NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Cost of the War on Terrorism

October 31, 2001

Earlier this month, Congress and the Bush administration agreed to break the spending limits they had set for themselves just months earlier -- boosting spending next year by another $25 billion. Experts say that means next year's spending will be 8 percent higher than this year.

Then there is $55 billion already committed to fighting terrorism and bailing out the airlines. And the stimulus plan is expected to total at least $75 billion.

The total costs are still unknown. But price tags have been attached to particular programs.

  • Health and Human Services wants $1.6 billion for antibiotics, vaccines and readiness efforts -- but that's just for starters.
  • Modernization and replacement of the Coast Guard's aging fleet will demand $10 billion.
  • The cost of federalizing airport security forces over four years has been set at $9.5 billion, with more costs to come.
  • The Bush administration wants $106 million to improve food safety against a potential threat.

Then the U.S. Postal Service will need untold billions to clean up anthrax and equip post offices with machines that can kill deadly bacteria in mail. There are also new demands on the military, intelligence agencies and the immigration system. The list goes on.

Source: Editorial, "Congress' Fiscal Discipline Takes a Turn for the Worse," USA Today, October 31, 2001.

For USA Today text


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