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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Down To Earth

What America could’ve bought with the $4 trillion we spent on wars

I always view the Wall Street Journal with a certain measure of skepticism when it comes to reporting on the U.S. budget. But a new article highlights the hole wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left on the economy.  The price tag: $4 trillion.

Christopher Mims looks back
at how the money could've been spent besides "stoking Americans' confusion over whether or not the world's 1.5 billion 'Muslims' are in fact a monolithic group whose every member is a terrorist."

After the jump, check his list and dream.

-Provide 280 million people with 100 percent renewable energy (based on this study of moving the entire planet to renewables).

Pay for America's entire high-speed rail system eight times over -- and that's according to a deliberately high, rail-hostile estimate from the CATO institute.

-Pay for a comprehensive preschool system for every child in America 40 times over. Preschool has been shown to be one of the single most effective interventions for disadvantaged children. (Universal preschool would cost $100 billion, according to NPR's Planet Money.)

Wipe out our entire yearly trade imbalance with China 14 times over -- if we gave the money to China, and we could force its citizens to use the money to buy our stuff, anyway.

Pay off almost half the mortgages in the U.S. If we spent this money on ourselves instead of our overseas escapades, it would mean something like 18 million households could start living rent-free. (Total U.S. mortgage debt is around $10 trillion.)

Down To Earth

The DTE blog is committed to reporting and sharing environmental news and sustainability information from across the Inland Northwest.