Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Drowning By Numbers: Invasion and Immigration Edition

Listening to that Godless Canadian Neil Young and his new Bush-bashing "Living in War" release, (rr) (available for free download here) while doing a little research on the immigration issue for a school seminar next week. Dangerous combo and one that led me back to a couple of money facts I find interesting.

I realize there are at least 2,400 reasons to oppose the invasion of Iraq and 12 million reasons to wonder about U.S. immigration policy, but for those fiscal conservatives who defend the gruesome folly in Baghdad I like to break out the financials just to show that the whole enterprise is as stupid fiscally as it is morally.

I read at the BBC that the U.S. Congressional Budget Office says the total real cost of the Invasion/War/Occupation may end up being $811 billion, and that right now expenses are at "$8 billion a month". Funny, I had to read that at the BBC site...but anyway, if true, that means we're spending right near $100 billion per year at the going rate.

Then I go to the CIA World Factbook and find out that the Mexican federal budget for 2005 was $184 billion. Total. The entire Mexican federal budget is not even twice what we're spending in Iraq.

I'll leave it to the reader to complete the syllogism initiated by those numbers toward whatever logical conclusion they politically prefer. I'm just sitting here listening to Neil and rolling those numbers around in my admittedly math-deficient brain. I also admit it's hard not to get real, real preachy here...but I'll just leave it at those numbers. For now.

Actually, in honor of the little poetry unit we're currently doing in class, I'll close with a quote from e e cummings...

"He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water"

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