Tags: ISIS | bomb | cost | spending

Bombing ISIS Adds Millions of Dollars a Day to Deficit

By    |   Wednesday, 01 October 2014 08:29 AM

Degrading and ultimately destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be expensive.

Tomahawk missiles cost more than $1 million each and each smart bomb costs $40,000. Aircraft to deliver the weapons cost $10,000 or more an hour to fly.

For now, the Pentagon is estimating the costs total $7 million to $10 million a day, but that seems to be a low estimate that ignores the cost of support and increased maintenance. This cost estimate is likely to rise when the Pentagon submits a supplemental budget request.

Using the Pentagon's estimate, this effort will cost at least $210 million a month, or $7.5 billion over the next three years, the minimum time the White House says the effort will require. The total cost is likely to be much more because war never follows the initial plan and never requires the minimum amount of effort.

Assuming ISIS is in fact destroyed, this is money well spent. Unfortunately, the United States doesn't have $7.5 billion. The federal government has been spending more than it brings in for decades and there is no discussion of cutting spending elsewhere to fund the war effort.

Annual costs of bombing ISIS will probably be less than one-tenth of the spending on Obamacare, one of the most significant drivers of future deficits. This deficit spending will require the government to borrow money in the bond market, which crowds out private investment.

Unless government spending can be reduced, it will continue to reduce the amount of capital available to invest in economic growth. Destroying ISIS is an example of government doing what it should do by protecting its citizens. But the effort costs money and spending on nonessential and wasteful programs like advertising for Obamacare needs to be eliminated so that government can meet its obligations without impeding economic growth.

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Degrading and ultimately destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) will be expensive.
ISIS, bomb, cost, spending
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 08:29 AM
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