Questions for the Public

How concerned are you that the cost of the occupation–$4 billion a month—is more than the US can afford to spend, given the current state of the economy? Are you worried that it could affect you personally, in terms of taxes or employment?

Monika Blaumerller

Washington, DC

Business development consultant

The costs keep rising, so we keep getting different numbers over time. It puts the leadership into question when that happens. I think the administration needs to find something in the budget to give up.


John Golden


Computer company representative 

I think we’re all concerned with the amount of spending that goes into an effort like this, but I think it’s necessary and I’m not personally concerned that it’s going to affect my financial status or well being.

Dilli Karki

Limousine driver
This country is made by immigrants… [Immigrants] are paying the taxes here. We’re working for like 14 hours, 12 hours and we’re paying the taxes… Definitely, the economy will go down and nobody will get a job because of slow business all the money being taken from here… For every citizen and every person who lives in America, this money is going from their pockets.

Petra King


Washington, DC 

It really isn’t affecting. I’m still getting paid. I’m not going to lose my job. There’s always something that’s affecting the economy, and at least it’s a good cause.

Aeron Kopriva

Washington, DC

School teacher

I don’t feel my priorities and the priorities of a lot of people are reflected in Bush’s call for more money from Congress to finance the war or the occupation. Bush, on the other hand, his priorities are becoming more and more clear. Namely, that certain government programs that would be jeopardized in the future by this deficit aren’t really at the top of his list.

Randy Robertson
Washington, DC
It’s not going to affect me that much, one way or the other. The government got itself into this position; it has to get out of it. I don’t want to see another Vietnam. I have a brother who was damaged by that. I don’t want to see that happen to anybody else… I know [the Bush administration] will do what they can, but they’ve got to finish the job and move on, because if they don’t finish it you’ll be spending a lot more money, because it will be giving free sway to the terrorists and other disaffected people.

George Saatsakis

Washington, DC


At this point, seeing that it has already started and needs to be followed through and finished, whatever the costs may be, it’s just something that we’re going to have to follow through on and deal with.



Ralph Solomon

Washington, DC


I’d rather have my own taxes go toward military or protecting this country that I’d rather live in than any other country in the world. So if [spending] has to be skewed one way or another, I’m more comfortable that if I pay a heft tax that we have a strong military.

Berin Uriegas

Washington, DC

Computer programmer

I am a little concerned about the cost… It just seems like they really didn’t think about the follow up to the whole thing. Once we got into Iraq, I wanted us to just do the job. Nobody wants your own soldiers to die or anybody to die, really. I just wanted them to be able to get the job done and come home. It’s kind of disheartening to think that we’re going to be in there for such a long haul and we’re having such a hard time of it.


Charles Washburn
Washington, DC
Retired postal worker
I don’t know where all the money goes. We had a surplus. Did it all go to the war? I don’t know… I have kind of a wait-and-see attitude, but it seems strange that they would spend all the money they have for very expensive planes and what not, and you hear over and over and over again about how many millions of [Americans] don’t have health insurance.

Source: Al Jazeera

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