Monday, June 30, 2008

Annual Salary of Congress, The Supreme Court, The President and Cabinet and all 50 Governors for 3 Years

For the cost of one day in Iraq, we could pay the annual salaries of all 3 branches of the United States government - Executive, Legislative, and Judicial - FOR 3 FULL YEARS.

The combined total for the annual salaries of The President, Vice President, 15 cabinet Secretaries, 100 Senators, 435 Representatives, and all 9 Supreme Court Justices comes out to $96,058,600.

(Based on the annual salaries for those positions)

That means for the cost of one day in Iraq, those salaries could be paid for just over 3 and a half years. In fact, you could also cover the annual salaries for all 50 State Governors ($6,219,900) for 3 years as well, and the total would only come to $306,835,500, which is still only approximately 92% of the cost of one day in Iraq.

And some people say Government is expensive...

Sources: Stateline, About, Infoplease

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pay for a Year of Education for 36,364 Children

For the cost of one day in Iraq, we could pay for a year's worth of education for 36,364 children in the public school system, grades 1-12.

(Based on the U.S. Census national average of $9,138 per pupil in 2005-06).

In Utah, where the amount of money spent per pupil is lowest, this equates to yearly education for 61,175 children. Or 48,278 students in Tennessee.

At $13,446 per student in Washington D.C. (one of the highest averages), we could pay for 24,714 students - nearly half of D.C.'s total public school enrollment.

When you consider that education should be one of a government's highest priorities, and with school districts forced to make extreme budget cuts in recent years, this is yet another compelling way to evaluate the real costs of the occupation of Iraq.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau

Thanks LK for the tip!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

1,253,962 Rounds of Golf at Torrey Pines Golf Course (Special Dads Edition)

For the cost of one day in Iraq, you could buy one lucky Dad 1,253,963 rounds of golf at the famous Torrey Pines South Golf Course, the current site of the U.S. Open.

(based on the weekend/holiday rate of $265 for a tee time)

Just think, Father's Day would no longer be celebrated only one day a year! Dad would be able to reward himself for being a father with a round of golf every day for the next 3,435 years.

To put all that golf in perspective, if King Tut had been given this gift in say, his last year as Pharaoh in 1323 BC, he (or his descendants if the gift was transferrable) would still have over 104 years of daily golf to play.

Now that's a Father's Day gift!

Friday, June 13, 2008

University Tuition for 10,553 Harvard Students (Special Grads Edition)

For one day in Iraq, 10,563 students could have their tuition paid at Harvard for an entire year. 

(based on the average annual tuition of $31,456)

However, since there are only 6,700 undergraduates at Harvard, a potentially more efficient use of the money would be to cover all 4 years for 2641 students, or approximately 39% of the entire undergraduate population. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Convert 47,471 Cars from Gas to Electric

For the cost of one day in Iraq, Americans could convert 47,471 cars to run entirely on electric motors.

(Based on the estimated cost of $7,000 per conversion - June, 2008)

Gas prices in the U.S. are at an all-time high. It's true, they are! But you could be one of the 47,471 car owners to never complain about gas prices again - if we took the money spent over the course of one day in Iraq and put it toward electric conversions.

The average automobile in the U.S. puts out 1.5 tons of carbon per year. At this rate, we could reduce the U.S.'s carbon emissions by 71,206.5 tons per year for the lifetime of those cars - for the cost of one day in Iraq.

Converting to electric energy would also save the driver $1800 a year on average (at early 2008 gas prices). Electric engines have a virtually infinite lifespan, but electric car owners do have to chip in some money to replace the batteries every 3-4 years.

Sources: Environmental New Network, Environmental Defense Fund

Thanks LK for the tip!

Monday, June 9, 2008

52.5 Million Trees Planted

For the cost of one day in Iraq, we could plant 52,662,441 new trees through a Dell/Conservation Fund partnership.

(Based on Dell's projected cost of $6.31 per tree)

Dell's Plant a Tree for Me initiative, a collaboration with and the Conservation Fund, allows consumers to offset the carbon emissions from their computer purchases. The project estimates that each tree planted will offset 1.33 tons of CO2 over 70 years. Of course, this is the amount of CO2 generated by a desktop computer in only 3 years.

With 15 million computers are purchased annually in the U.S., for the cost of just one day in Iraq, we could plant enough trees to offset the carbon emissions from all new computers bought between Jan. 2005 and the present.

Sources: Greener Choices,

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dragon Skin Body Armor for 66,460 Troops

For the cost of one day in Iraq, we could outfit 66,460 troops stationed in Iraq with "Dragon Skin," the body armor widely accepted to be the best on the market - better than the less expensive armor the troops are given currently.

For $332.3 million a day, you would think we'd be equipping our troops in Iraq with top-of-the-line combat gear, right? The armor they currently wear is called "Interceptor," but per an NBC investigation that used Department of Defense research, Dragon Skin is the armor of choice for Army VIPS in Iraq and Afghanistan and CIA operatives. Even the inventor of Interceptor, Jim Magee, agrees that Dragon Skin is superior to his own.

At around $5,000 for a full suit of Dragon Skin, 66,460 troops - or nearly half the 155,000 total in Iraq - would be given the best protection. For the cost of just over two days in Iraq, every military personnel would be covered. Or if the Army insisted on using the less expensive Interceptor armor, one day in Iraq could purchase 302,090 full suits - or two suits each - and troops could layer one Interceptor over another.

Source: MSNBC

66,460,000 Footlong Subs

For the cost of one day in Iraq, we could buy 66,460,000 footlong sub sandwiches from Subway.

(Based on Subway's current $5 footlong promotion)

At this price, we could buy every U.S. troop currently stationed in Iraq (approximately 155,000) a footlong Subway sandwich of their choice (a filling lunch) for the next 429 days, or about a year and 10 weeks.

This might be a nice alternative to the Halliburton-provided meals that the Pentagon found in 2004 were prepared in "dirty kitchens" with "blood all over the floor" and "rotting meats and vegetables."

And you might be surprised to learn (as we were) that there are currently 19 Subway restaurants located in Iraq - so no need to worry about shipping costs or refrigeration.

Sources: Center for American Progress