With President Bush’s move to add more troops to the Iraq War, the price tag to the American people continues to climb. The National Priorities Project, a Massachusetts research group that compiles data on the impact of federal spending policies for states, cities and counties, reports taxpayers have spent nearly $380 billion to wage this war. The Bush Administration will request another $120 to $150 billion for war operations next month, much of which will be spent in Iraq.
The costs to Colorado in dollars and lives so far:
— The running total of the U.S. cost of the war: $378 billion
— The cost to taxpayers in Colorado: $5.8 billion.
— Projected total cost of the war by administration officials before the conflict began: $50 billion.
— Of the 3,024 U.S. soldiers that have been killed as of Jan. 16 in the Iraq War, 40 are from Colorado.
— Of the nearly 23,000 U.S. soldiers that have been wounded in the conflict, 372 are from Colorado.
— Adding another 21,500 troops will cost American taxpayers another $5.6 billion per year.
— The war is essentially financed through deficit spending, so interest payments over time could amount to another $100 billion or more.
— Health care costs and disability benefits for the wounded soldiers may also exceed $100 billion.
— Number of Colorado children that could have been provided with health care for the length of the Iraq War: 543,536
— Or, the number of affordable housing units that could have been built in Colorado: 24,758
— Or, the number of elementary schools that could have been built in Colorado: 716
Keep reading for a breakdown of the war costs so far in various cities and counties in Colorado:
Arapahoe County: $744 million
Boulder: $120.6 million
Canon City: $13.9 million
Chaffee County: $15.9 million
Colorado Springs: $463 million
Delta County: $26 million
Denver: $623.5 million
Durango: $13.8 million
Evergreen: $20.8 million
Fort Collins: $150.1 million
Fremont County: $44.8 million
Glenwood Springs: $9.7 million
Greeley: $79.7 million
La Plata County: $50.2 million
Longmont: $103.5 million
Loveland: $67.9 million
New Castle: $3.1 million
Paonia: $1.4 million
Parker: $49.7 million
Pueblo: $86.2 million
Rifle: $8.3 million
Salida: $4.5 million
Silt: $2.2 million
Notes: NPP’s estimate of the cost of the Iraq War includes only incremental budgetary costs, not interest costs or future costs. The number is based on the analysis of legislation appropriating funding for the Iraq War and Congressional Research Service reports. State breakdowns are based on the share of taxes paid by each state into the federal funds budget according to IRS data. Local costs are based on state breakdowns, and relative population and income levels.
Cara DeGette is a longtime editor and columnist at the Colorado Springs Independent.