion cost / 15,696 hours = approx $9.4 million/hr

In actuality, the war may now be costing America much more than $9.4M per hour, Jeff, my accountant friend from Grand Rapids, points out. That's because the above calculation is based on straight-line averaging. "In fact, we have more troops deployed today than we did a year ago," Jeff writes. "I would say the actual hourly cost right now is probably closer to $12 M or more."

Go figure.

[Added knowledge: Though often annoying in a condescending humanist kind of way, Nicholas Kristof occasionally gets it right. Exhibit A: This article on American stingyness]

1 comment:

Skyounkin said...

Please, it's not like YOU have to pay for a 40,000,000.00 corination in wake of a massive deficeit, a botched war and the greatest natural disaster in recorded history.......well, next to the idiot king being "elected in 2000" and the noah's biblical flood.

Oh, wait.....we DO have to pay for it....this sucks.

I want my country back!!