Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva has partnered with Brave New Foundation to release a short online video that reminds taxpayers of how the war in Afghanistan is affecting the economy and job recovery in the United States. During the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, approximately $300 billion in tax dollars has been spent on the war that could have alleviated unemployment at home.
The War Is Not Free video is available at http://apps.facebook.com/warisnotfree/. The piece asks Americans to submit stories on how the economic downturn has affected their personal lives. One of the submitted stories will be selected, recorded on video, and shared with Brave New Foundation’s one million followers.
“Stability in Afghanistan will come through education, local development and rights for minorities and women,” Grijalva said. “Continuing to fund our oversized military presence when the people of this country look for jobs and try to save money is unreasonable and pointless. We have to stop wasting lives, time and taxpayer dollars on a mission that isn’t making us any safer.”
Other lawmakers are also joining the campaign. Rep. Barbara Lee of California said of the war, “Roughly one third of every tax dollar paid by the American people in 2009 went to the Pentagon and military-related expenditures. We cannot begin to reduce the budget deficit without reducing our military spending. It is time we get our priorities in order and start investing in the American people.” Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida said that “millions of people are being taxed simply to pay for the war” and urged voters to consider whether the cost is justified.
The National Priorities Project has compiled an analysis of the costs of the Afghanistan war on the state and city level. Below are some of the figures that highlight the amount spent on the war in Afghanistan from various cities across the nation:
-$298.3 Million in Tax Dollars from Tucson, Arizona, enough to provide 5,670 jobs in the health care industry.
-$376.7 Million in Tax Dollars from Oakland, California, the equivalent of 5,411 elementary school teachers.
-$476.5 Million in Tax Dollars from Orlando, Florida, which would be able to create 8,148 jobs in clean energy.
*National Priorities Project – Cost of War