Thursday, May 12, 2011

Even in Death, Bin Laden Exacts Multitrillion-Dollar Toll on U.S. Taxpayer

Even in Death, Bin Laden Exacts Multitrillion-Dollar Toll on U.S. Taxpayer; Bloomberg

Even in death, Osama bin Laden will be taking revenge on American taxpayers for years to come.

The U.S. government spent $2 trillion combating bin Laden over the past decade, more than 20 percent of the nation’s $9.68 trillion public debt. That money paid for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as additional military, intelligence and homeland security spending above pre-Sept. 11 trends, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

This year alone, taxpayers are spending more than $45 billion in interest on the money borrowed to battle al-Qaeda, the analysis shows.

The financial bleeding won’t stop with bin Laden’s demise. One of every four dollars in red ink the U.S. expects to incur in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will result from $285 billion in annual spending triggered by the terrorist scion of a wealthy Saudi family. ...

As the U.S. celebrates the demise of the number-one figure on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list, the future spending that can be attributed to bin Laden far exceeds direct war costs. Gordon Adams, who oversaw national security budgeting at the Office of Management and Budget during the Clinton administration, said roughly $125 billion of the Pentagon’s $553 billion fiscal 2012 budget request represents unnecessary spending justified by claims of war-time need.

“That’s a tax which would not have happened without Osama bin Laden,” Adams, a professor at American University’s School of International Service, said in a telephone interview.

The bin Laden tax has been levied every year for the past decade. Pentagon spending -- excluding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- between fiscal 2002 and today was $742 billion higher than the Congressional Budget Office’s January 2001 baseline forecast.

Amid a wartime atmosphere, military spending requests faced less scrutiny both within the Pentagon and in Congress, Adams said. Programs launched with modest initial funding often live on, their costs ballooning with the years. ....

Read the rest here.

Comment: Without a place at the table the states have no voice or power to turn this around. Special interests groups will continue to lobby Congress and get what they want even if it means ruining our economy and our actual defense. Unless the 17th is repealed and the states' place is restored the forces President Eisenhower warned us about will continue to win over the American people.

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