What can you get for $1.2 trillion?

David Leonhardt estimates in the New York Times that $1.2 trillion is the total cost of the war in Iraq. Others, notably Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, have calculated far higher totals. But Leonhardt’s more interested in what Americans could have bought with their tax dollars had the United States military not been in Iraq for ...

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David Leonhardt estimates in the New York Times that $1.2 trillion is the total cost of the war in Iraq. Others, notably Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, have calculated far higher totals. But Leonhardt's more interested in what Americans could have bought with their tax dollars had the United States military not been in Iraq for the past four years. So he stacked the war, at a rate of $200 billion per year, up against the price tag for other items:

David Leonhardt estimates in the New York Times that $1.2 trillion is the total cost of the war in Iraq. Others, notably Nobel-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, have calculated far higher totals. But Leonhardt’s more interested in what Americans could have bought with their tax dollars had the United States military not been in Iraq for the past four years. So he stacked the war, at a rate of $200 billion per year, up against the price tag for other items:

Click on the image above for the full graphic.

Christine Y. Chen is a senior editor at Foreign Policy.

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