During the week, the Pentagon announced it had spent $1 trillion fighting the war on terror. Don't believe it, the cost to the public is a lot more than that. The $1 trillion is just the first installment, it's a down payment and the Pentagon is just spinning a line.
Time Magazine reports of a study from Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies which reveals that the total cost is around $5 trillion, or $16,000 per American and $64,000 for a family of four.
The Pentagon is spinning the numbers. These estimates include items not counted by the Pentagon, like homeland security, veterans care, various developmental efforts and the additional $1 trillion in interest payments on the war debt.
Then there is the curious way they buy equipment. It comes with several price tags. When buying a plane, for example, the Pentagon just cites "fly-away costs" which don't include how much it costs to build the plane and all the other expenses. It's a piece of accounting trickery that cuts the stated cost in half.
What could $5 trillion buy? As reported here, it would pay for US pensions and health care. The priorities of the US government though are very different.