how that trillion dollars could have been spent

I’ve said this kind of thing before, but John Allen Paulos at ABC News has an interesting spin on how the $1,000,000,000,000 we’ve spent on Iraq to date could have been put to better use. For example:

The cost of the war can also be expressed as approximately 28 HS’s, where HS, the annual budget for the Department of Homeland Security, is about $35 billion. Really securing the ports and chemical plants would have only eaten up a few of these HS’s. A few more could have been usefully spent in Afghanistan.

Alternatively, if the money was spent in an even more ecumenical way and a global mailing list was available, the Treasury could have sent a check for more than $150 to every human being on earth. The lives of millions of children, who die from nothing more serious than measles, tetanus, respiratory infections and diarrhea, could be saved, since these illnesses can be prevented by $2 vaccines, $1 worth of antibiotics, or a 10-cent dose of oral rehydration salts as well as the main but still very far from prohibitive cost of people to administer the programs.

Nicely said. I sure hope we can stop being so thunderingly stupid about how we spend our money before another $1 trillion goes down the drain.