The Ramblings Of John Campea

Life Beyond The Movies

What $145 BILLION a Year Spent On Iraq Occupation Could Be Spent On Instead

I came across this amazing article through DIGG today that just makes my head spin about how badly we prioritize life and existence. According the US government, they are spending about $145 BILLION each year on their occupation… opppsss… I mean “war” in Iraq. Death and Taxes did a bunch of research and found out a bunch of tings that money COULD have been spent on. Take a look:

Free Health Insurance for every uninsured family in the US – $124 Billion

Data: There are 10,849,000 uninsured families in the US. The average health care cost for a family is $11,500. So 10,849,000 x 11,500 = $124,763,500,000. The 10 million uninsured individuals are out of luck here.

Free Gasoline every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – $116 Billion

Data: This one’s complicated, follow closely. Americans use 9,159,000 barrels of finished motor gasoline a day. 31 gallons to the barrel and thats 283,929,000 gallons a day on average. The average cost of a gallon of gas for 2006 was $2.63. Multiply that by the gallons per day and Americans spend $746,733,270 filling up. Now there are 52 of each day in the week in one year. So all the Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays is 156. Multiply that by the gas spending per day and you have $116,490,390,120. Now you might say “but won’t everyone just fill up on the free gas days?” Yes, that would probably happen, but lets not ruin the fantasy ok?

Free tuition, room and board for every student in a public College or University – $115 Billion

Data: There are 11,650,580 students enrolled in all public institutions of higher education. Average public tuition is $9,877. So 11,650,580 x 9,877 = $115,072,778,660. Students at private colleges still have to pay.

Free laptop for every student from Kindergarden to Graduate School – $86 Billion

Data: There are about 78,424,000 students in some kind of school in the US (61,074,000 elementary and secondary, 17,350,000 post-secondary). Now for example, a 1.8ghz MacBook costs $1,099 so multiply that by the number of students and you have $86,187,976,000.

Convert every car to run on ethanol – $68 Billion

Data: There are 136,568,083 registered cars in the US. Ethanol or E85 conversion kits range from $400 to $700 so I stuck with $500 (volume discount). So numbers of cars multiplied by the cost of the conversion is $68,284,041,500. This is just for cars, trucks will have to wait for next years pot o’ taxes.

Primary education for every child on earth – $30 Billion

Data: This is from the World Bank’s Millennium Development Goals and 30 billion is the upper range of the estimate.

Universal access to water and sanitation for everyone on earth – $21 Billion

Data: Again from the World Bank and 21 billion being the upper range of the estimate

End Hunger in America – $8 Billion

Data: From a Bread for the World study done in 2000. Or we can just give every tax payer their thousand dollars back.

Unfortunately we don’t have time to entertain such flights of fancy like ending hunger or free health insurance. Don’t you know there is a war on?!


February 20, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. number 3 would be so sweeeet!
    that would be incredible if they just spent all that money instead educating an entire generation of college students.

    the other super nice one would be converting the cars to run ethanol. but of course Bush and his oil cronies wouldn’t like this idea. it would be hurting the oil market and free market capitalism, but at the expense of the environment.

    Comment by lordvader | February 21, 2007 | Reply

  2. The one that blows me away is water for everyone. I cannot believe that at this stage of the game, the worlds “super powers” have not taken care of this already. Considering it is so relatively cheap we really need to re examine our priorities.

    Comment by Russell | February 26, 2007 | Reply

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