How much did you pay for the war in Iraq last year?

Last year, my tax dollars paid for .03 seconds of the war in Iraq. What could that money have provided for, if our leaders had been investing the $133 billion that we paid for the war in 2007 in our own future right here in this country?

* 17 Days of health care for an uninsured American

* 8 Days of Head Start education for a low-income preschooler

* 61 days of renewable energy power for the average home

* 3 days of higher education for an Iraq war veteran

Find out how much you paid for the war last year, and what you could have paid for instead here.

I would have been happy to have my taxes go to those 4 items -- overjoyed even. Those are the things that make me proud to pay my taxes. But to have 5% of my income taxes going toward spending on an unnecessary and unjust war does not.

It's difficult to calculate the actual cost of the war in Iraq. There's the pure dollar value, but beyond that there's the cost in human life (both of over 4,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqi citizens), the cost to our international reputation and the opportunity cost that we are paying right here in this country. Our economy is shot, our public schools are crumbling, our addiction to oil has us crippled and millions of people around the country can't afford health care -- including nearly 10 million children. And while our leaders continue to throw money out the window at the war in Iraq and decorate their cars with "Support the Troops" magnets and bumper stickers, our brave men and women who have sacrificed so much are denied the health care and mental health assistance that they need.

We need leaders who are going to get their priorities straight and start investing in our future, not wasting billions in Iraq. We're calling on Congress, candidates, the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees and any leaders who will listen to do just that.  I hope you'll check out the Progressive Future Invest in US Calculator to find out what your tax dollars could be paying for and ask our leaders to start Investing in US. 


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