The federal government has a deficit of $1,332,676,368,880, according to a Congressional Budget Office report from August. Some claim the deficit is related to over-spending on entitlements, such as Social Security. Others say it is because not enough taxes are collected by the government. But there is a completely different aspect that still others have considered — and they are right.
While the deficit may be a factor of all issues combined, the main federal spending that coincides with the deficit is the Iraq War combined with the Afghanistan War. Since the start of these wars, federal spending increased by billions per month.
Here is how the United States should cut down on its debt and budget: Decrease total war spending.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2000, the nation had a surplus of more than $236 billion. The numbers prove that since he was elected, federal sending under George W. Bush increased instantly, reducing that surplus in 2001 to $120 billion. After the United States went to war with Afghanistan in 2001 and with Iraq in 2003, federal spending increased even more. This extra spending helped to plunge the nation into a massive and instant debt of $150 billion in 2002. That number has continued to grow exponentially ever since.
The numbers themselves tell the tale:
The wars cost the United States over $10 billion in 2002. That cost rose to over $1.4 billion per month in 2003. Again, in 2004, the cost to sustain the wars rose to $25 billion for that year. In 2005, the war cost the United States almost $60 billion. In 2006, it cost the United States almost $120 billion. In 2007, about $170 billion was spent. From 2001 to 2007, a total of $503 billion was spent. In 2008, spending increased to almost $200 billion and in 2009, reduced to $141 billion. To date, the cost of both wars together total over $1 trillion and will continue to increase with every month that passes.
In the years 2001 until the present, many federally funded programs were cut to make room for the increasing deficit. Some of the programs cut in 2010 include education funding, Farm Aid, cancer research, Medicare and many others. How many of these programs would continue receiving their funding had the not pursued either of the wars?
Considering that the United states still held a federal surplus before the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars began, common sense dictates that ending them could decrease the deficit by billions each year and over time and bring the nation back to a surplus, even if the nation continues spending elsewhere.
While no one wants to begin or continue any war, the dollar amounts alone are evidence of the fact that too much is spent on them. Simply stated, if the United States reduced its spending on foreign policy, namely the wars, the nation would have had more than $1 trillion less in deficit. Considering that the current deficit is estimated at $1.3 trillion, while the nation would have still acquired a deficit, the total deficit amount would have been much less.