September 24, 2003
Lindsey on Iraq Costs
Larry Lindsey got fired from his White House job because he did a poor job talking about a sluggish economy that has finally started to perk up. It wasn't because he was stupid. His USA Today column shows he's a pretty bright guy. He predicted that the Iraq War would cost 1-2% of U.S. GDP. It turns out the cost could be about 0.8% for both Iraq and Afghanistan. Lindsey then puts this cost in perspective:
Each year American households spend about 1% of their income on alcoholic beverages and another 1% on tobacco products. We spend about 0.7% of our money on cosmetic products. In other words, our combined operations to combat terror in the Middle East cost a bit more than we spend on makeup and shampoo and a bit less than we spend on booze or tobacco.
For that relatively small sum, we ended the horrible reign of an evil man, and ended a threat to the Middle East and the West. That's not a bad return on investment.