NYT: What $1.2 trillion can buy

There’s not much that gets me mad anymore.  I’m just waiting for Bush to leave office so I can stop rolling my eyes.  But this story in the New York Times really puts the cost of the war in Iraq in perspective:

For starters, $1.2 trillion would pay for an unprecedented public
health campaign — a doubling of cancer research funding, treatment for
every American whose diabetes or heart disease is now going unmanaged
and a global immunization campaign to save millions of children’s lives.

Combined, the cost of running those programs for a decade wouldn’t use
up even half our money pot. So we could then turn to poverty and
education, starting with universal preschool for every 3- and
4-year-old child across the country. The city of New Orleans could also
receive a huge increase in reconstruction funds.

The final big chunk of the money could go to national security. The recommendations of the 9/11 Commission
that have not been put in place — better baggage and cargo screening,
stronger measures against nuclear proliferation — could be enacted.
Financing for the war in Afghanistan could be increased to beat back
the Taliban’s recent gains, and a peacekeeping force could put a stop to the genocide in Darfur.

I just can’t believe this waste.  It’s not clear that we’ve made ourselves or the region any safer because of it.  We haven’t secured an ongoing supply of petroleum, either.  It just seems like a waste of money.