It is an eye-popping number: $250 million. However, that number is what the American taxpayer spends per day to fund the War on Terror. This was the news from a report put out by the Defense Department. That report measured military spending on this war from September 11th, 2001 through mid-2017. That total bill comes to a total of $1.46 trillion. Broken down, that comes to the $250 million per day.
Only Examining The Direct Spending
Some might try to argue that the spending number is including too many different types of unrelated spending. That is simply not the case. This report only looks at expenses that can be directly tied in to war-related costs. These are only the dollars that have gone directly into aiding the men and women on the ground in the battle. Even just looking at those numbers, you get to the $250 million per day figure.
Veterans Benefits Spending Builds Up
There is no question that the amount that we as a nation will have to spend on veterans benefits is going to increase dramatically. That is what tends to happen when you create so many new veterans through war. The Harvard Kennedy School put out a paper on the topic in 2011 that showed that as a country we will spend anywhere from $600 billion to $1 trillion on veterans in the next 40 years. It is a staggering number that just continues to grow.
How This Stakes Up
It is truly mind-blowing that this level of money is spent on war when politicians continue to complain that there is not enough money to spend on things like universal health care or better access to education. This is something that should be pointed out by those who believe in those social programs time and time again. Somehow, we find the money for things like war, but we have such struggles getting the money out for things like universal healthcare.
This is largely a matter of priorities and politics. War contractors spend a lot of money on elections, and this influences how politicians vote and where they allocate funds in the federal budget. Given that, it should perhaps not be all that surprising that so many of those politicians continue to vote for more and more spending on the military while neglecting other priorities.
Perhaps this latest report will be enough to wake up some American taxpayers to the reality of what their government is spending money on. It is something that those taxpayers will have to consider when they next go to the polls.