On the heels of Memorial Day and President Obama’s Wednesday speech at West Point, a new perspective on the Iraq War and the president’s signature law emerges.
Last year, a Harvard University research project showed that when considering medical benefits yet to be doled out to veterans, the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will cost taxpayers $4 to $6 trillion.
Do you know what would cost less than that over the next 10 years? Obamacare.
That’s right, nationalized healthcare, criticized for its exorbitant price tag, stands to cost less than our prolonged military ventures in the Middle East–wars that began with unclear objectives and motives, and yielded few results other than 4,489 dead American troops and a lot of angry citizens.
The Weekly Standard’s Jeffrey H. Anderson commented on Obamacare debt back in February, referencing the Congressional Budget Office’s latest numbers.
“Well, now the CBO is out with a new report on Obamacare’s costs, and—sure enough—its 10-year price-tag now eclipses $2 trillion,” Anderson wrote. “To be more exact … the 10-year gross cost of Obamacare’s coverage provisions will be a cool $2,004,000,000,000.00.”
The Heritage Foundation provided a helpful infographic of U.S. debt levels beginning in 2010:
Despite soaring debt — and the fact that military expenditures have possibly put the country on worse fiscal standing than even Obamacare — some conservatives react with alarm to any proposed changes in Pentagon spending.
In February, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration’s new budget would leave the U.S. with a military that would be “capable of defeating any adversary, but too small for protracted foreign occupations.”
In other words, after the new budget is implemented the military would still able to defend the home-front and execute quick strikes abroad, but potentially not able to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan at the same time.
If America can’t afford Obamacare, as conservatives rightly claim, nor should we be able to afford another Iraq or Afghanistan. Nonetheless, self-described fiscal conservatives Republicans Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio protested the new budget, while others called the move un-American.
The U.S. already outspends every other nation by a wide margin.
For context, the proposed troop reductions for the U.S. Army in the 2015 budget, at the most, is 80,000.
That is almost as many enlisted members as the British Army aims to have by 2020.