Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Readers Respond to "What Is the Cost of Freedom?"

Here are a couple of interesting email responses to my blog post from earlier today:

One reader writes:

Mr. Kudlow,

You wrote on the Corner:

"First point: The U.S. has spent roughly $750 billion for the five-year war. Sure, that’s a lot of money. But run the numbers and the total cost works out to a miniscule 1 percent of the $63 trillion GDP over that time period. It’s miniscule."

Yes -- and as I've read elsewhere, how much of that consists of salary and other expenses that would be carried whether troops were in Baghdad, Iraq, Berlin, Germany, or Fayetteville, North Carolina?

[Name withheld]
A member of the armed services in Tacoma asks:


Do you know what percentage, if any, of that $750B was spent on active duty salary, and what percentage of materiel cost was greater than baseline training?

Very good questions. We'll sort through all of this and more on tonight's Kudlow & Company with General Wesley Clark, The Wall Street Journal's Steve Moore, and Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.