Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Minor Cost Accounting Items

Check this out.

In many ways, the bipartisan accomplishments of Our Glorious Supervisors simply overwhelm one's ability to comment. It now seems that Congresscreatures from both wings of the War Party, along with His Excellency George I, have discovered that dead soldiers have been grossly undervalued. Maybe this is why the stop-loss orders have been necessary. There have been inadequate market incentives offered to our throwaway, red-state, flyover-type young people to get them to offer up their lives for the futherance of Iraqi Democracy and the end of every sort of (non-allied) evil in the world. Well, all of that may soon be corrected ... and at an astonishingly cheap price, too.

Let's do some math. The standard low-end estimate of the dollar cost of Operation Iraqi Torture Mission Accomplished is $4 billion per month. In the approximately 22 months since the festivities were officially kicked off in March 2003, 1436 soldiers have been killed. That gives an average rate of 65 deaths per month. At a quarter-million dollars each, the cost Our Compassionate Supervisors propose to shoulder (errrr, I mean, propose to put on the national VISA card) is about $16.3 million. Divide 16.3 million by 4 thousand million, and you will see that the War Party's generosity will add only 0.4% to the cost of doing business in Iraq. Mere chicken feed. Why, at that cost, I'm sure that we (or our descendants) can afford to flush entire small towns in West Virginia or Kentucky or Indiana down the maw of the Presidential Natural Male Enhancement Exercise.

If recruiting continues to lag behind goals, why, the Death Bounty could easily be quadrupled. Maybe a ten percent finder's fee could even be paid to high school guidance counselors, if they direct enough of their youthful charges into the hopper. The possibilities are endless.

Meanwhile, from the news story, a note for the "some animals are more equal than others" file:

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the current death payments for troops killed in battle has looked less generous compared with government settlements paid to Sept. 11 families. The government paid an average $2.1 million to the families of those killed in those attacks.

Let's see ... $2.1 M / $0.25 M = 8.4X, our factor by which a 9/11 victim is more valuable than a morsel of insurgent fodder. About 2700 were killed on that holiest of days ... I wonder. Does this mean that "we" (meaning those young people wearing uniforms) will need to stay the course until 8.4 X 2700 have been killed? That would be 22,680 soldiers. At the current rate of consumption, we'd need to be there for another 327 months, or a little over 27 years, in order to ... what? "Balance the scales" for 9/11?

"Those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad." I wonder what we did to so thoroughly annoy the gods.

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