War Costs Ever Mount

War has costs . . . and prices. The costs include everything we give up to wage it, and everything taken away by the violence: lives, property, and (sometimes) sacred honor. The prices include the monetary expenditures that keep on adding up.

A recent Associated Press story warns us that the “Costs of Wars Linger for Over 100 Years.” The U.S. government is still paying for World War I, costing taxpayers $20 million per year. Spending on veterans of World War II peaked in 1991, while the Vietnam conflict still soaks up taxpayer dollars:

A congressional analysis estimated the cost of fighting the war was $738 billion in 2011 dollars, and the post-war benefits for veterans and families have separately cost some $270 billion since 1970. . . .

We can expect the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to take money for scores of years after the cessation of fighting — and let’s hope it does cease, some day.

How long can we continue to pay? Very:

There are 10 living recipients of benefits tied to the 1898 Spanish-American War at a total cost of about $50,000 per year. The Civil War payments are going to two children of veterans — one in North Carolina and one in Tennessee — each for $876 per year.

This may seem idiotic, but it’s inevitable.

One element of the story, not mentioned in the reportage, is something I hear from friends: The Veterans Administration more than accommodates increasing its rolls not merely of the recent wounded, but from ancient veterans who received no war wounds. It’s part of the natural expansion of bureaucracy.

The price of war just goes on and on, and up and up.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mar
    25
    8:45
    AM
    drrik

    The direct costs of Presbo’s war in Afghanistan have now exceeded $6.2 billion, dwarfing Bush’s $4 billion war in Iraq.

  2. Mar
    25
    8:59
    AM
    Charles Holtzback

    As usual when counting up the costs of war the forgotten war Korea 1950-1953 with it’s 50,000 killed is completely forgotten.

  3. Mar
    25
    9:05
    AM
    2WarAbnVet

    On the other hand, how much are we paying to support illegal aliens, and parasites who have done nothing for this country?

  4. Mar
    25
    12:32
    PM
    Mac McKinney

    Agree completely. I am a retired Marine and also a 100% disabled veteran. We are a country of very
    generous people when it comes to helping our veterans and all others who receive the governmental dole. But doles and government can
    overextend to such a degree that more of us are on the dole than our
    blessed country can afford and I think our wonderful country is on the brink with more on the dole than the citizens financing it.
    It’s just a matter of time before all of us will see the dole go busted.

  5. Mar
    25
    1:09
    PM
    eatingdogfood

    If The Democrats Didn’t Give ” Sweetheart Deals ” To Your Public Service Union.
    Goon Employees To Get Reelected; You Would Have Plenty Of Money and The.
    Taxpayer would have Some Spare Change in His Pockets! Democratic Hustler
    Politicians + Corrupt Union Goons = BANKRUPTCY BABY! Time To Bring.
    RICO Conspiracy Charges Against The Hustler Corrupt Democrats and the.
    Criminal Unions!

  6. Mar
    25
    3:40
    PM
    Mark Read Pickens

    2WarAbnVet: “Illegal” aliens put billions of dollars annually into Social Security, a program from which they will never be eligible to collect.

    How does that make them “parasites?”

  7. Mar
    26
    5:04
    PM
    Neal from PA

    Ever since my days in Vietnam; after seeing what I’ve seen, feeling what I’ve felt—I know I will never be the same again. I have been asking myself; “What the heck happened to this country?”

    With almost 40 million Americans on Food Stamps and the Welfare Rolls continue their rise, it’s easy to see that America is in decline.

    For those (including their families) that defend America past, present and future make great sacrifices for the honor of defending America each and every day. The costs are always high no matter what category you may chose to measure it. But without scarifies there would not be an America. America owes them more than she will ever be able to re-pay.

    AMERICA… “Never has one country done so much for so many — and for so little thanks — as the United States.”

  8. Mar
    29
    1:11
    PM
    MoreFreedom

    To 2WarAbnVet, I’d rather see people support getting rid of the welfare state than blame illegal aliens for taking advantage of it.

    Using force to take money from some, only to give it to others, would be a crime if government wasn’t doing it. But it’s still an immoral use of government – it is government stealing from some for others’ benefit, rather than protecting our liberties including the ability to keep the fruits of our labor.

    As Mark points out, illegals do pay taxes (though sometimes they don’t as a result of working in the underground economy, but they still pay lots of taxes). They also generate demand for housing, food, clothing, transportation, etc., which creates jobs for others. They don’t just take jobs – they also create them.

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