The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Christopher Hellman, Communications Liaison, 413.584.9556 (o) or

Jo Comerford, Executive Director, 413.584.9556 (o)

Crossing the $1 Trillion Cost Of War Line

NPP’s Cost of War counter to hit $1 trillion on May 30, 2010


On May 30, 2010, at 10:06am,
the National Priorities Project Cost of War counter - designed to
count the total money appropriated for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -
will reach the $1 trillion mark.

To date $747.3 billion have been
appropriated for the U.S. war in Iraq and $299 billion for the war in

The pending supplemental making
its way through Congress will add an estimated $37 billion to the
current $136.8 billion total spending for the current fiscal year,
ending September 30.

What Can You Get For $1

Federal Funding For Higher
Education --
$1 trillion would give the maximum Pell Grant award
($5,500) to all 19 million U.S. college and university students for the
next 9 years.

For $1 trillion, you could

294,734,961 people with health
care for one year, or

21,598,789 public safety officers
for one year, or

17,149,392 music and arts
teachers for one year, or

7,779,092 affordable housing
units, or

440,762,472 children with health
care for one year, or

137,233,969 head start places for
children for one year, or

16,427,497 elementary school
teachers for one year, or

1,035,282,468 homes with
renewable electricity for one year

In your community:

Taxpayers in Natick,
will pay $206.9 million for total Iraq and
Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For that amount, instead of
implementing a proposed 4 percent cut for Natick's libraries in 2011,
the town could double its total current library budget, and pay for it
for 56 years.

Taxpayers in the Borough of
Brooklyn, New York
will pay $9 billion for total Iraq and
Afghanistan war spending since 2001. That's enough to supply renewable
electricity to every household in Brooklyn for 19 years.

As college and university
tuitions grow, community colleges are increasingly popular sources of
affordable education. At Greenfield Community College in
Massachusetts, for the cost of the Afghanistan war "surge" (est. $37
) you could cover all tuition and fees for all full- and
part-time (half-time) students for the next 762 semesters (381 years).


$1,000,000,000,000 ("1" and twelve zeros)

If you earned $1 million a year,
it would take you 1 million years to earn $1 trillion.

In Dollar Bills:

If you converted $1 trillion into
one dollar bills, and laid them end to end, it would reach 98 million
miles. That's 4,000 times around the Earth. Its 205 trips to the Moon.
And back. It's more than the distance to the Sun.

In Silver Dollars:

If someone handed you a silver
dollar every second, it would take almost 32,000 years for them to hand
you $1 trillion. Not that you could hold them - they'd weigh nearly 9
million tons.

About NPP's Cost of War

NPP's Cost of War counters
provide information on the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for
each of the 50 states.

The counters also provide cost
amounts and "trade-off" data for hundreds of U.S. cities and towns.

To see NPP's Cost of War
counters and our Notes & Sources, visit

The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels. For more information, go to