According to this excellent MSNBC piece, the amount of money being spent in Iraq ranges from $255 million a day to more than $7 billion per month, with a final price tag expected to exceed $1 trillion.
The National Priorities Project, which uses a calculation based on U.S. budget appropriations (looking at what has already been spent and extrapolating the level of future spending based on this), estimates that the total money spent or allocated comes to about $255 million per day.
That is a little less than $1.8 billion a week, including both military and non-military spending.
Other estimates, however, also factor in other costs, such as the financial loss resulting from the deaths of soldiers, as well as future costs that do not show up in current appropriations, like equipment replacement and interest on the deficits being created.
If you add those and other costs to the total tab, the cost of the war is as much as $7.1 billion a month, and the total cost could top $1 trillion.Not included in either of those accounting methods are the financial and economic impact on Iraq. Oil production dropped from more than 2.5 million barrels a day in 2001 to less than 1.5 million in 2003. Further, the loss of life to the Iraqi people could be in the hundreds of thousands.
At the very same time the cost of health care has skyrocketed for businesses and employees without an end in sight in America, so has the fiscal and human toll of the ongoing war in Iraq, no matter how you stand politically.
Let's hope the drain on our country's human and fiscal capitol can be staunched somewhat with the departure of Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld, the former chairman of Gilead Sciences, the developers of Tamiflu that profited mightily from the imaginary bird flu pandemic.
The costs of war are often high, and human life is precious. Whether you support or oppose the war in Iraq, I think we can all agree that the death and destruction caused by war are always tragic.