Piggy Bank

Cost Is Such a Relative Thing

Cost and value. Value and cost. The “deal” is some magical balance between cost and value.

Let me see. The Iraq war cost us $712,616,300,000 as I typed this sentence and has already gone above that—way above that in normal people budgets. The Afghanistan war cost us $260,099,900,000 as I typed this sentence and has already gone above that—again, way above that. So the total cost of these two wars is nearly one trillion dollars, which looks like this: $1,000,000,000,000.00.

So, was it a good value? Did we get our money’s worth?

Well, I don’t know what we really bought for all of that insane amount of money except a HUGE national debt.

What would we buy for the reported $940,000,000,000.00 health care plan in congress right now? Well, millions more Americans, not all, sad to say, would get some health coverage. The insurance industry will probably make a killing. Maybe thousands of Americans lives will be saved or they will live in better health or less pain.

So is it a good value? Well, at least I have some sense that we are buying something that will help people and not kill them. At least I have some sense that this money will aid people in living healthier lives and not maim people for the rest of their lives. At least I have some sense that I am purchasing something for my tax dollars that I believe has a moral value.

Spending a trillion dollars to learn that Saddam never had any weapons of mass destruction was a complete waste of money. Spending about the same amount to give our own citizens a higher quality of life isn’t.

Why did we ever destroy the national trust on these two meaningless wars? Why is killing people more important to our government that helping our own citizens?