Every American Pays $5,000 for Defense Per Year

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PRESS TV– American citizens are paying large amounts of money each year for U.S. defense spending, which can be used for domestic spending, Steve Breyman, assistant professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute said.

“Each and every citizen in the United States – man, woman and child – pays some $5,000 or so per year for U.S. defense spending much of which is associated now with the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”, he told Press TV’s U.S. Desk.

If the federal government had not spent some $1 trillion on the wars, that money would have been available for “domestic spending including the balance in the budget,” Breyman said. “You can have healthy public finances or you can have war but you can’t have both,” he added.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, some 200,000 people are employed by subcontractors.

By the end of 2008, the U.S. had spent approximately $900 billion in direct costs on Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Some experts estimate indirect costs such as interest on the additional debt will exceed the direct costs. Red Ice Creation

However, prominent economics professor Joseph E. Stiglitz says the true cost of the Iraq war is beyond $3 trillion. Washington Post

According to the Congressional Budget Office, defense spending grew 9% annually on average from fiscal year 2000-2009.

In Iraq, reconstruction efforts have been plagued by poor management, mishandling of reconstruction funds, inadequate coordination with Iraqis and widespread attacks on construction sites and contractors as documented by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). NYT

A 2005 report stated that nearly $9 billion of reconstruction fund was lost by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). CNN

Photo by flickr user purpleslog

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