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How much is $250 Billion?By: Jeffrey T. Hackman (updated Feb. 2006)
As of early 2006, the war in Iraq has cost the American taxpayer about $250 billion. We're adding well over $1 billion more to that total each week.
How much money is $250,000,000,000? How much is one billion?
How long does it take for a billion seconds to pass? There are 3600 seconds per hour. There are 86,400 seconds in a day. There are 31,536,000 (31.5 million) seconds in a year. It takes about 31.7 years for one billion seconds to pass. (Contrast this with only about 11 days for one million seconds to pass.)
OK, we're 1/250th of the way there.
If you are able to live 100 years, you will experience a little over 3 billion seconds. There are 3,153,600,000 (3.1536 billion) seconds in a century. There have been about 63.072 billion seconds since Jesus' birth (2000 years). There have been about 126.144 billion seconds since Abraham's birth (4000 years).
Are we at 250 Billion yet?
Some creationists believe the earth is about 6000 years old. If that is true, then about 189.2 billion seconds have passed since Creation. So even if one spent a dollar every second since the first day of Creation, up to this moment, one may not have yet spent $250 billion.
Let's try this one: if you spent $1.99 a second, every second of every day, since the day of Abraham's birth, then you could spend $250 billion by now. What can you buy for $1.99? Perhaps a large burrito at Taco Bell? Think about spending that money, every second of every minute, every minute of every hour, every hour of every day, every day of the year, for 4000 years. Get it?
More important than the financial cost of course is the human cost. Nearly 2,300 Americans have died; over 16,000 have been wounded. The Iraqi human cost is less precise: perhaps as many as 100,000 dead; child mortality doubled since the war; countless thousands homeless, wounded, etc.
At what point is the price too high?