Here’s How Much of Your Taxes Have Gone To Pay For Wars Since 9/11

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Stock Board Asset

Previously unreported Pentagon data shows how much the average U.S. taxpayer has paid for combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria. According to the two page report summary, the cumulative estimated cost of the 16 year war in the Middle East has cost each taxpayer $7,500.

According to Defense One, Americans paid the most for the wars in 2010, an average of $767 per taxpayer. Since the peak, the annual amount has declined to $289 this fiscal year and $281 projected for 2018. By October of 2018, the Pentagon’s share of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria will have collectively cost taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, according to the Department of Defense.

On the other hand, the Watson Institute at Brown U. tells a different story of the actual cost of war coming in at a staggering $4.8 trillion on a post 9/11 basis, and since this spending has been funded through new debt issuance, interest on the borrowed funds could climb to $7.9 trillion by 2053.

According a paper by Columbia University economist and former chief economist of the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University’s Linda Blimes, former US President George W. Bush’s economic adviser Larry Lindsey touted that war costs would be capped near $200 billion when pitching the Iraq War, which he thought would be “good for the economy.”

The economists wrote that "it now appears that Lindsey was indeed wrong – by grossly underestimating the costs." They determined that $750 billion to $1.2 trillion had been spent on the Iraq invasion alone, three years after the conflict started (2006). Now, 11 years after their paper, the Pentagon actually says that the Iraq, Afghan, and Syrian conflicts combined have summed just $1.5 trillion”.

On a historical basis, the Pentagon has had a checkered past when it comes to accounting. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld told the American people, the Pentagon could not account for $2.3 trillion or $8,000 per American citizen.

Last August, the Pentagon did it again and according to a shocking government report, somce $6.5 trillion in taxpayer funds were unaccounted for due to "accounting error."

Considering the trillions in taxpayer funds spent to prop up the US defense industry, and the staggering amount of "accounting inconsistencies" inside the DOD, it is safe to conclude that America's war machine will be very busy in the coming years, making shareholders of the military-industrial complex richer with every passing year.

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New_Meat's picture

That's all of it, every dollar.

Justin Case's picture

They can't include the trillion that went missing b/c they can't confirm it was spent on military or bribe money. So it's in the unaccounted for account.

max2205's picture

I always multiply govt estimates times ten to ballpark the real cost

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

$1.5 Trillion. That's a partial payment towards the cost of having the reserve currency.

Dormouse's picture

Remember how the day after Rummy announced the missing $2.3 trillion an airliner crashed into the budget and accounting office looking into the missing funds and vaporized into nothing? Not even a 10,000 lbs steel engine remained; all caught on camera from multiple angles—in 6 frames of video.

beemasters's picture

This obvious offence budget should be cut and returned to taxpayers.

ergatz's picture

That will NEVER happen.

You've got IsraHELL to thank for it.

Stuck on Zero's picture

What about the lost productivity of taking the best people in the country and putting them to work killing or making killing machines. The waste of engineering talent is incredible.

Slack Jack's picture

Did the writers of this just forget to include the (absolutely huge) interest cost of borrowing the money that was used to pay for the wars.

Since, in this way, the BANKS benefit so grossly from such wars, it is widely believed that the BANKS deliberately start wars for their PROFIT.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Did they Credit the Afghan Opium proceeds?

Just wondering...

BennyBoy's picture


 $7,500 each, a bargain when it somes to murdering over a million people and stealing their oil and making sure the poppies grow.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Unfortunately, I don't think they were smart enough to steal the oil.

RagnarRedux's picture

(((Dov Zakheim))) And The Missing $2.3 Trillion

The Ethnic Clique That Sold Us The Iraq War

Eretz Israel/Future Israel

anarchitect's picture

Too bad bills of attainder are prohibited by the Constitution.  If they weren't, everyone who voted and shilled for this lamentable idiocy should have their assets confiscated to help pay for it.

On second thought, the same crowd have made the Constitution a dead letter, so let's get on with it.


sickavme's picture


Well the wars ain't nothin compared to the rabbit hole called healthcare and social security...


At least you get a few dead bodies and some entertainment for war spending... you ain't gonna see ANY of that so called social security shit... much less the medicare/medicaid insurance scam...

auricle's picture

I can respect the government for containing war costs with off balance sheet poppy sales. /s

beemasters's picture

"Well the wars ain't nothin compared to the rabbit hole called healthcare and social security."

You are wrong.

'Senate stole the Social Security Administration Fund and spent it' -Shipp

Winston Churchill's picture

According to the latest Solari report, and backed by a forensic audit, its a mere $21.5 tn

unaccounted for.A trillion  here, a trillion there, and suddenly you're talking real money.

G_T_A_44's picture

Bingo. Likewise and 10X is conservative.

Swamp Yankee's picture

nailed it.

Nothing left to say.

Ol Man's picture

I haven't had to pay for it so far...  My great grand children might, but I don't think the system can last that long...

Heck the government is borrowing a trillion a year just to keep Social Security going...


chestergimli's picture

Amazing! All the social security funds that they have stripped from us boomers' paychecks. They just stuck it in a hole in the ground? If I know the treasury department, they invested all of that money in every kind of investment wheel that they could find. They probably made enough off of those investments to pay for the people who had already retired and then into the future.

And what about all of those folks who died before they could collect any. Did someone just stuff it all in their pockets?

Anyone ever hear of Catherine Austin Fitts from the George H W Bush presidency who worked in the treasury department? She advised that up to, and including, his presidency, the bankers had stolen 4 trillion dollars from the American people. I can guess they stole the majority of that from the social security trust fund.

Implied Violins's picture

Oh, you're paying for it, all right.

Are you still working? Then unless you are a McDonald's minimum wager, you're paying at least 33% taxes. Do you work in a state that taxes purchases? Another 8%. Do you have money taken out for social security? Are you paying taxes on a home you own? Do you have money removed for pensions? Do you own a business, and have to pay use taxes just to use your tools?

Face it, at least 40-50% of the average American's income goes to government. And if we keep passively accepting that, it will increase to 100%. Guaranteed.

HRClinton's picture

Hey, I'd HAPPILY pay for crowd-sourcing a bunch of former Special Ops, to take down DC, Langley and the Squid.

Probably the best voluntary tax contribution ever.

Death to Globalists!  

The Gun Is Good's picture

Me, too!

But that won't happen; it is up to us regular ol' citizens to take out the trash....

Offthebeach's picture

Now you know why Roman sheeple let the Huns, Visigoths, Vandals run down Italy and wack Rome.

ludwigvmises's picture

Well that's the "Cost of Freedom". Thanks, Neocons!

HillaryOdor's picture

I believe you mean "Thanks American voters!"

shankster's picture

American notch above Neanderthal.

shankster's picture

Imagine if the biggest Neocon of all Hitlery had been elected? $$$

karenm's picture

And Trump fans would gladly give Trump license to double it! 

Cause, the wars were evil when a Democrat fought them, but when a republican does, it's called patriotism and defending America.

CRM114's picture

..and you lost.

Obsidian Samctum's picture

Thats more than enough to build a functioning starship Enterprise.

Usura's picture

The cost per US taxpayer is the wrong metric.  How much was spent per Israeli jew?  Over $500,000 each.

Solio's picture

The u.s. has been on a losing streak since 1913.

Duc888's picture



Likely double that with black projects / offworld projects.

cynicalskeptic's picture

Gotta have someplace for the elites to run to when TSHTF.    

Figure a few hundred underground bunkers equipped for a couple years and the Mars colony in case things REally hit the fan......   You KNOW it's gonna be bad when they're planning on taking out 6 billion people.

That's the only explanation that makes sense...... there's no concern about the wholesale looting and financial mess, no concern about the mess the planet is in.... it's all about kicking it all down the road just a little bit more....... 

It's as if they aren't trying to fix anything because NOTHING IS GOING TO MATTER

Who cares about debt that will never have to be repaid?   As long as you're in a bunker loaded with supplies when all hell breaks loose....   as long as you're not one of the schmucks left on the surface......   ever wonder how all the people left off the Ark felt?

lil dirtball's picture

> Who cares about debt that will never have to be repaid?

The LORD. The final arbiter.

> As long as you're in a bunker loaded with supplies when all hell breaks loose

Not on His watch.

shankster's picture

The day before 9II Rumsfeld was trying to figure out where Billions had disappeared in the Pentagon...look up the archive.

Nobodys Home's picture

Funny that "the plane" crashed right into the offices of those that were looking into it . Hmmm.

any_mouse's picture

At about the same time in NYC, a building, not hit by an airplane, collapsed into its own footprint. That building housed the evidence for the investigative team at the Pentgram.

Right there is when the psycho trauma issues started for many Americans.

But let's blame Trump in 2017. Two Presidents and four terms after the crime.

Deep Snorkeler's picture

$4.8 trillion spent on foreign wars!

There has been no return on investment.

I'm shocked.

All we are left with is dehydrated Puerto Ricans.

shankster's picture

Except for the Mayor..well fed and well hydrated.

New_Meat's picture

There is this thing among the Misguided Children--It invovles basics of who gets what.

It comes from Mao and the Communits Mao 6th Route Army and from the military observers who walked along.

Anton Meryer did a scene in "Once an Eagle" about the march.

The thing was, "Officers Eat Last"

Simon Sinek does a great thing about leadership on Youtube -- including this lesson.

All y'all gotta' go 2 utube 2 c dis sho'


- Ned

{Sam G. was among them}

shovelhead's picture

Apparently she was so busy dying she couldn't bother to meet with FEMA on how to expedite relief efforts in her juristiction.

Probably just as well, Democrats just steal shit and blame someone else.

Trump did it.

any_mouse's picture

Corporate socialism. Includes MIC.

EBT cards and Obamaphones exist only to profit corporations.

The card and phone users are state sponsored consumers.

ObamaCare exists to prop up the medical insurance industry which creates price supports for medical providers.

State subsidized corporate profits funded by Public Debt created by Private bankers and tax dollars collected from productive citizens.

Is standing for the flag and national anthem really that important?