Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, today released the following statement one day ahead of the tenth anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan.
“The American public long ago soured on the war in Afghanistan. The national security argument has no credibility. The economic and human costs in Afghanistan are far too high, crippling our ability to recover from a deep recession.
This war has cost the taxpayers in my congressional district more than $625.7 million so far. That’s enough money to hire 11,887 elementary school teachers for a year, or to send 91,282 students to college for a year. These are the tradeoffs we’re making by spending our country’s resources on war instead of fixing problems here at home.
Americans who have spent needless years doing more with less understand the connection between federal spending priorities and the pain they feel at home. Too many of our neighbors and friends are out of work and struggle to pay their bills. They know that more than $100 billion has gone to a war they feel is not worth the cost.
Today we must choose between awar that’s not making us safer or a more educated, more prosperous America. Voters have spoken, and Congress needs to listen.
Our troops have performed with incredible courage and commitment in Afghanistan. They have done everything asked of them. Let’s not keep them in an impossible position, fighting a war with no foreseeable end. It’s time to say enough is enough. We must end this war.”
Taxpayers in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District have paid $625.7 million in total Afghanistan war spending since fiscal year 2001. The same amount of money could have funded any of the following jobs and public benefits (see http://bit.ly/pd2tGE):
- 271,352 Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
- 11,887 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
- 75,698 Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
- 81,545 Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year OR
- 8,437 Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year OR
- 91,282 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
112,745 Students receiving Pell Grants of $5,550