Location: Minnesota, United States
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Inaguaral costs

It costs $58,000 to armor one Humvee.

The security alone for the upcoming presidential inaguaration is estimated to cost in the tens of millions of dollars, and the entire affair will cost around $40 million. That's 689 Humvees. Thirty-three percent of the Humvees in use in Iraq currently have no armor.

Hm, I wonder what it costs to, say, provide a meal to a kid at school for a year? Establish and equip a field hospital in Indonesia?

If I had embarked on a war that went on longer than I had planned and cost significantly more than I expected it to cost, I'm thinking I wouldn't spend all sorts of cash on the biggest bash ever put on to celebrate the swearing in of a president. I might, instead, request a few minutes of air time on the major networks to announce to the country that because we're now running a deficit, and because there are so many people who need so many things in so many places, I'm going to recommit myself to office in a small, tasteful, somber ceremony in the Rose Garden. I might add that while I know $40 is a drop in the bucket in the face of the level of need, I hope this change inspires the rest of the government, and the rest of the world, to consider carefully how and why they spend the money they spend. Yes, it's breaking tradition, but some things are more important than pomp.

One more comparison: this inaguaration--this party--will cost at least $5 million more than we pledged in aid to the areas hit by the tsunami. What's 155,000 dead people? We have ourselves a swearing-in to celebrate!


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