|War in Iraq||$3 trillion||"No problem!"|
|Bush tax cuts for the rich||$1.8 - $2.5 trillion||"No problem!"|
|Bush bailouts||$9 - $24 trillion||"No problem!"|
|Military budget||$650 billion/year (about the same as the rest of the world combined)||"No problem!"|
|"Public option" health care||$1.1 trillion over 10 years*||"It's not revenue neutral!"|
|Single payer health care||Would save money, improve care||"It's socialism!"|
*According to the Congressional Budget Office, the health care reform bill passed by the House in November, 2009 actually saves $11 billion annually. See Deficit hawks attacking the wrong prey.
"Stiglitz, former chief economist of the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics, has stated the total costs of the Iraq War on the US economy will be three trillion dollars in a moderate scenario, and possibly more in the most recent published study, published in March 2008." Financial cost of the Iraq War. Other estimates are as low as $1.9 trillion.
"Newly revised estimates from Citizens for Tax Justice show that the Bush tax cuts cost almost $2.5 trillion over the decade after they were first enacted (2001-2010)." (source)
PolitiFact.com mostly agrees with Paul Krugman's claim that Bush's tax cuts cost $1.8 trillion. See also Economic policy of the George W. Bush administration.
According to this article, "For the 2009 fiscal year, the base budget of the Department of Defense rose to $518.3 billion. Adding emergency discretionary spending, supplemental spending, and stimulus spending brings the sum to $651.2 billion. Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $274 billion and $493 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $925 billion and $1.14 trillion in 2009." See The Three Trillion Dollar War.
For figures about the bailouts, see Bailouts could cost U.S. $23 trillion. Also, "The total value of the bailouts undertaken by the federal government in 2008 now exceeds the combined cost of every major war the United States has ever engaged in, according to a comparison of war costs calculated by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the value of the bailouts as calculated by Bloomberg News or Bianco Research" (2008) source The bailouts were needed to recover from the crisis caused by conservatives' reckless deregulation of banks and Wall Street.
A "health care bailout" is now needed to recover from the profiteering of the corrupt, under-regulated health care industry. But unlike the banking bailout, the health care bailout can save America money. Single-payer would lower costs, thanks to reduced overheads, simplified paperwork, less profiteering, and the ability of a government-run system to negotiate lower prices.
We already pay about 60% of health care costs through taxes ("Indeed, our tax-financed costs exceed total costs in every nation except Switzerland." source). But instead of getting the health care we deserve, our taxes fund the profits of private insurance corporations. Don't allow Congress to funnel your tax dollars to campaign donors. Demand single-payer health care and cut out the middleman.
Note 1: A weak "public option" would be no improvement at all, since it is likely to merely use taxes to fund private insurance companies, and since only single-payer (or a strong public option) will be able to control costs. Don't let Congress settle on a weak public option that gives only the illusion of health care reform.
Note 2: I am not suggesting socialized medicine here: health-care would still be privately delivered.