According to the calculations of congressional Democrats, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost about $1.5 trillion. That’s nearly double the (already staggering) $804 billion that’s been appropriated or requested. Lawmakers arrived at the revised estimate by considering larger economic factors, including interest on debt and health care costs for wounded veterans.
The economic costs to the United States of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan so far total approximately $1.5 trillion, according to a new study by congressional Democrats that estimates the conflicts’ “hidden costs”—including higher oil prices, the expense of treating wounded veterans and interest payments on the money borrowed to pay for the wars.
That amount is nearly double the $804 billion the White House has spent or requested to wage these wars through 2008, according to the Democratic staff of Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. Its report, titled “The Hidden Costs of the Iraq War,” estimates that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have thus far cost the average U.S. family of four more than $20,000.
“The full economic costs of the war to the American taxpayers and the overall U.S. economy go well beyond even the immense federal budget costs already reported,” said the 21-page draft report, obtained [Monday] by The Washington Post.